PTO Generators: Buying Guide

A PTO Generator is a boon for the American farmer as even the most temporary power outages can have a critical impact on operations. 

It is a relief that the PTO - Power Take Off - Generator was invented to alleviate our problems.

What is a PTO

A generator is a machine that creates electrical power from mechanical power.  The PTO Generator is a Tractor powered generator.  

For the very impatient, head straight to the Top Rated PTO Generators.

In a hurry : Check out the top  

selling PTO Generators

PTO generator

PTO Generator

PTO or Power Take Off refers to a device that has the function of transferring mechanical power from one engine to another equipment that does not have its own engine, motor or power source.

A PTO Generator works by converting the energy in a tractor’s output shaft into electrical power with minimal energy loss in the process.  They are commonly referred to as a Tractor Generator as they eliminate the requirement for an in-built engine.

PTO’s are largely common in farms as they are very useful for equipment and vehicles used in the various farming activities as well as in some commercial transport. This invention was actually a result of the inventiveness of certain farmers in the past.

If the PTO is not your cup of tea, you can see other types of generators here.

PTO Generator from Value Leader
PTO  – Value Leader

Types of PTO Generators

Clutch Shift vs Mechanical Shift

The Mechanical Shift PTO Generators are used with manual transmission tractors and work with the aid of air pressure and a cable or a lever.

In operating this type of PTO, one must ensure to stop the transmission gears prior to getting the PTO engaged. If this is not done, transmission damage is most likely to occur.

The Clutch Shift, on the other hand, is mostly used with an automatic transmission. It is engaged by the forced interaction of the clutch disk and friction plate when an internal piston is applied with air or hydraulic pressure.

Shiftable Input or Constant Mesh

PTO’s are also classified as Shiftable Input Style: this involves engaging the PTO by sliding an input gear in and out meshing with the transmission gear.

The second variation is called Constant Mesh, which involves full-time meshing with the transmission gear while the PTO is engaged. Between the two, the Constant Mesh is less likely to impac your transmission in a negative way.

Winco with John Deere Tractor

See the Winco W15 on Amazon 

Why invest in a PTO Generator

1) Electrical power in Remote Areas – Need something done in a remote section far from a permanent power source.  No problem with the Tractor powered PTO Generator. Just drive there and you are ready to go.

2) Time Saver – When you have the power you no longer have to rely on mechanical tools.  Power tools that lie unused at the tool shed suddenly have the legs to work anywhere anytime.

The sleeping power of your tractor engine doubles or triples your efficiency and productivity.

3) Comfort at Home – There is no way to control power outages in the local community. As a family man, looking for the comfort and convenience of the family and business; ownership of a PTO generator is the answer.

The only requirement is having ample diesel fuel around and a fully functioning tractor right outside the door.  A reliable power source is ready to serve with the simple installation that anyone can do right then and there when required.

4) Low Costs – The savings are aplenty. Upfront, there is already at least 50 percent of savings since these generators costs less than another diesel-operated power source. Maintenance-wise, there are fewer parts and lower chances of failure because it does not have its own engine.

The cost of operations is negligible compared to having a second diesel engine. It basically feeds on the farm grade diesel used by the tractor. More so, it does not require the oil changes and oil filter replacements that the typical generator needs. Only the tractor has to be serviced as recommended.

5) Long Shelf Life: The device itself can sit unused for as long as one wishes it to. Its inactivity does not affect its efficiency and effectivity. The only requirement is for the original power source, the tractor, to be up and running. As long as the power source is working, the PTO generator will continue to be functional.

What to look for

Size and Capacity: One of the most important considerations is the size. This is not just about the physical dimensions of the device itself but more about its capacity. The best measure of the PTO generator size is your tractor’s horsepower.

About two horsepower is required by the PTO Generator to create an output of 1 kilowatt. Generally, smaller-sized PTO’s are usually operating at 540RPM while their larger counterparts are at 1000RPM. Inputs for both are usually available with the majority of the tractor-driven generators, and most tractors can work with both speeds.

However, if the tractor one owns has the capacity for one-speed option only, then one should pick the PTO that corresponds with the tractor’s speed option.

Electric Output: Another detail to look into is the output power characteristics of the generator.  There are generally two types produced by PTO generators: single phase or three phase. The single-phase type has the same capacity as one’s home wall socket. For requirements that involve 208 or 480 volts, three—phase electricity is needed.

