In all the years that I have been wheeling, I have seen Power Tanks on countless vehicles, read about them and at times, considered purchasing one for myself. It wasn’t until I actually got one in my hands and had some “real world, trail time” with it that I understood how I not only wanted, but needed one as standard equipment in my wheeling rigs for future outings.
“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. Steve Jobs… Business Week, May 12th, 1998.
This is a quote that came to mind as I was familiarizing myself with the Power Tank and its capabilities. I doubt in the early 90’s when the creators first got started they envisioned Steve Jobs being quoted in relation to their product but, this is a perfect example of that statement. This was my realization after having some trail and shop time with a 15lb tank. I had always viewed the product as a luxury that when I had the extra cash, I would get myself one knowing it would be a worthwhile investment if I used it just once to get out of a bind.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept or how CO2 works, here is a great opportunity to get a little science class refresher… CO2 is an odorless, colorless gas that is a non-flammable, non-toxic naturally occurring chemical. The Power Tank uses the liquid form that is bottled, the liquid turns to the vapor state when released, creating energy. That energy is used for pneumatic tools, filling tires, reseating beads on rims and numerous other applications where you may want or need portable, quick air. The system even has the ability to operate air lockers, you don’t have to wait for a compressor to pressure up nor do you have to listen to it, a very cool option for those with air lockers or considering them.
Initially I thought I would just air up tires after a day of wheeling but in time I found I could operate air tools well enough that I now keep a small pneumatic kit with me in my wheeling rigs. We all know how often one of our friends has a blowout, rolls the bead off of a wheel or countless other times when we need air; but the section of trail is not conducive to getting a vehicle with onboard air close enough. Frankly, compressors can take longer than we want. The ability to fill up a tire in 3-5 minutes doesn’t sound like much but when you factor in filling four compared to roughly ninety seconds per tire with a Power Tank, time matters. The best thing about the system is… It is portable!
Now compressors work fine for the wheeler running smaller tires like a 31”-33”. They are great for small items around camp like air mattresses or inflatable lake items but, when you’re running big tires and are out playing in areas where there may be damage like punctured tires or unseated beads; there is no better way to go than the Power Tank. With every use I become more and more impressed as to how much I can do with it, how fast it fills big tires and how long a bottle last. At other times, the kid inside me just wants to break it out and play with the cool toy on the trail where I get to watch my envious friends wish they had one!
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