Review: TJM HD Air Compressor
One tool off-roaders simply can’t live without is a quality air compressor. Airing down and then airing up after the ride is made easier with the right compressor. Anyone who’s owned a smaller or cheaper unit that overheated while trying to fill an oversized tire can attest to this fact. Even if you don’t air down for every trail ride, if a flat occurs during travels (on- or off-road), a tire repair kit and an air compressor can get you up and running again as opposed to a costly tow or repair.
TJM offers its HD Air Compressor that’s ideal for off-roaders. Coming in a handy easy-store carrying bag, the TJM compressor is small and mobile enough to fit easily in your rig, or if you prefer it can be permanently mounted and hard wired to your vehicle. The HD Compressor also features a heavy-duty aluminum sand plate at its base to keep dirt and mud from away from the unit.
TJM’s HD also comes with 24 feet of rubber hosing for easily reaching any tires on your rig. The hose features a “Quick Connect” attachment that easily attaches to the compressor, while the other end of the hose features a screw-on brass connector for tire connection (which features the option of pushing it in to bleed off air if needed). The HD features “alligator clip” battery connections with quality rubber shroud protection over the clamps. The on/off toggle switch is located on the end of the unit.
The HD Compressor features a washable air filter that can be removed for cleaning, and an air pressure gauge is fitted on top of the unit to verify tire air pressure (it runs about 5 PSI over while airing up, but once the unit is stopped our gauge was accurate within 1-2 psi of our tire’s pressure). TJM notes the unit is thermally protected from overheating. The HD will get hot as will most any compressor during use, but after filling all four of our vehicle’s tires we simply let the unit cool down for a few minutes before putting it back in the bag. The duty cycle of the HD Compressor is 40 psi at 40 minutes (at 70 degree Fahrenheit), with a max psi of 150. The current draw is 30 amps, and the maximum voltage for the unit is 13.8 volts.
We’ve used our TJM HD Compressor a number of times now, and overall, we’re pleased with the performance, size and weight of it. After airing down to about 15 psi on our 33-inch BFGoodrich tires during a trail run, it only took a little more than 10 minutes to air back up (from about 15 psi to 40). The unit has yet to overheat, even when we’ve tasked it with filling up a set of 37-inch tires. The compressor, hose and bag weigh in at about 12 pounds overall, so its weight makes it easy enough to have along for the ride and move from one vehicle to the next. The unit also is backed by a 5-year warranty from the manufacturer. There are a number of compressors on the market and many will suffice, but we do like the performance and function of the TJM HD Compressor. It hasn’t overheated yet or shown any signs of letdown, which is a quality any off-roader can appreciate.