How to choose the right generator for construction?

A key question you must address when working out your generator requirements is, what do I need the power for?

This includes your small tools right up to your big, power hungry tools.

If you don’t take the time to work this out, then you can be left short of power. Without power, you can’t do your job, costing you time and money.

Work out your site access

Do you need highly portable power, allowing you access across the job site or will a trailer mounted generator do the trick?

Work out your sums

Each tool has it’s own power requirements. To work out the total kVAs, set up a table like the one below which makes what you need clear.

Tool Starting Power Requirements Running Power Requirements Quantity on site Total Power Needed
Tool 1
Tool 2
Tool 3
Tool 4
Tool 5 etc

Once you’ve worked out your total power requirements, add another 20% to be safe.

Don’t forget some manufacturers can overstate power requirements for their products so check with your generator supplier to ensure you choose a generator suitable for your tool.

Some tools may have different measurements for their power, so you will need to convert them into watts. Here is a simple calculation on how to do this:

If volts and amps are listed on the appliance, multiply the two to determine the wattage: amps x volts = watts. When horsepower is listed, keep in mind that 1 hp equals 746 watts.

Loud versus quiet power

What type of power do I need?

Technological advancements means the power provided by generators is much cleaner and quieter than ever.

Take an inverter generator, they offer extremely quiet, clean power, which are well suited to sensitive electronics and for noise sensitive environments.

Other things to consider

Other things to consider when selecting a generator are:

  1. What safety mechanisms are in place to protect you? E.g. Are RCBO features built into your generator?
  2. Is the engine of high quality and fuel efficient?
  3. Is the steel thick enough to provide durability?
  4. Does the control panel have an hour meter allowing you to manage maintenance checks?
  5. Is it portable? Providing power where you need and allowing for safekeeping at the end of the day.

These are all basic things you need to consider when choosing your generator as they help determine the relevance of the machine for your needs.

If you would like some additional advice on selecting a generator, Makinex can help. View our range at or contact  Makinex Construction Products on 1300 795 953

Makinex Construction Products

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