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Forklift Tire Types: A Simple Guide

What are the different types of forklift tires?

  1. Cushion Tires
  2. Solid Pneumatic Tires
  3. Air Filled Pneumatic Tires
  4. Polyurethane Tires
  5. Non-marking Tires


When buying a forklift, you need to consider its design — from the cabin, engine, mast, safety features, to the tires. As the part that will be directly exposed to the environment on your site, you need to make sure that you’re using the right tires for your application. Whether you’re operating on smooth floors or rough terrain, there are two main forklift tire types for you to choose from — cushion and pneumatic. For specialty tires, there are also polyurethane and non-marking forklift tires.

Choosing the right type of tire will affect the productivity and safety of your forklift. To help you, here is a simple guide on these components. Keep on reading to learn more!


Cushion Tires

Cushion tires are specifically made for sites with smooth surfaces, such as inside a warehouse or on loading docks. These are made of smooth and solid rubber that is placed around a band of metal — which is why they’re also called press-on tires. Aside from being closer to the ground, the tires allow you to turn your forklift on a smaller radius, which is why they’re chosen for facilities with tight spaces.

The hard outer surface of cushion tires is specifically made to reduce wear and tear on the wheels and the floors on the site. Because of the increased amount of rubber, the tire will last a long time while also providing a smooth ride for your operator. Lastly, cushion tires are less expensive to manufacture and are easier to maintain.


Solid Pneumatic Tires

Solid Pneumatic Tires

Just like a cushion tire, a solid pneumatic tire is also made of solid rubber. But it’s also similar to an air-filled pneumatic tire because of the layered rubber. The only main difference is there’s no hollow internal cavity. With the best of both worlds, solid pneumatic tires combine the solidity of cushion and the durability of pneumatic air tires.

Aside from indoor applications, solid pneumatic tires can also be used outdoors because they can withstand exposure to sharp and irregular objects — such as nails and screws found in recycling centers, lumberyards, construction sites, and the like. Because of the versatility of this type of tire, they’re suitable for a wide variety of applications. Although the upfront cost of these tires is higher, they also offer a longer life.


Air-Filled Pneumatic Tires

Pneumatic air tires will remind you of a car or truck tire because they’re designed of rubber and filled with air. What makes these tires suitable for rough and outdoor terrain are the strong rubber and the deep treads, which offer better traction.

Pneumatic air tires provide you with a strong grip on even the most uneven surfaces, which is why they’re popular for outdoor use in sites where there’s gravel or dirt. This is because the tires can absorb a significant amount of the shock from the ground, so you and your operators can have a smoother ride. Air-filled pneumatic tires are also ideal for indoor applications and jobs that require travel from indoors to outdoors.


Polyurethane Tires

Polyurethane Tires

Another press-on design just like cushion tires, polyurethane tires combine a good amount of traction and low-rolling resistance for your forklift. Because of the lower rolling resistance, you can conserve energy during operation when you use them in electric forklifts. They’re also lightweight and can resist splitting and tearing under light loads. Because of this, the tires are suitable for light indoor applications such as warehousing.

Aside from that, polyurethane can also resist certain substances, so the tires are preferred in warehouses requiring chemical resistance and are exposed to oil spills. Polyurethane tires don’t shed toxic compounds, which means that they’re suitable for environments with higher standards for cleanliness.


Non-Marking Tires

When you’re in the market for forklift components, you will also encounter non-marking tires. These are made so you can avoid leaving marks and stains on the floor during operation. Because of this, they’re suitable for environments where food or paper is produced. These tires are also ideal on sites where you need to avoid cross-contamination.

Non-marking tires are available in cushion and pneumatic tire options, so you can choose one that fits your requirements. You can also convert your existing tires into non-marking tires.


Key Takeaway

Choosing the right tires for your forklift application is important because it affects your productivity and safety. With the right part, you can comfortably operate the forklift and reduce maintenance costs. The tires will also last a long time, so you can reduce the need for replacement.

If you require help choosing among the different forklift tire types, you can contact us here at Multico! We offer one of the most trusted brands when it comes to this material handling equipment — Clark Forklift. With experience as Asia’s Equipment Specialist, you can rely on us regarding your specific needs. Aside from forklifts, we also offer hand pallet trucks, generator sets, road rollers, crushers, and more.

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