Whether it’s from a commercial or a domestic point of view, knowing what sort of generator you want and need can be a hard decision to make. When it comes to generators, it’s often the engine that takes up the most space, causes the most fluctuations in price, and simply is the heart of the device.
What if you were able to buy a generator that is engineless and all you have to do is simply supply the power? This is where PTO generators come into their own.
By simply using the already functioning tractor or vehicle engine, farmers and domestic users can harness the power from engines and create electrical power via a Power Take-Off generator more commonly known as a PTO generator.
The low cost, low maintenance, and versatility of a PTO driven generator makes them one of the most popular types of the generator on the market; let’s take a look at some of the leading contenders.
Best PTO Generators
Best For Low Budgets1NorthStar PTO Generator
Best For Low BudgetsNorthStar PTO Generator
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|2||Winco 15,000 Watt PTO Generator||Buy On Amazon|
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Best For Higher Budgets3IMDLLC 16002P PTO Generator
Best For Higher BudgetsIMDLLC 16002P PTO Generator
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|4||IMDLLC 10011P PTO Generator||Buy On Amazon|
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Best Overall5IMDLLC 22005P PTO Generator
Best OverallIMDLLC 22005P PTO Generator
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1. NorthStar PTO Generator
- The compacted size makes it extra mobile.
- 100% copper wiring and all-metal construction.
- Easy to use control panel.
- Equipped with a thermal-magnetic breaker.
This lightweight and compact PTO generator is considered to be a perfect home and farm generator. Easy to move and to maintain, the NorthStar PTO generator is great for beginners or those seeking a smaller device that packs a punch.
The numerous outlets make for a great universal generator; there are four 20 amp 120V outlets, one 30 amp 120V outlet, and one 50 amp 120V outlet.
Alongside its durability and workload, this PTO generator is a model of perfect safety. Equipped with thermal-magnetic breakers, a pushbutton to reset circuit breaker, and a protective shield, every precaution has been put into place to keep the user safe.
- Push button for resetting circuit breakers.
- Has a good variety of power outlets.
- Fitted with a safety shield.
- 2-year parts and labor warranty.
- Not as powerful as some other PTO generators.
2. Winco 15,000 Watt PTO Generator
- Cast iron gear case for durability.
- Large voltmeter that can be observed form your tractor seat.
- Mobility is made easy with a trailer or 3-point hitch.
- Premium square D circuit breakers.
Packing a little more punch than most of the other generators on the market, this lightweight yet sturdy Winco design will provide you with 15,000 watts of power, ideal for running all power tools on a farm or otherwise.
Though it needs to be mounted on a platform for better use, the mobility of such a compact design pays dividends.
The pricing is unlikely to break the bank, so if you are seeking that mini workhorse that will provide you with the confidence in the power, the Winco is the generator for you.
Strong and cast iron parts also provide the buyer with a strong assurance of a long life to their generator.
- Low harmonic content, providing cleaner power.
- The compact design makes it easy to store.
- 100% load tested for extra safety.
- 60 amp full power plug included with the product.
- Needs to be mounted onto a platform.
3. IMDLLC 16002P PTO Generator
- Hard-wearing yet lightweight steel and aluminum framework.
- The LED display provides clear information.
- Minimal harmonic distortion for clean power.
- The transfer switch makes it easy to use as a backup power source at home.
Considered to be an extremely powerful PTO generator, the IMDLLC 16002P PTO Generator has a running wattage of 16,000 and surge power of around 30,000.
Although equipped with such power, the lightweight and mobile nature of the generator is not affected at all.
Boasting 100% copper wiring and a low distortion alternator allows the generator to work at a level that is somewhat unmatched in the marketplace. An added transfer switch also means that it can be easily used in the home as well as the fields.
- Copper wound internal parts.
- Individual circuit breakers for added safety.
- Surge wattage of 30,000 watts.
- Can be used with a 120V or 240V outlet.
- One of the more expensive models to buy.
4. IMDLLC 10011P PTO Generator
- Aluminum and steel housing for durability.
- Three bar LED display.
- Two years warranty on parts and labor.
- Transfer switch to use in homes.
If you’re looking for a lightweight and mobile PTO generator that can still do all that is asked of it, then look no further than this IMDLLC 10011P PTO Generator Package.
Complete with a generator, 3-point hitch, and transfer switches, this package rewards you with both a farm workhorse and a mobile generator to use in the home. Though its power is somewhat lower than many on the market, the 10,000 watts are often more than enough to power all the on-farm requirements.
Made from only the best materials, you are sure to receive top quality and value for money with this design.
- Easy to make a mobile.
- Individual circuit breakers.
- Comes with 3-Point Hitch.
- Great value for money.
- Lower output capabilities than other models.
5. IMDLLC 22005P PTO Generator
- Powerful output power.
- Cast iron gearbox for durability.
- Drip-proof design for cleanliness.
- Lifetime pre-sealed maintenance-free bearings.
This mammoth 22,000 W PTO generator is capable of running any farm equipment and can supply the home with enough power during an unfortunate blackout.
Using only top of the range materials, this model comes with an almost lifetime guarantee of use and will require very little maintenance during its lifetime.
Although sitting slightly higher on the pricing scale than some other models, this PTO generator is worth every cent, and you will be hard-pressed to find a more powerful design for a similar price.
- Can supply power to nearly any tool.
