Best On-Board Air Compressor For Truck

When it comes to trucks, having a reliable on-board air compressor is essential. Whether you’re an off-road enthusiast, a long-haul trucker, or simply want to be prepared for emergencies, having the right on-board air compressor can make all the difference. In this guide, we’ll explore the top options for the best on-board air compressors for trucks.

Why Do You Need an On-Board Air Compressor for Your Truck?


Now, let’s explore some of the best on-board air compressors for trucks:

1. Viair 450P Portable Compressor Kit

Key Features:

  • Portable: While not permanently mounted, the Viair 450P is highly portable, making it suitable for various applications.
  • Powerful: It can inflate tires up to 150 PSI, which is more than enough for most truck tires.
  • Duty Cycle: The compressor has a 100% duty cycle, meaning it can run continuously without overheating.
  • Accessories: Comes with a 30-foot hose and other useful accessories.

Why it’s Great: The Viair 450P is a versatile option. It’s not permanently mounted, so it can be used for other tasks, such as inflating air mattresses or sports equipment, in addition to truck-related needs.

2. ARB CKMA12 On-Board High-Performance 12 Volt Air Compressor

Key Features:

  • Permanently Mounted: This compressor is designed to be permanently mounted in your truck, ensuring it’s always ready for use.
  • Heavy-Duty: ARB is known for its rugged and durable products. This compressor can handle demanding situations.
  • High-Performance: It can deliver a high airflow rate and reach 100 PSI quickly.
  • Compact Design: Despite its power, the ARB CKMA12 has a compact design, making it suitable for tight spaces.

Why it’s Great: This compressor is a top choice for serious off-roaders and those who want a reliable, high-performance unit that’s built to last.

3. Smittybilt 2781 5.65 CFM Universal Air Compressor

Key Features:

  • Affordable: The Smittybilt 2781 offers good performance at a reasonable price point.
  • Versatile: It can be used for tire inflation, air tools, and more.
  • Automatic Shut-off: It has an automatic shut-off feature to prevent overloading.
  • Easy Installation: Installation is straightforward, and it can be mounted in various locations.

Why it’s Great: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that still provides reliable performance, the Smittybilt 2781 is a solid choice.

4. Viair 400H-Automatic Function Portable Compressor

Key Features:

  • Automatic Function: This compressor has an automatic shut-off feature, making it easy to set the desired pressure and let it do the work.
  • Portable: It’s a portable unit, so it can be used for various applications.
  • High PSI: It can inflate tires up to 150 PSI.
  • Quiet Operation: Known for its relatively quiet operation compared to other compressors.

Why it’s Great: The Viair 400H offers convenience with its automatic function and is a quieter option, which can be appreciated during prolonged use.

5. VIAIR 10007 Onboard Air System

Key Features:

  • All-in-One Solution: This system includes a powerful compressor, air tank, pressure switch, and all necessary components in one package.
  • Fast Inflation: With a 150 PSI maximum pressure rating, it can inflate large truck tires rapidly.
  • Easy Installation: Designed for DIY installation, it comes with clear instructions.
  • Versatility: Suitable for both on-road and off-road applications.

Why it’s Great: The VIAIR 10007 offers a complete solution in a single package, making it a convenient choice for those looking for a hassle-free installation process.

6. Air Lift 25592 Load Controller Dual Heavy Duty Compressor

Key Features:

  • Dual Compressors: This system features two heavy-duty compressors for quick and efficient inflation.
  • Load-Leveling: Designed primarily for truck and SUV owners, it’s perfect for adjusting air suspension levels when towing or hauling heavy loads.
  • User-Friendly Controls: The in-cab controller allows for precise adjustment of air pressure.
  • Durable Build: Built to withstand tough conditions, it’s suitable for both on and off-road adventures.

Why it’s Great: If you frequently tow heavy loads or utilize air suspension, the Air Lift 25592 offers excellent load-leveling capabilities, ensuring your truck is always ready for the task at hand.

7. Firestone 9285 Ride-Rite Air Spring Kit

Key Features:

  • Air Spring Kit: This kit not only includes an air compressor but also air springs for enhanced ride comfort and load support.
  • Adjustable: You can fine-tune the air pressure to match your load or terrain conditions.
  • Rugged Construction: Built for durability and longevity, it’s designed to endure challenging environments.
  • In-Cab Controls: Provides convenient in-cab controls for easy adjustments.

Why it’s Great: If you want both air suspension support and an onboard air compressor, the Firestone 9285 offers the best of both worlds.

8. MasterFlow MF-1050 Tire Inflator

Key Features:

  • Affordability: This is a budget-friendly portable tire inflator that can be used for occasional truck tire maintenance.
  • Compact Design: Its small size makes it easy to store in your truck without taking up much space.
  • Versatile: While not an onboard system, it’s a handy tool to keep in your truck for emergencies or quick top-ups.
  • Efficient: It can inflate a truck tire relatively quickly.

Why it’s Great: If you’re on a tight budget or don’t require a permanent onboard solution, the MasterFlow MF-1050 is a reliable and affordable option for occasional use.

On-Board Air Compressor Comparison

BrandModelMax PSICFM RatingPrice (USD)
KensunAC/DC Rapid Air901.06$59
Air Lift720001002.12$322

Key Features

ModelDuty CycleTank Capacity (Gallons)Mounting TypeAdditional Features
Viair 450P-RV100%1.25PortableAuto Shut-off, Digital Gauge
ARB CKMA12100%2.6UnderhoodPressure Switch
Smittybilt 278166%5.6PortableThermal Overload Protection
ViAir 400P33%2.5PortableDual Battery Clamps
Firestone 9270100%2.5UnderhoodQuick Connect Fittings
VIAIR 400H33%2.5PortableThermal Overload Protection
MasterFlow MF-105040%1.5PortableCarry Handle
Kensun AC/DC Rapid Air30%1.06PortableAC/DC Power Options
Air Lift 7200025%2.0UnderhoodEasy Installation
TeraFlex 480720050%2.0PortableQuick Connect Hose

Power Source

ModelVoltagePower Source
Viair 450P-RV12VVehicle Battery
ARB CKMA1212VVehicle Battery
Smittybilt 278112VVehicle Battery
ViAir 400P12VVehicle Battery
Firestone 927012VVehicle Battery
VIAIR 400H12VVehicle Battery
MasterFlow MF-105012VVehicle Battery
Kensun AC/DC Rapid AirAC/DCAC/DC Power Adapter
Air Lift 7200012VVehicle Battery
TeraFlex 480720012VVehicle Battery

Price Range

ModelPrice Range (USD)
Viair 450P-RV$200 – $300
ARB CKMA12$300 – $400
Smittybilt 2781$100 – $200
ViAir 400P$100 – $200
Firestone 9270$200 – $300
VIAIR 400H$100 – $200
MasterFlow MF-1050$50 – $100
Kensun AC/DC Rapid Air$50 – $100
Air Lift 72000$300 – $400
TeraFlex 4807200$300 – $400

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best on-board air compressor for your truck depends on your specific needs and budget. Whether you prioritize high performance, versatility, or affordability, there’s a compressor on this list that will suit your requirements. Keep in mind factors like ease of installation, durability, and the type of tasks you’ll be using it for when making your decision. Ultimately, having a reliable on-board air compressor is a valuable investment for truck owners, ensuring you’re prepared for any situation on the road.


Best On-Board Air Compressor For Truck

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