Best Air Compressor for Heavy Duty Trucks [2022 Review]

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It can be hard to choose compressors, especially when you’re looking for one that can handle big trucks. If you have a hard time looking for compressors that fit the category, we’ve compiled a list of the best air compressor for heavy-duty trucks.

Our Top Heavy-Duty Truck Air Compressor Recommendations

If you own a big truck or doing a large truck maintenance business, you must own a compressor that can handle such vehicles. To help narrow down your choices, here’s a list of the best air compressor for heavy-duty trucks.

Best Overall Air Compressor for Heavy Duty Trucks: Vixen Horns Heavy Duty Onboard Air Compressor 

The Vixen Horns Heavy Duty Onboard Air Compressor is a maintenance-free compressor rated at 200 PSI. it can work with big trucks that require a high-pressure onboard air system.

You can use this with air tanks up to 5 gallons. It also comes with a standard ¼ inch stainless steel braided hose with ¼ inch NPT in-line check valve, which limits valve usage. However, you can use an adapter to make it fit,

This compressor uses a permanent magnet motor which is different from general compressor motors. This motor does not make too much noise, so it’s great for neighborhood use.

It’s also really durable thanks to its rugged build design. You can easily carry it with you in large trucks, and it can be installed onboard. You can use this as a replacement for some electrical equipment making it flexible to use for multiple purposes.

It’s great for on-the-road trips for big trucks since it can be mounted ideally in big trucks with a 12V system. It contains a fuse and mountain hardware to make the installation easier.

It has a maximum pressure of 200 PSI which is the highest PSI for larger trucks on this list. You can make almost all applications related to large trucks and many more. It even has a waterproof holder for portability and outdoor use.

The only thing that bothers us is that some parts may not work or fit properly with your setup. Other than that, all the features are top-notch, making it the best overall on our list.

Pros

  • Works with any high-pressure on-board air system of big trucks
  • The air filter is compatible with remote mount installations for anti-theft and making sure it stays in place during operations
  • 200 PSI maximum pressure for demanding applications in large trucks

Cons

  • Parts may not be compatible or defective after a few months of use
  • The fuse connecter is 16 gauge and is not compatible with 12 gauge motors. Most heavy trucks use 12 gauge or 14 gauge. However, using a 16 gauge won’t have much problem as long as you don’t overload it. 

Best Heavy Duty Air Compressor for Heavy Duty Trucks: GSPSCN Silver Tire Inflator

The GSPSCN Silver Tire Inflator is your best option when looking for a compressor that can last for a long time in your big truck. It packs a lot of punch, making it great for some heavy applications usually needed for larger trucks.

Although it only has 150 PSI compared to the 200 PSI of the Vixen Horns Compressor, it has a low power draw which makes it efficient at high pressures. You even have a twin motor design that makes it more efficient and fast.

It has an inflation kit that helps with inflating larger truck tires. The kit contains most accessories you need, so you don’t need to get extra accessories saving you some cash.

The manufacturer claims it can fill tires at 70 liters per minute which is somewhat accurate. It even fills faster compared to the Vixen Horns compressor. Its fill rate is among the highest in compressor machines for larger trucks.

With this much power, you would be worried about it staying in place. Thankfully, the product has rubber feet that ensure it stays in place even during heavy applications.

However, it does have its own problems. Some parts of this product just feel lacking in quality. Some parts are even loose and won’t lock in place during use.

Still, this is an excellent pickup if you’re looking for a durable compressor for heavy applications.

Pros

  • High maximum pressure with low power draw for high efficiency and power-saving ability
  • Stable despite operating under high-pressure thanks to its rubber feet
  • Long power cord so have better accessibility and needs less to move the compressor

Cons

  • It can only function for 20 minutes before needing to recover
  • Parts may feel lacking in quality and may even feel loose

Best Portable Air Compressor for Heavy Duty Trucks: Kensun Portable Air Compressor

The best portable air compressor fit for big trucks would be the Kensun Portable Air Compressor. This portable compressor works with both alternate and direct current power outlets making it versatile for usage.

If you compare its maximum pressure, it’s comparatively low at 120 PSI when compared to the 150 and 200 PSI of GSPSCN and Vixen Horn’s compressors. You mainly prefer this for its portability, and the PSI is still enough for most applications related to big trucks.

The Kensun compressor can run on both AC and DC power sources and can even switch between them if the situation needs it. This makes this compressor versatile for both larger trucks used on the road and even at home.

It also has an analog pressure gauge. The gauge helps you measure the tire pressure, so you don’t overinflate it and it is at the right pressure.

Compared to the GSPSCN compressor’s continuous use of 20 minutes, it can run longer at 30 minutes before needing to recover. This is great for applications that need longer times.

It even includes a set of adapter nozzles for inflating various tires of cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and even big trucks.

The only thing we find bad about this product is its power hose is short, and you also don’t get a hose extension. This can limit your field of operation or force you to get a separate extension hose.

