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What to Know When Buying Forklift Tires

Today, fleet owners are offered a large variety of types, sizes, and application-specific lift trucks that serve a specific purpose. Equipment choice ultimately factors into the overall throughput, efficiency, and safety of the operation. When it comes down to it, the choice of tires for the forklift can be one of the most influential factors in efficiency and operating costs for that machine at the application. Here are some of the key points when picking the right forklift tires:

Cushion or Pneumatic Forklift Tires?

The type of tires your forklift has been specifically designed for the surface that the machine will be operating most efficiently on, so choosing the right tire will impact your machine’s maximum performance.

  • Cushion Forklift Tires
    These forklift tires should only be operated on smooth concrete surfaces, most commonly at indoor working facilities, and are typically smaller than comparable capacity pneumatic models.
  • Pneumatic Forklift Tires
    Forklift with pneumatic tires can work indoors and on outdoor surfaces like blacktop, stone, or dirt, but not on rough terrains like fields or severely unsurfaced lots. These tires have a wider versatility of where they can be operated on, thus giving them higher resale value.

Tire Tread & Profile Style

Not only are there different types of forklift tires, but there are also different treads and profile styles you can get with your forklift. Depending on the application it is driven on, the terrain will affect the tread or profile style you may need. Available options include:

  • Smooth Tires – Typically for dry indoor applications and all steer axles.
  • Traction Tires – A general-purpose use in a wide variety of forklift applications.
  • Grooved Tires – Designed for larger-capacity trucks where loads and operating conditions are extreme.
  • Wide-Track Traction Tires – All-season indoor or outdoor use forklift tire.

The quality and consistency of material are also major factors when determining tire performance. If you want your tires to last longer and perform better, determine the correct tread and profile style for maximum efficiency.

For help with selecting the right forklift tires for your application, contact us at 330-633-6000.

Originally published 7/20/2018
Updated 5/21/2019

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When to Replace Forklift Tires

It is important for every operation to know when to replace their forklift tires and what signs indicate the need for new tires. If they are replaced too soon, you are not getting your money’s worth and decreasing operational profitability. However, replacing forklift tires after the wear limit will result in any of the following:

  • Operators noticing lower speeds and reduced ride comfort
  • Increase in maintenance costs
  • A lower ground clearance and reduced lifting height on the forklift
  • Loss of load capacity, causing accelerated wear and overheating

Variety of Forklift Tires

The first reference to look at when looking to replace lift truck tires is the forklift tire operator’s manual, provided by your forklift tire manufacturer. This is a helpful tool that covers wear limits and the proper time to change your tires. Along with following the manual, there are additional signs that show when it is time to replace old forklift tires.

Wear Indicator Bar

There is a significant amount of forklift tires that come with a wear bar molded into the tire’s sidewall. This indicator becomes visible as the rubber tread wears out – a clear sign that your forklift tires need to be replaced.

Manufacturer Name

Looking for a quick eyeball test to determine if tire replacement is needed? Most tires have the name of the manufacturer molded into the sidewall. Generally speaking, when the tire wears to the top of the nameplate, it should be replaced.

Tire Deformities

A forklift tire needs to be replaced when there are unusual appearances on your tire. These appearances include:

  • Chunking & Tearing – When pieces of the forklift tire are falling off or there are parts tearing.
  • Splits or Cracks – When radial splits or cracks appear on the sidewall of the tire.
  • Non-Round Spots – When flat spots appear on the forklift tire.

Not 100% sure that your tires need replaced? Contact Fallsway today for a free forklift tire inspection by a forklift expert.

So your forklift tires do need replaced…

Next, you need to choose the right type of forklift tire for your machine. Learn what you need to consider when deciding what type of forklift tire suits your application and needs.

Originally published 10/1/2018
Updated 5/16/2019

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How to Prevent Forklift Abuse

With the high cost of forklift repairs, you can reduce the amount of money spent on your equipment and the amount of machine downtime at your facility by following our forklift abuse prevention tips.

