Power Tank mixed feelings!
At Crawler Ready we have been using Power Tanks (PT) for a couple years. And even with mixed feelings we still carry them with us. What does mixed feeling mean? First off Power Tank provides a good product and they have there own special niche that can be a solution for some interesting needs. I do want to point out that we are not sponsored by PT but can sell them so you will receive a unbiased opinion here. In case your are new or unaware of what a Power Tanks is, its a CO2 on board air system that hold carbon dioxide in a tank. This allows you to have instant air that stays at a constant pressure till its empty.
Back to the mixed feelings. Things we have liked about our Power Tanks are the speed at which we can air up tires, with the bonus of not having to hear the roar of compressors as they are trying to fill up 40 inch tires. The constant pressure that is achieved from it being filled with CO2 is great and has gotten us out of a couple jams. One of the times that sticks out to me we were using a ARB dual compressor to try and set a 40 inch tire that came off the bead. Granted I know that's not what the compressor really is made for but we were in a position were we had to reset the bead on a Jeep. We had a PT with us but knew it was about empty so we were using the compressor to no avail. We pulled out the PT for what we believed was a one shot chance and was surprised when it not only gave us enough pressure to set the bead but filled the tire back up to a level we felt safe to drive it out of the trail on. Another time time the PT was there for us, our trailer we found out had a leak in one of the tires. The trailer was stored in the back of a yard no where near electricity, so while trying to figure out how to run power back to the trailer the PT was pulled out. The PT made quick work of the trailer tire and we had the trailer hooked up and moved out before a power cord was found. Over the last couple years we have filled many of tires and even ran a nail gun when the PT was our only option. Because of reason like that we keep the PT on board when we wheel or work on the house and forget the compressor.
With all the good experiences we have had why would we ever have mixed feeling. Well here are some of the concerns I have date with PT. The biggest drawback for me has to be getting the tank filled. All the time saved airing up tires was just waisted driving to a shop that can fill the tank. Then if they are busy or depending on their fill schedule you will have to come back another day to get your tank. Its really just a minor inconvenience as long as you live close but if I had to drive a long way that could weigh into the decision to purchase one. The next concern is there is the added cost. You buy a quality compressor you should be covered for years. Every time you empty your PT your will have to pay to have it filled. Its not going to break the bank but it believe the last time I filled my 10 LB tank it cost around $18 at my local welding supply shop. Again not the end of the world just things to weight out in carrying a PT. And the last concern is the space it takes up. Yes PT has some great mounting options but they still take up a decent amount of real-estate. That is a benefit for a compressor that fits nicely under a hood.
As I said, mixed feeling on carrying a PT but taking into account the space, and refilling its a solid add to your tool collection with endless possibilities where you can use it. In the future we look forward to seeing what usage we can get running tools like an impact wrench. Competing in events like W.E Rock we don't always have access to power so unless we bring a generator we are limited to battery tools which let us down this year when batteries died. It would have been nice to have a PT on deck to help when we come across issues of that nature.