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As far as forklift tires are concerned, one size does not fit all. They are an essential part of the forklift because, after all, the machine is riding on them. If there’s a problem with just one or more of them, then we may have a scenario for disaster.
There are many features to a forklift tire and each one should be detailed if you want to be sure you’re making a rational choice when selecting one.
This will be a series of articles that will cover these topics:
• Forklift Tire Types
• What Are Forklift Tires Made Of
• How To Read Forklift Tire Sizes
• How To Choose The Right Forklift Tires
• How Long Should Forklift Tires Last
• Getting The Most Out Of Your Forklift Tires
• Replacing Your Forklift Tires
• Reducing Costs
In this blog we will discuss the different types of tires.
Forklift Tire Types
There are five types of tires — cushion/press-on, pneumatic, polyurethane, and non-marking.
Also known as press-on tires, cushion tires are made of solid rubber molded to a steel band. There could grooves on the tire to assure traction or they can be smooth. This tire is designed to be durable and is ideal for indoor or light outdoor use on smooth surfaces.
There are a number of advantages to this tire over its counterparts. It is ideal for traveling on smooth surfaces. The hard outer surface of the tire is specifically constructed to reduce chipping on the wheel. Moreover, this tire is made of more rubber, which make it safer to ride on and offers a more comfortable ride for the driver. The extra rubber also helps to extend the life of the tire.
It is not recommended that you use this tire outside on uneven or rough terrain. It could result in early chipping and is a safety hazard because of the reduced traction of the tire.
Cushion tires are also very maneuverable. They fit a smaller forklift frame and offer lower ground clearance. This assists the forklift to make the most of the available space. It makes it easier to steer through narrower aisles so that the racking can be placed closer together.
This tire is also cost effective because it requires less material to produce, so it costs less to manufacture. In addition, it is easier to maintain, again keeping costs down to a minimum.
Comparable to car tires; pneumatic tires are made of rubber that is specifically designed for better traction. They are commonly filled with compressed air, although many businesses fill them with foam to avoid the upfront cost of solid pneumatic tires. Although less costly, it is not recommended you fill the tire with foam because it increases the pressure on the casing. So it is less maintainable in the long run.
Pneumatic tires can be used indoors and outdoors as long as the terrain is free of sharp debris.
There are also solid pneumatic forklift tires that are made of a more solid rubber. They are very durable, can’t be punctured and won’t deflate. So they are ideal for businesses that deal with sharp debris include recycled products or lumber.
Companies favor this tire because it can absorb the shock generated from uneven terrain and assure a smoother ride with less bumps and shaking. In addition, they have thicker tread that offers better traction when driving over loose and uneven surfaces.
Polyurethane tires press on to the wheel, are light in weight and are more resistant to splitting, tearing, and chunking. They offer good traction with little rolling resistance. These tires have about twice the lifespan of rubber tires and are ideal for indoor use and light applications.
Be aware that this tire will wear more easily when used a lot indoors. So it is recommended that you use cushion tires if you require a tire that will be used indoors a lot.
Non-Marking Forklift Tires
These tires are manufactured using hydrated silica as well as special additives that eliminate black marks on indoor surfaces. These tires are available in pneumatic, solid pneumatic, and cushion, have a short lifespan and tend to cause static electricity. So an anti-static strip is required to put on the forklift.