What size air compressor do I need to fill truck tires?

What size air compressor do I need to fill truck tires?

Don’t get me wrong but every time I think of air compressors, I literally get Goosebumps. Air compressors have actually become the new norm in my world. I can now handle almost all projects with this power tool. Over the years, I have handled lots of questions concerning air compressors. Today, I felt the urge to address one of the most frequently asked questions on the media today, What size air compressor do I need to fill truck tires? This question excites me a lot mainly because it involves air compressors.

Basically, when it comes to sizing an air compressor, there’re some critical things you must watch out for. With this guide below, you should be on the right track to getting a brand new compressor for your tire.

Understanding important basics 

It’s an excellent thing to know which of the hundreds of shapes or sizes make an ideal air compressor for your pneumatic tools. When evaluating the size of an air compressor, several things come to play. First up, you’ll need to think of the capacity. Well, the bigger the tank, the more tools you can consistently runoff using your unit. However, for most air tools, getting enough air pressure is the most crucial thing. To keep up with your air tool, check on the rating of the compressor, pounds per square inch, CFM rating, and PSI rating of the air compressor.

In a normal automotive application, one needs air at regular intervals during the day. Most users prefer their units operating around 80% of the time since any more than that can potentially damage the motor unit. Any less than that is also dangerous to your tank as it risks water condensation.

Common air compressor sizes for truck tires

To know which size air compressor will be perfect for your truck tires, here are some things you may want to consider;

Number of gallons 

The number of gallons of the air tank is something that you would want to consider. The larger the tank size, the larger the number of gallons. On average, a 20 gallons tank can result in 90 PSI pressure. Conversely, most professionals consider an 80 gallons tank or more for their tires. It is also important to note that the more massive the tank size, the more expensive it will be.

Pressure gauge 

The pressure gauge is also important as it is used to check the readings. Even if you’ve over-pressurized your tires or not, or rather the applied pressure is measured right or not, keeping them under your observation is quite crucial. For air compressors that are not equipped with a gauge, you can use the dashboard for monitoring.


This is the measure of pressure (in pounds) that is needed relative to each square inch of area. PSI decides on how much force an air compressor provides when compressing air from high pressure.

Inflation Speed

Inflation speed for the tires is yet another fundamental aspect that must be considered when sizing an air compressor. Tire inflation in most situations relies on the given PSI and tire loads. The more the PSI, the more the tire will inflate. That said, you need to know the inflation power and speed to provide the pressure.


Every tool powered by compressed air has a CFM rating. It is the measurement of volume in cubic feet unit applied in each minute. The CFM number, which is directly interconnected to the PSI number, depends on how much pressure is applied. For instance, if your tire PSI is 90, then the CFM will be 15. If it’s more than 100, the CFM is more like to be ten or less. Simply put, the more the PSI, the less the CFM results in quick compression.

The need to know the vessel size

While vessel size doesn’t directly correlate to the supply of compressed air, users need to know and understand it. Knowing the size is really necessary especially when you require a large amount of air for a short period. However, this is never the case in automotive environments. A pump unit increases the price of a compressor more than the vessel. As such, getting the combination right is often critical when it comes to selecting an air compressor.

Other factors to consider when sizing an air compressor

Another potential factor that comes to play when sizing an air compressor is the workshop layout. Workshop layout determines noise levels, weight, and dimensions. Workshop layout in some essence is more vital than performance and can greatly determine the type of compressor you opt for. Considering all these factors also come in handy with where the compressor will sit.

FAQs on What size air compressor do I need to fill truck tires?

What size air compressor do I need for an air gun? 

You’ll need an air compressor that can run 3,000 PSI or more for your air gun since they have small pressure changes designed for high pressure. Air guns are naturally not that large hence CFM rating or air volume is never an issue. Conversely, you need a high-pressure air compressor to load an air gun.

What’s the right air compressor size for automotive air tools?

Most workshop garages need at least 70 CFM air compressors to hold a fairly complete set of automotive air tools. You’ll need to add up your tools’ total CFM air requirements. With a 70 CFM rating and depending on the model, it’s possible for users to run an oil pump, a tire inflator, and three sizes of impact wrenches all at the same interval.

What’s the best size air compressor for blowing out sprinklers?

To get the best size air compressor for blowing out sprinklers, you’ll need to take the GPM sprinkler head and divide it by 7.5. That said, a typical 3 GPM sprinkler head should work great with a 0.4 CFM rating.

What’s the best size air compressor for my nail gun? 

An air compressor that can put up around 120 PSI of pressure works great for most nail guns. For the heavier framing guns, you’ll definitely need more than that. Besides air pressure, enough flow is also needed. Typically, a 1 HP motor air compressor provides 2 CFM which is enough to drive nails with a framing gun at a constant rate of about fifteen per minute. On the other hand, you can use the same compressor to drive a smaller brad gun at seventy nails per minute. Simply put, larger nails require a bigger CFM rating.

Final thoughts 

Air compressors are getting better and better every single day. This guide has narrowed down every important detail concerning compressor sizes. I have also answered some of the most frequently asked questions on the internet today. I hope you now confidently answer the question, “What size air compressor do I need to fill truck tires?” If you have any thoughts concerning the size of air compressors needed to fill truck tires, kindly share them with us in the comment section. Thanks so much for your time. Goodbye for now!