What’s The Deal With Underdeck Air Compressors?

October 27, 2023
dtm70-pto-air-compressor-ford-angleUnder deck or underdeck air compressors is another name for PTO driven air compressors, a compressed air system that is powered by a vehicle’s transmission via a PTO. PTO air compressors are frequently nicknamed “underdeck” because of their mounting position under the deck of a service truck.

Underdeck air compressors come in hydraulic and non-hydraulic varieties, giving operators options depending on their specific needs. Most hydraulic varieties are intended for service trucks with hydraulic cranes, tool circuits, and outriggers, while non-hydraulic underdeck air compressors work well for countless applications.

What Are The Advantages Of Underdeck Air Compressors?

Underdeck air compressors are an innovative solution for providing compressed air and have many benefits over traditional above-deck air compressors. The advantages of underdeck air compressors include: 

  • Free up cargo space
  • Reduce GVW
  • 50 to 200 CFM
  • 100% duty cycle
  • Hydraulic option
  • Few moving parts
  • Less maintenance

Who Makes Underdeck Air Compressors?

There are three primary manufacturers of underdeck air compressors in North America:

  • VMAC
  • Boss
  • Vanair 

Each manufacturer’s product is quite different, varying in design and system specifications. Anyone considering an underdeck system should carefully consider all of their options before making a purchase.

How Much Do Underdeck Air Compressors Cost?

The exact price of an underdeck air compressor will vary depending on various factors, including the manufacturer, dealer markup, region, specific technology, and more. In addition, two different factors that determine the cost of any vehicle-integrated air compressor:

  • System price
  • Install price 

It’s important to look at both the system price and the install price when comparing air compressor solutions. In some cases, an underdeck air compressor's install time can save you money compared to seemingly less expensive systems with longer install times. 

Here are a couple of examples from VMAC’s product line of estimated install times for an experienced upfitter:

Estimated Install Hours For Vehicle-Integrated Systems

17-21 hours: Ford 2024 6.7L Power Stroke V8 Diesel
16-20 hours: RAM 2024 6.7L Cummins 24V Inline 6 Diesel

Direct-Transmission Mounted 70 (“underdeck”)
16-18 hours: Ford 2024 6.7L Power Stroke V8 Diesel
16-18 hours: RAM 2024 6.7L Cummins 24V Inline 6 Diesel

To get the most accurate pricing for an underdeck air compressor, we recommend reaching out to a trusted VMAC Dealer.

What Else Do I Need To Know?

The main thing you need to know is that underdeck air compressors are awesome! 

But before buying one, you should do a little more research. We’ve put together an extensive article on underdeck air compressors, “What Is A PTO Driven Air Compressor?” which covers everything you need to know about these innovative systems:

  • Advantages
  • Compatible Vehicles
  • Direct-Mounted vs. Shaft Mounted
  • Fully Engineered Systems vs. Installation Kits
  • Transfer Case Design
  • Weight
  • And more 

Check out our PTO Driven Air Compressor article to learn more about underdeck air compressors!