Detroit air compressor at GTS Equipment


Air compressors are used for many workshop tools that need compressed air to function.

Tools like nailers, impact wrenches, sanders, paint sprayers, drills, tyre inflators and even unclogging the kitchen sink all use compressed air.

Air compressors force air into a container to pressurise it and then release the compressed air. Visualise what an inflated balloon does when you let it go and it shoots like a wild rocket. They are positive displacement compressors.

Air compressors function at higher temperatures in locations where the risk of explosions and fire hazards restrict other forms of energy.

There are two types of compressors used in auto repair shops.

Rotary compressors

Rotary compressors use screws or vanes to move and compress the air.

Piston compressors

Piston compressors use a piston driven by a crankshaft to compress the air.

Advantages of compressors

  • The advantage of a compressor in a workshop is that only one compressor drives a range of workshop tools.
  • That means workshop tools can be mobile and make less noise than they would do if every tool needed its own compressor. It is also more affordable because it saves on the cost of multiple compressors and maintenance.
  • Compressors provide on-demand pressurised air.
  • Air is free.
  • Air provides clean energy.
  • It does not pollute in case of system damage or failure.
  • Compressors reduce the volume of gas and that means less space needed for storage in relation to the amount of energy it provides.
  • Air tools have fewer moving parts which mean it is cheaper to buy and maintain, safer and lighter.

Tools that work with air compression

GTS stock a range of workshop tools that work with compressed air.

Air dryers

Air- compressors not only supply compressed air, but they also generate water which contributes to breakages and high maintenance of your pneumatic tools and equipment. Equipment and air tools are not designed to have water run through them and therefore it is imperative to add an air-dryer to your air compressor. The days of purchasing a compressor without the dryer have become few or perhaps the budget might be tight.

Dryers come in various sizes to match the size of the compressor output, and this is the case to ensure optimal effectiveness to provide a dry airline. The too-small dryer will not take all the water out of the line and a too big dryer will ice up your airline, so speak to one of our consultants to guide you.

“I don’t need an air dryer; I have multiple water traps on my airline”.

These words are far from the truth, water traps do help but they are believed to only take out about 15% of the water in a typical airline.

Please note that some compressors come with “ built-in” air dryers from the factory and some compressors need an “ aftermarket” job in order to build one next to your existing compressor. Either way, you need a 220volt plug point in your compressor bay to be
installed for your dryer.


Airlines can be constructed using either galvanized pipe, copper, or plastic.

All these types will suffice however, each one has its positives and negatives, again we can discuss the differences.

Please take care before accepting an airline installation because there is much to consider as getting this wrong could ruin the effectiveness of your compressor’s ability to provide an effective air demand.

The wrong type of installation and inferior air fittings could cause you to spend more money on electricity, have restricted air flow and cause unequal air pressures in the line. Do it once and get it right the first time!

Not all compressors are equal. A reliable and trustworthy adviser will lead you to get the best quality and most productive size compressor for your business.


What small business can you start in South Africa and expect to make money?

There are good business opportunities in South Africa in most cities, towns and townships for mobile battery testing services.

If you want to start a business you need to reduce the risk as much as you can. In days gone by, people believed that starting a food or liquor business was the least risky opportunity.

GTS Garage Equipment workshop

There are good opportunities in less glamorous and less known parts of the economy, and one such opportunity is in the auto industry.

As the economy grows more people have jobs and more people have money to spend. Those people like to buy a car as soon as they can.

Other people start small businesses and have commercial vehicles that need to be maintained well so the business owner can keep on generating an income.

We can expect that more and more people will become vehicle owners and there is the opportunity.

All those cars, bakkies, delivery vehicles and trucks need to be maintained and they will need technicians and service centres who can keep their vehicles on the road and running.

If you want to make use of this opportunity, you will need an honest and reliable provider of all the machinery and tools needed to run a successful garage.

What is the smallest car service business you can start?

