The 185 cfm Myth


The culture of buying the right air compressor for the job is based on the legacy of the 185 cfm towable compressors. The 185 cfm towable market found roots in the Michigan City, Indiana area. Those roots run deep at BOSS Industries, and it is that legacy that continues to drive innovation in the mobile air compressor market. 

But one of the industry’s biggest challenges has been the consumers’ history and comfort level with the 185 towable compressors. When spec’ing out an air compressor for the mobile truck market, the typical response is, “We need 185 cfm.” This is based on the thought process of, “What worked best last time is what we need now.” This couldn’t be further from the truth.

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While in its time, the 185 cfm towable was a much-needed solution for operating air tools on the jobsite and, in some markets, it still is. 

However, today choosing the right air compressor for the job at hand is even more critical as the industry moves forward. PTO drive options, better engines, and more efficient tools produce the exact same equipment that can suit your needs at the lowest cost of ownership. Many times, choosing the right method of air compression is just as important as choosing the capacity and pressures. 

Think about it like this: Do you need continuous air, such as jack hammers, piercing tools, or running any air tool for longer than 20 minutes at a time? Or do you need intermittent air, such as impact wrenches, drills, or any air tool that will be used for a short duration of time to do jobs like removing lug nuts on a wheel?


Choosing the right type and size of an air compressor is just as important as choosing the right tool for the job.

BOSS Industries’ underdeck rotary screw air compressors and generator products are the most intelligently designed systems on the market today. BOSS underdeck products produce air from 30 cfm to 900 cfm and power generating options up to 62 kW. Our underdeck systems feature Plug-n-Play time-saving wiring systems, no-drill mounting platforms, spin-on filters, and the industry leading B-CAN digital interface. Partnered with the lifetime warranty program, the underdeck compressor and power systems are the number one choice for the work truck industry. 

BOSS also offers a wide range of abovedeck compressor systems—both hydraulic driven and engine driven. Additionally, the trend is now moving into a more multifunctional package for a total and complete service or work vehicle where air, AC power, welding, hydraulics, battery charging, and jump-starting capabilities round out a more complete package rather than just air. To help, the BOSS team is dedicated to help customers make intelligent choices when choosing the right air compressor.


Chuck Hamilton is the director of marketing at BOSSair. For more information, call 800-635-6587 or visit

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