Farm Babe: What do you look for in an air compressor on the farm?


Recently I was able to take a tour of an air compressor factory!

The things you never thought you’d do in life … 🙂

But really, compressed air is in products we use all the time and is used in pretty much every factory. It’s almost like the fourth utility that we may take for granted. Vacuum pumps and air compressors are used on farms frequently.

The factory I toured was with Quincy Compressor in Bay Minette, Alabama. Here they design and manufacture rotary screw and reciprocating air compressors ranging from one-third to 350 horsepower, with their “QR” and “QSI” products being the most popular.

air compressor factory

Farmers, if you could wave a magic wand and had anything you could dream of in this realm of your business, what would it be? Do you have a “wishlist” or problems you’d like solved? At Quincy Compressor, they’re big on innovation and always looking for feedback to do something different. One of their favorite slogans is, “The last air compressor you’ll ever need to buy,” and reliability has been their number one focus since the company began over 100 years ago in Quincy, Illinois. They pride themselves on custom engineering and are not afraid to develop and test new products; some of which may have never been done before!

Personally, I won’t claim to be an expert on air compressors, but it was so neat to see and learn about how they’re made in all different shapes and sizes — from small, portable compressors at your local Lowe’s up to one of their larger custom-made products called the “QGV -Badger.” Employees construct the product partly by hand with different kits, and I got to learn more about rotary vs. reciprocating compression, and variable capacity, as well as how some are gas- or diesel-powered, pressure or splash lubed, how the oil works its way through the crank case and cylinders. Of course, I had to see how tall some of this equipment was up close by comparison!

While at the plant, Quincy Compressor was currently undergoing renovations and expansions. It’s always exciting to watch successful businesses evolve, here through expanded assembly, test areas, and research and development areas. The blue color of the products is so eye-catching, where they’re painted and dried in 40 minutes.

What do you use air compressors for? Here on our farm we utilize them for air tools, to pump tires, clean off equipment, among other things. Farmers and other industries who use air compressors can be dirty or harsher environments and that’s why choosing partners in Ag business must be reliable and indestructible with good communication, support, innovation and reliability. You’ve got to have something with a good warranty that will last.

Reliability. Courage. Resilience. The values instilled in Quincy also ring true to us as farmers every single day.


Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe, is an Iowa-based farmer, public speaker, and writer, who lives and works with her boyfriend on their farm, which consists of row crops, beef cattle, and sheep. She believes education is key in bridging the gap between farmers and consumers.

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