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Product Spotlight: Shop Air Compressors

June 14, 2024
To keep mobile maintenance trucks working at their best, and by extension the vehicles they service, a proper air compressor helps provide working tools and tire maintenance equipment.

For the variety of tools a service truck may need on any given jobsite, it's critical that each one is equipped with the right air compressor to allow them to both finish the job and keep downtime for the service truck itself to a minimum. Whether that means using a rotary screw air compressor, which offers fewer moving parts and less overall maintenance, or a reciprocating air compressor, which may be better intermittent for tire work and pneumatic tool compatability, here are a few air compressors for fleets to consider.

Viper Gas Rotary Screw Air Compressor

The Viper Gas Rotary Screw Air Compressor from Vanair delivers up to 80 cfm and up to 150 psi of air power to handle the toughest jobs. The compressor allows you to quickly get in and out of the job site with the convenience of an optional zero-radius turn cart. Featuring a larger fuel tank to provide six-and-half hours of runtime at a 70% duty cycle, the Viper Gas can work through multiple projects without having to halt production to refuel. Its smaller footprint saves valuable trailer or truck bed space for more tools, and its low idle rpms reduce noise by 50%, providing a quieter work experience. Additionally, sensors automatically unload the compressor during startup and the auto start-stop turns on with air demand.

“After the first day, I told a co-worker that we should have gotten this, or a few of these, a long time ago,” said Philip Stylianos, owner of irrigation system installer Philip J. Stylianos Inc. “We use this machine on commercial and municipal projects as well as light commercial properties, and it works perfectly. It really doesn’t consume a lot of fuel. I like to say it just sips fuel.”


The UNDERHOOD 150 system from VMAC is a powerful rotary screw air compressor ideal for operating large-size air tools like post-pounders or jackhammers, meaning that it replaces large utility-mount or portable tow-behind air compressors. Mounting kits are available for Ford F-250 to F-600 Gas and Power Stroke Diesel vehicles as well as RAM 3500 to 5500 Chassis Cab Cummins Turbo Diesel trucks.

Read more: Tractor-trailer air lines: Contamination keepaway

“We had two very old trailer-mounted air compressors that needed to be replaced and were shared between departments, and they always needed some type of repair,” said Jim “Buzz” Kirby, City of Livonia’s Department of Public Works’ fleet supervisor. “This wasn’t convenient when an unanticipated need for compressed air on a jobsite came up. With UNDERHOOD, it’s very easy to replace filters at the recommended service intervals. We have already had a couple air compressors come in for their service intervals, and we haven’t had any performance issues.”

Forney Industries Fornair 4.5 CRM Air Compressor, No. 555

The Forney Industries Fornair 4.5 CRM Air Compressor, No. 555, is built to last with its 4-gallon steel tank for durability and lower rpm output for longer motor and pump life. The air compressor features a built-in moisture separator and an oil-free pump for maintenance free operation. It provides optimal psi (120 maximum psi) to operate pneumatic tools and has large gauges for easy monitoring of tank and line pressure. It also offers an auto on/off option, two built-in 1/4” air outlet quick connects, and includes a wheel kit and luggage handle.

“This air compressor is compact but has the same compression rate as some of the other larger air compressors I’ve had in the past. It is perfect for airing up tires, running air-tools in my garage, and is portable enough to take to any job site,” said Adam Kunau, product engineer at Forney. “Since it’s not an oil-bath style compressor, I can also run it with my 40P plasma cutter without risk of damaging my equipment.”

About the Author

Lucas Roberto

Lucas Roberto is an Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. He has written and produced multimedia content over the past few years and is a newcomer to the commercial vehicle industry. He holds a bachelor's in media production and a master's in communication from High Point University in North Carolina.

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