We may earn commission from links on this page at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products we back!
If you’re a food truck owner or are considering opening one in the near future, you may have come across the question: what size generator for a food truck?
A food truck needs a generator that will produce enough power to run the equipment and keep everything going while the truck is moving around.
You might not know where to start when it comes to sizing your generator. Let us take a closer look at some factors that will help you determine what size generator is best for your food truck.
What Size Generator For Food Truck?
The generator size for a food truck depends on how much power you need & the number of hours you want to work. In general, the larger your generator, the better it will be if you run your entire business on generator power.
For example, if you have a food truck that needs to run for 8 hours, then you would need a generator that can run for 8 hours at 400 watts.
This will be adequate to keep the lights and sump pump going, as well as enough power for basic food preparation but not much more than just cooking at a burger shack or drive-through window.
|Size||Ideal Watts||Recommended Generator|
|Small||4000 Watts||Champion Power Equipment 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter|
|Medium||6000 Watts||WEN GN6000 6000-Watt RV-Ready Portable Generator|
|Large||8000 Watts||Togo Power 8000 Watt Gas Powerd Portable Generator|
|Extra Large||12000 Watts||DuroMax 12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Generator|
How many watts does it take to run a food truck?
A typical food truck will need a generator that can provide a continuous, uninterrupted flow of electricity to the equipment in the kitchen. The amount of power needed varies depending on how much cooking or refrigeration is required.
And as such it’s difficult to pin down an exact answer. For example, if you’re only going to be cooking pre-prepared items like hot dogs then your needs would be less than someone who intends on running their own grill.
It may also depend heavily on what kind of fridge you have. Some people use chest freezers while others rely exclusively on an icebox for cold storage. In general though when looking at average numbers expect anything from 5000W up to 15000W with 8000W being around the middle ground and a good all-purpose size for a food truck.
Read More: What Size Generator To Run A Sump Pump?
It’s of the utmost importance that you research your needs in order to find out what size generator for a food truck is best suited for your situation. This will affect how much it costs and what kind of electricity output it provides.
If you’re going to be cooking a lot with refrigeration work then more power capacity may need to be purchased. Then if only a few hot dogs are needed; alternatively, smaller generators can generally provide lower upfront cost.
But could potentially be limited by their energy capabilities because they don’t have enough battery storage or gas tanks on them. The right choice depends largely on each circumstance which means there isn’t an exact answer when trying to determine exactly how powerful any given generator should be.
How much power does a food trailer need?
Generally, a small food trailer needs a 1000 or 2000 watt generator.
The best thing is to research how many people you’ll be catering to, and decide what kind of power consumption you’ll need.
If you’re catering for around 20 people, a 2000 watt generator should be more than enough to power the food trailer and keep it cool.
But if you’re catering for more than 100 people, it might be worth investing in a larger generator (around 5000 watts).
What types of generators do food trucks use?
Here are some of the generator types for food trucks:
These types of generators generate power from gasoline and propane tanks to provide electricity. These generators work well when you need a light load that doesn’t require constant use. Such as powering office equipment or small appliances on an outdoor event site.
They also can run up to 20 hours before refueling. Which is perfect if your truck’s operating schedule isn’t too demanding. Gasoline generators are portable and more affordable than diesel generators but they produce less power.
Create electrical current using a traditional engine with fuel injected into it for combustion in order to spin its internal rotors. This generates mechanical energy that turns the alternator. Diesel generators need storage tanks for fuel.
Which can be gasoline or diesel. The power they produce is more consistent than that of a gas generator and will last longer before requiring refueling. However, the initial investment costs are much higher. Generally from $5000 to $20,000 USD.
Natural Gas Generators
Make electricity with an internal combustion engine powered by natural gas being combusted in order to spin its internal rotors. This generates mechanical energy that turns the alternator. Natural gas generators tend to run quieter and cleaner than other types.
But their output fluctuates depending on how much natural gas you put into them. So some may recommend investing in solar panels if your truck’s operating schedule isn’t too demanding.
These generators are typically powered by the sun. So they can produce power 24 hours a day. They’re good for those who need to keep energy costs down and don’t want to depend on external sources of fuel.
However, as with natural gas generators, their output fluctuates depending on how much sunlight is present.
Generate electricity using wind turbines that use blades rotating in an area exposed to strong winds. Wind generators require reliably powerful winds but once installed they do not require any other kind of maintenance apart from periodic inspections.
Diesel or Natural Gas? There’s no perfect generator. They all have pros and cons which will better suit your needs than others. If you’re looking for a generator that won’t depend on external fuel sources, solar is relatively easy to maintain and doesn’t require any special permits or permissions.
Like those needed by mobile generators, then you should choose diesel. If your priority is efficiency, generating electricity with the least amount of noise and vibration possible then natural gas might be better.
What Features Should You Consider For Food trucks Generator?
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing your generator is how it will be fueled. Gasoline can run out in a power outage or if extreme weather conditions prevent refueling vehicles.
Diesel generators have an advantage because they can go without running out of fuel until gas stations reopen which could take days or weeks depending on the severity of the storm event (or other emergencies).
