PTO Generators — Purpose, Benefits, and Requirements

What is a PTO Generator?Cummins Protec PTO Generators - Midwest Generator Solutions

Power Take Off (PTO) generators are mobile units that produce electricity by means of a vehicle’s engine. Commonly used in agriculture and by emergency providers, PTO generators provide power to workers in areas where electricity isn’t accessible.

Why They’re Used

Agriculture workers and emergency crews use PTO generators because electricity isn’t always accessible. A farmer, for example, may need to repair a fence on the far end of his property. Using his UTV or ATV, he could power a PTO generator, such as a Cummins Onan Protec PTO, to accomplish this task with power tools.

For emergency workers, there are various scenarios where a PTO generator becomes necessary. Firefighters might need their own power source during a rural operation. Or they might need a power supply in town where a hookup isn’t quickly accessible.

Benefits of PTO Generators

Farms and emergency crews also use PTO generators because the units don’t need towed. Some PTO generators can be permanently mounted onto vehicles so they’re available at the flip of a switch. This is also beneficial because no additional space is taken up from a standalone generator, were emergency crews to haul one.

Another reason why PTO generators are useful is because they rely on equipment farmers and emergency crews already have — UTVs, ATVs, trucks, and other emergency vehicles. Employing a PTO generator means that these workers don’t have to maintain and repair another engine, which saves time and ongoing costs. And because PTO generators rely on these vehicles’ engines, the PTOs cost about half as much as standalone generators. It’s for this reason, too, that these generators typically have a long life. They have no engine components that will fail; they’re essentially large alternators.

The final benefit farmers and emergency crews get from PTO generators is that they don’t have to store extra fuel. Emergency generators require a supply of fuel be kept. The risk with doing this, however, is that the fuel will degrade. (Gasoline lasts an average of three months without treatment. Diesel fuel lasts between six and 12 months without treatment, depending on conditions.) Monitoring and maintaining emergency fuel are additional tasks and expenses that workers save when choosing a PTO model.

PTO Requirements

Every PTO generator has its own requirements, so make sure you do your research before purchasing a model. Tractor PTO generators, for example, run at lower RPMs than do truck- or UTV-run generators. Tractor output shafts run at 540 or 1000 rpms. Generators like the Cummins Onan Protec run at 1,500 to 1,800 rpms.

Horsepower is another requirement PTO owners need to consider. It takes about 2hp to produce 1 kW of energy. So, for a generator that produces between 12 and 40 kW of power, operators will need engines with 24hp to 80hp, respectively. A UTV or an ATV will be able to power a small PTO generator. Larger models will require truck engines.

If you’re interested in a Cummins Onan Protec generator, contact Midwest Generator Solutions in Indianapolis, Indiana. We will help assess your needs and guide you to the model that’s best for you. Likewise, if you’re interested in a permanent, standby generator, we have many commercial and residential models to choose from, from Generac, Cummins Onan, Kohler, and Briggs & Stratton. Contact us today and let us assist you in preparing your home or business for a power outage.