  • Poor Floor Conditions
    • Always be on the lookout for debris such as wood, plastic wrap, twine, and branding.
    • If debris is blown into the engine compartment, it can have costly effects on the cooling system, radiator and cause axle damage, as well as engine failure.
    • Solution: Dedicate time to cleaning up around the facility and, as an operator, be cautiously on the lookout for debris.
  • Improper Operating Practices
    • Congested working areas can cause impact damage to products, lift trucks, and your facility. This impact includes damage to the forklift tires, wheels, body panels, frame parts, forks, attachments, and the load backrest.
    • Never practice “bulldozing” or pushing pallets across the floor because this results in premature tire wear and transmission damage.
    • Always know your machines capabilities so you don’t lose control of your forklift and cause product damage or personal injury.
    • Solution: Assure that every operator has been through operator training and understands how to use their machine correctly.
  • Unsafe Lifting & Traveling Speeds
    • Always reduce your speed while lifting any type of load. Tip-overs can result from raising heavy loads while traveling too fast.
    • Do not “floor” your forklift around the facility because unsafe traveling speeds can result in serious damage or injury.
    • Solution: Keep it slow when raising heavy loads and slow down around corners. We also recommend sounding your horn so you are known.
  • Incorrect Equipment
    • The wrong equipment for the job can cause premature wear and system failures. Proper equipment can help ensure efficient forklift operation and performance which means overall lower maintenance cost.
    • Know the difference between correct and incorrect tires to use because the wrong tires can cause major maintenance expenses.
    • Solution: If you are not sure about what type of equipment or forklift tires you need, contact Fallsway.

Whether your team needs training, assistance in finding the right forklift for your project or anything in between, give the experts at Fallsway a call at 855-662-8379 to get started today.

Originally published 11/9/2016
Updated 5/7/2019

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Jungheinrich EKM: Small Parts Order Picker

Fallsway Mirrored Warehouse Banner

Designed to be an alternative to a traditional ladder, the new Jungheinrich EKM 202 small parts order picker is a must-have. This forklift is typically used in applications that require order picking without a pallet, light maintenance, or retail outlets. But what makes the EKM unique to other Jungheinrich order pickers?

Ergonomics:

Jungheinrich EKM 202 Small Parts Order Picker

This Jungheinrich EKM 202 is equipped with many features that benefit the operator’s comfort and safety. The EKM comes with a generous workstation that provides the operator comfort while driving and standing sideways to remove goods. The stand-on platform can be freely selected with the equipped sensor mat on the floor, providing maximum mobility in the workstation area. There is also an easy-to-use travel switch located on the right handles thumb position. While operating the EKM small order picker, the operator will feel safe and comfortable.

Productivity:

Jungheinrich EKM 202 Small Parts Order Picker at Ground Level

To make your job easier while operating, the EKM comes with a variety of options. The AC drive has a max speed of 5 mph to get you between jobs faster. It comes with two sorts of trays, a lower and upper tray for added storage and working space. Additionally, with the maintenance-free, 192-amp-hour battery, you’ll experience less downtime and more usage out of your machine. And when you run out of battery, connect the onboard charger to the closest wall outlet for an easy charge.

Awareness:

Elevated Jungheinrich EKM 202 Small Parts Order Picker

The Jungheinrich EKM has many factors that increase the operator’s awareness while on the job. The sturdy mast gives the order picker added stability even at max heights. The operator can feel safe in the compartment with automatic closing doors so the operator can only lift the platform when closed. Another great feature with this forklift is the adjustable storage tray that can add extra visibility and additional comfort while at elevated heights.


Want to learn more about the Jungheinrich EKM 202 small order picker? Contact us at 855-662-4379 for a quote!

Updated 5/23/2019

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Articulating Boom Crane Inspections

Articulating boom crane inspections are necessary to ensure the proper operation and safety of machinery for the operators. To ensure proper working conditions, the NTEA and OSHA recommend using an articulating boom crane inspection checklist. Due to the danger associated with lifting large weights when the cranes are not properly maintained, this inspection checklist increases your operators’ safety, their confidence and your company’s negligence protection.