Reliability: Like any other purchase, reliability is a major factor. So look for a major brand that has the confidence in their product to include free or v low-cost service and repairs.

The assurance of its durability plus the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that the experts will take care of anything that goes wrong.

Additional Accessories: are sometimes available with the product to make one’s life easier.

An easy transportation hitch or a trailer is an accessory, which allows for greater mobility minus the hassle and unnecessary weight.

Another one is the PTO drive shaft, which is required for hooking up the PTO between the tractor and the generator.

Okay, take me to the list of the best PTO Generators.

PTO Generator Hazards

Similar to any other electromechanical device, the PTO generator also comes with a set of potential hazards.

An accident can take place with the PTO stub while they are engaged when they catch an article of clothing such as the operator’s boot laces, overalls or coveralls as well as long hair and jewelry.

If not immediately responded to, the person whose clothing is caught can end up in very big trouble.

Bolts and Pins must be securely screwed in, as lack of care may cause them to loosen up gradually leading to serious malfunction or an accident.  It is important to realize the speed of the device – it is operating at 9 or more rotations a second and entanglements can happen in the blink of an eye.

It is highly recommended not to mount, dismount, or reach for the control levers while situated at the tractor’s rear. Also, take care not to step across the shaft or have an extra rider while the PTO is operated.

The good news is that previous years have witnessed a decline in the number of incidents related to these generators.


Buying a Power Take Off generator is definitely something to consider for a  farming operation.

It will complement your existing tractor and add tremendous mobility and a significant source of portable power to the farm.

Top PTO Generators

And now, here are the most popular PTO generators selling in the Amazon Generator marketplace with outstanding reviews and feedback. Enjoy :

