Different Types of Forklift Tyres


All forklift tyres are the same right? Wrong. Forklift tyres aren't all black, round and created equal, there are countless types and brands of tyres available on the market. Each has a different tread, compound and ply rating which help to ensure the tyre used will best suit the application. 


Not only is it important to choose the best tyre in the first place but by ensuring that your forklift tyres are kept in good shape, you can reduce the stress and wear on the transmission. Safety is also significantly improved, along with fuel efficiency. So, tyres are more important than you may have initially realised. 


If this is all new to you, don’t worry. We have put together a simple to follow guide of the different types of forklift tyres, to help you choose the best type of tyre for your forklift. 


Pneumatic tyres


This type of tyre works on the same principle as most other tyres, the majority of the weight is carried by the compressed air. They are similar to truck tyres, thick with a deep tread and made from strong wear-resistant rubber. By opting for pneumatic tyres you can extend the life of your forklift, thanks to the suspension and flexibility that the air provides. 


If you use your forklift truck on uneven rough-terrain then this type of tyre is a must-have. However, due to them being filled with air, they are prone to punctures (like your car tyres) so, bare this in mind.  


Polyurethane tyres


These are generally used for indoor forklifts. They are made from polyurethane instead of rubber and are simply pressed onto the wheel, this is the easiest way to put on a tyre. A polyurethane tyre is lightweight and more resistant to splitting or tearing under a load than rubber tires.


This type of tyre is known for having a small rolling resistance that extends the lifespan of the tyre. So, if you only use your forklift indoors on a smooth surface and require an adequate level of traction then this is the tyre for you. 


Solid rubber tyres


Today, these are the most common type of tyre. As the name suggests, they are made from solid rubber and don’t have any air inside them. Thanks to this, they are very durable and can’t be punctured or deflated, however, they don’t have the cushioning effect or flexibility of a tyre filled with air. Due to this, they are excellent for indoor use and you can rely on them to last for many years. 


We wouldn’t recommend that you use this type of tyre outside on rough or uneven surfaces. They have lower deflection resulting in better stability but, at the cost of suspension so you will find they don’t run well on outdoor surfaces. 


Non-marking tyres


Grocery and food processing factories are required to use this type of tyre. They are made with hydrated silicas and special additives for eliminating black marks on floors. You can purchase this type of tyre as a pneumatic, solid or cushioned tyre and they are most commonly white in colour. 


The main drawback of non-marking tyres is that the carbon black is removed from them, which consequently dramatically shortens the life span of the tyre. They are also prone to cause static electricity, which means they require an anti-static strip on the forklift.


Cushion tyres


You may also hear this type of tyre being referred to as a ‘press-on tyre’. They are made from solid rubber and are shaped around a metal band. You can get both traction and smooth cushion tyres and both types will need a hydraulic tyre press to fit and remove them. 


This type of tyre is perfect for smooth pavements and warehouses with concrete flooring. They are very durable and often chosen when space may be an issue as they are known for having a turning circle that is smaller than pneumatic tyres, making them perfect for narrow aisles. 


Choosing the right type of tyre 


You shouldn’t overlook taking the time to choose the right tyres for your forklift truck. Consider the conditions your forklift will be working in and how regularly it will be used, these will be the main factors when choosing your tyre. 


You will find that many forklifts are designed for specific tyre types and therefore, their use is not interchangeable. So, you really do need to think about the type of tyres required before you go to a forklift dealer to purchase your forklift truck. 


When you purchase from a reliable reputable forklift company like Trucks Direct UK you can trust that they will be able to assist you in choosing your forklift taking tyre types into consideration. If you have any questions at all Trucks Direct UK will gladly answer them and help you to buy a forklift truck that best suits your needs. 


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