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

Filling up truck tires is not as easy as filling up a bicycle tire. You will need an air compressor to do so. When it comes to choosing a compressor, you have to go through different considerations.

If you are asking yourself, “What size air compressor do I need to fill truck tires?” then this is where you find the answer.

Types of Air compressor for Trucks

Usually, you will get to see many different air compressors out there that serve different purposes. Here are different types of compressors you can get for truck tires-

Portable air Compressor

Portable air compressors are your best bet for filling up truck tires. You can carry them in your truck and use them whenever you wish to. They are great if you suddenly need to fill up your truck tires. So, if you go around your area every day with your truck, then portable air compressors can be great for emergencies.

The portable air compressor relies on the power from the battery or gas to operate. You can find many variations and options for this kind of air compressor for your truck tires.  

On-board Air Compressor

On-board air compressors are mostly meant for work trucks that do heavy-duty work. They aren’t the best bet for everyday truck driving as you won’t need that much power. However, if you stay out with the truck a lot and make long trips to different areas, you can get on a board air compressor for your truck.

Another purpose of getting an onboard air compressor is to inflate, pump, or fill up different tools and stuff. You can still consider this as a portable compressor, but they are heavier and larger in size. That’s why they are suitable for work trucks rather than regular ones.

Stationary Air Compressor 

Stationary air compressors are something that you can find in a pump station or a car workshop. They are mostly meant for commercial use. These are very heavy units that can fill up your truck tires very quickly. You won’t probably get this compressor for personal use as they cost a lot and meant for heavy usage.

The capacity of stationary air compressors starts from 10 gallons, and you can get somewhere around 120 gallons with these.

In most cases, you will be going for a portable air compressor for personal use unless you have a work truck. So, our discussion here will be surrounding portable air compressors.

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

Now, the tricky part with an air compressor is choosing the right size. However, we are here to help you out with that trouble.

Portable air compressor consideration 

When choosing a portable air compressor, you have to consider the power and capacity more than the actual dimension of the compressor.

i. Power 

The power is determined by the PSI level of your compressor. A portable air compressor can go from 35 to 150 psi.

But how do you choose it? Well, your truck tires also come with a psi number that you have to know. It usually varies from 35 to 45. So, when you choose a portable air compressor, you go for the same number as the tire psi, or you can go higher.

Going higher will always be a preferable option. Then you won’t have to worry about the compressor overheating or anything. But make sure not to go too high. You can adjust the level of psi according to your needs.

Another thing to determine power is the CFM rating. This is the indicator for the air volume a compressor can produce. You have to go with 1.5 times the CFM rating of your truck tire.

ii. Size

As for the size, this depends on the size of your tire and the tank size for the compressor. Typically, tire inflation is a heavy-duty job for air compressors, requiring around 6 gallons for truck tires. But if you can go higher than that, then it’s great too.

And when it’s about the tire size, you have to base it on power. A larger tire size will require more power which means you have to go for a powerful air compressor. This will also make the work faster.

iii. Onboard air compressor consideration 

Right of the bat, if you have a work truck or off-road, then you will need an onboard air compressor. Especially if your truck tires have a PSI rating of more than 150, you will have to go for an onboard air compressor.

You have to see if the compressor can fit the allocated space in your truck or not for the size. You can find that on the size chart of the manufacturer.


In short, getting the perfect size of air compressor is largely dependent on your truck model and size. Off-road trucks or work that go on different plains require more power and capacity, so onboard air compressors are a necessity for them.

Whereas for day-to-day driving, you don’t need that kind of power, so you can go with a portable air compressor compatible with your truck tire requirements.

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