5 Best On Board Air Compressor for Truck

A reliable air compressor on your truck is essential if you’re a seasoned off-road lover or a weekend warrior. With so many options on the market, it can take time to determine which is best for your needs.

That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 5 best on board air compressor for trucks to help you make an informed decision. From inflating tires to powering air tools, an onboard air compressor can make all the difference in your next adventure. 

In this article, I will help you navigate the vast options and provide the top picks for your truck’s best onboard air compressor. So let’s go!

Top 5 Best On board Air Compressor for Truck

Onboard air compressors offer a convenient and reliable way to inflate tires, power air tools, and adjust air suspension systems. Here, I will share the top five onboard air compressors for trucks to help you make an informed decision.


1. VIAIR 88P – 00088 Portable Compressor Kit

  • The VIAIR 88P compressor is designed to be compact and lightweight. 
  • The compressor comes with alligator clamps that attach to your car battery.
  • It provides a reliable and efficient power source for the compressor.
  • The inflator features a pressure gauge that allows you to monitor the tire pressure as you inflate it.
  • The compressor has a maximum pressure of 120 PSI, which makes it suitable for a wide range of tires and other inflatables.
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  • Brand: VIAIR
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Material: Metal
  • Dimension: 9.2 x 8.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Voltage: 12 volts
  • Max Pressure: 120 PSI
  • Power Source: Alligator clamps

The VIAIR Portable Compressor is a high-quality air compressor to inflate tires of up to 33 inches in size. It is a versatile, portable compressor that can be easily carried in your car, truck, or SUV. The compressor comes with alligator clamps that attach to your car battery. Also, it comes with a reliable and efficient power source.

The VIAIR 88P – 00088 is ideal for off-road enthusiasts, overlanders, and campers. With its alligator clamps, this portable air compressor can easily be connected to your vehicle’s battery. Also, you can operate at a maximum pressure of 120 PSI.

Weighing only 4.75 pounds, this compressor is easy to carry and store in your vehicle. It comes with a 10-foot power cord and a 16-foot air hose. Besides, it gives you plenty of reach to inflate tires on any vehicle. Additionally, it has a built-in pressure gauge, which allows you to monitor the tire pressure and avoid overinflation.

Another essential feature of this compressor is its oil-free design. It requires little maintenance and is less likely to break down. Also, it is powered by a 12-volt battery. The compressor also comes with a convenient carrying bag, which helps to protect the compressor and accessories during transport and storage.

  • One of the most significant benefits of this product is its portability. It is compact and lightweight. So, it is easy to store in your trunk or carry on the go. The kit has alligator clamps, which can be attached directly to your car battery for power. 
    So, you don’t need to worry about finding an outlet. Additionally, the kit includes an LED work light, making it easy to use in low-light conditions. The compressor is durable and built to last, so you can rely on it for years.

  • Like many compressors, it can be loud when in use. Additionally, the alligator clamps can be difficult to attach to their car battery. The kit has no attachments or accessories, such as a carrying case or extra nozzles. 


2. ARB CKMA12 Onboard Air Compressor

  • The compressor is capable of delivering an airflow of up to 6.16 CFM.
  • It allows you to carry it with you wherever you go. 
  • Its compact size also makes it easy to install in your vehicle.
  • The CKMA12 can run continuously at 100% duty cycle at 72°F. 
  • It has thermal and over-current protection features that prevent it from overheating or overloading, ensuring longevity.
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  • Brand: ARB
  • Item Weight: 8.6 pounds
  • Material: Metal
  • Dimension: 10.2 x 5.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Voltage: 12 volts
  • Max Pressure: 150 PSI
  • Duty Cycle: 100% at 72°F
  • Power Cord: 20 feet
  • Air Hose: 19 feet

The next item is ARB CKMA12 Air Compressor. It is a high-performance 12-volt compressor designed for use in inflating tires. Besides, it operates air lockers differentials in off-road vehicles. This compressor has gained a reputation for its durability and reliability in extreme off-road conditions. It provides you with the convenience of an onboard air system for all your inflation needs.

