My Favorite Truck Accessories

August 25, 2008 12:11 PM

I'm not talking about license plate borders or chrome exhaust pipe tips. I have those too, but cool functional stuff that you don't see everywhere. I found these accessories at SEMA convention (specialty equipment marketing association) in Vegas.
12-volt air compressor
I'm not a Vegas fan, but end up there a couple times a year a NFR and SEMA. My son spends time in the tire and wheel room at SEMA, something to do with "booth babes” showing off wheels.

I stay clear of the tire room and spend most of my 4 days there upstairs in the trailer and truck section. Vendors have booths trying to attract new dealers. This is for mom and pop stores which is the back bone of American business, at the same time is APPEX convention which is more for corporations.

My pickup truck is on the road a lot and usually with a trailer following close behind. So of course a portable 12 volt air compressor is important.

Besides tires, an air impact wrench can keep you on the road. Or being about to blow out a tractor air filter in the field with air pressure is a plus.

I had a 12 volt portable air compress in the seventies with a starter motor and solenoid running the compressor. The motor burned out often.
Central Tools 100LED
At SEMA I met Jeremy Smith with Phoenix USA. He sent me a 12 volt compressor with 3 gallon tank maxes at 120 psi with a ¾ direct drive motor. No maintenance or oil to change with a pressure switch, on/off switch and water drain.

I added a 50 amp breaker inline with the battery cables added to the compressor. I can run the cables up to my trucks battery and reach my trailer tires with the 50' air hose I added.

Use to hold a flashlight in my mouth in the rain while changing a tire. And had the million candle watt spot light.

But the problem is placement of the light. If you have a third hand, no worries but for the rest of us another product seen at SEMA is Central Tools 100LED.

Bruce Dawson sent me the light. This LED light has magnets on the bottom and side, a flexable neck and hook. I've stuck it on my truck frame while upgrading exhaust, stuck it to my hood while changing air filters. It's my favorite flash light, always under my truck seat. A very bright led light that flashes when it needs charging.
CTEK compact battery charger
CTEK of Sweden is a battery charger you won't loan out. Bill Rainey showed me the CTEK compact battery charger at SEMA. I took it home and it stays in my truck too. Small is nice, it's out of the way even when charging. You can't hurt it or hook it up wrong and get sparks or shock.

You select the battery type, such as deep cycle, motorcycle or regular battery and CTEC does the rest. If you hook up wrong nothing happens, it just doesn't charge.

If you hook up correctly, positive to positive and so on, it will display just how charged the battery is now and monitor it. I use it on my horse trailer which has two deep cycle batteries. A well made unit.

Author H. Kent Sundling writes for via a special agreement with


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Liv Smith
Salt Lake City, UT
2/28/2019 10:52 AM

  I didn't know that it was important to get a 12-volt portable air compressor if your truck is a lot on the road. My husband has had a truck for some time now and he uses it to go everywhere, so he's been looking for accessories to do maintenance on it more often. Thank you for talking about a few accessories that might be helpful, I'll let my husband know about them.


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