Forklift tires are an integral part of your equipment. Unlike with traditional vehicles, forklift tires act as a suspension system — replacing things like shock absorbers and coil springs. Forklift tires cushion the operator, load and the truck itself, making their condition critical to forklift performance and safety.
Worn or improperly maintained tires can seriously damage a lift truck, especially the steer and drive axles; serve as a driver’s safety hazard; or even damage docks and floors! For those reasons alone, it’s important to keep a close eye on your tires.
Forklift tires are usually inspected by a service tech as part of routine maintenance, but you can watch them, too. Here are some things to look for (any problems listed require immediate tire replacement):
- wear down to the letters
- disappearing tread pattern (for pneumatics)
- bulging or unevenness
If your tires seem to wear quickly, make sure they are right for your use. Pick the correct tire based on your usage environment, tread design, tire compounds and tire construction. There are many tire types available for specific usages:
- cushion (indoor)
- pneumatic (outdoor)
- tear-wear resistant
- and more.