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Forklifts are an essential part of many businesses, and because of this, it’s important to ensure they’re equipped with the right tires. Forklift tires come in a variety of materials and designs, and each one has a specific use. Here, Barclay Brand Ferdon describes the different types of forklift tires and what surfaces they work best on.    

Cushioned vs. Pneumatic Tires

Each type of forklift tire is designed to work optimally on specific surfaces. The two main types of tires most commonly used on forklifts include:

Yale Cushion Tire forklift lifting pallets

Cushion Tires

Cushion tires are made of solid rubber and are pressed directly onto the wheel of the forklift. These tires are closer to the ground than pneumatic tires, giving them a smaller turn radius. Because this small turn radius offers great maneuverability, cushion tires are best suited for indoor floors and other paved surfaces.

Yale Pneumatic Tire Forklift Outside lifting cylinders

Pneumatic Tires

Pneumatic tires are larger than cushioned tires and sit higher off the ground. These tires are better suited for outdoor work as they have more grip, allowing them to move with ease over the rough terrain of an outdoor work environment. There are two kinds of pneumatic tires:

  • Solid: Solid pneumatic tires are similar to cushion tires as they are also made entirely out of rubber. You’ll find this type of tire can be used both indoors and outdoors, however, they do not offer the same smooth ride as cushion tires. While the cost of these tires is higher than others, they’re known for their durability and will last for a very long time.
  • Air-filled: Air-filled pneumatic tires are manufactured using rubber, but the interior is filled with air, and the exterior of the tire is produced with deep treading. Because of this, these tires have much better traction in an outdoor setting than the other two.

Specialty Forklift Tires

While these tires are among the most common, there are a handful of specialty tires that are manufactured to meet very specific business needs, such as:

Fiberglass Tires

If you’re constantly driving forklifts long distances with minimal breaks, the friction between the floor and tire will build up over time, causing the tire to heat up. When rubber tires get hot, they begin to lose their integrity, posing a risk to the operator and those around them. However, tires manufactured using fiberglass have higher heat resistance, allowing them to last much longer than traditional tires.

Polyurethane Tires

If your business has your operators carrying extremely heavy loads over minimal distance, you’ll benefit greatly from polyurethane tires. These tires are much more durable than pneumatic or cushion and maintain their integrity for a greater period of time. They’re also usually resistant to chemicals, which is a bonus if your business consistently handles chemicals.

Static-Resistant Tires

Static-resistant tires are the best choice if your business is constantly handling flammable or combustible materials. With these materials, even the smallest spark can instantly create a dangerous environment. Static-resistant tires are designed to significantly minimize the buildup of static in the tires, as well as reduce the chance of a static discharge.

For help finding the right forklift tires for your business in New Jersey or New York, contact Barclay Brand Ferdon today.  

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