Lift truck tires need to be replaced on a regular basis. As the rubber starts to wear away with use, it can impair the truck’s overall handling and performance. However, because tires don’t necessarily come with an expiration date, you have to rely on visual cues to let you know when it’s time for new ones. To help you better manage your fleet’s maintenance, review these tire care tips from the technicians at Barclay Brand Ferdon.
When To Replace Forklift Tires
Solid rubber lift truck tires need to be replaced when approximately 50% of the rubber has worn away. At this point, the tires have reached their maximum lifespan.
Signs to Look For
You’ll start to notice flat spots and pieces of the tire falling off. Depending on the type of tires you have, there are other ways to tell when this 50% mark has been reached.
- Press-on tires: The top of the lettering on the tire is reached.
- Resilient tires: The wear ring that is molded into the side of the tire is reached.
However, there are some instances when you may want to replace your tires sooner. Lift truck tires actually start to lose traction when approximately 25% of the rubber has worn away. So if your trucks frequently travel over wet surfaces, you might want to consider replacing your tires at this point.
Risks of Using Worn Forklift Tires
The maintenance techs at Barclay Brand Ferdon have seen firsthand what happens when a lift truck continues to operate with worn tires. Forklifts are simply unable to operate at peak efficiency when 50% of the rubber is gone. This can affect their:
- Carrying capacity
- Shock absorption
Further, worn or damaged tires can cause neighboring parts to wear out, too, such as the steer axle and the drive motor. So the longer you wait to replace them, the more likely you are to be faced with costly parts and system repairs.