PTO Generator ~ What It Does and 5 to Choose From

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PTO generator, also called power take-off generator, is a tool utilized primarily by those who have farm or construction equipment with a Power Take Off (PTO) connector. You might see PTO generators referred to as tractor-powered generators or a PTO driven generator as well.

Either way, these generators are powerful must-have for anyone who owns a tractor with a PTO shaft connector.

Here we explain why a PTO generator is so effective, dive deep into what exactly a PTO generator is, and tell you more about their intended purposes.

From there, we discuss the 5 best PTO generators out there. Whether you’re in the market for a PTO generator or you just want to familiarize yourself with the different PTO generator options, you’re in the right place!

What is a PTO Generator?

As a farmer or someone who lives out in the country, there is no doubt that you’re familiar with the devastating effects of sudden power outages. There is likely nothing more overwhelming than coming face-to-face with an outage that puts a stop to more than modern conveniences.

There are many things to consider on a farm during a power outage. Consider milking machines, mechanical feeders, furnace controls, refrigeration, and other essential modern farming equipment. On farms, more immediate steps must be taken to prevent livestock or crop losses.

Even the briefest of power outages can yield damage to your crops due to limiting your access to necessary tools while on the job but also fresh water if you are on well water and need electricity to power your well water pump for your home, family and crops.

Why risk getting stranded without power when you could always have a backup power source on hand?

That’s where a PTO generator can come in handy. In fact, power take-off generators are not only limited to days where power sources are cut. You can use PTO generators on a day-to-day basis when you want to go out into the field with a reliable source of power.

PTO generators date back to the 1920’s. When the American Society of Agricultural Engineers pioneered the very first industry-standard design of the PTO generator, they transformed the agricultural space for the better.

PTO generators have numerous purposes and benefits! Let’s take a look at both.

Purpose of PTO Generator

PTO generators have many purposes, but there are two main reasons why people utilize a PTO generator. The first is to use it as a power source when there is a power outage. The second is to have portable power anywhere on your property.

Temporary Source of Power When Power Goes Out

PTO generators are an incredible resource when power is interrupted, especially during storms. A PTO generator will provide temporary backup power to your home. Depending on the capacity, you can power lights, medical equipment, well water pump, HVAC, charge electronics, and/or save the food in your fridge and freezer.

Power Source Anywhere on Your Property or Farm

PTO shaft generators come in handy when you want to use power tools out on your property without having to do all the work manually with hand tools. You can hook up a PTO generator to a tractor’s PTO shaft connector to create a mobile shop.

The underlying theme of the numerous purposes behind a PTO generator is the fact that these devices offer power sources in areas where electricity is not accessible. Essentially, PTO generators run in tandem with your tractor, and in doing so, they create electrical power. You can think of your tractor as an engine, whereas the power take-off generator is more of an alternator.

Just like with cars, engines and alternators work together to provide electricity. When both the alternator and engine are running simultaneously, the alternator supplies electrical power to whatever is connected to it. These two devices basically work as a team. and enhance the amount of electrical power at hand.

Instead of the energy from your tractor going to waste, PTO generators take advantage of this energy and turn it into electricity. It’s a fascinating phenomenon that transforms tractors into powerful machinery with far more power than when used alone.

Benefits of PTO Generators

With a better understanding of the purposes behind PTO generators, it’s time to explore the many benefits of power take-off devices. It’s clear that the main benefit is the way PTO generators provide you with electricity when you need it most.

But additionally, there more benefits from PTO generators which include the following:

  • They do not require transportation as they latch onto tractors with ease
  • Easy to attach to tractors for convenience
  • Take up very little space compared to non-portable generators
  • Run in tandem with the equipment you already have
  • No need to carry additional wires or power sources for connectivity
  • Much less expensive than standalone, non-portable generators
  • Don’t require extra fuel, which cuts down on costs
  • Simple to maintain and easy to store
  • Last a long time due to the fact they don’t have their own engines

Best PTO Generator

The purposes and benefits of a PTO generator stay the same from one model to the next. However, there are specific idiosyncrasies that set different brands of PTO generators apart. It’s important to find the right PTO driven generator for your needs. In no particular order, here are the 5 best PTO generators on the market.

Winco PTO generator
Winco PTO generator W75PTOS-17kW

Winco W75PTOS-17

Manufactured by the very reliable Winco, the W75PTOS-17 PTO generator comes with numerous special features. However, keep in mind that the following features increase the PTO generator’s overall price. It weighs 1,056 pounds.