I have used it for tire inflation, powering air tools, and operating air lockers in my Jeep Wrangler. Its 100% duty cycle allows me to use it for extended periods without worrying about overheating or damaging the compressor.

The compressor’s dual motor protection features have also come in handy several times. Besides, it prevents it from overloading or overheating. The CKMA12’s compact and portable design makes it easy to carry with me on off-road trips. 

Moreover, the compressor’s high performance and versatility have also been impressive, and I have used it for various applications, including powering my air tools and inflating my 35-inch tires in minutes.

  • Firstly, the compressor is compact and lightweight. It is easy to install and transport. Additionally, the compressor is designed to be durable. Waterproof and dustproof housing protects the machine from the harsh conditions of off-road environments. 
  • Another key advantage of the ARB CKMA12 is its high performance, capable of delivering a maximum pressure of 150 PSI. And it is sufficient for inflating tires and other equipment quickly.

  • While the ARB CKMA12 offers many benefits, there are a few drawbacks. Compared to other onboard air compressors, the ARB CKMA12 is relatively expensive. It may not be suitable for those on a tight budget. Additionally, the compressor is quite noisy and distracting when in use.


3. Vixen Horns 200 PSI Air Horn Compressor

  • With a maximum pressure of 200 PSI, this air compressor delivers reliable, high-performance operation.
  • The compressor has a 1/4″ NPT stainless steel braided hose for durability and strength.
  • This compressor is highly versatile and suitable for air horns, airlocks, and other pneumatic systems.
  • The compressor includes all necessary hardware and mounting brackets.
  • Built with heavy-duty components, this compressor is designed to withstand frequent use and harsh environments.
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If you’re looking for a robust and reliable air compressor, Vixen Horns 200 PSI Compressor is designed for air horns, airlocks, and other pneumatic systems. With a maximum pressure of 200 PSI, this compressor delivers high performance. It is suitable for use with a wide range of applications. The compressor comes with a stainless steel braided hose for added durability. Besides, it is easy to install and operate.


  • Brand: Vixen Horns
  • Item Weight: 9.75 pounds
  • Material: Metal
  • Voltage: 12V
  • Maximum Pressure: 200 PSI
  • Power: 1/3 HP
  • Air Flow: 1.27 CFM @ 0 PSI
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 4.5 x 6.5 inches

The Vixen 200 PSI Horn Compressor is easy to install and has all the necessary hardware and mounting brackets. The stainless steel braided hose is an excellent addition, and I appreciate its added durability and strength. The compressor delivers high-performance operation. 

I have used it with air horns, airlocks, and other pneumatic systems without issues. Despite its high performance, the compressor operates quietly and efficiently. I highly recommend the Vixen Horns 200 PSI Compressor to anyone looking for a robust and reliable air compressor.

  • The Vixen Horns Compressor is a high-quality, durable, and reliable compressor to meet the demands of heavy-duty applications. It can produce up to 200 PSI of pressure, which is more than enough for most air or train horn applications. The compressor is easy to install and has all the necessary hardware and fittings.
  • Another advantage of this compressor is compact and lightweight. So, you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbours or passengers. The compressor is versatile and can be used for other applications, such as inflating tires or powering air tools.

  • One potential downside of the Vixen Horns is they may need to be more suitable for very large or complex air or train horn setups. While it is powerful, it may be unable to keep up with the demands of specific horn configurations. Another drawback of this compressor is that it may require additional components.


4. VIAIR 10007 Constant Duty Onboard Air System

  • This compressor can operate at 100% duty cycle at 100 PSI.
  • It is powered by a powerful 12-volt motor that can deliver up to 150 PSI of pressure.
  • The compressor features an automatic pressure switch that turns the compressor on and off to maintain a consistent pressure level.
  • Also, it is built with heavy-duty materials to ensure durability and long-lasting performance.
  • The compressor comes with all the necessary hardware and instructions for easy installation on your vehicle.
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The VIAIR 10007 Air System provides a high-quality air compressor for various applications. This compressor is designed to be installed onboard a vehicle. Besides, it is ideal for trucks, SUVs, and other cars. 


