Something in the Air with Sullair


Indiana, US

Engine Specification

Portable air compressors


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Sullair product video

Shiny new condo buildings. Critical highway repairs. Revitalised shopping centres. Innovative office skyscrapers. What do they all have in common? Compressed air was integral to their beginnings.

Portable air compressors are everywhere on construction sites because they do the crucial task of breaking up concrete. And the Sullair 185 Series air compressor has been a beast in this arena for years.

Founded in Indiana, U.S. in 1965, Sullair now sends its machines all around the world. The 185 Series compressor was initially designed decades ago to meet the need of running up to three air hammers simultaneously, and it’s still going strong—literally—today.

The 185’s ability to operate multiple air tools makes it a beacon of versatility and a go-to machine when it comes to winterising irrigation systems for agriculture—blowing out sprinkler systems and cleaning out water wells. It’s also been known to clean out combines, perform abrasive blasting for pre-painting, and even run bubbles through ponds to help aerate the water for the resident fish population.

Powered by a Perkins® 404F-E22T engine which keeps it running smoothly, the 185 Series is all about reliability, durability and performance. “The package is solid and built around a bulletproof air end,” says Sullair senior product manager Nav Sharma. “We go through a rigorous testing and validation process to make sure that users can count on our machines for a long, long time. It really is a workhorse for any fleet.” The compressor houses a 27-gallon fuel tank for up to ten continuous hours of use, and the turbo-charged engine allows it to handle high altitudes. Users are covered in virtually any temperature setting, with an extreme weather operation range of -20 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

The direct-drive machine’s compact design makes for ease of manoeuvrability around job sites. “Its smaller package helps in every aspect of the life of the product,” points out Nav. In fact, that ultra-transportability means that nine compressors can be shipped on a single truck, reducing freight costs for customers and storage costs when the machines arrive at their new home.

“We focus a lot on how users use the machine. Since it was first designed, it has changed from individual users owning a machine to a shared type of equipment in the rental industry,” Nav explains. “So now we’ve made these machines more user-friendly, easier to use, easier to service, easier to operate and longer lasting.” The control panels are designed to be simple to read, turning the machine on and off is particularly easy and the service air outlet is conveniently located kerb side. With simple access to the engine air filter and oil dipstick, plus a consolidated fuse/relay box in a single location, ease of maintenance is paramount.

And plastic canopies? Not in the 185 Series. These machines are built around a durable steel canopy to make sure they live long, high-performing lives. And a 36.4 kW (48.8 hp) engine from Perkins helps to ensure that happens. The dedicated aftersales support that Perkins is known for certainly helps enhance the collaborative experience with Sullair. “Providing a good service and parts network was an important factor in selecting Perkins brand engines for our compressors, and so far we are very pleased with how the Perkins support network has come through on their promise,” says Nav.

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