Understanding the key differences between cushion and pneumatic forklift tyres

Axis Tyres on 18 April 2019

Choosing the right forklift tyre can drastically improve the performance of forklifts at your workplace. Your forklift will require specific tyres based on its usage and work environment.

Some forklifts can only have one type of tyre fitted to them, while others can fit various types. Making comparisons between different forklift tyres can help you determine the right fit for your forklift.

By looking at the performance features of forklift tyres, you can determine which tyre will benefit your forklift the most. Compare cushion vs pneumatic forklift tyres, and you'll notice one is better suited for outdoor handling compared to the other.

Ask an Axis tyre fitter to find the best tyre for your forklift's applications.

Features comparison

At a quick glance, you'll see that pneumatic forklift tyres are generally better suited for outdoor use. Pneumatic tyres are designed for giving your forklift traction on both smooth and rough surfaces. The only real downfall of using pneumatic tyres is their lack of resistance to punctures.

Thanks to their solid construction, cushion forklift tyres are puncture proof. However, cushion tyres cannot provide you with the same level of traction that you would get with pneumatic tyres. 

Pneumatic tyres

  • Construction: air filled

  • Work surface: smooth and rough

  • Puncture proof: no

  • Indoor and outdoor: yes

  • Traction level: high

  • Lifespan: generally short

  • Price: generally low

Read more about pneumatic tyres.

Cushion tyres

  • Constructionsolid construction

  • Work surfacesmooth

  • Puncture proofyes

  • Indoor or outdoorindoor only

  • Traction levellow

  • Lifespangenerally short

  • Pricegenerally low

Cushion vs pneumatic forklift tyres

Read more about cushion tyres.

Are they interchangeable?

A majority of forklifts have frames that only accept specific tyre types. In some cases, it is possible to install variations of cushion or pneumatic tyres on your forklift. A common fix for cushion tyre forklifts is to install traction tyres on the front of them.

Traction tyres are still classified as cushion because they are solid. The only difference is they have additional tread patterns on them. Installing traction tyres on the front of your forklift will give it more grip on outdoor surfaces like asphalt or packed gravel.

Using pneumatic forklift tyres can give your forklift an unstable bouncing quality when operating on rough and uneven terrain. To counter this instability, users can get their pneumatic tyres filled with foam. Filling pneumatic tyres will give you a smoother ride while still providing the same level of traction.

How do I pick the right tyre for my forklift?

Forklift tyres

Choosing the right tyre really comes down to the type of forklift you have and the work environment it operates in. Ideally, you should already have the right forklift for the type of work that needs to be performed.

Identify whether the majority of your work is performed indoors or outdoors. If the majority of your work is performed indoors on smooth surfaces, we recommend installing cushion tyres. If part of your work is performed on an asphalt surface, then consider installing cushion tyres with tread.

If the majority of your work is performed outside on rough terrain, then consider installing pneumatic tyres. If your operating environment is prone to sharp objects scattered on the ground, then we recommend installing foam-filled pneumatic tyres to avoid punctures.

How an Axis forklift tyre fitter can help

There are many benefits to enlisting the help of a professional forklift tyre fitter. Here at Axis, our tyre fitters can help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing forklift tyres.

Our expert tyre fitters will assess your work environment and the design of your forklift. From these assessments, our tyre fitters will identify the perfect tyres for your forklift.

We understand you're looking for durable and cost-effective solutions when it comes to forklift maintenance. Your budget and operating hours are taken into consideration when choosing the right tyres.

When you enlist the services of Axis Tyres, you can rest assured you're dealing with professional tyre fitters that understand the needs of your business. That's why we aim to deliver a service that limits vehicle downtime.

Improve the handling performance of your forklifts with new tyres. Ask our tyre fitters to find out how.