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Forklift tires can come in a few different forms.
Pneumatic tires are air filled rubber tires with tread designed to improve grip on wet or slippery conditions. Pneumatic forklift tires offer added flotation on unstable surfaces such as wet ground or loose under-footing such as gravel or sand. They also add cushioning on uneven surfaces to provide extra comfort for the operator. Pneumatic tires can be foam filled which improves the durability of the tire and eliminates the chance of getting a flat. The downside of a foam fill is that the foam is permanently set between the tire and wheel. When the tread on a foam fill wears out the entire wheel and tire needs to be replaced. Solid tires are made of solid rubber and are pressed onto the wheel. Although they are sold at a premium price compared to a pneumatic forklift tire, they are the most durable tire available lasting 10+ years. Cushion tires are designed for flat, dry surfaces. They offer increased maneuverability because of their smaller size but are not designed for offroad or uneven surfaces. Cushion tires are air filled tires designed for indoor environments. Cushion tires and Pneumatic tires or solid tires come in different sizes that require different forklift frames so you cannot swap out a cushion tire for a pneumatic tire if you need to go from indoor to outdoor work. Both solid and pneumatic tires can come with a non-marking option. This is important when working indoors to avoid marking up your warehouse floor or your customers floor.
You should replace your forklift tire when the tread is within an inch of the lettering on the side of the tire. The less tread on a forklift tire, the more the forklift has to work to turn the tires and the more shock the operator has to absorb. Running on worn out tires can cause serious damage to the steering and drive train for your forklift because your tires are the only shock absorbers on the forklift. Symptoms of a worn out tire are all fairly easy to see or feel. Many forklift tires come with a wear line of 50% tread remaining. If the tire goes beyond the wear line, it is time to think about replacing your forklift tire. Some of the more extreme cases of worn tires can include chunking, cracking, or tearing of the rubber. An operator can often times feel when the tires are worn and need to be changed. The ride will likely become rougher because of the loss in shock absorption. Shop for your next set of forklift tires on Gearflow from vetted suppliers of pneumatic, solid, foam filled, and cushion forklift tires across aftermarket, OEM, and refurbished options. Always be sure to get the best value on your next forklift tire purchase on Gearflow.