Your Guide to Tractor PTO Generator Units

Need a generator? Got a tractor? Meet the PTO generator unit.

PTO Generator, (Power Take Off) also known as Tractor Generators, are designed for mobile or standby electrical power and are ideal for any farmer as they are powered from the PTO of a tractor. No need for an inbuilt generator engine.

Here's what you need to know:

What is a PTO generator?

Generators comprise an engine and an alternator. But if you have a tractor, you already have the engine so you can simply connect an alternator to the drive the shaft and create electricity. That's where a PTO generator comes in. It doesn't have an engine, but uses the engine of the tractor, along with a power take-off, to generate electricity.

The PTO (Power Take-off) is a way of taking mechanical power from an external engine, like the one on your tractor, to give power to another application, such as a generator.

Powerlite - PTO Tractor Generator


Why choose a PTO generator?

PTO generators, also known as tractor driven generators, are a no-brainer for farmers. Especially where a consistent power source is critical to the operation of the business. They are reliable, easy to use and an incredibly practical way of getting power when you need it.

PTO generators also tend to be cheaper than other generators, as they don't have a built-in engine and you don't have to worry about the costs of running an extra engine.

Also, because the alternator is brushless, the PTO generator is virtually maintenance free with a greater service life when compared to a standard diesel engine powered generator.

You can simply forget about it until you need it, rather than worrying about starting it up once a month like a normal generator.

PTO Generator

Which PTO generator?

So which should you choose?

  • Size: The horsepower of the tractor will help you work out which sized PTO generator you need. An easy way to work it out is to remember that 2 horsepower is needed for every 1 kilowatt of generator output created. Smaller PTOs typically operate at 540 RPM, while larger PTOs operate at 1000 RPM. Most tractor driven generators are available with either 540 or 1000 RPM input. You can use a smaller HP tractor than the full power rating of your generator, so long as you are supplying the appropriate RPM.

  • Reliable: One major factor is service life. Look for a generator manufacturer that has proven durability, such as Powerlite and Dunlite. Both brands have been around for decades and are renowned for their reliability. Powerlite PTO Generators are Australian designed and manufactured using industrial duty Italian made Mecc Alte brand alternators, one of the world's largest and respected alternator manufacturers. Also, both brands provide service parts and technical expertise should something not go to plan.

  • Transportation: Pick one with easy transportation so you can tow it to wherever you need power around the farm. This is usually available as an added accessory or may be part of the kit.

  • Drive Shaft: The PTO Drive Shaft is essential to hook up the power take off from your tractor to the PTO generator's shaft. You really need this!

PTO Generator

So if you have a tractor and you need a generator, check out our PTO generators today.


DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

3 thoughts on Your Guide to Tractor PTO Generator Units

8 December 2017
Generac pretty much same as Generac Model 9738-1. The current Generac doesn't make this type of unit. You can find the manual online at PTO Generator Instructions. Don't know about parts. We bought one new from Generac for the farm many years ago and it still works - have to flash the field every so often because only used in emergencies. if you find a source of parts please let me know.

28 September 2017
I am looking at a Dayton PTO Generator model 3w954 25/50KW, Do you know who manufactured this generator for Dayton, (Winco, Kaytolight, Generac)? Thanks, Joel

9 September 2017
I just bought a Dayton Agri-Pro Farm Power Plant and all of the info that used to be on the generator has faded away. It has three black wires protruding out of the left side and a ground wire attachment on the exterior of the unit. It has an AC volt meter that has a range from 0 to 300 volts, with 220-260 range highlighted with a green marking. It has 120 volt receptacles and two different 240 volt receptacles. How do I know if this is single or triple phase? It came with the pto drive shaft but I have not connected it to my 1982 Massey Ferguson which has a 3 cylinder Perkin's Diesel with a high and low range. I just purchased the tractor as well. How do I test the generator? I just want it for emergency power during hurricanes.

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