Credit: Multiquip Inc.

For long-term jobs, containerized generators can deliver up to 2 mW of power.

Credit: Multiquip Inc.

Gas-powered generators are portable, versatile, and suitable for powering everything from light towers to drills and saws. heaters and air conditioners. Most can easily be transported to, from, and around any jobsite.

Those considering a generator acquisition should evaluate environmental regulations in their area. Air and noise pollution restrictions vary dramatically by state and can dictate whether the machine is used in a temporary or permanent application. Operators should be familiar with local noise and emissions standards and whether a particular generator has the specifications necessary to comply with those often stringent regulations.

Check that the generator is adequately equipped for sound silencing. A generator's sound level is important, so consider how quiet a generator should be in the application and choose accordingly.

Gasoline generators typically are 15 kW or less. They're best for small construction jobs to power everything from saws, drills, and other power tools to

Diesel generators are larger, with many manufacturers supplying units in excess of 2 mW. They generally offer greater durability for longer life in spite of the lofty price tag. They're good for work on most construction sites, at sporting events, and entertainment applications as well as providing back-up power for offices, hospitals, and other large structures.

The physical size of a diesel generator usually requires a trailer for ease of transportation. If a trailer is necessary, ensure that the frame and housing are sturdy enough to withstand extended hours of on-and off-road transportation.

Not all trailer-mounted generator packages are alike. Note the overall dimensions of the generator before ordering a trailer that just appears to look right. Remember, many jobsites have limited access, while others have narrow gates where a failure to specify the correct trailer and generator can be much more than a minor inconvenience.

Selecting the correct generator for the application isn't easy, but by compiling a checklist of what the user needs from a unit, the operator will certainly simplify the process.

— Peter Cannon is media manager for Multiquip Inc., Carson, Calif.