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Emissions Testing & Standards for Indoor Forklift Applications

When utilizing LP, gas and diesel forklifts for indoor applications, there is a high risk of dangerous emissions with fuel burning. That risk quickly increases when the building where you’re using the forklift is not up-to-date with ventilation requirements.

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Warehouse Operations: Finding your Aisle Dimensions

Before purchasing a forklift, it’s critical to know your aisle dimensions so that you select a forklift that will work in your environment. Taking the time to do this will save your company time and money and avoid the headache of purchasing a forklift that won’t work for your space. Use our guide to ensure you select the right forklift for your warehouse operation.

All the following measurements have been done with MCFA products specification sheets and using a standard pallet racking system (42” frames) with standard 48’’L X 40” W pallets.

Please note: When looking at your layout, you must take into account all building columns, utilities, and other obstructions that may affect your layout and prevent you from optimizing the number of pallets available.

Sit-Down Counterbalanced Forklifts

Sit-Down Counterbalanced Forklift Aisle Clearance

Sit-Down Counterbalanced Forklift Aisle Clearance

A sit-down counterbalanced forklift with a capacity rating of up to 6,000 lbs. will require aisle widths of approximately 13-feet for handling standard 48″ long pallets. This will also take into account the use of right angle stacking for placement of loads inside the storage racks.

Aisle Dimensions for Sit-Down Counterbalanced Forklifts

When using a sit-down counterbalanced forklift of any fuel type, with a capacity of 4,000 lbs. to 6,000 lbs., handling standard 48″ long pallets of materials, the standard requirement is 13-foot wide aisles for storing and retrieving pallets from the pallet racking.

When using a 3,000 lbs. capacity sit-down counterbalanced forklift, you will require 12.5-foot wide aisles, which won’t differ much from the 13-foot aisles mentioned above. You won’t get extra storage out of a lower capacity forklift.

For every additional double-row of racks added to the layout shown below, you are required to have an additional 21 feet of building width to accommodate the double rows of racking and the additional clearance width to access those racks.

When looking at your layout, you must take into account all building columns, utilities, and other obstructions that may affect your layout and prevent you from optimizing the number of pallets available.

Aisle Dimensions for Sit-Down Counterbalanced Forklifts

Aisle Dimensions for Sit-Down Counterbalanced Forklifts

Narrow Aisle Stand-up Counterbalance Forklifts

Narrow Aisle Stand-up Counterbalanced Forklift Aisle Clerance

Narrow Aisle Stand-up Counterbalanced Forklift Aisle Clearance

Narrow aisle stand-up counterbalanced forklifts will require aisle widths of approximately 11 feet for handling any standard 48″ long pallet loads, for right angle stacking of loads in storage racking. This is true for most narrow aisle forklifts that are rated capacities of 3,000 lbs. to 5,500 lbs.

Narrow Aisle reach trucks with a single reach application is also known as a pantograph forklift can operate at capacities up to 4,500 lbs. in aisles as narrow as 8.5-9 feet wide.

Aisle Dimensions for Narrow Aisle Stand-Up Counterbalanced Forklifts

When using a Narrow Aisle Stand-up counterbalanced forklift with a rated capacity of 3,000 lbs. to 4,500 lbs. while handling a standard 48″ pallet, you require an approximately 11-foot wide aisle for storing and retrieving pallets in a standard racking system.

For each additional double row of racks added to your layout shown below, you will require an additional 19 feet of building width to accommodate the double rows of racks and the additional width needed to access those racks.

When looking at your layout you must take into account all building columns, utilities, and other obstructions that may affect your layout thus prevent you from optimizing the number of pallets available for use.

