A helpful guide to choosing the right forklift tyres

Axis Tyres on 29 March 2018

When the time comes to replace your forklift tyres, there are many things to consider to make sure you get optimal use that’s relevant to your machine and what you use it for to prolong the lifespan of your tyres.

If you’ve invested the money in quality forklifts for your business, you can understand that they will need quality tyres - and the right tyres for your purpose - to keep the machine performing efficiently. Having the appropriate tyres means longer tyre life and a forklift that runs economically, saving you in the long run.

It may seem tempting to go for a primary or 'all-terrain' tyre for your forklift to cover all bases, but this usually isn't the most efficient option. Ensuring tyres are well-matched to your machine and how it’s used makes good business sense.

This forklift tyre guide provides an overview:

Tyre typeTyre features
 AirSolidPuncture proofIndoorOutdoorHigh load capacity

Cushion
(solid rubber with steel band)

 

 

Smooth
surfaces
only

Solid resilient

 

Smooth
surfaces
only

 

Pneumatic
(air tight core with steel band)

   

Polyurethane

 

 

Skid steer

 

 

Tyre typeBest Suited To

Cushion

Factories Hygiene zones

Solid resilient

Logistics Transport Warehousing

Pneumatic

Warehouses Construction Industrial

Polyurethane

Warehouse Cold storage facilities Hygene zones

Skid steer

Construction Waste and recycling yards Roadworks

Other variables to think about are how often the machine is used, the load capacity it needs to transport and whether forklift tyres will be out of use for long periods and need to be stored.

Another way to customise tyres for your business is to use solid tyres on the front and air on the back (or vice versa).

Another consideration is choosing the tyre tread to suit the forklift’s most common use; each brand has a range of to select from. Also available are solid non-marking tyres for indoor areas - perfect for supermarkets, paper manufacturing, and general applications that need hygienic conditions.

Tyre pressure

Just because the tyres look fully inflated, doesn’t mean they are. Temperature affects tyres air pressure greatly. As tyres warm up from use, the tyre pressure increases. High speeds can do this too. Adjusting the tyres with a bleeder is the most efficient way to check and change your tyre pressure. This should only be done when the tyres are cool.

The only way to ensure your tyres are operating at the correct tyre pressure is to check them when they are cold. It's best to check them after the forklift has been standing overnight.

forklift tyre guide to selection and maintenance tyre pressure checking

Tyre maintenance

It’s never a case of having tyres fitted and forgetting about them - even with the most heavy duty varieties. They require upkeep and correct usage to make them last, help your forklift to run efficiently and ensure the driver’s safety.

When we talk about tyre maintenance, we’re referring to appropriate day to day use, frequent checks and correct storage. Forklift tyres are built tough and designed for industry-specific purposes and along with some simple practices, you will keep your tyres in high-performance condition for longer.

  • Check the air pressure at least once a week, even on forklifts that are infrequently used. The beginning of the day is best as heat buildup from driving can increase the pressure by around 15 psi.
  • Don’t lower air pressure; it can increase the heat build up in your tyres, and reduce its carrying capacity.
  • Check for wear and tear every day as part of your pre-start inspection.
  • Avoid driving habits that increase wear and tear. Fast and sharp turns and corners, and sudden acceleration and braking will wear tyres out faster.
  • Always store tyres somewhere that is clean, cool, dry and dark, and ideally for no longer than a few months at a time.
  • Make sure all tyres have valve caps; this prevents dust and dirt getting into the valve and causing a slow leak.

Axis Tyres is here to take the complexity out of purchasing forklift tyres. Whether you’re looking for solid or pneumatic, black or non-marking, our combined 80 plus years’ experience means we’ll find you tyres that are fit for purpose.

Forklift tyre replacement is best left to trained and qualified forklift technicians. We are Australia’s forklift tyre experts and we’re here to help your business determine which forklift tyres are right for your machine, industry and budget. We have locations in Melbourne, Sydney, Wodonga and Adelaide, and an extensive national distribution network, so we can come to you.

Whether it’s new tyres or questions about maintenance, get in touch with us on 1300 551 001.