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Updated by Roger Gary on Apr 27, 2016
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Roger Gary Roger Gary
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Choosing the right forklift tire for you - It's simpler than you imagine

Proper, suitable tires provide a solid foundation for your forklift. However, with an array of tire types being suitable for forklifts, deciding on a suitable set can be confusing. Your choices are:

1

Pneumatic Tires

Unlike normal tires which are filled with air, pneumatic tires are filled with liquid polyurethane, thus increasing the forklift's lift due to the added protection to the tires. These tires, although an expensive option compared to other tires, provide a lot of benefits to users. The main reason pneumatic tires are preferred is because they facilitate lifting. They are also great for heavy outdoor work and are also useful indoors. The fact that they are made of strong, thick rubber and have deep treads, results in them lasting much longer and allowing for a comfortable ride. However, forklifts that use pneumatic tires require a larger area to turn, thus eliminating the possibility of sharp turns in limited spaces.

2

Solid rubber tires

These tires are similar to pneumatic tires and are often called 'puncture proof tires'. They are made of solid rubber and include no air or liquid filling. They are great for indoor and outdoor work, but not long durations or outdoor lifting. They allow for somewhat sharp turns unlike pneumatic tires, thus great for indoor use. Since they have no filling, there is no threat of them 'popping' or deflating, and are a very durable choice. Hence, their popularity. However, solid rubber tires do not contribute towards the longevity of the forklift, unlike pneumatic tires. Another disadvantage is that uneven surfaces may damage them. If you are looking for an industrial tires supplier, consider GRI Tires as they manufacture a wide range for forklifts and other heavy vehicles.

3

Polyurethane tires

Called 'poly' in short, these tires are great for lightweight applications. They are used on electric forklifts and lift trucks. They are easy to put on - you have to simply press them on the wheel, which is the easiest way to put on a tire. As a result they are categorised as 'pressed on' tires. One of the key advantages of using poly tires is that they have an excellent turning radius, thus great for small, indoor spaces. These tires are mostly used on indoor forklifts such as reach trucks and walkie stackers. They have a small "rolling resistance" that extends their running life. Although they can handle heavy weights, 'poly' tires are very unsuitable for outdoor work, even light applications.

4

Non-marking tires

These tires are specifically designed not to leave marks on the floor. They are used for very light applications indoors, such as grocery stores. However, unless under very specific conditions such as the one mentioned before.

5

Cushion tires

Similar to Polyurethane tires, cushion tires too are 'press on' tires. They consist of a metal band with rubber attached to it and ideal for smooth floors such as concrete flooring or pavements. They too are suitable indoors as they facilitate sharper turns.

6

Foam fill tires

This type of tires are filled with a special resin type substance that provided consistent pressure and helps prevent punctures. They function like air tires providing a cushioning effect for the forklift.