A Guide To Forklift Tyres And Maintenance

Forklift Tyres

Why Do You Need Special Forklift Tyres?

Forklifts play a crucial role in many industries. From warehouses to construction sites. But you must have wondered.

Why do different forklifts need different types of tyres?

The answer lies in the unique terrain they drive on. Not all tyres can meet all needs.

To ensure your forklift fleet operates at its best, you need the right tyres that can handle various terrains and conditions. This is especially true for outdoor operations where unpredictable weather and terrain can affect performance.

Some warehouses may require specific forklift tyre types based on their location or the materials they handle. The size of the tyre should be chosen based on the load each wheel carries.

In general, selecting a tyre that supports the load with the lowest inflation pressure is a wise choice.

8 Types of Forklift Tyres

Type 1: Pneumatic Tyres─ Versatile and Cushioned

Pneumatic forklift tyres come in various forms. Including, solid, air-filled, foam-filled, or non-marking white pneumatic tyres.

These forklift wheels are somewhat similar to car tyres. They require air, an inner tube, and a tyre flap to keep the air or other filling securely trapped.

They are ideal for larger forklift machinery. It offers cushioning and stability for long shifts in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Type 2: Solid Rubber Tyres─ Durable and Puncture-Resistant

Solid forklift tyres are made of solid, robust rubber. This makes them ideal for rough work conditions. As they’re prone to sharp floor debris that may puncture traditional tyres.

Hence, these industrial tyres are perfect for outdoor landscapes with scattered debris. Such as recycling facilities or machine shops.

However, due to their solid nature, they’re not suitable for uneven terrain.

Type 3: Cushion Tyres─ Smooth Surface Specialists

Cushion forklift tyres are designed for indoor use on smooth surfaces. They are cost-effective and are often used with electric and internal combustion forklifts for light lifting duties.

These tyres do not require compressed air but utilize specialized equipment to press the rubber directly onto the wheel. They come in various options to suit different forklift applications.

Type 4: Polyurethane Tyres ─ Chemical Resistant

Polyurethane forklift tyres tend to outlast pneumatic or cushion tyres. They are ideal for indoor warehouse environments with clean surface flooring.

While they lack deep treads and cushioning, they excel in chemical resistance. Hence, making them perfect for facilities prone to chemical seepage or spills.

Type 5: Non-Marking Tyres ─ Floor-Friendly

Non-marking tyres are specially designed to prevent black marks on floors. Industries like grocery stores and food processing facilities require them.

However, these tyres have a shorter lifespan due to the removal of carbon black from the rubber compound.

Type 6: Puncture-Proof Tyres ─ Durable + Low Maintenance

These tyres are the most common choice today. While not air-filled, they are puncture-proof and long-lasting. Hence, making them suitable for indoor and light outdoor use.

However, they may not provide enough cushioning for rough outdoor or uneven surfaces.

Type 7: Off-Road Tyres ─ Rugged + Puncture-Resistant

Off-road tyres are ideal for outdoor operations in rough terrains where paving is impractical.

They have large, knobby tyres for excellent grip and high puncture resistance. Hence, commonly seen on side loaders at logging mills.

Type 8: Foam Fill Tyres ─ Puncture Prevention

Foam-fill solid tyres are filled with a special resin that provides constant forklift tyre pressure while preventing punctures.

These forklift tyres offer cushioning like air-filled tyres without the risk of getting punctures.


Pros & Cons of Forklift Tyres

Type of Forklift TyresProsCons
Solid Forklift TyresPuncture resistantErgonomically hard on operator
Suitable for outdoor terrainTerrain obstacle difficulties
Pneumatic Forklift TyresVery versatileNot puncture resistant
Suitable for various terrainsLonger repair time
Cushion Forklift TyresIdeal for indoor useTyre may tear
Longer service lifespanDifficult instant repair

Polyurethane Forklift Tyres


Versatile on smooth surfacesHard on operator
Offers longevityVulnerable to punctures

Special Forklift Tyres | Needed For Unique Operations

While most forklifts operate in distribution and warehouse settings. Specialized conditions require unique tyre options:

  1. Fibreglass Tyres: Ideal for heat-sensitive environments, these tyres have higher heat resistance compared to rubber.
  2. Anti-static Tyres: Suitable for volatile industries handling combustible materials, they produce virtually no static discharge.
  3. Walnut Cold-Prepped Winter Tyres: These tyres provide better traction on icy surfaces, making them perfect for freezer applications and icy grounds.

3 Key Qualities for Picking Forklift Tyres

  1. Style: Choose tyres that match your specific needs and the surface they will be used on.
  2. Tread: Decide whether you need tyres with tread for better traction or smooth-surfaced tyres for indoor use.
  3. Size: Ensure the tyre size matches the load distribution to prevent overloading and tyre damage.

When should you change your forklift tyres?

Forklift tyre replacement intervals depend on the forklift’s specific operating conditions and intensity.

The Pit Stop Line tyre shows when it needs changing by displaying a bright orange band through the black tread, signalling around 100 hours of service life left.

Signs of Compromised Tyre Lifespan

  1. Forklift Tyres beyond 50% wear line.
  2. Chunking (pieces falling off the tyre).
  3. Tearing (repeated wear in specific spots).
  4. Flat areas (indicating wear pattern issues).

Forklift Tyre Maintenance

Neglecting forklift tyres and maintenance can cause problems beyond repair.

1. Check Air Pressure Regularly

Ensure your tyre air pressure is always at the correct level. Factors like extended use can increase forklift tyre pressure. Keep caps and valves covered; avoid lowering air pressure as it can generate heat.

2. Avoid High-Impact Movements

Refrain from sudden braking, excessive cornering, locking a wheel for tight turns, or abrupt starting movements. These high-impact actions can wear out your tyres quickly.

3. Proper Storage

Store tyres in a cool, dark, and oil-free area. Keep them away from active electric engines. Try not to store tyres for extended periods, as rubber can deteriorate over time.

4. Reduce Wear and Tear

Keeping your forklift tyres in good shape helps reduce wear and tear. Hence, lessening stress on the transmission and the forklift driver.

5. Improve Fuel Efficiency

Proper tyre maintenance significantly enhances fuel efficiency and overall safety.

Final Words

In conclusion, choosing the right forklift tyres is essential for optimal performance on different terrains. Regular maintenance and timely forklift tyre replacement are equally important.

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For all your forklift tyre needs. Contact Wangara Tyres and Autos today!

Let us help you find the perfect tyres for your forklift fleet.