Underhood Air Compressors
Prove to be more convenient for public works department than sharing trailer-mounted units
As the fleet supervisor for a public works department, Jim (Buzz) Kirby manages a lot of different equipment to keep operations running smoothly. Overseeing the equipment includes writing specs and performing evaluations, and overseeing the maintenance and repair of all equipment within the department. In addition, Kirby is responsible for making recommendations for upgrades. After it became apparent that the city of Livonia's outdated trailer-mounted air compressors needed an upgrade, Kirby audited the department's equipment needs, and sought to solve the challenges operators had been describing.
"We had two very old trailer-mounted air compressors that needed to be replaced and were shared between departments, and [they] always needed some type of repair when they needed to be used. This wasn't convenient when an unanticipated need for compressed air on a job site came up," says Kirby.
This lack of reliability required Kirby to consider different replacement options. A new tow-behind air compressor was considered first, but this didn't solve the problem with convenience - in cases where the need for air was unexpected, operators would still have to return to the yard to retrieve an air compressor and hook up a trailer, causing lost time and a waste of fuel.
Finding the solution
After some research, Kirby decided on a truck-mounted air compressor and found VMAC's website. He contacted their truck builder and found that they were a dealer for VMAC Underhood air compressors, which turned out to be exactly what the city was looking for.
The public works department began to upgrade their air compressors. Impressed with the VMAC Underhood Air Compressor system over the last couple of years, the city has now installed a total of 14 compressors on their vehicles, including their Ford F-250 pickup trucks and Ford Transit vans. Taking advantage of the different outputs available, the city has installed air compressors with 30, 70, and 150 cfm outputs to handle a variety of jobs.
The Underhood 150 is being utilized on the road to service broken down equipment.
The Water, Roads and Parks Departments use the Underhood 70 on their Ford F-250 pickup trucks for a variety of applications including diaphragm pumps, impact guns and jack hammers, and to blow out underground sprinkler systems.
The four Underhood 30 air compressors are installed on Ford Transit Vans, operating small air tools to blow off parts and repair water meters.
Kirby also manages the maintenance schedule of his equipment, including the Underhood units. "It's very easy to replace filters at the recommended service intervals. We have already had a couple [air compressors] come in for their service intervals, and [we] haven't had any performance issues."
Equipped with a standard VMAC Lifetime Warranty, each air compressor is built to last. By following the service schedule, Kirby has peace of mind knowing his operators will have the tools they need to do their jobs. In addition to the warranty, the Fleet Supervisor is happy to know that this installation keeps OEM vehicle warranties intact. "I was impressed with not only the performance of the compressor, but the best part was how things were engineered to fit properly underhood, as if it was built from the factory," says Kirby.
Fourteen Underhood Air Compressors later, Kirby does not miss the days of bulky and broken tow-behind air compressors. "I would highly recommend VMAC compressors to anyone with a need for portable compressed air on demand."
He especially appreciates their convenience, simple-to-use operation and easy maintenance.
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