In addition, diesel generators typically produce more electricity than gasoline models so that may allow them to keep operations going longer. However, diesel engines require routine maintenance such as checking fuel filters, oil levels, and the air filter.
Furthermore, diesel generators produce more noise than gasoline models so they may not be appropriate in some situations such as residential neighborhoods or near an airport.
The next consideration is how much power you need to run your operation each day typically measured in kilowatts (kW). There are a variety of applications that will require different sizes of generators with ranges from about 500 watts for basic operations up to 1000 kW for large restaurants generating hundreds of pounds per hour.
Determine what size your food truck needs based on how many customers it serves at one time and typical electricity usage during service hours.
For example, if you serve 300 people per day between 11 am and 12 pm then you would need a 10000-12000 watt generator based on a 50% load.
Gasoline vs Electric:
There are also two types of fuel you might consider: gasoline or an electric model. If your food truck is only running for four hours per day then gas generators may be best because they’re more affordable and produce greater power in that time than their electrical counterparts.
However, if the operation needs to run all day long every day then it would be best to rely on electricity since there’s no need to refuel them with costly gas at all times.
Just plug them into any outlet like a computer or TV, flip the switch and go! This type of generator could cost between $1000-$2000 depending upon how much power it creates (in kilowatts) and how much it can hold on reserves.
Food Truck Size:
The size of your food truck will also have an impact on the type and size of a generator you need to purchase or rent. A small trailer that has less than six feet in height may require no more than 500 watts.
While those with five times as much space inside might use a 2000 watt model at full load. These figures are based on 50% power consumption from gas-powered generators.
If they’re used for the entire day then 5000-watt models would be necessary. All this doesn’t even take into account what types of cooking equipment are being utilized such as grills, ovens, or fryers which all use kilowatts during operation. And each of these items would require a generator.
How Loud Is It:
The sound of the generator will be dependent on its size and fuel type. Some models being nearly silent while others can produce up to 80 decibels at full speed.
Many people purchase generators that are around 60 dB or less in terms of noise so they do not have to worry about disturbing their neighbors during operation. Which may lead them to call the police department for assistance if there was a complaint filed against you.
Why do you need a special generator for a food truck?
The reason behind this is that food trucks are more likely to be on the road or in transit for long periods of time. As a result, they need power sources which will work while you’re away from an outlet.
There are many generators designed specifically for mobile use and catering companies, but it is important not to forget about your personal safety as well when choosing one!
A smaller generator is easier to transport and store, but it may not last as long on a single tank of gas. A larger generator will keep going longer without refueling, but you’ll need more space in your truck or trailer to accommodate it!
Some generators have automatic shut-offs when they run out of fuel. While others are designed for continuous use so that power can be guaranteed at all times. The former is better. If you’re only using the generator for short periods, like powering your freezer.
How do I set up the generator to power my food truck?
First, you will need to determine how much power your generator can produce.
Second, find a level surface for the generator with easy access to an electrical outlet and water hose connection point.
Third, clear away any debris from around the area where you plan on setting up the generator.
Fourth, set up the ground sockets correctly. By standing them upright and making sure they are sturdy before plugging in the extension cord that connects it to your truck’s power supply into one of the outlets on each socket. Next, connect a length of your heavy-duty outdoor cable (ideally 16 gauge) between both ends of each socket using twist-on wire connectors or screw terminals.
Finally, place all equipment that needs electricity next to an outlet so you can plug it into the generator power cord.
This will help regulate your voltage and keep everything running successfully without any problems.
However, if you have sensitive electronics such as a computer or other devices with delicate circuits, they should be plugged directly into outlets inside of the truck instead (plugging them in outside could fry their circuitry).
Do Food Trucks Need Generators?
That’s an interesting question, and the short answer is no. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook if your power goes out and it starts to get cold outside.
The generator of a food truck is there for a different reason. A generator powers the kitchen inside of your food truck and keeps everything from frozen to warm. And while you may not need a generator for your food truck, you will want to have one on hand in case of emergencies.
Is a Portable Generator Even Necessary to Run a Food Truck?
A common question food truck owners face is whether or not to invest in a portable generator. If you’re just starting out, the answer may be no.
What is the quietest generator for a food truck?
The quietest generator for a food truck is the Honda EU3000iS inverter generator.
What size generator do I need to run a coffee van?
This is an important question for anyone considering opening a coffee van. The essential equipment in the vehicle includes two large electric water heaters and at least two coffee makers.
Each of the three pieces of equipment must be able to operate at 100% capacity for 24 hours a day without shutting down during that time. This requires a minimum of 30,000 watts (30kW) with 40 amps of current capacity.
When it comes to the size of generator you need, there are a few things that will determine which one is best for your food truck. The first thing you’ll want to consider is what kind of power needs do you have?
If you only plan on using lights and some small appliances like an electric coffee pot or tea kettle then something in the 3-5 kilowatt range should work just fine.
You could also go with a smaller 2-3 kW unit if all you’re looking to run are microwaves and refrigerators without any other major electrical devices. For running larger items such as ovens, fryers, blenders, etc., 10+ kw may be more appropriate depending on how much energy they use per hour.