It comes as no surprise that each forklift must have the right type of tires for the type of forklift and the environment in which it will be used. The selection of a forklift for a particular workplace is based on the type of workplace and the type of tires that are applicable to that workplace. Most forklifts accept only one type of tire; the tires are not interchangeable so it is critical to know how a forklift truck will be used and choose the type with the appropriate tires.
The decision comes down to outdoor use, indoor use or a combination of both. There are three main types of forklift tires, each designed for one of these uses. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of tire.
The first type of tire is the pneumatic tire. These tires are made of thick rubber with a deep tread. They are filled with air and look very similar to tires on trucks for heavy-duty work. These tires are very strong, durable and tough. They are almost exclusively used for outdoor work and they are effective on rough terrain. You can find these tough tires on forklifts in a wide range of environments such as lumberyards and construction sites. The air filling in the tires provide an excellent level of cushioning between the forklift and the ground, especially helpful when the forklift is jarred on rough surfaces. This cushioning also helps the forklift to last longer. However, pneumatic tires can be punctured or blow out. Heavy loads can make blowouts more likely. When a forklift tire blows out while carrying a load the truck can become unbalanced and tip over, leading to possible load damage and injuries.
The second type of tire is the solid tire. Like the name indicates, the tire is made of completely solid rubber and is not filled with air. The advantage to this tire is that it can be used both indoors and outdoors. However, its outdoor use is limited; it not designed for long-term use on rough terrain. Another advantage is that the tire cannot be punctured or deflated. While some people believe that the solid tire lasts much longer than other types, this may not prove to be true in practical usage. The solid tire is stiff and less comfortable for the driver. It does not provide a cushion between the forklift and the ground, increasing the wear and tear on the truck.
The final type of tire is made of polyurethane. These tires are very popular for indoor use. They are ideal for electric forklifts. Often produce with very little tread, they provide excellent traction on concrete floors. When used exclusively indoors they can last longer than pneumatic or solid tires. Their low level of rolling resistance promotes longevity. Polyurethane tires are made to be pressed on the vehicle, making them very easy to install. They will not hold up on rough terrain. It is clear that a major decision in choosing a forklift is where it will be used. Each of these tires is specially designed for the environment in which it will be used. These tires are engineered to take advantage of the features that make it work well in an outdoor, indoor or hybrid workplace.