  • RPM of 1,800
  • Three generator phases
  • Brushless alternator
  • Designed and created in the United States
  • Comes with a voltmeter

More features

  • 78,000 starting watts
  • 78,000 rated watts
  • 120 volts
  • Requires a horsepower of 156
  • Operates at a frequency of 60 hertz
  • Circuit breakers of 250 amp
Winco PTO Generator 15kw
Winco PTO Generator 15kw

Winco W15PTOS 15Kw PTO Generator

Winco is one of the greatest names in the PTO generator game. With its trustworthiness and expert-level devices, you can trust the Winco W15PTOS to deliver high-powered energy with its 60 amp outlet. The Winco W15PTOS is quite affordable compared to other PTO models.


  • Professional-grade PTO
  • 18,000 starting watts
  • 15,000 rated watts
  • Must be used with 30 horsepower engine
  • Offers overload prevention

WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt 120V/240V Generator

One of the best features of this PTO generator by WEN is that you can switch between propane and gasoline with ease. Just turn a dial, and it’s done.

The voltage is adjustable, from 120V volts, scaling up to 240. Thanks to its 6.6 gallon tank, you can expect this generator to work for over eight hours—when on its lowest setting, of course.

When using propane, it provides you with 9,500 surge and 7,500 running watts. Gasoline will give you 11,000 surge and 8,300 running watts.

WEN provides a two-year warranty, but best of all is how portable this generator is, considering it weighs 214 pounds. It has collapsible handles and nearly ten-inch wheels, meaning it can go where you need it to be on your property.


  • 7,500-8,300 watts
  • Two-year warranty
  • Small weight of 214 pounds
  • Gasoline or propane powered
  • Portable

Winco 18kw PTO Generator

Winco 18kw PTO Generator

Winco W120PTOS-18 PTO Generator

As a professional-grade tractor-driven PTO generator of 18Kw, the Winco W120PTOS-18 can be used with fragile appliances due to the type of electricity it circulates.

You can manage the PTO generator from the comfort of your tractor’s driver’s seat, thanks to the positioning of the device’s voltmeter. Also, the mainline circuit breaker makes it possible to minimize the risks of overloading circuits when in use.

The one caveat of the Winco W120PTOS-18 generator is that it has been discontinued, so you’ll have to get lucky if you want to secure one of these PTO generators for yourself. Many of these power take-off generators still exist, but new ones are no longer being manufactured. It weighs 1,206 pounds.


  • 180 rated Amps
  • Comes with a voltage meter
  • Considered a brushless alternator
  • Operates at 60 Hertz
IMD 16002P PTO Generator 16Kw
IMD 16002P PTO Generator 16Kw

IMD 16002P

The IMD 16002P PTO generator is an amazing product for its competitive price. With 60 rated amps and 16,000 rated watts, the 16002P power take-off generator comes with two outlets. Made from steel, aluminum, and copper, you can rely on the IMD PTO for durability, heavy-duty purposes, and safety.


  • Incredibly heavy duty
  • Brushless alternator
  • Continuous output
  • Standard input shaft sizing
  • Easy to use on the job
  • Weighs 266 pounds

It’s a powerful small PTO generator, yet it’s able to power anything from tractors to entire households.

Using PTO Generator Safely

No matter what generator you use, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you are using it safely. Some safety tips for all generators, but especially important for those you move around and out on your property in various weather, include:

  1. Always keep the generator dry
  2. Do not use a generator in the rain or in wet conditions
  3. You can protect it with a canopy or other shelter
  4. Do not operate if you yourself are wet or if you are standing in water

PTO Generators

Now that you know more about the concept of a PTO driven generator, we hope you can make a well-informed decision about the best PTO generator for you. Make sure you closely analyze the details and consider what you need from a tractor PTO generator before following through with a purchase.

The process of finding the perfect power take-off generator is worth the time. By choosing the size and model for your property, you can transform your energy needs with just a single purchase. They are amazing devices, and the right PTO generator will enhance your work life for the better. 

Learn everything to know about generators before making a purchase. Consider if you need a generator to power the entire house or just a few pieces of equipment. The more you can envision the ways you will use a generator and your needs, the more you can narrow down the right one for you.

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Resource: Safely using equipment on a farm