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Compare Air Compressor, Generator & Welder Combos For Work Trucks

It’s not an easy task to compare systems that combine an air compressor, generator and welder into one tidy package, but we’re here to help! In this article, we compare several of the most popular air compressor generator welders and tell you everything you need to know to make a smart buying decision.

Air compressor generator welder combos are a great option for mobile operators who perform a variety of tasks on the go and never know exactly what’s waiting for them on a remote job site. These combo systems are popular with mobile mechanics, heavy equipment repair technicians, and other multi-talented operators who are frequently out in the field.

VMAC-MF-Finning

VMAC Multifunction on a Finning CAT Service truck

Compressor generator welder systems go by many names, including:

  • 6-in-1
  • All-in-one
  • Multi-power
  • Power system
  • Power pack
  • Multifunction system
  • And more (including many combinations of the words above!)

Most of these systems include an air compressor, a generator, and a welder, but it’s also common to add a battery booster, battery charger, and specialty features as well.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular compressor generator welders in North America:

Compressor Generator Welder Comparison Chart

BrandEngineAir Compressor TypeCompressed Air Output @ 90 psiDC Output @ 60% Duty Cycle (Weld)Max AC Output – Continuous, Single Phase (Generate)WeightSize (cubic feet)
VMAC MultifunctionKubota D902 (Diesel)Rotary screw45 CFM190 A8 kW560 lb12.74
Mi-T-M AGW-SH22-20MHonda GX690 (Gas)Two-stage reciprocating30.5 CFM190 A4.5 kW803 lb32.64
Miller Trailblazer® 302 Air Pak™Kohler CH750 (Gas)Rotary screw31 CFM350 A11 kW771 lb23.81
Miller EnPak® A30 DieselKubota 19 HP (Diesel)Rotary screw30 CFM210 A*6.5 kW568 lb15.2
Lincoln Air Vantage® 566Deutz TD 2.94L4 (Diesel)Rotary screw60 CFM600 A12 kW1,737 lb55.18
Vanair Air N Arc® 300 GasKohler 26.5 HP EFI (Gas)Rotary screw40 CFM270 A**6.8 kW700 lb18.12
Vanair Air N Arc® I-300 DieselKubota 25 HP (Diesel)Rotary screw40 CFM270 A**6.8 kW852 lb19.12
Boss Workmaster GWKohler CH440 (Gas)One-stage reciprocating18 CFM180 A***4.0kw400 lb13.97

*Duty cycle unknown/**100% duty cycle/***65% duty cycle; 60% duty cycle figures unavailable.

Compressor Generator Welder Bonus Features

Many compressor generator welder systems include additional features that may also be important to operators. The following is a basic overview of the most common “bonus” features:

BrandCold Climate ProtectionBattery Booster / Crank AssistBattery Charger PTO Port / Hydraulic PumpVehicle Fuel Tank Integration
VMAC MultifunctionYesYesYesYesYes
Mi-T-M AGW-SH22-20MNoNoNoNoNo
Lincoln Air Vantage® 566YesYesYesYesNo
Miller Trailblazer® 302 Air Pak™YesYesYesNoNo
Miller EnPak® A30 DieselYesYesYesNoYes
Vanair Air N Arc® 300 GasYesYesYesNoYes
Vanair Air N Arc® I-300 DieselYesYesYesYesYes
Boss Workmaster GWNoYesYesNoNo

Multifunction Banenr

How To Choose The Right Air Compressor Generator Welder System

1. Identify Your System Needs

The first step in choosing an air compressor generator welder system is to determine your needs for each individual component:

  • How many CFM do your air tools need?
  • What amperage do you need to weld at?
  • How much AC Output do you need on your generator?

Once you answer these questions, you can use the charts above to quickly narrow down your best available options.

Air Compressor

There are a few things you need to know about when choosing an air compressor, which we’ve written about extensively in, “How To Choose A Mobile Air Compressor For Your Work.

Check out that article to find out:

  • How much CFM do you need?
  • Rotary screw vs. reciprocating
  • Tow behind or vehicle-mounted?
  • What’s your ideal fuel/power source?

