Are people really buying generators? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

In the St. Paul (Minnesota) paper yesterday, there was a front page story about Y2K and how people are NOT buying generators. They quoted someone working in a business that sells generators and other engine powered equipment, and he mentioned that they are selling almost no generators, and when people look at them, they claim no interest in Y2K. The article also says that NSP (the large regional electric and natural gas utility in Wis. and Minn.) is sure that they will have no problems. Now, Northern Hydraulics company is in a Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb, and they claim to be selling lots of generators (not mentioned in the article), and I have heard (second hand, I will admit) that local business like Farm and Fleet and shops that sell lawn mowers, chain saws, and generators are selling all the generators they can get. Does anyone have any first hand evidence of what generator sales may be?

-- Jim (, November 02, 1999


A couple of months ago I noticed this (first hand, just as a customer):

At both MENARDS and FARM & FLEET, there were signs by the few generators that were there saying that due to recent power outages and concerns about Y2K, they could not guarantee the availablity of any generators.

Since then, more gen-sets have appeared and the signs are gone.

The Home Depot in Chicago has a bunch of generators in stock, some are Generac 10,000 watt units that cost $4300.

They have been sitting near the entrance in a pile for a few months now. I talked to a someone at Home Depot about this. The reason they have them is due to the huge power outage that occured in downtown Chicago late this summer. Hotels and other businesses were snapping up everything in sight. The JIT system at Home Depot automagically decided to reorder a bunch more, including some bigger ones.

We have had no major power-outages since then, so these units just sit.

But the next time ComEd screws up..BAM, all these things will be gone overnite.

-- plonk! (, November 02, 1999.

Nope. Not me. I ordered two diesel (extras for family) and then a third gas-powered into the local builder's supply, but as the suumer wore on and resources were spent elsewhere, I've been obliged to forego delivery: can't afford it the models I had ordered are now shipped back to the regional warehouse. etc. Unless I get a big check in the amil I'm sticking with the basics.

-- SH (, November 02, 1999.

There hasn't really been a shortage on Kaua'i...because about 1/2 of the households already have them due to hurricanes. No panic...but some sales continue.

-- Mad Monk (, November 02, 1999.


I went to Lowes (kinda like Menards) the other day. Sitting behind the registers were a stack of generators. I asked the clerk "have you been selling any generators yet?" She said yes. I asked "Are we expecting a storm?" She said, "No, its Y2K. We have sold alot, I have to help restock them every week. They are really heavy." Then I asked her if she is going to buy a generator? she said, her parents already have one. Then the reguster supervisor casually walked over... she knew we were talking about y2k, she joined in. The supervisor said she didnt think y2k was going to a big deal at all. She said "how can computers breaking mess up our life that much?" But she did say she was preped to the hilt. (A back woods girl, ya know. Hunts,woodburner,garden) No wonder she is not worried.

Anyway thats the extent of my generator knowlage.

Yes I have 3 generators. One to keep, two to sell (if the price gets right) Otherwise I will just keep them.

-- bulldog (, November 02, 1999.

There's a small company here (SE South Dakota) that builds, among other things, generators. Last I heard,they are working their butts off to keep their orders filled.

-- Sam Mcgee (, November 02, 1999.

About 2 months ago I called Northern Equipment and Supply to inquire about PTO generators. We were thinking of upgrading to a PTO generator at the time. I also called WINCO about a PTO generator. Both places said that they were out of all PTO generators, and would be getting no more in until next year. However locally many places have smaller gensets available, although the stock seems to be moving. I think the stores and manufacturers of gensets anticipated this, and stocked up. They are much more plentiful right now than they were a year ago. But my best guess is that the supply is due to increased production, rather than low sales.

-- Becki Hough (, November 02, 1999.

Hi all, I'm a lurker, but this is one question I can comment on. I work in a powdered metal factory and we make a lot of parts for Briggs and Stratton. We have been making generator parts out the tail for them for the last several months. We even had over-time a couple weekends because they needed so many parts in such a hurry. We have been running the one part non-stop on two presses, usually it's just one. The owner of our company himself told my husband that they were generator parts and that B&S couldn't get them made and out the door fast enough. We haven't seen any sign of it slowing down either!

-- Donna (, November 03, 1999.

When I started looking at generators (Oct '98), the model I settled on was IN STOCK. (Actually, the distr. had 2).

When I finally placed my order in Jan '99, the lead time was SIX WEEKS.

When I took delivery in early Mar '99, lead time was FOURTEEN WEEKS and growing. (Haven't called them lately)

My unit: 20kW (@ 90 amps) NG/propane-fired, powered by a Ford 2.3L industrial engine. Not exactly what mom & pop are shopping for at the local Home Depot.

They also told me last spring that their ENTIRE allotment of commercial-grade units (the ones you WANT) were sold thru MARCH 2000.

Nuff said?

-- Dennis (, November 03, 1999.

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