Bestseller No. 1
DuroMax XP15000E Gas Powered Portable Generator-15000 Watt Electric Start-Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved, Blue/Black
DuroMax XP15000E Gas Powered Portable Generator-15000 Watt Electric Start-Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved, Blue/Black
  • POWERFUL DUROMAX ENGINE: The XP15000E is Powered by a DuroMax 713cc DuroMax V-Twin Engine
  • PLENTY OF POWER: With 15,000 peak watts and 12,000 running watts, this unit can handle heavy loads from lights and a refrigerator to a home air conditioner and high amperage power tools
  • MX2 TECHNOLOGY: With DuroMax MX2 technology, get the maximum power from each of the 120 Volt receptacles; Choose between operating the generator at both 120V and 240V simultaneously, or at 120V only with full power
  • LOW OIL SHUT-OFF: Protects your investment by automatically shutting the generator off when it senses that the oil is low.
  • IDLE CONTROL: Generator lowers RPMs when not in use, saving fuel and reducing noise. Ideal in situations like on job sites where power is used intermittently.
SaleBestseller No. 2
EF ECOFLOW EFDELTA 1260Wh Solar Generator with 110W Solar Panel , 6 X 1800W (3300W Surge) AC Outlets, Portable Power Station for Outdoors Camping RV Hunting Emergency
EF ECOFLOW EFDELTA 1260Wh Solar Generator with 110W Solar Panel , 6 X 1800W (3300W Surge) AC Outlets, Portable Power Station for Outdoors Camping RV Hunting Emergency
  • Kit Includes: 1x 1260wh Solar Generator and all its accessories; 1x 110W Foldable Solar Panel and all its accessories. May be in different warehouses because the products are in the form of a Bundle. Don’t worry when you receive only part of the product, you can send us an email and we will provide you with another tracking number.
  • Fast Charging: EFDELTA can be recharged from 0% to 80% in 1 hour and to 100% in 1.6 hours. ECOFLOW patented X-Stream Technology empowers EFDELTA recharged at 10 times the speed of most portable power stations in the market with just a standard AC cable. (NO HEAVY, BULKY ADAPTOR or BRICK).
  • Fast Recharge By Solar: EFDELTA MPPT Controller guarantees faster recharge rate of solar and the wider compatibility with any solar panel: Open Circuit voltage(OCV): 10-65V/ 10A max, 400W Max Input. (MC4 to XT60 Solar Cable Included). SOLAR RECHARGE TIME: EFDELTA can be fully recharged by solar panel in about 4 Hours.
  • Outdoor Camping Battery: Portable power station specially designed for charging laptops, mini-cooler, mini space heaters, and other outdoor electronics. EFDELTA features 6* AC outlet,2x 60W USB-C, 4x USB-A (2 normal+2 fast charge): Smart Phones, Speaker and Tablets; 1x 13.6V CAR PORT: Car Fridge or Vacuum Cleaner, so can power following 13 devices simultaneously.
  • Waterproof & Durable: The 110w solar panel is waterproof to endure all weather conditions, ideal for outdoor activities such as camping, climbing, hiking. You can submerge the panel in water for up to 30 minutes with no detrimental effect to the product.
Bestseller No. 3
KOHLER K-5531-NA Invigoration Series Steam Generator, 11 kW
KOHLER K-5531-NA Invigoration Series Steam Generator, 11 kW
7 Reviews
  • Fast-response technology produces a luxurious steam shower in 60 seconds
  • Power clean technology offers one-touch automatic cleaning and safe maintenance
  • 317 cubic feet maximum volume rating for custom showering applications
  • Compatible with the KOHLER dtv+ showering system
  • Requires k-5557 invigoration steam generator control kit or k-5548-k1 dtv+ steam Adapter kit (sold separately)
Bestseller No. 4
Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator Guardian Series 22kW/19.5kW Air Cooled with Wi-Fi and Transfer Switch, Aluminum
Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator Guardian Series 22kW/19.5kW Air Cooled with Wi-Fi and Transfer Switch, Aluminum
7 Reviews
  • 5-Year limited Warranty for automatic standby generators.
  • Up to whole house protection with the 200 Amp, NEMA 3R (aluminum outdoor enclosure) smart switch
  • Smart, User-friendly controls. Generac’s evolution controller features a multilingual LCD display that allows you to Monitor Battery status and track maintenance intervals to ensure your generator is always in top operating condition.
SaleBestseller No. 5
BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC200P 2000Wh/2000W Solar Generator With LiFePO4 Backup Battery Pack , 700W Max Solar Input with MPPT Recharge Tech , 6 2000W AC Outlet(4800W Peak) for Off Grid RV Home Emergency Outdoor Camping Explore
BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC200P 2000Wh/2000W Solar Generator With LiFePO4 Backup Battery Pack , 700W Max Solar Input with MPPT Recharge Tech , 6 2000W AC Outlet(4800W Peak) for Off Grid RV Home Emergency Outdoor Camping Explore
  • 🔋2kWh Capacity & 2KW Max. Load – AC200P utilizes 2,000Wh automotive-power-grade LiFePO4 battery, which is the safest and long lasting cells to ensure at least 3500+ life cycles, while other batteries about 1,000 cycles. E.g., it can power a well-known brand e-car run 50 miles more. 2,000 Watts maximum load (4,000 Watts surge) means it can power on most of home appliances.
  • 🔋17 Full-Featured Output Ports – 6*100V~120V AC outlets (Pure Sine Wave) for most household appliances; 1*DC12V/10A for car devices; 1*DC12V/25A for DIY, RV and some higher current devices; 1*PD 60W USB-C faster charge for Type-C devices such as Macbook series; 2*DC 12V/3A for LED light, router; 2*Wireless Charging Ports (Max. 15W); 4*5V/3A USB-A charging ports for smartphone, tablet.
  • 🔋Built-in MPPT Fast Charging Module – No need to buy an extra MPPT controller for solar panels, convenient and more efficient (MC4 charging cable is included). Wider PV input voltage range solar 700W/35-150V 12A(Max.) and larger solar input power can allow you connect more solar panels in series or parallel. You can recharge the portable power station in about 3.5 Hours (Max.700W solar).
  • 🔋Outstanding Highlights – ①Five recharge ways from AC wall outlet/solar panel/car 12V port/generator/lead-acid battery; ②Power 17 devices simultaneously; ③LCD touchscreen shows current, voltage, power, temperature and charging status; ④Unique “Bluetti ECO” power saving mode; ⑤Intelligent temperature activated fan-with fans turn on at 113℉ or above, allowing for a quiet environment when using a machine.
  • 🔋What You Can Get – PACKAGE INCLUDE: 1*Portable Power Station (AC200P with PSE, FCC, CE, UN38.3, msds, RoHs, UL certified), 1*500W AC Wall Charger, 1*PV Solar Charging Cable (MC4 to XT90), 1*Car Charing Cable (Car to XT90), 1*XT90 to Aviation Plug(input), 1*User Manual.

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Last update on 2021-09-27 at 15:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Author: Michael Bennet

A Solar energy professional with ten years of marketing and installation experience. Avid and passionate about the adoption of solar and related technologies in all homes. Blogs about all things solar and sustainable at