Portable Professional Generator Buyer's Guide
How to Pick the Perfect Professional Portable Generator
A professional jobsite generator gives you the portable power you need for construction, logging, welding, and other high-demand applications.
Although you may be tempted by smaller, less expensive portable units, they simply won't be able to handle regular, heavy-duty use. We'll overview what you need to know to get the right industrial portable generator for the job.
Why Do I Need a Professional Generator?
If you need heavy portable power on a regular basis, then you need to go pro. Professional portable generators have higher engine capacities, longer run times, and overall more efficient operation. They also have the heavy-duty outlets you need to plug in your power tools and other equipment.
Furthermore, industrial portable generators are built with robust materials to handle the rough conditions found on most jobsites, are designed for convenient transportation, and have easy-access maintenance.
Key Commercial Portable Generator Features
Let's look at some key professional generator features in more detail.
Jobsite generator engines have higher capacities (300-670 cc) than consumer-grade models and can run longer and more efficiently. Many come with a pressurized lubrication system for more precise distribution of oil.
Furthermore, low-oil shutoff capability warns you if there is ever a lack of lubrication and will automatically shut the engine down to prevent damage.
Jobsite generators are built for rough conditions. Many models are protected by thick, 12-gauge steel tubing to protect the generator and fuel tank from damage. The fuel tanks themselves are often impact-resistant, and welded steel feet add stability. Even the outlets are protected by rubber covers against moisture, dirt, and debris.
Because professional contractors often find themselves loading and unloading heavy equipment, professional portable generators come with a lifting eye for hoisting and securing your generator without having to overexert yourself.
Aside from the lifting eye, jobsite generators often come with fold-down lifting handles and wheels for easier movement around the site.
All professional grade portable generators have GFCI protected outlets in order to meet OSHA standards on job sites. These are exceptionally helpful in decreasing the possibility of electrocution.
Because of the GFCI protection, you may need a GFI transfer switch should you wish to connect to a home for emergency backup power. Learn more about how to prevent tripping your generator outlet.
Hour Meters/Power Bars
For professionals, an hour meter is essential. When using your generator frequently, it's important to keep track of how many hours it's running so you know when to change the oil and perform periodic maintenance. You can also purchase generator hour meters separately if your unit doesn't have one built in.
Similarly, power bars measure your generator's voltage output at any given time and let you know if you're overloading it.
Sizing Your Jobsite Generator
To size your commercial portable generator, first determine what tools or equipment you'll be running at the same time. Next, add up the starting wattage requirements for all of these tools. The total will equal the minimum power output you'll need from your generator.
To help you out, we have a free portable generator wattage calculator. Simply choose the appliances you need to power, and the tool will recommend the proper-size jobsite generator.
Professional Generator Maintenance and Warranty
Most professional jobsite generators come with simple panel access to the filters and spark plugs for routine maintenance.
They also come with a commercial generator warranty designed to cover heavy usage. If you use a consumer-grade generator on the jobsite and it breaks down quickly (as it inevitably will), you most likely won't be covered under warranty. A professional generator with a commercial warranty is what you need.
Semi-Pro vs Professional Generators
If you don't quite need all the features offered by a professional-grade generator, we offer semi-professional units as a compromise between high performance and affordability.
Semi-pro generators are built using higher-quality parts than standard consumer-grade portables. In particular, semi-pro generator engines are designed for better performance and a longer lifespan.
Stay Powered on the Jobsite
With the right commercial generator, you can rest assured that you'll be powered as long as it takes to get the job done. If you have questions about choosing the right jobsite generator, call us at 800-800-3317 to speak with an expert.
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