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  1. #1

    Default PTO Generator Info

    Hello

    I stumbled onto this site while researching the pros/cons of pto generators. I am looking at buying a 13kW NorthStar pto generator from NorthernTool for $1199.00. My 45hp tractor should be capable of handling the full 12kW continuous load that this generator can supposively supply. I have a few questions for anyone who has one or has had experience using a pto generator.

    1. How durable is the NorthStar and how many hours can I expect to get out of this generator before it goes belly up?

    2. Have any of you ever used your generator as a power source for a welding machine and how does it work under the load of the welding machine?

    3. Are there other brands of pto generators that are better than the NorthStar that are in the same price range as the NorthStar?

    Any input on the NorthStar pto generator or comparable brands will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    vicksburg

  2. #2

    Default Re: PTO Generator Info

    I can't speak for the Northern brand of generators. I'm sure they'll do just as well as most other brands. Might want to check with some local dairy farmers to see what they have. Maybe even wait for some auctions in the area, although the generator is usually the one thing that doesn't sell on the farm auction.

    Names of many other brands are escaping me right now. I'm not sure if Generac makes PTO generators. Kato Light makes (or did make?) good ones.

    I will caution you - if you are going to use it to power your "place," have a transfer switch installed. DO NOT just use a double-male plug to feed into an outlet - this is extremely dangerous, and most likely illegal.

    Welding shouldn't be a problem. Start on low amperage and go from there.

    Also, be sure to exercise the generator frequently. Generators can lose their mind if they sit around, literally, they don't know how to make electricity anymore, and must be re-excited. Not a difficult process, but can be annoying. Fire it up once a month or so and put some load to it, saws, lights, etc, anything to make it work a little bit.

  3. #3
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    Default Re: PTO Generator Info

    And dont shut it down with a load on it. That will drain the residual magnetism(cause it to loose it's mind) and it wont make power the next time it is spun up and will have to be "flashed" with current from a battery.

    Also no specific info on the northern brand of generators. Your 45HP will power it to it's full capacity though. Not especially efficient having 45HP droning away at full PTO RPM for a maximum of 26HP(2HP per KW) of mechanical load. With that much spinning mass and reserve HP, you will be able to run quite large welder with that rig, and it should maintain a fairly steady RPM under the large load changes that welders create in operation.

    Good luck
    Ron

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Rara Avis's Avatar
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    Default Re: PTO Generator Info

    Here's a couple of excellent pto-driven generators...
    Winco PTO Generators

    Iowa Farm Equipment -- Baumalight PTO Generators

    Here's some data for you to peruse about tractor driven pto-power generation...
    Tractor-Driven Generators: Producing Quality Power

  5. #5
    Silver Member valleydweller1's Avatar
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    Default Re: PTO Generator Info

    Something interesting about NorthStar; I saw their generator factory on some TV show the other day (How it's made, Made in America, or something similar). Their gasoline generators are actually assembled in America! No idea where the parts/components come from though, and since the generator head for a PTO generator is really a "component" it may be a moot point for this conversation.

    Any idea where the Northstar generator heads are made?

    Greg
    2007 B7510 with FEL, 48" Brush Hog and Kubota rear remote
    Late 90's Caddigger 728, built by a friend
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  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: PTO Generator Info

    Quote Originally Posted by vicksburg
    Hello

    I am looking at buying a 13kW NorthStar pto generator from NorthernTool for $1199.00.
    I have that generator, I have it mostly as a backup when we lose power, which is fairly often. I occasionally use it out in the field to run power tools. I drive it with a 27HP tractor, never loaded it up completely. I bought mine used off ebay a year or so ago.
    Mark Leininger

  7. #7

    Default Re: PTO Generator Info

    Thanks for the replies.

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: PTO Generator Info

    I also have that genny.. Have used it for backup power after the hurricanes in florida. I have also used it ot run my AC hobart welder. It's as good as the tractor powering it.. etc. If you have a snappy governor and lots of reserve hp/heavy flywheel.. you don't notice a heavy load...

    soundguy

  9. #9
    Gold Member dtd24's Avatar
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    Default Re: PTO Generator Info

    I've been thinking about getting one myself. I already installed the transfer switch, but my question is at what rpm does the tractor have to be. I think my pto sweet spot is 2610.

    I would hate to try to sleep with the tractor roaring like that!!
    98 JD 1070 (573 hrs), 440 JD Loader, 8B JD Back Hoe, 5' King Kutter Rotary Cutter, 6' King Kutter Landscape Rake, 7' King Kutter Back Blade, 6' Farm Force Box Blade, Custom Design/Built Grapple, Farm Force PHD w/ 9" & 12" Augers

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: PTO Generator Info

    My dad has one of the Northstar 13Kw units, but has not had to use it since he bought it, not a bad thing when you think about it.

    As far as the tractor rpm question, the genhead has to have the ~540 rpm going in to make the 60 cycles it is geared that way. If you have a 2 speed pto and you want to slow the engine down you could use the high gear, but you will not produce full power unless you have a higher hp tractor say 40-50 pto hp that can make 27 hp at the lower rpm. Even that potentially has pitfalls since the engine will likely lug down and not respond quickly to heavy load hits and your cycles will drop, lights dim, heavy loaded motors will lag in kicking off, that kind of thing. Much of the night time load would not be enough to cause that heavy of bind on it though. The only things I can think of that throws a big load is central or big window unit A/C, water heater, electric stove/oven. After Katrina we did fine on a 4Kw Coleman. When I needed to heat the water up (~3.8Kw) I would throw all the other breakers for a couple of hours then drop it and put the fridge, freezer, lights, and ceiling fans back on. Did not even try the central air. My point is that if I had a 2 speed pto then I feel sure most of the time it would be in high gear to lower the fuel consumption as much if not more than to cut the noise, because of the reserve a 12Kw would provide. But that is just me and my tendency to conserve as much as possible. Even with the 10Kw military unit I have now I would only run it when absolutely necessary for the A/C, otherwise the trusty less than 1/2 gal per hours 4Kw is getting the task. It will run my MM210 wire welder just fine by the way, figured that out after running the welder with the mil unit and the load meter showed 20% ~2Kw. Said I to myself, we will not burn this much gas again.

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