  • Brand: VIAIR
  • Item Weight: 44 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 18 inches
  • Voltage: 12 volts
  • Max Amperage: 23 amps
  • Max Working Pressure: 150 PSI
  • Duty Cycle: 100% @ 100 PSI
  • CFM PSI: 2.54
  • CFM 100 PSI: 1.27

This Air System has served me well in a variety of applications. The compressor is highly reliable and has always been in the most demanding conditions. The 100% duty cycle is beneficial, as I never have to worry about the compressor overheating or failing due to extended use.

One of the things I appreciate most about this compressor is its ease of installation. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. And all the necessary hardware is included in the package. I installed the compressor on my truck in just a few hours, and it has been working flawlessly ever since.

  • It has a sturdy and durable air tank that can hold up to 2.5 gallons of air. This feature makes it suitable for heavy-duty applications. The system can deliver up to 150 PSI of pressure to power various air tools. 
  • Besides, it has an automatic shutoff feature that turns off the compressor when the tank pressure reaches a preset limit. Also, it prevents the risk of overloading or overheating.

  • The VIAIR 10007 is expensive, which may not be ideal for users on a tight budget. Additionally, the installation process can be challenging. Avoid it if you need to become more familiar with electrical wiring or automotive systems..


5. Viair 10000 Onboard Air System

  • It features a sizeable 2.5-gallon air tank, providing plenty of air storage for extended use.
  • The dual-stage compressor design delivers fast air with a maximum flow rate of 2.11 CFM at 0 PSI.
  • Besides, it has an automatic shutoff feature that turns off the compressor when it reaches its top pressure level.
  • The system comes with a complete wiring harness.
  • With its high-pressure capability and comprehensive wiring, the Viair 10000 suits various applications.
  • The Viair 10000 is built with heavy-duty components.
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Whether you’re a professional mechanic or a DIY enthusiast, this air system is perfect for anyone needing reliable air power. The Viair 10000 Onboard Air System is an efficient air compressor system. With a maximum working pressure of 150 PSI, the Viair 10000 can inflate tires, power air tools, and even run air suspension systems.


  • Maximum Working Pressure: 150 PSI
  • Duty Cycle: 100% @ 100 PSI
  • Air Flow: 2.11 CFM @ 0 PSI
  • Dimensions: 23.5″ L x 9.5″ W x 15″ H
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • Voltage: 12V DC
  • Amp Draw: 28 Amps

The Viair 10000 Onboard Air System has been used for various applications. You can use it to inflate tires on off-road vehicles to power air tools for professional mechanics. The system is robust and efficient, with a maximum pressure of 150 PSI. 

Besides, the sizeable 2.5-gallon tank provides plenty of air storage. Also, it allows users to complete extended tasks without frequent refills. Additionally, customers have praised the system’s heavy-duty construction. 

The complete wiring harness makes installation easy and straightforward, even for those with limited electrical experience. Overall, I have found the Viair 10000 to be an efficient air compressor system.

  • It is a high-quality air compressor that offers reliable and efficient performance. Also, it is capable of inflating tires quickly and easily. The system also has a pressure switch that automatically shuts off the compressor. 
  • Also, it prevents over-inflation and damage to tires. The system comes with an easy-to-read pressure gauge and a convenient dashboard switch. And it allows for quick and easy operation.

  • One of the significant drawbacks of the Viair 10000 Onboard Air System is its price. It is a relatively expensive product. Additionally, the system may only be suitable for some vehicles. Because it requires a certain amount of space to be installed and may not fit in smaller cars.

Things to Consider Before Having The Best Onboard Air Compressor for a Truck

best on board air compressor for service truck

As a truck owner, having an onboard air compressor can be a valuable addition to your vehicle. Not only can it help you inflate your tires, but also it can power air tools and air horns. However, choosing your truck’s best onboard air compressor can take time and effort. I’ll review some key factors when selecting an onboard air compressor for your vehicle.

  • Maximum Pressure

The maximum pressure of your air compressor will determine how quickly and efficiently it can inflate your tires. Most onboard air compressors have a maximum pressure of 100-150 PSI. Look for a higher maximum-pressure compressor if you have larger tires or need to inflate them more quickly.

