You may have an amazing forklift that is designed to meet all your ergonomic conveniences. But without the right types of tire, your forklift might as well become a mere ornament in your warehouse. The reason is your forklift tires are what keeps a forklift going. Picking the right tires will not only help your forklifts to work effectively, but also enable you to maximize your investment with solid, consistent productivity.
How to Find the Right Tires for your Forklift
Your forklift tires play a vital role in determining the effectiveness of your forklift on a job site. For your tire purchasing to be fruitful, you want to find tires that can complement your existing forklifts and material handling needs.
In general, forklift tires come in two fits: standard and press on. Standard tires are fit in the same way as car tires, while press on tires, according to AdaptALift, are easy and “reasonably straightforward.” While press on tires require less fit time, they are also less durable and do not fare well in challenging terrains.
Now that you understand the two types of tire fits, here are three basic types of forklift tires you will normally see on the market:
Pneumatic forklift tires are designed very similarly to the heavy-duty tires you find on highway trucks. Filled with air and made with tear-resistant rubber that has thick, deep tread, pneumatic tires are ideal for forklifts that need to work in rough, uneven terrains. However, pneumatic tires are generally the more expensive tire options. Forklifts using this type of tires also need more turning space than other tire alternatives.
Solid Rubber Tires
Like its pneumatic cousin, solid rubber tires also rank as one of the most common tires used on forklifts. Nonetheless, solid rubber tires are not filled with air. Instead, solid rubber tires are made with solid rubber that is built around a metal band. Because this type of tires lack the cushion provided by an air-filled tire, they are only suitable for indoor and light outdoor application.
Finally, polyurethane tires are your friendly indoor forklift tires. They are typically lightweight and provide excellent traction with low rolling resistance. Usually found on electric, indoor forklifts, polyurethane tires not only can sustain more weight, but also can effectively counteract against the weight of the batteries to keep your electric forklift balanced and running. Unfortunately, polyurethane tires are restricted to indoor application and cannot accommodate any outdoor work.
Understand Your Workplace.
Every workplace is different. When it comes to picking the right tire, workplace environment, size, weight, and workload time should be thoughtfully evaluated. For example, forklifts that work on tough outdoor spaces can greatly benefit from pneumatic tires’ heavy load capacity and durability. Meanwhile, polyurethane tires are great for reach trucks, walkie stackers, and any forklift that operates in narrow aisles. As The Forklift Center explains, “The specific application (and location) will determine which forklift tire is best for the job.” Do your research carefully so you can find the right tires to help your forklifts to get the job done safely and effectively.