- Three Bar LED meter provides accurate displays.
- Comes equipped with a frame for attachments.
- Transfer switch enables home use.
- Can be high in price.
PTO Generator Buying Guide
Size & Output
The size and output of your PTO generator depend on a number of things, and each one will determine what type of work you will be able to do with the generator.
Selecting a particular engine size is the most critical stage in the sizing of a PTO generator. It is important to match the PTO generator to the horsepower of your tractor engine. As a general rule of thumb, you need 2 HP from the engine to produce 1 kW of electricity from the generator.
Not having enough output generated by the tractor engine means that the generator will not be able to function correctly. Having too much may cause a surge in power and can result in blowing diodes in the generator, also causing it to function incorrectly and unsafely.
PTO generators produce two types of electricity: single-phase and three-phase. Single-phase is the same electricity that comes from your wall sockets at home. Three-phase however, is better suited for higher-powered appliances. So, if you need power in 208 volts or 480 volts, then you will need a three-phase generator.
Engine Speed (RPM)
The shafts of PTO generators generally run at two different speeds, either 540 rotations per minute or 1000 rotations per minute. Most modern tractors are capable of running at both of these speeds. However, if your tractor struggles to run at these speeds, it is advisable to purchase the corresponding generator, enabling you to run your generator with ease.
The portability of PTO generators depends on the size and weight of the device. Being able to transfer the generator between points across a large area, such as a farm, is crucial to using a PTO effectively.
Weighing anything from 100kg up to 400kg, it is important the larger generators are fixed and properly installed on a concrete slab or PTO trailer designed to carry heavier loads. Smaller portable generators will not require such attachments, yet these are less likely to power larger devices and supply sufficient output.
There is a range of PTO generators that are fitted with a durable and portable carrying frame, making it much easier to transport them to where they are needed. These frames often come with attachable wheels, allowing them to be connected to trailers and other such vehicles – only adding to their portability.
The portability of such a device means that the power source can be taken where ever it is needed, not just left stationary in one place. This portability also means users can run power tools far away from distant utility poles and the bulky added extras you would need to carry.
PTO generator’s basic use is to provide power when all other means of gaining power have either been cut off or are unable to be used. Traditionally used throughout the agricultural world, PTO generators are powered using tractor engines, providing power all over the farm and often in the remotest of places on the farm.
The added insurance of having a backup power source at home also makes purchasing a PTO generator a great idea, especially if you are prone to storms or blackouts.
Buying PTO generators for tractors is the most common way of using and powering the generator. Traditionally this type of generator was exclusively used alongside a tractor and for farm use. Linking up the PTO generator with a tractor allows the user to transfer the power created by the tractor engine into usable electricity.
The ability to run a generator from the farm tractor also allows users to drive all over the farm, taking the power source to where it is needed. Farmers can take advantage of all their power tools, moving this plethora of tools to wherever it is needed on the farm and power them via the PTO generator.
PTO driven generators are now being used as fail-safes at home. Keeping the generator in good condition means that there is always a power source in the event of any unfortunate natural disasters and blackouts that modern society falls victim to.
When it comes back to using the generator on a farm, having an electrical blackout can be hugely costly when it comes to production and the general well being of the farm. Having a PTO generator on hand means it can be used both for the farm and the home.
If you choose a PTO generator as your standard home backup source and you do not work on a farm, then coming by an attachable engine to run the generator may be hard.
Always bear in mind that this kind of generator requires the power takeoff mechanism of a suitable tractor, via power takeoff driveshaft to run successfully.
Maintaining any piece of machinery and farm equipment is at the top of any successful farmers list, and this is no different when it comes to PTO generators. Yet the surprising and most beloved fact about PTO generators is their virtually maintenance-free designs.
Because PTO generators do not come equipped with their own engines, the majority of the possible maintenance work needed in most sorts of equipment is non-existent. As long as your tractor is in fully working order, there is no reason that your PTO generator should not start up every time.
Unlike the commonly used generators that need their oil changing every fifty hours and their filter changing every hundred hours, tractors, and subsequently, PTO generators, can run for nearly five hundred hours without a change.
This lack of required maintenance makes PTO generators more attractive to the average farmer; after all, another engine to worry about is the last thing a farmer wants or needs.
Another factor that makes PTO generators more favorable by farmers and general users is the overall price of the generator and its running costs. As stated earlier, using a tractor to run the generator means you have taken out the most expensive part of the device, the engine.
On average, users are set to save nearly 50% more by using a PTO generator, compared to using an equivalent diesel engine generator. An example of this is the 20-25kW home standby diesel generator which can sometimes cost between $6,000-8,000 and maybe more.
Compare this with a 25kW PTO generator that will typically be under $3,000, the price difference is clear. Upkeep costs of PTO generators are also far lower, as the fuel costs are intertwined with that of the tractors, and the maintenance costs are almost nonexistent.
The pricing range can shift considerably when you take into account the generators make, size, and power capabilities. Expect to pay anything from $900 to well into the thousands of dollars.
Understanding which PTO generator is right for you all depends on what you wish to use the generator for. Spending at lower ends of the market may not hinder you if you only wish to run the odd power tool on the farm, yet those seeking to supply their home with power during a blackout may wish to spend a little more.
Variables such as certain outputs and required engine HP levels will also play a huge role. In conclusion, using our specs diligently, you should be able to secure yourself the right generator model for the required job.