FORKLIFT TIRES: CHOOSE WISELY AND MAINTAIN REGULARLY
As you are probably aware, most forklift tires come a wide variety of types and designs. Generally speaking, most are either cushion tires or pneumatic tires. A pneumatic tire is one made of reinforced rubber and filled with compressed air, like those used on motor vehicles and bicycles. Cushion tires are made for smooth warehouse surfaces or light outdoor asphalt surfaces. Obviously, pneumatic tire forklifts have greater ground traction than cushion tire forklifts, so you can move them around a lot better over gravel and other rough surfaces. The pneumatic tire can also be obtained in a solid rubber versus the air-filled type that vehicles and bicycles use. Solid pneumatic forklift tires are typically used in areas with a lot of debris, such as nails, screws, jagged metal pieces, etc., because they cannot be punctured. Because of this durability, they has become a standard choice in forklift tires within the industry.
To broaden the scope however, there are other kinds of forklift tires that are more tailored to an individual company's needs:
Fiberglass-injected forklift tires have a higher resistance to the effects of heat. These tires last longer and match the use and demand far better. Polyurethane forklift tires end to be chemical-resistant, which makes them a viable choice in businesses with high chemical output. Static-resistant forklift tires are specifically designed to prevent static discharge for environments that deal with that issue. Cold-prepped forklift tires provide the necessary traction for outside environments that typically build up ice.
Above all, when choosing tires for your forklift, avoid lower-quality options. They break down far faster than the higher-quality products. Even just making the decision to go with non-skid-marking forklift tires will give you a higher quality tread an also prevent unsightly black marks that keep your facility from looking professional and clean.
Maintenance is A Must
Once you determine the best type of tire for your forklift's most frequent projects, you need to start a regular process of keeping the tires maintained. As you can imagine, heavily used forklifts will put quite a bit of wear on their tires and a good regime of upkeep will help them last a long time. The trick is knowing when it's time for your forklift tires to be replaced.
The handiest replacement indicator comes equipped on some lines of forklift tires. It's a clearly identifiable safety line, or wear line, that tells you when it is time to replace the tire. You should replace the forklift tire before it gets worn completely to that safety line.
Going by sight alone, regularly look for these danger signs: Any indication of pieces or chunks falling off of the forklift tires; any signs of tearing or cracking along all the outer tire surfaces; and flat spots in any place that interrupts the roundness of the tire. Make sure to check for any uneven signs of wear on each individual tire and between tires on the front and rear and on the left and right side. Also, there could be an underlying issue that is causing premature wear due to the forklift's condition. Be sure to check your rims for any bending as they may need to be replaced.
A helpful hint to keep in mind if you're replacing your forklift tires yourself is to always replace two, even if you only need to replace one. For example, if your front left tire is the only “affected” one, go ahead and replace the front right one too. Why? Because it's very unsafe. One new tire on the left, and one somewhat worn tire on the right will create an imbalance in the forklift, which heightens the chances for it to tip over or skid when carrying even moderate loads. Remember, forklifts don't have a traditional suspension system so the entire weight of the forklift and its load rests on the tires. Using a forklift with tires that need to be replaced, or are unbalanced, can damage your forklift and create a dangerous environment for your operator and people within the work area.
We hope these tips will help you in doing your upfront homework when making the decision to buy or replace your next set of forklift tires. Atlantic Coast ToyotaLift always has a team of qualified professionals on hand to help you make the right, and safest, decisions when purchasing forklift tires.