Aisle Dimensions for Narrow Aisle Stand-up Counterbalanced Forklifts

Aisle Dimensions for Narrow Aisle Stand-up Counterbalanced Forklifts

Turret or Swing-Mast Very Narrow Aisle Forklifts

Very Narrow Aisle Forklift Clearance

 Very Narrow Aisle Forklift Clearance

Turret or swing-mast narrow aisle forklifts require aisle widths approximately 6 feet with standard 48’’ long pallets with loads to be placed and retrieved inside the racking system. This type of forklift has an articulating swivel mast that pivots to place pallets on either the left or right of the machine into the standard racking system.

This type of narrow picking is accomplished with the first-in-first-out inventory system; which has many types of the same SKU (Stock Keep Units) and very few or only one or two loads of each is held within the inventory.

Aisle Dimensions for Turret or Swing Mast Forklifts

When using a Swing Mast or Turret Truck from 3,000 lbs. to 3,500 lbs. capacity that is handling the average 48″ pallet with a load you require approximately 6-feet wide aisles for storing and retrieving pallets out of the racks.

For each additional double row of racks added to the layout shown below you would require an additional 14 feet of building width to accommodate the double rows of racks and additional aisle needed to access those loads.

When looking at your layout you must take into account all building columns, utilities, and other obstructions that may affect your layout and prevent you from optimizing the number of pallets available for use.

Aisle Dimensions for Very Narrow Aisle Forklifts

Aisle Dimensions for Very Narrow Aisle Forklifts

Narrow Aisle Double Reach Forklifts

Narrow Aisle Double Reach Forklifts

Narrow Aisle Double Reach Forklifts

Stand up rider narrow aisle double reach or deep reach forklifts will require an aisle width of approximately 10 feet for standard 48″ long pallets with loads for placing and storing on standard racking at a right angle.

These forklifts have double scissor pantograph allowing for storage and retrieval in two deep standard racking.

Aisle Dimensions for Narrow Aisle Double Reach Forklifts

When using a Narrow Aisle Double Reach forklift that carries approximately 3,500 lbs on a standard 48″ pallet with a load you are required to have approximately 10-feet wide aisles for clearance when placing and retrieving pallets from the racking system.

For each additional quad-row of racking you must add to the layout (see right), you will be required to have an additional 26 feet of building width to accommodate the four rows of racks and additional aisles needed to access those racks.

When looking at your layout you must take into account all building columns, utilities, and other obstructions that may affect the layout and prevent you from optimizing the number of pallets available.

Aisle Dimensions for Narrow Aisle Double/Deep Reach Forklifts

Aisle Dimensions for Narrow Aisle Double/Deep Reach Forklifts

TALK TO THE EXPERTS

Finding your warehouse aisle dimensions is important for choosing the correct forklift for your application. Ensure that you don’t make costly mistakes by contacting us or calling one of our experienced forklift experts to assist with the measurements at 1 (800) 458-7941.

Originally published 12/16/2016
Updated 4/5/2019

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Forklift Classes: What You Need To Know

Multiple Forklift Drawings on Blue Strip Background

Forklift classes can get complicated, whether you have been working in the material handling industry your entire life or as a novice forklift operator. We created this guide to help you decide which forklift class is most important for your business or application.


Electric Motor Rider Trucks Class 1 Banner

Class I forklifts have electric motors and allow operators to operate them while standing or sitting. They use a heavy battery as their primary power source, which also serves as the counterbalance for the lift truck.

With options for either cushion or pneumatic tires, these trucks are highly versatile for any application. Pneumatic-tire models are intended for applications with uneven surfaces, like gravel, while cushion-tired trucks are best suited for flat, indoor surfaces like warehouses or large retail stores. Some benefits include being quieter, reduced fuel costs, usage in strict air quality applications, and lower maintenance costs.

Class I forklifts include CAT counterbalanced forklifts, Mitsubishi counterbalanced forklifts, and Junheinrich counterbalanced forklifts.

Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks Class 2 Banner

Class II forklifts have solid, cushion tires and are engineered specifically for smaller, indoor work environments. Several of these forklifts perform a specific job, designed with specific attachments.

