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Using truck air brake system for air power tools

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I am new to operating a vehicle with air brakes.  What is the down side to using the towing air connector to power air tools?   I am assuming the truck would be parked and only parking brake set when using the air tools. Specifically I want to use a large air wrench to remove and install wheels, hopefully never.  Also general air tools to work on other machinery (often) .  OK, it is an expensive air compressor powered by a 505 CI engine  but have to have it  anyway. Basic question is would the extra wear and tear on the engine make a difference in the service live of vehicle?

 

 

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The biggest problem I can see is going to be lack of volume to run a big impact—unless you add a big air tank to boost your supply volume. Otherwise it should be OK-as you said may not be the most efficient, but you will always have it with you if you need it out on the road. 

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We used to run an air wrench occasionally off of our Mack truck. As stated above the reserve capacity is lacking. Put a female coupler on the dry tank and attach a hose there

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Ditto on the volume. I used it for a nail gun off my bucket truck. Truck was idling anyway but ended up running  a couple hundred feet of hose when I switched to staging and ladders for the project. I had the same idea for running an impact but found it just ran out of air too quickly. Using mostly battery impact now anyway.

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That's what we used for an air compressor on the custom combine crew, as we had no other with us.

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A friend of mine uses the air system on his truck (International,  of course) to fill tires, run an impact or bead breaker. Worked on my Farmall M rear tires! 😁

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The tank on the truck will give you a few quick bursts with a large impact wrench.  Then you wait until tank refills.  In our old shop, we had small air lines and hoses.  Too small to run a large impact wrench.  I hooked up a reserve tank, large hose coming out to the big impact wrench and it got us by.   A few good bursts, then wait a while to refill tank. 

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You could always mount a reserve tank for volume. I’ve used air system on a truck several times for smaller things. We used to have air systems on our plot combines and used the compressed air every day for cleaning things. The tank was smaller than a gas grille bottle. 

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Years ago a company l drove for had some trucks with air start engines. lf it didn't start before the starter tank ran out of air, we had to get some auxiliary hoses and gladhands and hook to a running truck. t would take quite a while to recharge the system. But if parked by a cemetery the noise those air starters made would wake the dead.....lol

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Use to put duals on and take off at tractor pulls using air off the truck.  Get 3-4 bolts on a ten bolt hub tight before running out of air, give it 10 seconds and get another 3-4.  I have a hose with a glad hand end on it in my truck, for tire emergencies.  Works great, saved me a few times!

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I have a gladhand with a coupler screwed into it.  Good for tires and light work.

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5 hours ago, twostepn2001 said:

Years ago a company l drove for had some trucks with air start engines. lf it didn't start before the starter tank ran out of air, we had to get some auxiliary hoses and gladhands and hook to a running truck. t would take quite a while to recharge the system. But if parked by a cemetery the noise those air starters made would wake the dead.....lol

The White RoadBoss I drove for a couple years was air start. Had a 50 gallon tank right under the driver's door just for the starter. Plus had six small normal sized tanks for the brakes, wipers, and horn.  Think most truck brake compressors are around 12 cfm, if you had a bigger tank you could fill it pretty quick.

Speaking of bigger tanks, I never felt there was a need for ASME certified pressure tanks till I worked at an ASME certified facility. An ASME certified tank IS worth the small additional cost from the better design, better steel, and better welders that made it.

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We use our 427 c.i. Air compressor frequently, it’s an expensive means to compressed air but it sure is handy, makes a lot of water though so the tank needs to be drained a lot more than you think, the female coupler craps up pretty quick in the salt in the winter, keep a spare handy 

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Had air hose in all county trucks with air brakes.  Run at 1,500 rpm to blow out tractor radiators, air up tires , 3/4" impact for R & R mower blade bolts on Bush Hogs & blow chaff and dust off self.