Pros

  • Works and can switch between AC and DC power sources so you can have more options for power supplies
  • Portable and lightweight, so easy to carry around for various applications
  • Long operating time of 30 minutes compared to other compressors

Cons

  • Short power hose, and you don’t have any extension for it, so you might have to buy one if you want to operate in lengthy distances
  • Only has 120 PSI compared to other compressors on this list

Best Dual Motor Air Compressor for Heavy Duty Trucks: TIREWELL Tire Inflator Compressor

The TIREWELL Tire Inflator Compressor has double cylinders direct drive inflation pump making it the best option for dual motor compressors. The two cylinders compress air at a time for fast and powerful inflation.

The product has a high PSI of 150, the same as the GSPSCN tire inflator. It’s also reasonably quiet. However, it can only have a continuous run time of 10 minutes, which is much sooner compared to the Kensun Portable compressor, which can run for 30 minutes.

However, inflating six truck tires within 10 minutes is possible with this compressor and is an impressive feat.

What’s impressive about this compressor is despite having dual motors, it runs quietly. We put this as the quietest compressor on this list, even beating the most efficient compressors like the Kensun compressor machine.

It’s also a great stability-designed compressor. It has a fuselage with a four-rod design that helps reduce vibration and noise, which explains why it runs quietly. It also has rubber feet to prevent it from moving around.

However, it does draw much power at 180 watts compared to other compressors on this list. The tire gauge is also decent, and you may want an extra one.

Pros

  • Runs quietly compared to other compressors
  • Double cylinders for fast and powerful inflation
  • Stable even under heavy applications thanks to its rubber feet

Cons

  • Only runs continuously for 10 minutes, so not great for bulk operations or very large tires
  • Has high power draw, so it’s not power efficient

Best Universal Air Compressor for Heavy Duty Trucks: VIAIR Portable Compressor Kit

The VIAIR Portable Compressor Kit comes with all types of accessories that are relevant to large truck applications. It requires a 12v battery to operate, which is a perfect fit for larger trucks.

This product was specifically made for RVs. However, it also has features that are useful for big trucks. It also contains various accessories that make it universal for most large trucks.

The compressor has a PSI of 150, which is the same as the GSPSCN and TIREWELL compressors. It can handle most applications for larger trucks.

What’s impressive about this compressor is that it can run continuously for an hour before needing to recover. It blows out the other compressors on this list, even the Kensun portable compressor, in terms of continuous operation.

However, it does fill tires a bit slower, with only a 1.8 CFM rating. So even though it can run for a long time, it does pump out air slower than the compressors on this list.

It also has 60 feet of primary and extension air hoses, which can perfectly cover the areas of large trucks.

It even comes with a tire inflation gun with a 160 PSI gauge for accurate measurements. It also has an auto-off function for ease of use.

Pros

  • It can fit into almost any large trucks thanks to its extra accessories
  • Can run for 60 minutes of continuous use before needing rest
  • Has a long hose and extension to cover a wide area of application

Cons

  • Pumps air slowly despite running continuously long
  • The design may not be to your liking in some accessories

Best Air Compressor for Heavy Duty Trucks at Night: Slime 40026 Air Compressor

The Slime 40026 Air Compressor is an excellent compressor for operating at night. This is especially great for larger trucks which usually travel long distances until nighttime.

It has bright LED lights that make you visible at nighttime so you won’t get into unnecessary accidents. The other compressors on this list don’t have LED built-in lights with them which makes this compressor stand out.

This compressor also comes with dual cylinders. It’s durable and long-lasting, making it ideal for heavy-duty truck keeping and day-to-day emergencies.

It comes with a cigarette lighter connector. Although a great accessory to have, we still prefer using battery clamps to kickstart the compressor.

The Slime 40026 has a CFM rating of 1.9. It translates to around 2 minutes to fill large tires at around 35 PSI. However, this isn’t actually applicable in real-life settings and may vary a lot.

It has a maximum PSI of 150 with around 120 PSI of actual use. It’s average compared to the other compressors on this list.

You also get some multi-purpose that you can use for inflating bicycles and other inflatables below heavy tire level.

Not all compressors are perfect, and some downsides we found are the compressor’s small battery connectors, and the tire gauge also may be inaccurate sometimes.

Pros

  • Highly visible LED lights for better visibility at nighttime so other drivers can see you
  • Coiled hose for better storage since it is also long, which is favorable for hard-to-reach areas
  • Multi-purpose adapters for flexible use for other inflatables like bike tires and balloons.

Cons

  • Small battery connectors, so you might have to get better replacements
  • Inaccurate tire gauge, so you might get some inaccurate readings from time to time

Features to Consider for Heavy-Duty Truck Air Compressor

Heavy-duty trucks require specific features that you may not typically see in a regular compressor so it’s best to know what features you may need for your big truck needs.

PSI

PSI is the amount of pressure that your compressor can deliver. It stands for pounds per square inch. The higher the PSI, the better the compressor inflates faster and more demanding applications.

The Vixen Horns Heavy Duty Onboard Compressor has the highest PSI at 200 and will be a great option if you prioritize high PSI as a feature.

A man in a blue cap and blue working uniform is sitting beside a blue truck with a black wheel in a repair shop

CFM

CFM, or cubic feet per minute, measures the compressor’s airflow rate. It measures the air the compressor can produce at a given pressure.