The concept behind Class II forklifts is to increase the efficiency of space and speed of operation. Such forklifts include side loaders, order pickers, turret trucks, and reach trucks.

Electric Motor Hand or Hand & Rider Trucks Class 3 Banner

Class III forklifts, such as Mitsubishi walkies and Jungheinrich stackers, effectively transport products in the warehouse or retail stores at low lifting heights, either out of trailers to low-level racking or out to the retail floor.

These electric hand trucks are commonly used in applications that don’t require long distances or high lifting heights such as stores, small warehouses, or loading/unloading small trailers. Class III forklifts are controlled by a handle located in the back of the truck, hence being called an electric motor hand truck. The handle controls the speed, steering, and lifting.

Internal Combustion Engine Trucks & Cushion Tires Class 4 Banner

Class IV forklifts are commonly used to move goods from loading docks to elevated storage areas. They can be used outdoors but are favored in indoor warehouses due to their adverse traction on wet or uneven surfaces. Also, they are lower to the ground than most forklifts, providing a lower clearance.

Class IV forklifts operate on diesel, gasoline, LP gas or compressed natural gas. This class of forklifts is specific for equipment with cushion tires, which are designed to be driven on dry, smooth surfaces. Class IV forklifts include internal combustion, cushion tire CAT forklifts and Mitsubishi forklifts.

Internal Combustion Engine Trucks & Pneumatic Tires Class 5 Banner

Just like the forklifts in Class IV, these lift trucks use the same type of fuel but they utilize pneumatic tires and have a wider range usage. Class V forklifts include internal combustion, pneumatic tire CAT forklifts and Mitsubishi forklifts.

Pneumatic tires are designed for rugged applications, thus allowing it to be used on uneven surfaces like gravel, but they can also be used in indoor applications as well. They can be outfitted with special solid tires that reduce the chance of punctures. Class V forklifts are commonly used in outdoor applications like lumber yards, metal fabrication, stone yards, and industrial machinery.

Electric & Internal Combustion Engine Tractors Class 6 Banner

Particularly designed for pulling rather than lifting, Class VI forklifts are normally called “Tuggers.” Commonly used at airports, lugging baggage carts between terminals and planes, these lift trucks come in both internal combustion and electric choices.

An example of the Class VI forklift is the Jungheinrich EZS 720NA tow tractor.

Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks Class 7 Banner

Class VII forklift trucks are heavy-duty and typically have large tractor-like tires. These trucks are commonly used on applications that require additional power on rough terrains, like lumber yards or construction sites. This class of forklifts exclusively run on diesel and come in two and four-wheel drive options.

Also, they can have different types of masts, including a telescoping mast to give more reach. Other options for this class can be mounted on the back of large trucks and hauled between job sites.

Class VII rough-terrain forklifts examples include:


Do you have questions about what class of forklift would best fit your application? Give us a call at (855)-662-4379.

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OSHA Forklift Pre-Operational Inspection Checklist

From a single forklift to a whole fleet, a pre-operational inspection of your equipment is necessary on a daily basis. This OSHA Forklift Pre-Operational Inspection Checklist will help keep your equipment, workers, and company safe from any potential harms. Continue reading »

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Towing & Recovery Truck Mobile Parts Store

To better serve you, we are introducing our new Mobile Parts Store for Towing and Recovery Equipment. Having your towing and recovery trucks up and running is essential to keeping your operation working smoothly, and we understand that.

When a truck is down, there is the risk of not being able to keep up with demand. We want to provide tow support by helping you minimize lead times while making it convenient as possible to buy parts, so you get exactly what you need when you need it.

In addition to offering tow support through Express Parts delivery, your location can be added to our quarterly, monthly or even weekly schedule. How often our van stops by is based on your needs and preference for when you need to browse the impressive inventory in our mobile store. No obligations and no commitment to buy, so there is nothing to lose.

Learn more about our tow truck support and Mobile Support Parts Store by contacting our Parts Department today.

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