Forklift Tire Guide

Getting the most from your forklifts is about more than just lift power and maneuverability. The forklift tires you use are equally important. Selecting the right set of tires can boost productivity, safety, and efficiency, so don’t make this decision lightly. Use the information here to guide you as you look for the best solution for your application.


Forklift Tire Types


You might think a tire is just a tire, but the variety can make your head spin. Each forklift tire type has distinct features tailored to various work settings. Here are the four most common options:

  • Cushion tires are constructed from solid rubber attached to a metal rim. Available in smooth or traction surfaces, these tires are durable and ideal for indoor environments or light outdoor activity on smooth terrain.
  • Polyurethane tires are a subtype of cushion tires but lighter and more resilient to tearing and chunking. They’re best utilized indoors for applications like warehousing where high mobility and load-bearing capacity are required.
  • Pneumatic tires share similarities with standard car tires. They consist of traction rubber filled with air. While some operators fill them with foam to save on costs, doing so can put undue stress on the tire’s casing, reducing its longevity. These tires are suitable for indoor and outdoor use, as long as the surface is free of sharp objects.
  • Solid pneumatic forklift tires are constructed from solid rubber and designed to resist punctures. Industries with high levels of sharp debris, like recycling and lumber, benefit the most from solid pneumatic forklift tires.


Maximizing Tire Performance


The longevity and performance of your forklift tires depend not only on the type you choose but also on how well you maintain them. Consider these factors:

  • Operator education: Poor habits like spinning the tires, overloading the forklift, or running over debris can cause premature wear and tear. Operators should also avoid quick starts, rapid stops, and excessive speed, all of which shorten tire life.
  • Regular inspections: A simple walk-around before each shift can help identify early signs of wear or damage. Look out for cuts, gouges, or embedded objects that could lead to bigger issues later on.
  • Air pressure checks: When using pneumatic tires, maintaining the correct air pressure is crucial for optimal performance. Check the pressure daily, keeping in mind that it may fluctuate with temperature changes.
  • Rotation and alignment: As with cars, regularly rotating your forklift tires ensures even wear, extending their lifespan. Similarly, proper alignment minimizes unnecessary wear and improves handling.
  • Surface and load conditions: Pay attention to the surfaces your forklift operates on. Only venture onto rough or uneven surfaces if the tires are rated for this environment.

Get Rolling with the Best


With over 60 years of experience, Ring Power Lift Trucks is your go-to source for forklifts, tires, attachments, and parts. We offer an impressive array of new and used products out of our 19 strategic locations across the Sunshine State. Plus, our aftersales support ensures your machinery stays at peak efficiency. Ready to make a wise tire choice? Call us today at 877-544-5438 for personalized assistance.


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