Secondhand tyres: are they worth the risk?

Axis Tyres on 20 December 2018

Forklift tyre replacement can be costly. It's no wonder that sales of secondhand forklift tyres are becoming more common on classified advertisement and community websites. But for forklift operators who want to make sure they're not only getting a good deal but a great product, it's important to carefully assess the risk vs. reward ratio of buying used forklift tyres.

If you operate your forklift on a regular basis and have decided it's time to change the tyres, the cost is likely to be one of the key drivers in making your purchase decision. In this guide, we'll explore what to look out for in the unregulated world of used tyre sales, and how to make sure you choose replacement units that'll pay off for many years to come.

Don't know your pneumatic from your solid tyres? Contact Axis Tyres today and allow our trained personnel to talk you through our range of high-quality forklift and industrial tyres at competitive prices.

Understand the basics

old forklift tyres

Used forklift tyres can appear to be in good condition at a glance. But on closer inspection, they may have issues that'll affect your productivity such as balding, rust and general wear and tear.

Operating your forklift using damaged or inferior tyres can be very unsafe so investing in high-quality tyres is one of the easiest ways to reduce the risk of a forklift-related injury. This doesn't mean your tyres have to be brand new if you're working within a tight budget but avoid purchasing poorly-maintained and worn-out tyres or you may face unexpected costs in the future.

When inspecting secondhand forklift tyres, look carefully for evidence of forklift tyre damage. This may include tears and cracks in the tyres, often found on the surface or side of the tyre. Also, check for chunking in the tyres - this typically happens on the corner and sides of the tyre's surface and can cause an uneven ride for the operator.

Next, have a look at the general wear and tear on the tyres. A little bit of wear and tear is inevitable when you're dealing with secondhand tyres, but look to see if the tyres have been worn down to their safety line. This line indicates that 50% of the tyres carrying power has been lost. It's built into the side of the tyre to show when it's time for a forklift tyre replacement.

Lastly, check for flat spots on the tyres. These can be found in no particular pattern on the wheel of the tyre and can cause a bumpy ride for the operator. Forklift tyres are round, so these flat spots should be easy to spot, even in photos.

Consider your specific needs

Different types of tyres suit different applications so make sure you understand the right kind of tyre for your driving and vehicle requirements. It's easy to assume that once a tyre wears out, you simply need to find a replacement that is affordable and available. However, the sheer variety of forklift tyres on the market should tell you just how vital it is to know as much as you can about tyres and brands.

Having the right 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.

When shopping for secondhand tyres, keep in mind that forklift tyres are designed for specific models and work environments. Learn how to identify tyre sizes and measurements to make it easier to narrow down your search for the perfect set of forklift tyres. If you're purchasing secondhand forklift tyres from an overseas seller, keep in mind that you may need to convert measurements from imperial to metric.

Don't forget to factor in the everyday operating conditions of your forklift when you're weighing up your options. If your forklift usually operates on rough and uneven surfaces, consider a thicker tyre like a pneumatic forklift tyre. If your forklift operates on smooth surfaces and even surfaces like concrete, consider getting solid rubber tyres.

Other variables to consider include the tyre's construction and the tyre's tread type. The right combination of construction and tread will ensure that a tyre is suited to a specific set of working conditions - such as outdoors, indoors, wet, dry or rough terrain.

All of this can be quite tricky to keep track of when buying used forklift tyres. While there are some secondhand gems out there, we recommend investing in a brand new set of high-performance tyres if you rely on your forklift for your livelihood. It'll give you greater peace of mind and ensure you can depend on your purchase being in the optimum condition to maximise operator comfort and productivity. New tyres are more expensive, but are long-lasting and carry no risks.

 types of tyres

How Axis Tyres can help

At Axis Tyres, we supply hardworking solid and pneumatic tyres matched to the specifications of the major skid steer brands and models. We have decades of experience in sourcing, supplying and fitting tyres made for heavy industrial applications.

In addition to supplying high performing industrial tyres for skid steers and forklifts, we also offer many support services including tyre fitting, inspections and exchange available at a number of locations Australia-wide.

If you're struggling to find new tyres for your forklift, we can find the right fit for you and your business at a competitive price. We understand that the efficiency of your forklift centres on your tyres and can recommend and deliver tyres to suit your budget. We even offer discounts for bulk orders of more than 12 tyres.

For more information about forklift tyres or to get a quote for your order, contact Axis Tyres today on 1300 856 236.