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9 hours ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

A friend of mine uses the air system on his truck (International,  of course) to fill tires, run an impact or bead breaker. Worked on my Farmall M rear tires! 😁

 

7 hours ago, Farmall1066 said:

Use to put duals on and take off at tractor pulls using air off the truck.  Get 3-4 bolts on a ten bolt hub tight before running out of air, give it 10 seconds and get another 3-4.  I have a hose with a glad hand end on it in my truck, for tire emergencies.  Works great, saved me a few times!

Most definitely. It's good for light stuff. I did put duals on two tractors at a show once and obviously removed them. It's definitely not like my shop compressor. But when you need air and your not near any, I'm happy to hook up and do my thing.

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The starter tank on the air start White's had a glad hand plumbed to air the starter tank back up from the factory to pump them back up if they didn't start right away. They all had Bendix air driers too.  The first small air tank got most of the water but to drain ALL of them required no trailer on the 5th wheel and about 15 minutes with nothing else to do.  The air dryer caused me to spend most of a day at the Freightliner & White dealer in Ottawa, Illinois one day, caused an 8 hour trip to be more like 20.

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13 hours ago, DOCTOR EVIL said:

The starter tank on the air start White's had a glad hand plumbed to air the starter tank back up from the factory to pump them back up if they didn't start right away. They all had Bendix air driers too.  The first small air tank got most of the water but to drain ALL of them required no trailer on the 5th wheel and about 15 minutes with nothing else to do.  The air dryer caused me to spend most of a day at the Freightliner & White dealer in Ottawa, Illinois one day, caused an 8 hour trip to be more like 20.

I've always wondered on the old trucks with air start who ever thought that was a good idea? Trucks have leaks, everyone I've ever been in leaked somewhere. Truck sits a week, and then what? Guessing those guys carried a hose with 2 glad hands like you said to recharge the big tank? Never been around one. 

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1 hour ago, Missouri Mule said:

I've always wondered on the old trucks with air start who ever thought that was a good idea? Trucks have leaks, everyone I've ever been in leaked somewhere. Truck sits a week, and then what? Guessing those guys carried a hose with 2 glad hands like you said to recharge the big tank? Never been around one. 

I was thinking the same thing 

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not really the same topic, but kind of talking about air hoses, all we ever had was 3/8 air hose to an 8o gallon compressor, always worked fine, a year ago I was given a 100 foot I/2 inch air hose, never hooked up . finally found a decent manual reel from northern put the 1/2 inch hose on, what a difference with the 3/4 inch impact, even using a blow gun.

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Had them on our fire engines for small needs. 

Just be sure to blast a little air out the line, to be sure it is clean before running into a tool, via a blow nozzle before using anything you value.

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14 hours ago, Missouri Mule said:

I've always wondered on the old trucks with air start who ever thought that was a good idea? Trucks have leaks, everyone I've ever been in leaked somewhere. Truck sits a week, and then what? Guessing those guys carried a hose with 2 glad hands like you said to recharge the big tank? Never been around one. 

Fleet buyers. No batteries to maintain other than one for cab electric.  There is a company up here that transports sugarbeets from piling stations and factories all winter with about 200 or more trucks. They always order trucks with 2 batteries instead of three or four. Trucks only shut off for service or when they are on dump table. So get them as cheap as possible. Trucks run 24 hours a day all winter usually so no frills.

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10 minutes ago, dale560 said:

I've always wondered on the old trucks with air start who ever thought that was a good idea?

The reason the company l drove for had several different divisions....crude oil haulers, jet fuel haulers and gasoline and diesel haulers. The jet fuel haulers hauled to Air Force Bases all over Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. lt was part of the Air Force requirements that they have air starters if within a certain number of feet next to jet fuel storage tanks. The other divisions like crude haul and gas haul got the "hand me down" trucks from the jet division. When the bigshots of the company finally figured out that the crude haulers made the money for the rest of the company, we started getting new trucks too, but with battery starters.

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