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Do you spend a lot of time on the road for work or pleasure? If so, one of the tools that you should have in your trunk is a portable air compressor. This is a quick explanation of why you need one (and how to pick the right one out).
How important is proper tire inflation?
Your tires need to be in good condition and properly inflated in order for you to be safe on the road. Under-inflated tires not only wear out quickly, they can easily slip on a road that's wet or worn. Under-inflated tires contribute to at least 260,000 accidents per year.
If you're on the road a lot, you can't count on finding an air pump at a local gas station every time your tires are a little low. Even if you can find an air pump that's available for use, there's no guarantee that the pump will be well-maintained and accurate. In addition, you should ideally wait until your tires are cold to test them. Air pressure in your tires increases 1 psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit of heat picked up through friction on the road and being in motion. Even a fairly short distance on the road can throw off your measurements quite a bit.
How do you pick the right air compressor?
Unless you think that you'll only use the air compressor on rare occasions, pick an air compressor that produces 1-2 cubic feet per minute (CFM). Anything slower will take a tediously long time to operate. (The only advantage to one that is slower is that it can usually be powered by your car's lighter.) A gas-operated compressor with an air tank will operate quickly and efficiently, which can be important when you're on the go.
There are a few other bells and whistles that you should consider when buying the compressor. A pressure gauge is a must so that you can gauge the tire pressure. A sand tray will prevent your gauge from sinking if you're operating on soft ground at the side of the road. A push-button deflator is a good safety device to have on the air compressor in the case of over-inflation. A safety cut-out will prevent the compressor from overheating.
How often should you use your compressor?
Experts recommend checking the air pressure in your tires once a month. Keep in mind that you can't determine if a tire is properly inflated just by looking at it. Not only will properly inflated tires keep you safer on the road, but they'll prevent you from wasting gas as well. Roughly 2 billion gallons of gas are wasted each year due to underinflated tires. Your air compressor can help keep you from being part of that statistic.
For more advice or information, consider speaking with an expert on air compressors, like Regional Truck Equipment.Share