Forklift Tires – When is it time to replace them.
Like all other parts of a forklift the tires play a significant role in the safety and handling of the lift truck.
The rated load carrying capacity for a forklift tire is based on a new tire. As the tire wears, it may no longer perform as when it was new. Due to the limited suspension engineered into the forklift frame the tires become an integral part in the handling and safety of the truck operation. The rubber tire is the main cushioning material between the floor surface and the driver & truck load.
As part of the forklift driver’s daily safety inspection the tires should not be overlooked. Tire wear, damage and tire pressure all should be checked on a daily basis.
Worn tires will also result in higher fuel costs – Controlling Fuel Costs – Tire Wear
If the tires wear too far, performance and safety issues may arise, along with the risk of unnecessary damage to the forklift itself. Tire maintenance and replacement is extremely important within the operation of the forklift – it is very important to know when to replace your tires.
Worn forklift tires will also increase the chance of downtime due to truck failure. Avoid loss of productivity with proper tire maintenance.
Many contributing factors affect the wear of forklift tires – Driving surfaces, driving style, load weights and the amount of turning the forklift does.
Standard forklifts come with 3 basic tire types – each has it’s own wear limits.
Press-on Tires – The general rule for standard wear is once the tire size numbers begin to wear then the tire should be replaced. Another method is when the tire current outside diameter measurement is 1-1/2″ less than it was when new. (eg. a 21 x 7 x 15 tire should be replaced when it measures 19-1/2″ or less diameter) . This same formula exists for most rubber press-on tires.
Chunking and flat spots also may be a concern for replacing your forklift tires. Depending on loads and rubber wear, the tire may start to break away from the tire baseband. This is also a major consideration when it’s time to replace your tires.
Pneumatic Tires – The correct tire pressure is very important. This will affect the stability of the forklift as well as accelerate tire wear. If the tire has deep cuts through the cord it can result in sudden air pressure loss which could create a safety issue. Once a pneumatic tire has worn to the base of the tread it is time to replace. At this stage possible slipping and braking on wet payments may create safety concerns. Also excessive tire wear will require chain re-adjustment and may create other lift truck operational problems.
Resilient or Solid Pneumatic Tires – There are varying degree of types of this style tire. Better quality resilient tires provide better cushion ride to provide truck performance similar to a pneumatic tire but without requiring air. This type of tire is used in areas where there are sharp objects or debris on the floor and flat tires become a regular occurrence.
Non damaged resilient tires can be worn to the wear lines on the sidewall of the tire before replacing them. It can become unsafe operating a forklift once the wear has past this point.
Tire inspection is part of our service Maintenance PM program. Any issues are reported as part of our inspection process.
More Information – Camso / Solideal technical information