  • Air Flow

Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and refers to how quickly your compressor can inflate your tires. Choose a compressor with a CFM rating of at least 1.5. You’ll need a higher CFM rating if you plan to use your compressor for powering air tools or air horns.

  • Size and Portability

Consider the size and weight of your compressor, as well as how portable it is. Some compressors come with carrying cases or handles for easy transport. If your truck has limited space, take a compact compressor that can be mounted in a tight space.

  • Power Source

Most onboard air compressors are powered by your truck’s battery. But a few may require additional wiring or a reliable power source. Ensure your compressor is compatible with your truck’s electrical system and that you have enough power to run it.

  • Noise Level

Consider the noise level of your compressor, especially if you plan to use it frequently. Some compressors are quieter than others. So, choose a compressor with a lower decibel rating if noise concerns you.

  • Duty Cycle

The duty cycle refers to how long your compressor can run continuously before rest. Look for a compressor with a higher duty cycle if you use it frequently or for extended periods.

  • Type of Compressor

There are two main types of onboard air compressors: oil-lubricated and oil-free. Oil-lubricated compressors require regular maintenance. But they are generally more durable and have a longer lifespan. Oil-free compressors are maintenance-free but may not last as long.

  • Price

Onboard air compressors may come at different prices. Choose such an item which does not cost you more. Besides, cheap things also come with low quality. So, consider your budget.

You may also read: 5 Best Air Compressor For Painting Cars

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where do I install my onboard air compressor for the truck?

The location for installing an onboard air compressor for a truck depends on the vehicle’s make and model and the compressor’s intended use. Typically, the compressor can be installed under the car’s hood, bed, or rear.

How do I inflate tires quickly?

You can use a high-capacity air compressor with a large tank and high CFM rating to inflate tires quickly. You can also use an air chuck that allows for easy attachment and detachment of the tire valve and a tire pressure gauge to ensure the correct tire pressure.

Are belt-driven air compressors a good choice?

Belt-driven air compressors can be a good choice for those who need a robust and reliable compressor for heavy-duty applications. They are generally quieter, more durable, and more efficient than their direct-drive counterparts.

Does my air compressor have to be perfectly sealed?

While ensuring that your air compressor is adequately sealed to prevent leaks and maintain pressure is essential, it does not need to be perfectly sealed. Small leaks can be addressed with proper maintenance and regular inspections.

Are VIAIR compressors waterproof?

While some VIAIR compressors are water-resistant, they are not completely waterproof and should not be submerged in water. Protecting the compressor from water damage is essential by using a waterproof cover or housing.

What size air compressor do I need for a service truck?

The size of the air compressor needed for a service truck depends on the intended use and the air demand of the tools or equipment being used. Compressors with a minimum CFM rating of 12 are recommended for most service truck applications.

What is the best air compressor on wheels?

The best air compressor on wheels will depend on your specific needs and budget. Some popular options include the Rolair JC10 Plus, the Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9, and the California Air Tools 8010.

What type of air compressors are on board the ship the most?

Most air compressors on board ships are reciprocating compressors, which use pistons. These compressors are generally more compact and efficient than others, making them ideal for shipboard use.

Where is the best location for an onboard air compressor?

The best location for an onboard air compressor will depend on your vehicle’s specific model and the compressor’s intended use. Common areas include under the hood, under the bed, or in the vehicle’s rear. It is essential to ensure that the location is easily accessible. And it does not interfere with other components or equipment.

Final Words

Choosing the best on board air compressor for your truck can be daunting. By considering the factors listed above, you can narrow down your options. You can find the one that best suits your needs from the list. 

Consider the maximum pressure, air flow, size and portability, and power source. Also, you should consider the noise level, duty cycle, type of compressor, and price when making your decision. 

With a quality onboard air compressor, you can keep your tires properly inflated and easily tackle various tasks.

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Samuel H. Murphy is DIY expert and Interior Designer. He is also a part time content writer of Capische. He lives in Warren city, Michigan. He test tools like drill, saw, sander, air compressor etc and helps readers to find out the best tools.

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