PTO Generator Buyer's Guide

PTO Generator Buyer's Guide

How to Pick the Perfect Power Take Off Generator

For those who make a living off the land, getting power to distant parts of your property can be difficult. If you own a tractor, however, then a power take-off (PTO) generator, sometimes known as a tractor generator, can solve your electricity woes. 


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What is a PTO Generator?

A PTO generator connects directly to the driveshaft of your tractor engine to generate electricity. Wherever you take your tractor, you can take your power with you.

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Benefits of PTO Generators

Tractor generators are the perfect companion on a farm or ranch for several reasons:


Work smarter not harder. With a PTO generator, you can run power tools far away from distant utility poles without carrying unnecessary equipment. Look for models with a lifting eye. 

Home Backup

When storms threaten the homestead, it's reassuring to have reliable backup power when you need it. Plus, you can use a manual transfer switch to restore power to a house, barn, or building during an outage. If you're looking to power sensitive electronics, consider models with low total harmonic distortion (THD). 

Home during storm

Less Maintenance

With fewer internal parts and less necessary upkeep than a gas engine, you'll be surprised at how easy tractor generators are to maintain. Look for models with maintenance-free bearings and a brushless generator. Brushless motors are more efficient, quieter, and require less maintenance than brushed ones. Although they cost more upfront, brushless motors pay off in the long run. 


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Lower Cost

Pound for pound, PTO generators cost a lot less than an equivalent standby generator with the same power output. When you think about all of the uses you can get out of a tractor generator, it's like having the most powerful portable and standby generator in one.


How to Size a PTO Tractor Generator

Use the following steps to size a PTO generator:

1. Select Engine Size (HP)

This is the most critical step in sizing your PTO generator. You need to match the PTO generator to the horsepower of your tractor engine.

The rule of thumb is that you need 2 HP to produce 1 kW of electricity. For example, a 50-HP engine is required to produce 25 kW of power.

2. Select Engine Speed (RPM)

PTO shafts typically run at two different speeds: 540 or 1000 rotations-per-minute (RPM). Most new tractors can operate at both speeds. If your tractor is limited to just one speed, buy the corresponding PTO generator.

PTO tractor on farm

3. Select Electrical Phase

PTO generators produce two types of electricity: Single-Phase or Three-Phase.

Single-phase electricity is standard power coming out of your home's wall socket.

Three-phase electricity is used for higher-powered applications. If you need power in 208 volts or 480 volts, you'll need a three-phase PTO generator.

Expert Advice

If you're unsure what kind of PTO generator will work for you, or need help finding the right features, give one of our experts a call.


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Jared, the Generator Expert
Generator Expert
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