Select the right tire for the application. Proper tire selection is critical to determine the success that truck will have at performing its function. This goes beyond just the tire size. Careful attention should be paid to match the tire type, construction, and compounds of the application.
Match the speed of the forklift to the application. New Forklifts are equipped to travel at speeds that exceed a solid tire’s capacity. Lowering forklift speed may prevent premature tire failure.
Inspect tires regularly. Depending on usage and downtime sensitivity, tires should be inspected daily or weekly to remove embedded foreign objects. Inspecting tread wear will alert you to mechanical problems such as poorly adjusted brakes, or brakes that are out of alignment.
Lubricate truck properly. Over-lubricating causes an overflow of grease and oil, which is harmful to rubber tires. Inadequate lubrication, particularly in the braking and power systems, will assure free rolling operation by reducing tire drag and skidding stops.
Keep brakes in adjustment. Improper adjustment of the brakes on trucks whose wheels are part of the braking system may cause heat build in the tire and cause premature tire failure.
Check axel alignment and steering. Proper alignment insures tread wear is normal and even.
Allow sufficient tire clearance. Proper tire sizing allows for movement of the steer tire and allows debris to fall free without being wedged in the wheel well.
Center tire on wheels. Improper mounting of tires causes premature tire failure and poses a safety hazard.
Train your Operators. Proper driving techniques, inspection, and regular maintenance will extend the life of both the machine and the tires.
Use proper equipment & qualified service technicians. Servicing industrial tires requires the proper tools and skills.
Keep runways clean. Keep your floors clean, clear, and in good repair. Sharp objects, chemicals, and bad surfaces directly affect the useful life of a tire.
Line travel routes to help drivers avoid collisions, scrapes, and bumps with walls, equipment, curbs, or any other obstacles.
Avoid excess heat, prolonged exposure to hot surfaces, and contact with hot metals. Heat shields may be used if heat source is unavoidable.
Avoid spinning and quick stops. Sharp turns and quick starts and stops wear tread rapidly, grind in foreign objects, and cause premature failure.
Avoid overloading. Overloading causes rubber separation, cutting, chipping, and tire blowouts. Overloading can occur when load is not centered, dangled on the ends of the forks, or from fast cornering.
Avoid oil, grease, and gasoline. Besides affecting the handling of the truck, chemicals can cause the breakdown of tire rubber compound leading to failure.
Avoid standing loads. Solid tires can form a flat spot if left loaded overnight. In extreme cases, this flat spot may cause a bump each time the tire rotates, requiring its replacement.
How Do I Know When My Tires are Worn Out and Need to be Replaced?
When to Replace Press-On Tires
Press-on tires are composed of solid rubber adhered to a steel band. When 50% of the rubber is gone, the tire is worn out. At this point, the tire functions are gone. A worn tire to this point must be replaced. If wet traction is a concern, tire replacement should be done prior to this point.
When to Replace Resilient (Pneumatic-shaped Solid) Tires
Look for the ridge on the tire. A tire worn to this point should be replaced. If wet traction is a concern, tire replacement should be done prior to this point.
You should not operate on tires worn beyond the suggested wear indicators. Worn out tires can affect the lift trucks carrying capacity, starting, stopping and shock absorption. Worn out forklift tires can cause expensive vehicle damage due to reduced shock absorption and carrying capacity.