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Portable power: Choosing the best generator for your mobile business


From burger trucks to coffee vans and frozen yogurt stands, many entrepreneurs and restaurateurs are taking the leap into mobile businesses. And there’s a lot to consider when creating your perfect business on wheels.

Hanlec installing a Cummins Onan machine
Hanlec installing a Cummins Onan machine

Most food trucks need to meet certain criteria including being functional in a confined space, having enough storage for produce and having enough reliable power to run appliances such as cookers and refrigerators to avoid disruption to business. But which generator is going to be the most efficient, reliable and cost-effective for the power needs of your business?

Finding these answers and cutting through the sales chatter can often be difficult so make sure you get the best deal by considering:

  • What is the generator primarily designed for? Most generators are made for a fixed, stationary position which isn’t ideal for travelling in a vehicle as they often have a fuel tank above the generator, posing a significant fire risk. However, generators that are designed for mobile applications have no tanks or batteries fitted and instead use the vehicle’s sources of fuel and DC power, making them much safer.
  • Is the generator made by a reputable brand? Many websites offer low-priced or cheap generators that claim to have powerful engines but these are often poor substitutes for reliable brands and may leave you without power during the lunchtime rush.
  • Can your supplier calculate how powerful a generator you will need based on the appliances you use? It’s a simple calculation based on the power demands of the appliances you’ll be using – check out our previous blog post for how to calculate this.
  • Do the product specifications list the sound levels of the generator as well as its dimensions? It’s easy to be sold on a generator that is compact and will take up little of your valuable space but if it’s noisy, communication will be difficult and it may even keep customers away.
  • Do you want a petrol or diesel generator? This may depend on how often you intend on using it. Diesel tends to be more fuel efficient and the generators usually last longer – often making them a better investment. However, the initial cost of petrol generators is typically lower than diesel and are often more than adequate for infrequent use. So, if you’re going to be running your generator for long periods of time and don’t want the hassle of replacing it a few years down the line, consider investing in a diesel generator. We’ve compared petrol and diesel generators in more detail here.
Food trucks

Being service agents for several reputable brands has allowed us to see what works and what doesn’t; getting feedback from our large client base on which generators are most suitable for various applications.

Among the most popular for mobile businesses are the Cummins Onan range of petrol and diesel generators. These are designed to be compact and are among the quietest generators available – ensuring you won’t be left struggling to hear your customers. Compared to cheaper replica generators, Cummins Onan machines are much more reliable and come with a manufacturer warranty and lifetime support, proven by a long history in the marketplace, so you can always be confident in your machine.

Choosing a good quality generator is a wise investment for businesses. Removing the worry of unreliable machines failing at critical times will allow you to focus on what matters in your business.

Still not sure which generator is right for you? Check out Cummins Onan’s range of mobile commercial generators or give our experts a call on 1300 278 655 to discuss your individual needs.

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