Portable generators supply reliable electricity for worksites without access to the power grid. Leading brands offer heavy-duty models specifically built for the demands of construction.

Texas Generators

Construction crews often need to bring power with them, wherever the job takes them. Generators offer a flexible way to meet those electricity needs when working off the grid. They allow you to run tools, equipment, and lighting without relying on temporary utility hookups.

Defining construction generators

Portable generators are engine-powered machines that generate electricity. They include outlets and plugs to connect tools directly or distribute power through cables and extension cords.

Trusted brands like Caterpillar (CAT), John Deere, and Honda build rugged, durable generators made to withstand tough conditions on construction sites. You can get compact “suitcase” generators that produce a few thousand watts up to trailer-mounted mega-generators over 1MW.

Meeting the power demands of construction projects

The biggest advantage of generators is being able to tap into engine power and create electricity on demand. Instead of bringing in expensive, temporary power poles and cables, you can simply tow a generator to the site.

Even in remote areas or frequently changing locations on large projects, your team stays productive with a reliable power source. Your crew gains the flexibility to work without restrictions or downtime.

Types of Generators Used at Construction Sites

There are two main fuel options for generators on job sites – diesel and propane/natural gas. Each has pros and cons to consider.

Diesel construction generators

Diesel generators are common for construction because the engines can reliably produce plenty of power. Leading manufacturers like Caterpillar use proven, off-the-shelf diesel engines paired to electrical generators.

You’ll find many compact “portable” diesel generators in the 5-30kW range with wheel kits for maneuvering around worksites. Larger diesel gensets go up to 2MW for running very heavy loads. Their fuel efficiency and low emissions make them a solid choice.

Alternative fuel generators

Propane or natural gas generators also see lots of use by construction crews. They produce fewer emissions, run more quietly, and the fuel is easier to come by.

While diesel has a higher energy density, a comparable gas generator may cost less to operate overall. Gasoline is seldom used anymore due to its volatility and emissions.

Features Construction Crews Need From Generators

Each job site has its own power needs and challenges. Here are key features to look for in construction site generators:

Quiet operation suitable for urban, residential builds

Noise regulations may require generators below a certain decibel level, especially on urban infill projects. Enclosed mufflers, insulated casings, and other noise-reduction technologies make the quietest generators whisper-silent.

Easy mobility around evolving job locations

Look for all-terrain tires, lifting eyelets, and trailer mount options to reposition generators as the project progresses. Having the flexibility to place your power where you need it saves significant time and effort.

Ruggedness and weather resistance

Your generator will endure long days in the elements, high traffic, vibrations, and more. Seek heavy-plate enclosures, weatherproof components, and seals to prevent failures. Easily serviceable filters and parts also minimize downtime.

Safety Considerations For Construction Site Generators

Like any machine, generators present some safety risks. Proper precautions go a long way to prevent accidents and injuries:

Proper fuel storage and handling

Follow codes and guidelines for containing fuel spills, ventilating fumes, and refueling carefully. Place generators away from high-traffic areas or blind corners. Practice an emergency response plan.

Electrical safety

Using transfer switches, grounding properly, and overcurrent protection are vital. Ensure cords and cables are sized and rated for the loads. Inspect them frequently for damage. Keep electrical components high and dry.

Emissions and ventilation precautions

Diesel exhaust and gas vapors can accumulate in confined spaces. Carbon monoxide sensors should trigger automatic generator shutdown. Provide ample perimeter ventilation and air intakes.

How To Size Generators For Your Power Requirements

When sizing a generator, it is important to carefully evaluate your power requirements to ensure you get a generator that can handle the load. Here are some key steps to follow:

Inventory Electrical Equipment

Make a comprehensive list of all tools, appliances, lights, HVAC systems, and other items that will require generator power. Be as detailed as possible, including specifications like wattage ratings.

Calculate Total Running Watts

Add up the running or rated wattage for all items that could potentially run simultaneously. This is your minimum required generator capacity. Remember:

Evaluate Voltage, Phase, and Plug Compatibility

Add Cushion for Future Growth
Add at least 20% as an extra buffer above your calculated loads. It costs much less to get extra capacity now rather than replace an undersized generator later.

Properly sizing your generator ensures reliable backup power whenever you need it. Allow flexibility for additional tools and equipment down the road. An experienced electrician can help inventory electrical loads and recommend ideal generator specifications. Investing in adequate wattage reduces the risk of overload and protects your equipment.

Where To Rent Or Purchase Construction Site Generators

Renting generators short-term is convenient and affordable for most construction projects. Local equipment rental companies offer multiple delivery and pickup options to suit your schedule. They handle all maintenance and repairs while providing the latest generator models with advanced features.

Consider renting generators if:

The main benefits of renting include:

Purchase generators if you have long-term, frequent, or continuous projects in mind. Owning your generator lets you recoup the initial investment over time and eliminates recurring rental fees. Carefully weigh the capital outlay and regular maintenance costs against your current and future project timelines and power requirements.

Consider buying generators if:

If purchasing, leverage manufacturer or dealer financing promotions where possible to offset the initial cash outlay. Be sure to factor in proper generator storage, permits, fuel costs and professional maintenance into your budget.

Operating, Maintaining, and Repairing Your Generators

To keep generators performing optimally and avoid costly repairs down the road:

Proactive maintenance and timely repairs will extend the generator’s service life. Keep detailed records to spot patterns and deterioration over time. Major overhauls or replacements should be viewed as a last resort.

Innovations In Generator Technology For Construction

Today’s state-of-the-art job site generators boast impressive new technologies that improve efficiency, connectivity, and sustainability:

Hybrid models combine diesel and battery power, improving fuel efficiency and performance. The battery helps handle peak power demands, while the diesel engine can run at a steady, optimal speed rather than constantly revving up and down. This improves generator life expectancy and reduces noise.

Smart interfaces enable advanced monitoring, control, and diagnostics via computer or mobile apps. Users can remotely check a generator’s fuel level, runtime, due for maintenance alerts, and more. Some interfaces even allow the ability to remotely start, stop, and calibrate generators. This allows for preventative maintenance and rapid response time if issues arise.

Solar power pairing allows generators to charge batteries during daylight hours. The stored solar energy then displaces fuel usage at night to save on refueling costs. Some generators feature solar panels integrated into the housing itself.

By embracing hybrid technology, connectivity, and solar power, today’s most advanced generators deliver improved total cost of ownership through enhanced efficiency, flexibility, and sustainability. Contractors can do more with less fuel while benefiting from remote operability and data-driven insights.

Top Construction Generator Brands and Models

When you need tried-and-true performance, veterans of the construction industry trust these names:

Conclusion: Finding Your Perfect Construction Site Generator

Carefully evaluate your construction power requirements including:

Compare renting vs buying options. Contact us for consulting generator sizing guides for rent.