If you need more help determining your air needs, give VMAC a call at 1-888-514-6656 to talk with our air compressor experts.

Welder

The welders included in air compressor generator welder systems are typically meant for SMAW or GTAW arc-welding in Direct Current (DC), working with mild steel in environments that are likely to be contaminated with dirt, oil, and other impurities. A few systems also allow for AC welding, such as Lincoln’s Air Vantage® 566, but this capability comes with a much higher price-tag.

An operator using a welder should be educated in welding equipment and be aware of their own specifications prior to purchasing any system that includes a welder. That said, the amperage needs vary depending on the electrode, but most common stick weld applications are well under 200 amps.

Amperage Needs of Common Stick Electrodes

MaterialElectrodeElectrode WidthAmperage Needs (DC)
Mild SteelE6010/E60111/8’75-130
Mild SteelE6010/E60115/32”90-175
Mild SteelE60131/8’100-135
Mild SteelE60135/32”145-180
Mild SteelE70181/8’90-160
Mild SteelE70185/32”130-210
Mild SteelE70241/8’100-160
Mild SteelE70245/32”160-215

(Source: Lincoln Electric: Stick Electrodes)

Air compressor generator welder systems will include a welder that can get most remote jobs done, but it’s important to note that mobile welders aren’t meant to replace a stationary shop welder. Look for a welder in a system that will meet your everyday “on the go” needs.

Generator

A generator can be a convenient way to power electric tools and equipment on the fly.

To find out how much wattage your generator needs, add up the wattage requirements of each piece of equipment that will run simultaneously. Keep in mind both starting wattage and running wattage in your calculations and use the highest of the two numbers.

For example, if you’re running nighttime lights and a power washer, your calculations might look something like this:

 Running WattageStarting Wattage
Night Lights1000 Watts1200 Watts
Power Washer1500 Watts1750 Watts
Total Wattage2500 Watts (2.5 kW)2950 Watts (3 kW)

If you can’t easily find the wattage of your equipment, you can calculate it using this simple formula:

amps x Volts = Watts
ex: 15 amps X 120 V = 1800 Watts

Once you know the wattage requirements of your equipment, select a system with a generator that meets those needs.

2. Consider Size & Weight

Now that you have a better idea of what systems will meet your compressed air, welding, and power generation needs, you should consider the size and weight of the systems.

As a rule, you want the most lightweight and compact system that meets your needs. There are numerous benefits to reducing GVW and freeing up space on your vehicle including:

  • More weight/space for other tools & equipment
  • Increase payload capacity
  • Maximize revenue
    • Reduce fuel costs
    • Reduce vehicle maintenance costs
  • Potentially eliminate inspections & certificates

You can read more about why size and weight matter in these articles:

VMAC-MF-Finning

A Finning CAT service truck with the VMAC Multifunction

3. Look at System Warranties

Warranties for air compressor generator welders vary across the board. Some systems will have a straightforward (but short) warranty that covers the entire unit, while other systems will include individual warranties for specific components.

VMAC’s rotary screw air ends are backed by a lifetime warranty and other rotary screw manufacturers might have similar warranties, while warranties for reciprocating air ends are short or non-existent. Confirm the warranty of the system’s air end before making a purchasing decision, as the air end warranty will give you a rough idea of the general life expectancy of the entire system.

4. Learn More About Air Compressor Welder Generators

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential air compressor welder generators to two or three, it’s time to research those systems in greater detail. Download the spec sheets, check out YouTube videos, learn more about the manufacturer, talk to your dealer, and look for testimonials online.

For each system, try to discover:

  • Whether simultaneous operation of the air compressor, welder, and generator is possible
  • Control features & options
  • Extreme heat or cold ratings, if applicable
  • If positive air shutoff is included, if applicable

Feel free to contact the original manufacturer directly to ask any questions you may have. VMAC, for example, is always happy to answer potential customer questions by phone (1-888-514-6656) or email.

Ready to research your shortlist? Learn about VMAC’s air compressor generator welder systems here:

VMAC Air Innovated