Updated: Sep 24, 2020
Check out 5 of the best silent generators to power your food truck
There are many reasons to choose a quiet generator (also known as silent or inverter generators) for your food truck.
They, are more environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient and create less noise, which is good for when you need to hear what your customers are ordering.
However, special consideration is needed when choosing the right type of quiet generator for your food truck.
In particular, the power you will need to run all your appliances, the runtime between refuelling, the noise levels (dba) and how portable it is.
I have therefore put together a list of the 5 best quiet generators for food trucks, based on these features.
5 best quiet generators for food trucks
1. WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Starting watts: 3800kw
Running watts: 3400kw
Weight: 49kg (dry weight)
Runtime: 8.5 hours @ 50% load
Noise Level db (A): 57
Power: Two three-prong 120V receptacles / AC 120V NEMA TT-30R RV receptacle /12V DC receptacle /5V USB port,
Start Method: Push Button Electric / Recoil Backup / Remote Key Fob
Low noise level
Multiple start options
Relatively short run time
Heavy for wattage
First on the list is the WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator is at the lower end in what you get in terms of power.
It produces 3800kw of surge watts (start-up watts) and and running watts of 3400 kw which is good for running a couple of catering equipment such as grills and fridges.
This silent generator also produces a relatively low noise pollution of 57 dba which makes its good for hearing customers and staff and has a handy electric start button.
Other features include a carry handle and wheels which makes it very portable and easy to transport.
The main negatives for this model is that it is quite a heavy unit for the amount of power you get as there are lighter generators that produce more power on the list.
The Wen generator also has a relatively short run time of 8.5 hours.
Noise level: 4/5
2. Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology (Best value*)
Starting watts: 4000kw
Running watts: 3500kw
Weight: 36kg (dry weight)
Runtime: 17 hours
Noise Level db (A): 64
120V 30A RV / 120V 20A household outlets with clean power /12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
Start method: Recoil
Long run time
Relatively Light weight
No electric start
The Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology is a well known brand when it comes to generators which makes it a good choice for a food trucks.
It produces slightly more starting (4000 watts) and running power (3500 watts) than the WEN silent generator but is in fact quite a third lighter at 34kgs.
It also has a very long run time at 17 hours on a full tank and has an economy mode which helps to conserves power consumption and engine life before you need to refill (good for longer events).
However, the main drawback for this model of silent generator is despite it being relatively light weight, it doesn't come with wheels and only has a recoil as a start option.
Noise level: 3.5/5
3. Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator (Best All-rounder*)
Starting watts: 4500kw
Running watts: 3700kw
Weight: 44kg (dry weight)
Runtime: Up to 18 Hour Run Time on a 3. 4 Gallon Gas Tank
Noise Level db (A): 52
Power: 5–20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet / RV-Ready Tt-30R 30 Amp Outlet / USB Outlets
Start method: Remote Start with Key Fob / Electric and Recoil Start
Long run time
Fob key start
Mid range power
Compact and powerful, the Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator is the best all rounder in terms of power, noise levels and run time.
It has a higher running watts than the two previous generators at 3700 watts which is a adequate amount for running multiple pieces of kitchen equipment; has a long run time of up to 18 hours on a full tank; and produces very low noise levels of 52 dba (lowest on the list).
It also has an integrated carry handle on wheels which makes it easy to transport and store between any events.
Finding a negative with the Westinghouse silent generator is quite hard but the main issue with this model is its offers a relatively mid-range amount of power at 3700 watts.
This might be an issue for anyone looking to power a full food truck kitchen with more than 3-4 bits of kitchen equipment.
Noise level: 5/5
4. Champion 6250-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology
Starting watts: 6250kw
Running watts: 5000kw
Weight: 54kg (dry weight)
Runtime: 12.5 hrs.
Noise Level dB (A): 69
Power: AC/DC: 120/240 / 12
Start method: Recoil
Cold start techology
3-year limited Warranty with free lifetime technical support
No electric start
Moving up in power output is the Champion 6250-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology.
It has plenty of power at 5000 running watts to power an extensive range of commercial kitchen equipment in a food truck and a mid-range run time of 12.5 hours.
Its also on wheels which makes it good for portability.
Another nice feature is this model has cold start technology which means if the generator has been left idle for a while in cold weather it should start relatively easily
However because this silent generator produces more power it also makes its slightly heavier than the previous three generators at 54kgs.
With the additional power It also has a relatively high dba which will create a little bit more noise pollution.
Noise level: 3/5
5. Champion Power Equipment 100520 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter
Starting watts: 8750kw
Running watts: 7000kw
Weight: 67kg (dry weight)
Runtime: 10. 5 hours at 25% load when the 4. 2-gallon fuel tank is full
Noise Level db (A): 72
Power: 120/240V 30A locking outlet (L14-30R) / 120V 20A GFCI protected household outlets (5-20R) / 12V DC automotive-style outlet with a dual USB adapter and battery-charging cables
Start method: Electric
3-year limited with FREE lifetime technical support
Relatively low run-time
No electric start
Moving one to one of the highest wattage silent generators on the market is the upgraded Champion Power Equipment 100520 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter.
The Champion silent generator produces a massive 7000 watts of output which is fair to say, enough for most power hunger food trucks.
And like the previous smaller Champion model this one also has cold start technology, economy mode and is on wheels to aid portability.
However, an unavoidable fact with silent generators is as you go up in power wattage so does the weight of the unit and noise levels increase which makes it harder to more and creates higher noise pollution.
Noise level: 3/5
How many watts does it take to run a food truck?
Before we jump right into the best silent generators for your food truck, there are a few things to consider.
The appliances you will be using will determine how big of a generator you need to run a food truck.
To run a food truck you are looking at a minimum of 3000 watts or 25 amps to run basic equipment such as fridges, blenders or microwaves.
However, it is suggested you get a generator with a bit more power, of between 4000-7000 watts, if you intend to run multiple appliances, to give you that extra bit of capacity.
Refrigerator = 400-1000 kws / 3.3-8 amps
Microwave = 750-1000-kws / 6.25-9.2 amps
Blender = 450-700 kws/3.3-5.8 amps
Soup kettle = 400-600 kws / 3.3-5 amps
Total = 2000- 3300 kws / 16.6-30amps
Pro's and Con's of Quiet generators
Highly Portable - Designed with portability in mind and with smaller fuel tanks (see fuel efficiency)
Clean energy - These types of generators create a clean and stable energy called "sinewave" energy, which is the same as what electricity companies send.
Lower noise levels - This is because the engine runs more efficiently and is built in an enclosed casing and designed with mufflers.
Fuel efficiency - runs at a speed only for what is required, as opposed as running at full speed to meet your power demands
Expense - Comparably more expensive than traditional petrol/diesel generators.
Power - mid-range silent generators start at 2000-4000 watts, whilst conventional generates in the same category hold around 4000kws.
The main things to look out for when buying a silent generator for a food truck is the running watts, the run-time, the dba (noise levels) and how portable it is.
If you only have a small mobile catering operator then a silent generator with a smaller power output should be adequate.
So in that case I recommend either the WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator or the Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator ( the Best All-rounder*).
If on the other hand your food truck operator is a little more power hungry and you use multiple commercial kitchen equipment go for the powerful Champion 100520 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter.