How Engine-Driven Welder/Generators Save Space and Fuel

A diesel engine-driven welder/generator with dual-operator capabilities is one fuel-efficient machine that provides a full range of jobs and options for multiple users on the service truck or the jobsite — all without sacrificing arc quality or productivity.

Completing jobs on schedule and within a competitive budget is increasingly important for many mechanical contractors, construction companies and service truck operators, as the bar continues to be raised by external pressures such as rising costs for fuel, equipment and materials, and increasing governmental regulations.

A diesel engine-driven welder/generator with dual-operator capabilities is one tool that offers the versatility to help accomplish what you need to get done in today’s working environment — and provides you with the capability to do even more in the future — all while boosting efficiency and fuel savings.

With a dual-operator solution, multiple workers can use one machine simultaneously for welding, cutting, or operating lights or grinders, which saves space on a crowded jobsite or work truck.

A machine with dual-operator capabilities also may reduce the need for additional capital equipment purchases, since the machines can meet your needs for many different jobs. These machines also can provide a financial payoff in the long run, since one engine uses less fuel and requires less maintenance when compared to operating several engines.


An overview and demonstration of the Big Blue® 800 Duo Pro Air Pak™ and Big Blue® 800 Duo Pro Diesel Welder/Generator.

Diesel engine-driven welder/generators with dual-operator capabilities not only provide enough power for the two onboard welding arcs, but also enough power to operate additional inverter-based welding power sources. Weld controls and auxiliary power are completely independent for each arc, and the operators can weld and operate a wide range of tools using the auxiliary power — with no impact on arc quality.

As your need to find more efficiencies and boost productivity increases, dual-operator solutions are a better option than ever before for maximizing resources in the field, coupled with greater ease of use. For example, a dual-operator machine such as the Big Blue® 800 Duo Pro is capable of running up to 800 amps for a single weld operator or 400 amps each for two operators, with three-phase power available at the same time.

The increased output offered in some dual-operator machines eliminates concern about reduced weld power while a second user simultaneously welds or powers another tool. Problems with arc interaction that operators may have experienced in the past have been eliminated by new technology advancements.

The ability of some dual-operator machines to weld and offer three-phase power at the same time makes them more of a work platform. Consider how machines like the Big Blue 800 Duo Pro or Big Blue 800 Duo Air Pak™ can be used by as many as six operators at once at about 120 amps each. This boosts productivity without the cost of adding machines or renting large power generators.

Manufacturers also are building engines that last longer and require less maintenance. With a dual-operator solution, the time and cost of oil changes and other engine maintenance is reduced with fewer engines to maintain and service.

An engine-driven welder/generator with dual-operator capabilities offers productivity gains, since it meets the needs of so many applications and doubles the amount of welding arcs compared to a traditional unit, which only facilitates a single onboard operator.

When compared to a dual-operator unit, operating multiple machines creates a noisier jobsite that can impact worker comfort, productivity and safety. Additionally, multiple units burn through fuel more quickly and emit double the amount of impurities compared to a dual-operator welder/generator.

Being able to do more with one machine was a big benefit for Miron Construction Co., Inc., during a recent expansion at Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.

The advantage of a machine like this is it’s handy that, when you have to set up and move so many times during the day or week, you don’t have to try and carry two welders around, and it’s able to run all of the grinders and lights you need,” says Jake Wirkuty, an ironworker with Miron. “It definitely simplifies it a lot.”

The flexibility and power to plug in plasma cutters, grinders, lights — and even additional welding power sources such as an XMT® or CST™ series or PipeWorx FieldPro™ — into an engine-driven welder/generator with dual-operator capabilities is especially key on cramped jobsites where saving space is an important consideration.

The ability to reduce the amount of equipment on a jobsite or work truck — while maintaining or increasing productivity — makes it easy to see the return on investment of these machines. Less equipment equals reduced logistical costs and planning, and also less clutter, which promotes efficiency and improves jobsite safety.

Since many dual-operator engine-driven welder/generators have low-speed diesel engines, they operate at a lower rpm, typically 1,200 to 1,800 rpm, which results in reduced noise generated. Low-speed diesel engines only operate at a higher rpm when they are under significant load, and they operate at 1,200 rpm (idle) when not under load, adding to jobsite comfort and safety.

One engine that provides multiple arcs equals a lower cost-per-arc. Fewer engine-driven welder/generators to buy and maintain also results in cost savings and fuel savings in the long run.

The ability to do as much as possible with one machine saves money and space on the service truck or the jobsite, and helps get work done more efficiently. A diesel engine-driven welder/generator with dual-operator capabilities is one fuel-efficient machine that provides a full range of jobs and options for multiple users — all without sacrificing arc quality or productivity.

Nick Peterson

Nick Peterson is a welding engineer and curriculum developer for Miller Electric Mfg., 1635 West Spencer Street, P.O. Box 1079, Appleton, WI 54912-1079, 920-734-9821, www.millerwelds.com. For more information, email Nick at npeter@millerwelds.com.

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