No matter what kind of environment you’re working on or the kind of size you have to utilise, forklift tyres can have a profound impact on the way you operate the vehicle. Across the modern market, there are plenty of advancements and options to choose from, but the two most common types of forklift tyres are pneumatic or solid. Each of these come with their own type of tread, ply rating and compound. Combined, these elements act differently in various applications. So, in order to know what type is right for you, we’re touching on everything you need to know.
Choosing the best tyre for your forklift
Fitting tyres to a forklift includes two types of practices: standard techniques or press-on. Those that can be pressed on are easy enough to fit, but are usually less durable when working in more challenging terrains. Standard options are fitted the same way car tyres are. Ultimately, the size should be decided on after you’ve carefully calculated the required load for each specific wheel. If you’re not sure where to start, pick the tyre that carries the least amount with the lowest possible inflation pressure. Additionally, consider the kinds of environments your vehicle will be operating in and how often it will be used. If the forklift will be subjected to high-risk areas or rough spaces, consider opting for a thicker, pneumatic tyre. Within this kind of range, you’ll have the choice of picking up solid rubber types, which may also be called puncture-proof. Note:
If you come across those with polyurethane, these are only able to be used in indoor areas.
What are the different types of tyres for forklifts?
At the end of the day, you’ll always be faced with the choice of several types of tyres. These typically include:
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- Puncture-proof: The most common type, this option is the same as pneumatic but isn’t filled with air. Therefore, they don’t provide any cushioning during operation but don’t puncture or go flat. They are most suitable in indoor environments or for light outdoor applications.
- Cushion: This press-on tyre is crafted with a unique metal band and rubber attached. Used on pavements that are smooth (such as in warehouses), they can sometimes be an issue if you need to work with tight turns.
- Pneumatic: Similar to those used on trucks, pneumatic tyres are filled with air and consists of a deep, thick tread. They’re durable and long-lasting and can extend the life of your forklift overall. Best used in uneven or rough areas.
- Polyurethane: Only for indoor spaces, they are pressed on to the actual wheel and provide a good level of traction. You’ll most likely see them on reach trucks.
- Non-marking: Completely solid, they are designed to stop black marks appearing on the flooring. You’ll find these in food-processing factories or grocers where they need to use them carefully, without wearing the surface. Because the carbon black is taken off the design, their life span is typically shorter.
- Foam fill: Filled with a resin that gives constant pressure, these designs are like air tyres and provide a cushion-like effect. They also eliminate the risk of puncturing.