A compressor with a high CFM can fill tires faster. So if you want to finish applications fast, look for a compressor with a high CFM rating.

Avoid picking portable ones as they generally have low CFM ratings since they are usually built small, so they have lower CFM to prevent overheating. The Vixen Horns Compressor is your best option for a fast fill rate.

Power Usage

You may want a compressor that is versatile when it comes to getting a power source. Most heavy-duty air compressors require large batteries. Make sure you pick a compressor that’s compatible with your heavy-duty truck’s battery.

The Kensun Portable Air Compressor is an excellent choice since it can run on both AC and DC. having a compressor with a versatile power source is really useful in emergency cases.

Wire Length

Heavy-duty trucks are large, so you will need a long wire length to connect to its battery and reach its tires. If the compressor has a short hose, you will have to buy a separate, longer hose extension.

If you want to save on that, then get a compressor with a built-in long hose and long extension if it has one too. The VIAIR portable compressor kit has the longest hose and extension on this list, and you won’t have a problem of hard tor each spot with this compressor.

Noise

Air compressors generally run loud. However, some do run a bit quieter since their build design allows them to. For larger trucks that require more power, this can get loud. Although there are options, you can choose that can run quietly.

Your best option would be the TIREWELL tire inflator compressor. It is by far the quietest compressor on the list.

Duty Cycle

A frustrating thing that can happen when using air compressors it that it will eventually have to shut off to recover. This can happen when you’re almost done with your application or in the middle of an important part.

A man in a blue cap and a blue jumper is repairing a blue truck's black wheel inside an auto repair shop

Longer continuous operation means you have more time to work on those applications. The VIAIR portable compressor kit provides that with 1 hour of continuous use before needing to recover.

Amperage Draw

Most compressors for big trucks would likely rely on the truck’s battery. Most batteries generate direct current, so you will need to have a compressor that runs on DC.

Most compressors run on DC, so it should be no problem. If you want a compressor that can be flexibly run on both AC and DC, choose the Kensun Portable Air Compressor.

How to Inflate Heavy-Duty Truck Tires 

Once you’ve chosen the right compressor for truck tires, it’s time to learn how to use them, especially for the tires. Most compressors for large trucks can be powered through the truck’s battery, so you won’t have to worry about a power source.

You can also just go to the nearest gas station to get power if needed. Follow these instructions to inflate large truck tires effectively:

  1. Place your compressor at a distance that makes it easy to access while inflating the truck tires. This makes the whole process easy and smooth as you can cover the distance fast.
  2. Remove the valve stop caps of the truck tires. Place them in a secure container since you need to return them later.
  3. Ready the hose and make sure it’s covering the valve stem. Power up the compressor afterward and check if the air is coming out. You can also use the tire gauge to measure the inflation as it happens.
  4. With digital compressors, you can pre-set the PSI level beforehand so all you have to do is make sure the compressor is inflating properly. The compressor will automatically turn off depending on the set value you set.
  5. Make sure that you are keeping your tires intact to avoid any risks of damage to the tires. Hence, you must pay close attention to the inflation process.
  6. You can check the tire uniformity by checking the tire pressure via the tire pressure gauge. Make sure to double-check and adjust when needed.
  7.  Once everything is checked, place back the valve stop caps onto the truck tires. Your tires are good to go for the road again.

Useful Accessories to Have With the Compressor

Having these accessories will make the inflation process much more efficient and faster. Some of them are often included within the compressor as you buy them, so it’s a great deal to have.

  • Nozzle set – useful for inflating tires different from truck tires like cars, bikes, and bicycles.
  • Carrying bag – adds portability to your compressor so that it can be stored and carried easily.
  • Extension hose – extremely useful for large trucks since the distance from tires is usually long.
  • Alligator chips – are extremely useful, especially if your truck doesn’t have a 12-volt compressor. Alligator chips help power up your compressor by connecting it to the truck battery directly.
A worker in a blue cap and gray long sleeves shirt kneeling beside a blue truck in a repair shop

Related Questions

What Size Compressor Do I Need to Inflate Tractor Tires?

You will need a compressor size that can handle 90 PSI and a CFM rating of 2.5 to 3.5. Tractor tires can be categorized as heavy-duty tires, and they generally need around 20 PSI for the front tire and 33 PSI at the rear.

What PSI Should I Set for My Air Compressor for Heavy Duty Tires?

Heavy-duty trucks have large sets of tires, so you should set your PSI at 35 to 45 for optimal results. Some tires may differ, so it’s best to use a tire gauge and see the required PSI for that specific tire product.

Will a 6 Gallon Air Compressor Fill a Truck Tire?

Yes, a 6-gallon air compressor can fill a truck tire. 3 to 6-gallon portable air compressors can power up most pneumatic tools and be used for large-sized tires. 

Conclusion

Air compressors for large trucks pack a lot of punch. Even then, they can still have features you may not expect for such a powerful device. Finding the best compressor for heavy-duty trucks should be much easier with the information we provided.