Whether you have pneumatic and solid tyres, we can tell you one thing for sure: proper and timely maintenance will make them last longer. Of course, one of the biggest advantages of forklift tyres is that they don't need a whole lot of maintenance. They are built to last and wear slowly.
However, there are a few habits you can get into to ensure they go the distance and stay in good shape. They won't take up too much of your time, and they could save you some serious cash down the line.
It's a fact that failing to notice and facilitate a forklift tyre repair can cost you and your business in more ways than one. If you operate your forklift on a regular basis or rely on it for your business, adopt these three easy habits to ensure you maintain a safe and effective machine.
1. Regularly check your tyre alignment
Tyre measurements change over time and use, and so does their alignment. If your tyres are badly aligned, it can affect your steering and suspension, and cause significant safety hazards.
Proper alignment ensures better handling, more extended wear and a smoother ride with less tyre rolling resistance. To get maximum wear out of your tyres, we recommend checking on their alignment at least every six months or 10,000km.
The easiest way to do so is to inspect your parked forklift and see if your tyres are all pointing in the right direction. Check if all the wheels are around the same diameter and size with no visible damage to the sidewall or the tread surface.
You'll usually be able to tell if your tyres are misaligned from behind the wheel. If your vehicle is pulling or drifting to one side of the road, or your steering wheel is shuddering or vibrating, that usually means there's something wrong.
If you're not sure what's going on and want an expert opinion, then err on the side of caution and call our friendly team at Axis Tyres to get straightforward, practical advice.
2. Maintain good driving practices
It goes without saying that if you want to obtain maximum tyre life, you should avoid potholes and sudden starting or braking movements. Bouncing off kerbs, high-speed cornering and locking one wheel for sharp cornering are all guaranteed to wear out your forklift tyres quickly.
At Axis, we know from experience that tyre wear and tear does not happen evenly on any vehicle - but especially not on forklifts, which carry cumbersome loads. A lot of tyre tread damage is caused by driver error and poor handling so by adopting good driving practices you'll be able to improve the lifespan of your tyres significantly.
If forklift tyres are left to wear too far, serious safety and performance issues are almost inevitable. By looking after your forklift tyres and scheduling regular maintenance, you will be able to replace your tyres less often and reduce your long-term tyre care costs.
Always remember that driving style and speed directly affect tyre life so refrain from bad driving habits to avoid minor tyre damage that could lead to costly repairs or premature replacements.
3. Don't mix and match
It's a bad idea to mix tyres with different tread patterns, and it's an even worse idea to run two tyres of differing construction.
The right combination of construction and tread will ensure that a tyre perfectly suits a particular set of working conditions - such as outdoors, indoors, wet, dry or rough terrain. But the wrong combination of construction and tread will not only endanger your driver's safety but result in diminished performance.
As a general rule, tyres should not be mixed on any vehicle unless specified as acceptable by the manufacturer. That's because all tyres are designed for different purposes and made according to the manufacturer's unique specifications.
There's a lot of variation when it comes to tyre construction types, tread patterns, tread depths and sizes, and a mismatch can adversely affect almost all aspects of your forklift's functionality. The 'don't mix and match' rule applies to bias-plies, radials, tubeless and tube-type tyres as well as bias-ply and bias-belted wheels.
If you would like detailed information about how to choose tyres which are optimised to your working conditions and built to last, talk to our expert tyre suppliers who will steer you in the right direction.
We're here to help
When it comes to getting the greatest usage out of your tyres, the tips above will get you rolling in the right direction. If you'd like to find out more about solid tyre maintenance or get booked in for a tyre service, there's always a good reason to visit us at one of our locations in Melbourne, Sydney, Wodonga, or Adelaide.
The fact of the matter is, the better maintained your tyres are, the less downtime your forklifts will suffer. That means more time on the road so you can keep your business moving.
Chat with us today about the best way to approach forklift tyre care and repair. Our professional tyre fitters can help eliminate the guesswork to ensure your tyres last for years.