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Low tire pressure can pose problems regardless of whether you are driving a forklift or a car. That said, low tire pressure can prove catastrophic when it occurs in a forklift. Because forklifts are often operated in environments with sharp objects, it is particularly easy for tires to get punctured. For this reason, checking the tire pressure is a necessary step in your daily safety checklist. In this post, we review how much tire pressure you should have, the dangers associated with low tire pressure, and what you should do when faced with low tire pressure.
The problems with low tire pressure
If even one tire on your forklift has low pressure, this has a profound impact on the stability of your vehicle. As we all know, forklifts are especially unstable vehicles; in order to remain stable, they rely on a stability triangle that is easily affected when raising your load or steering. When the tire pressure gets low, the stability triangle becomes disrupted and the forklift is liable to tip over.
How much air pressure should you have?
The amount of air pressure needed by your forklift depends on whether you have high or low pressure pneumatic tires. As the name would suggest, high pressure tires require more pressure. In either case, it is important to remember that you also do not want your tire pressure to get too high or the tire crown will get worn out more quickly. In the end, a useful rule of thumb is that your tires need to be filled whenever the amount of air falls below 20% of the specified total. Also, while everyone knows how to replace tires on a forklift, operators often forget to replace calcium chloride. Anyone who rides a rough terrain forklift must therefore bear in mind that when filling the air pressure on your tires you also need to make sure to replace the calcium chloride.
Maintaining proper tire pressure not only improves performance but prevents a major disaster from occurring. Be mindful of the considerations detailed above in order to keep your lift truck running smoothly.