How Do I Know When To Replace My Forklift Tires?
by Kim McDowell, on March 6, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Proper maintenance of your forklifts includes your tires. Common signs of forklift tire wear and tear are an easy indicator to watch out for. But each tire also comes with built-in methods of measuring their usage and lifespan.
When to Replace Forklift Tires
Both cushion forklift tires and solid pneumatics have clear methods for identifying when it needs to be replaced.
For cushion tires, the general rule is to replace your tires when they reach “the top of the numbers.” Each tire has its size printed on it. Over time, the tire wears down until the rubber touches the top of the numbers. Once this happens, you need to replace all four forklift tires with fresh replacements. New, steady tires can improve fuel efficiency, reduce wear on other parts, and helps reduce potential harm to the operator due to shock from bald tires.
For solid pneumatic tires, a wear ring or wear band indicating the lifespan of the tire is included. Once the tire is reduced in size and exposes that ring, it’s time to replace. While some companies can push the lifespan of a solid pneumatic tire further, it’s not safe to do so. Bald pneumatic tires have reduced tread and put your forklifts, operators, and business at risk of slips or tip-over incidents.
How Many Forklift Tires Should I Replace?
When it comes to replacing forklift tires, it isn’t safe to replace just one. Having tires of varying ages can contribute to stability issues, skidding, and tip-overs, due to the imbalance between different tire heights. Mismatched tires are an unnecessary risk that can cause significant injury and damage to equipment.
Just like a personal car, you should at least replace both tires on one wheel axle to maximize stability. For some equipment configurations, keeping all four tires the same age may be necessary. Other specialty equipment, such as three-wheeled forklifts, may have their own unique requirements to keep operation smooth.
Need to source your next replacement tires? Want to discuss a maintenance plan that includes tire replacement? The material handling pros at Mid-Columbia Forklift and MidCo Material Handling are ready to help you determine what configuration is right for your business. Contact us today to learn how we can help improve your business performance from top to bottom.