VMAC’s 2020 State Of The Mobile Compressed Air Industry Report, which surveyed 205 industry professionals, has revealed the industry’s preferences when it comes to vehicle-mounted air compressors.
When asked about rotary screw or reciprocating air compressors, 67% of survey respondents indicated they preferred rotary screw over reciprocating air compressors. When asked to explain the various reasons they prefer rotary screw air compressors, 83% of respondents noted performance and 29% cited size and weight. Out of the 33% of respondents who preferred reciprocating air compressors, 48% indicated it was because of ease of service/repair, and 43% selected price.
“Reciprocating compressors are typically lower duty cycle, sometimes rated for higher pressure, and generally less expensive, but that cost discrepancy is getting smaller and smaller, and is almost non-existent,” said Brent Thompson, Product Development at Summit Truck Bodies. “Manufacturers are making rotary screw air compressors that far outperform reciprocating compressors, and at a very reasonable price.”
Survey respondents were also asked for their preferred method of powering their service vehicle’s air compressor. Of the respondents, 22% selected the above-deck gas engine drive option. The second most popular option for powering air compressors was a tie between the above-deck diesel engine drive and UNDERHOOD/engine drive, each with 19% of the vote.
Rob Beukema, VP at Work Truck West, explained why the results are relatively flat across the top answers.
“There are a lot more choices for end users to consider nowadays, and we are also noticing that application for compressed air has become a lot more specialized for end users. Tooling, repair methods, type of machinery or equipment being worked on, idle or cycle time, duty cycle, truck brand preference and size (payload) along with weld or boost requirements all need to be considered for the right air compressor recommendation,” said Beukema.
The survey also found that most operators and survey respondents require under 60 cfm on their service vehicles, and less than 150 psi.
VMAC’s State Of The Mobile Compressed Air Industry Survey took place between October 2019 and January 2020, and compiles original research from business owners, service truck operators, mechanics, and fleet managers about the state of the mobile compressed air industry. The detailed survey results covering all 21 questions can be downloaded for free here: www.vmacair.com/survey.