There are advantages and disadvantages to any air compressor system. Vehicle mounted air compressors are attractive to some contractors because they save space and are basically always on board, but how do you know if a vehicle mounted air compressor will meet your needs? Below are some questions and answers to consider when shopping for vehicle mounted air compressors.
What do you use a compressor for?
Do you need a compressor for tire maintenance in an oil field or are you a roofer who runs a nail gun all day? Vehicle mounted air compressors are ideal for people who have mobile businesses such as mobile mechanics, emergency response teams, mining contractors, gas and oil workers and construction crews.
The benefits of having the portable compressors under your truck hood are many. Having the compressor on board rather than pulled behind your crews in muddy and rugged conditions saves time navigating to the work site. The automatic switches on vehicle mounted air compressors will shut off and start your vehicle's engine in response to power needs. For example, a roofer doesn't have to climb up and down off a roof in order to start and stop the compressor.
What capacity do you need from a compressor?
What is the maximum PSI you need? How many tools will you be running at once? It is recommended that you add the total cubic feet per minute (CFM) requirements for all the tools you will use at the same time (not a cumulative total from all day but the total of all tools you expect to use all at one time during your busiest time of day) and then add 20% to 30% to provide some padding in case of leaks or other pressure issues?
Be sure that the vehicle mounted air compressor you choose can provide the capacity you need. Installing extra tanks can sometimes boost your air pressure supply to meet extra needs.
Do you need to streamline crews?
Air compressors that are under the hood are great when you need to condense your crews. For one thing, your trailer hitch is freed up to haul other equipment if you formerly hauled bulky compressors. Secondly, they weigh far less than pull behind machines, so they save on fuel costs. Since they are part of the truck, they won't cost you additional insurance. Your crews also won't have to run back and forth between storage and work sites because the compressors are always on board.
Do you normally work in areas where there is electricity available?
If access to electricity is always available to you, a vehicle mounted compressor may not be the most cost effective choice. Electric air compressors are generally less expensive to purchase and operate. You will have to weigh the costs based on the price of truck fuel for your crews and the number of hours you normally operate air compressors in your daily work.
Do you work in very cold environments?
Vehicle mounted air compressor systems can be beneficial for diesel engines that run in very cold climates. These systems constantly monitor engine temperature and will warm engine oil and/or start engines depending on the parameters you select. This keeps the air compressor constantly at the ready for your tools while also protecting your diesel engine from the effects of extremely low temperatures.
Vehicle mounted air compressors are a great convenience to workers in remote areas and in mobile services. They are also a good choice for contractors trying to streamline operations. Contact your heavy construction equipment specialist, like Compressed Air Systems, today to find out all about air compressors for every application.