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Forklifts are designed to endure a lot of wear and tear. But the part of the vehicle that takes the most abuse is literally where the rubber meets the road: The forklift’s tires.
Forklift tires are tough. But they won’t last forever. At some point or another, you need to replace the tires on your forklift. Knowing when it’s time for forklift tire replacement can be the difference between maximizing your productivity and putting your drivers and equipment at risk.
Forklift Tires Will Tell You When It’s Time
So how can you tell when it’s time to replace your forklift tires? In many cases, the tires themselves will tell you!
That’s because many forklift tires have what is known as a wear line, also known as the 50% line. This is a line drawn on the side of the tires that tells you when your forklift tires have worn down to the point where you need to replace them.
When your tires reach the wear line, they don’t have to be replaced instantly. You probably still have a little time when you can still operate the vehicle safely. But you should definitely start the process of ordering new tires and arranging for your existing tires to be replaced.
Although forklift tires don’t always wear evenly, it’s usually a good idea to replace all four tires at the same time. This helps prevent a situation where some tires are worn and others are brand new, which can cause other problems such as pulling or pitching.
Inspect Tires Regularly
But wear lines aren’t the only indication that forklift tires need to be replaced. Obviously, if the tire is shredded or punctured and can’t be repaired it needs to go.
You also should make inspecting forklift tires a regular part of your daily forklift inspections. In addition to looking for wear, also try to find chunking, which is when pieces or chunks of your forklift tire have literally fallen off. This usually is a sign that the tire is ready to be replaced.
Another sign to look for is flat spots or wear in one area or on only one tire. This can indicate a problem with the forklift’s alignment or perhaps that the wrong size tires have been installed on the vehicle.
Operating forklifts safely requires that all of the vehicle’s tires are in optimal condition. Waiting too long to replace worn or damaged forklift tires can often be more costly than simply replacing your tires when appropriate.