Battery problems are one of the car problems that occur most frequently because car owners tend to neglect the maintenance of their car batteries and electrical systems.

Failing batteries is probably only second to tyre failures in South African cars as the cause that takes up most time from car owners.

Batteries are relatively expensive and need to be replaced every few years.

Testing a car’s battery regularly is a good idea and battery testing is also the first step in troubleshooting electrical failures in cars.

Battery load testing indicates the amperes produced by a battery. A vehicle battery must generate high amperes to be able to activate the starter motor and turn the engine.

You can start a micro business as a mobile battery doctor by testing car battery health with one or a range of battery testing devices supplied by GTS Equipment.

Because the testing equipment is mostly light and easy to carry around, a mobile battery diagnostics expert can be an asset in the car owner community in any township.

Battery load tester

A battery load tester is a mobile testing device that allows you to test various aspects of a battery’s condition.

The model below provides information about

  • State of charge
  • Cranking ability
  • Charging system output
  • Starter motor test

It needs no external power source and is completely portable.

With a battery load tester, you are able to visit people at home and test the 6 and 12-volt batteries of their electric gate openers, lawn mowers, cars, bakkies and trucks at a small fee.

Many car owners neglect to refill their car batteries with battery water. As an additional service to your mobile battery testing service, you could carry with you a filler bottle of battery water and top up low battery water levels at a small cost.

Keep in mind that the car owner does not only pay for the battery water but actually for the convenience of having his battery water topped up at his home.

Battery filler bottle

Many times, a battery has too little battery water because owners neglect to have it refilled, especially with old model cars with older batteries.

While you test a battery with your portable load tester, you may also want to be able to sell battery water refills.

To provide this service, you will need to have a battery filler bottle in your tool kit.

Battery Hydrometer

A battery hydrometer tests the level of charge of a battery cell.

It measures the voltage of the battery as a percentage of the voltage of the fully charged battery.

You will be able to test a client’s battery and immediately tell them if the battery is damaged and can be expected to fail in the near future.

Battery Booster

A battery booster could be your next step to your complete service station.

A battery booster is a power pack that provides low power for long periods. This boosts the battery and at the same time ensures that no electrical components of the car are damaged.

A battery booster is used to jump-start a car with a flat battery and is a safer way than jump-starting from another car’s battery because it provides low but adequate power to boost the battery.

Battery Charger

With a battery charger, you can provide an indispensable service to car, truck and motorcycle users, and even garden services in your area.

Everybody who knows that you have a battery charger will gladly make use of your charger to charge their old batteries and you can charge batteries that your battery diagnostics tools have indicated only needs a charge.

Battery Tester

A battery tester allows you to instantly tell your client the state of his vehicle’s battery

The Snapon tester pictured below can test 6, 8 and 12-volt batteries, which widens your potential business opportunities. It even tests boat batteries.

It provides you with battery, starter and charging system status.

One of the smallest and most affordable car repair businesses you can start is a tyre valve-changing business.

You can change leaking and old tyre valves with one tool and a hand full of accessories.

What do I need to start a tyre valve repair business?

You need:

A valve core tool.
A set of different tyre size valves.

This micro-business allows you to run a mobile business without a workshop and with tools you can carry in your pocket.

Listen for people who complain about slow punctures. Slow punctures are often just leaking valves.

Just remember to change the valve near a place where you can inflate the tyre because you have to let all the air out to remove the old valve and fit a new one.

Toolbox for a mobile vehicle repair business

If you start out as a mobile battery testing technician you will need a toolset that you can transport with you.

This enables you to tighten battery pole clamps because quite often those are loose and it provides you with all the tools you may need to assist your clients even as you upgrade to providing more services.

How to start my small business in South Africa

You can start your small mobile car service today wherever you live.

You need minimal startup capital and knowledge which you can get from the stockists of the accessories and tools you buy.

All you need to do is make the decision to start your own business and send us an email to find out what we can do for you.

GTS Equipment is always ready to help entrepreneurs to get the correct outfit for their business.