Gabe Gallegos runs his own roadside response company, providing 24/7 roadside service in southern Colorado for truck dealers, RoadSquad, ARI Fleet Management, FleetNet America, and fleets like U-Haul and Penske.
“I don’t have an actual shop,” explains Gallegos. “I specialize in emergency roadside repairs. If it’s anything major and I can’t fix it on the road, it gets towed to a dealership to be fixed. But, 99 percent of the time, I fix the vehicle on the road.”
Gallegos purchased a fully-loaded 2016 Ford F-450 Lariat edition chassis with a 6.7-liter diesel engine and TorqShift heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission. “Because I spend so much time in my truck, I felt that comfort was key,” says Gallegos, whose business revolves around his custom service truck. That’s why he chose Southwest Products (SWP) to work with.
“I dealt with Glenn Johnson from SWP. After speaking to Glenn the first time, I didn’t consider anyone else. He was awesome to deal with.”
SWP’s customization process allowed Gallegos to add features to his truck that best fit his business. “I specified an IMT Dominator mechanic’s body with a 41-inch drawer set, and a VMAC UNDERHOOD air compressor to help me get more done on the job.”
FEATURED IMAGE: Gabe Gallegos with his fully-loaded 2016 Ford F-450 Lariat
ABOVE: Gallegos wanted to save space and have a clean looking truck without equipment bolted to the top of the boxes.
SWP’s ability to customize a mechanics truck for Gallegos on his chassis of choice means that Gallegos’ long hours on the road will be less stressful and more profitable.
“Initially, I didn’t know there was such a thing as an UNDERHOOD air compressor until an upfitter I contacted recommended one.” Gallegos wanted to save space and have a clean looking truck without equipment bolted to the top of the boxes. Gallegos’ old service truck had a Quincy air compressor with a 60-gallon air receiver tank sitting in the back. “I wanted to free up bed space and I didn’t want something on my side pack. I think it looks tacky.”
Once Gallegos knew that an UNDERHOOD air compressor did in fact exist, he got on the phone and started getting quotes.
“I was shocked by the sticker price when I first got a quote. I would normally pay $2,800 for a gas-powered compressor and had a hard time justifying paying more for an UNDERHOOD air compressor.” But, Gallegos knew that this system was going to solve his challenges, so he called SWP. He found once again that not only was SWP the easiest to work with, they were also the most affordable. “I’ve been using my UNDERHOOD air compressor for six months now and have absolutely no regrets. Once you use it, with all the power and all the free bed space, you’ll have no regrets on the price.”
Gallegos continues, “I use a one-inch air gun for tractor trailer tires and my UNDERHOOD air compressor doesn’t run out of air.” Gallegos had watched VMAC’s online demo video and was surprised by the output of such a small air compressor, but still wasn’t sure until he started using it himself. “It’s an amazing air compressor.”
Gallegos feels the best features of his UNDERHOOD air compressor revolve around safety. “It’s important to keep your boots on the ground, so you don’t have to climb into the truck to turn the compressor on. I just press the on button on the control box and walk to the back and get to work.”
Gallegos keeps his tools on the curb side of his truck so he doesn’t have to watch for traffic and he stays safe while working on the side of the interstate. “I also don’t have a gas engine running in my ear,” so Gallegos can hear better while working, “and I don’t have to fill up a gas tank in the back of my truck.” Gas engines come with their own set of safety issues. VMAC has written an educational article on this topic called “Gasoline: Complacency causes injury to people and damage to equipment.”
Another important feature of the UNDERHOOD air compressor is its ability to work in the extreme cold. “I recently used the system when it got down to -18 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was flawless.” VMAC’s UNDERHOOD air compressor mounts safely in the engine compartment of the most popular North American built work trucks. This keeps the compressor warm, so it’s ready to work when you are.
“Even after I ordered my VMAC air compressor, I was skeptical that it would fit under the hood of my truck.” Gallegos had ordered his truck with dual alternators, which further reduced the amount of available space under the hood of his Ford truck. Fortunately, VMAC engineers truck mounting kits for the easiest possible installation, by working closely with leading work truck manufacturers: Ford, RAM, and GM.
VMAC UNDERHOOD air compressors are belt-driven and run off the crank shaft of the truck’s engine. 70 cfm and 150 cfm models run on a separate drive-belt with their own crank pulley, idlers, and tensioner. VMAC uses patented rotary screw technology designed to run at 100 percent duty-cycle without stopping, so operators don’t have to wait for their air compressor to fill up an air receiver tank. This maximizes tool performance and eliminates downtime.
Gallegos isn’t afraid of hard work and long hours. “It doesn’t matter if it’s two in the morning or if I’m out with the family. I always answer the phone. I have my truck loaded with the parts I need to help my customers—to get them back on the road quickly.” Gallegos needs an air compressor that is ready to work when he is, and that doesn’t waste his time or money, so VMAC’s Lifetime Warranty added exceptional value.
“I like being my own boss. I like the challenge of figuring things out on my own, under conditions that a lot of mechanics couldn’t handle. It’s just me and my truck, and we’re getting along just fine.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
VMAC designs and manufactures the most compact and powerful mobile air compressors and multi-power systems available. Founded in 1986, VMAC employs 100 professional, hard-working, and dedicated people who put their skills and experience to the test every day by pushing boundaries and continuously improving how they do their work. When companies are looking to free up space or reduce weight on their vehicles, they turn to VMAC. Find out more about VMAC products and services, visit www.vmacair.com.