A forklift tire might seem like a small, inconsequential detail in finding the perfect forklift, but choosing the wrong forklift tire could minimize your forklift’s effectiveness.
1) Pneumatic or Cushion – Indoor or Outdoor?
This is a primary decision in selecting a forklift Most forklifts can only use one of these two tires – supporting parts are designed to support a specific type of tire and the entire forklift is classified based on which type of tire it supports.
Pneumatic forklift tires are similar to a car or truck tire. They are threaded and typically larger than a cushion forklift tire. They are an obvious choice for any forklift operating outside, as they are better on rough terrain and uneven surfaces.The whole chassis is built for additional clearance.
Cushion or “press-on” forklift tires are solid tires typically smaller than a pneumatic forklift tire.The whole forklift sits lower to the ground, which offers better maneuverability and a smaller turn radius.
Tip: Metal ramps with metal teeth or holes often cause problems for pneumatic tires. The traction tread grabs hold of the tire and damages it. For these uses, cushion tires are recommended.
Pneumatic tires are offered filled with air, filled with foam, or as solid rubber. Air is standard and offers the softest ride. If a forklift operates near sharp objects or over debris, filled tires are recommended to prevent flats. Foam filled are typically less expensive and offer slightly more give. Solid tires are completely rubber and are the most durable.
Cushion tires are offered as rubber or polyurethane. Rubber tires are standard. Polyurethane is a synthetic material that is stronger than rubber. They are more expensive but have a higher load capacity and last 2-4 times as long.
3) Specialty Options
Non-Marking Forklift Tires
Non-Marking Forklift Tires are white or grey instead of black. Using these specialty tires will help you avoid the black rubber marks on your floors that normal tires create. They are cushion tires, as they are used inside. They tend to deteriorate faster than a standard rubber.
Tip: Most polyurethane tires are also non-marking.
Cold Storage Facility Tires
Cold Storage Facilities are unique as it’s difficult to gain traction in these environments. Specialty forklift tires that use unique traction help overcome this unique challenge.
Cushion Tires are not all smooth. Some have traction surfaces like a pneumatic tire.
Use this guide to find your perfect forklift tire. You might also find our Forklift Tire FAQs helpful.