There was a time the only food truck to jingle its way round town was Mr Whippy. Now the kids who used to run out into the streets screaming for soft serves in a cone are all grown up and now they’re chasing a new breed of food truck. From tacos to gumbo, curry to burgers, food trucks are serving up a whole menu of appetising and (sometimes) gourmet goodies. It’s turned out to be a massive business opportunity in cities and ‘burbs across Australia.
For anyone who wants to get on the food wagon (sorry) and is thinking about starting a food truck business, or for those who already have a food truck business, power is an important consideration. Without the right electric generator, you’ll be out of power before you can say “My Whippy’s back”. And there’s nothing worse than making people trek all over the city for their dinner only to find there’s nothing cooking.
What type of generator do I need for my food truck?
By far, the best type of generator for a food van is an Inverter Generator. Sound complicated? Well, it’s not. The Inverter is a lightweight microprocessor that replaces the old school heavy alternator in conventional-style generators. Inverter generators produce clean, pure power that is ideal for food vans. You get clean quality power with the peace of mind that there won’t be any spikes or surges. This means you can power the more sensitive equipment that you wouldn’t normally trust to a generator, such as laptops and mobile phone chargers or any other electrical appliances.
The other great benefit of an inverter generator is it’s eco-throttle feature, which automatically adjusts the engine speed in accordance with the required load. This means that your inverter generator is extremely fuel efficient and won’t guzzle loads of petrol unnecessarily. You get a longer continuous running time without the need to refuel – so unless your van runs out of fuel, there’s no need for emergency refuelling stops. You ultimately enjoy more power for less money – yet another way to improve your profit margin!
Another huge advantage for food vans is that inverter generators come in more portable and lightweight designs than their conventional counterparts. This means they are easy to move into and out of the van (especially because they have a fancy ergonomic handle), and won’t take up much space when you’re on the road. All the more room for burger buns, taco shells and pork rolls!
Lastly, when your business is based on residential streets, you need a generator that isn’t noisy or disruptive. Inverter Generators typically come with sound-proofed casing, insulators and mufflers for whisper quiet operation. For example, a Yamaha 2000 watt inverter generator is rated at about 52 decibels at quarter load – that is quieter than normal conversation levels!
Food Van Generator Recommendations?
Like any generator, inverter generators come in a whole range of sizes to suit different uses – we recommend checking out the My Generator Buyer’s Guide to ensure you get the right sized unit for all the appliances you intend to run. It’s essential you find out the wattage draw of your particular appliances (especially the starting wattage) so you get a generator large enough to power your food van.
So whilst it’s different for each set up, the two most popular inverter generator models for food vans, coffee carts and market stalls are:
- Yamaha EF2000iS: delivers a maximum 2000 watts and is great for smaller requirements within your van; lights, cash registers, small fridges, blenders and other small to medium sized cooking appliances. You can also connect two of these units together via a parallel kit, to almost double the power output.
- Yamaha EF6300iSE: the largest of inverter generators, this is the number 1 choice for mobile vans and carts that run a coffee machine, coffee grinder etc. As these appliances typically need a bit more power, you’ll need the 6300 watts that this model produces to run the coffee equipment as well as all your other associated appliances.
If you require more information on generators for food vans/coffee carts, then feel free to call us on 1300 400 122. You can also read more in the following related articles:
TWO FINAL TIPS!
1) Watch this helpful video from a fellow Food Van owner demonstrating how he uses a wattage meter to measure the power draw of his kitchen appliances and to ensure he is using a generator set up with enough power:
2) An important safety point with generators and food vans is that when operating the generator it must have ventilation to draw in fresh air and for the release of exhaust fumes. Enclosing the generator and not providing sufficient ventilation during operation is unsafe and can damage the generator. Be safe kids! 🙂