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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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