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03.18.2021 Author

Getting the right forklift tires is an important part of protecting your investment

Buy, Lease or Rent? How to Know Which Equipment Purchasing Option is Best for Your Business.

As the Corporate Parts Manager here at Shoppa’s, I know firsthand how overwhelming shopping for forklift tires can be. While there are a variety of options to suit different environments and demands, all those options can make your head spin. But getting the right tires for both your forklift and your needs can save you time and money in the long run, and most of all, keep your team and your equipment safe.

At Shoppa’s, we want to make the process as easy and smooth for you as possible, so we created this quick guide breaking down of everything you need to know when it comes to buying forklift tires.

Types of Forklift Tires

There are multiple types of tires designed for any terrain, environment, and need, and they come in either solid or air-filled varieties.

Cushion Tires

Contradictory of the name, cushion tires are made of solid rubber and are directly pressed onto the wheel. They sit lower to the ground and offer a smaller turning radius, which provides an advantage in maneuverability. Cushion tires are best suited for indoor or paved applications due to the smooth surface.

Solid Pneumatic Tires

Much like cushion tires, solid pneumatic tires are designed with solid rubber. They are the most commonly purchased tire because they can be used both indoors and outdoors. However, solid pneumatic tires do not offer the same comfortable ride a cushion tire does across paved surfaces.

Air Pneumatic Tires

Air pneumatic tires are made of rubber, but are air-filled, much like a car or truck tire. They have a deep tread and are made of strong, long-lasting rubber material, making them great for rough, outdoor terrain.

Polyurethane Tires

Polyurethane tires are a lightweight type of press-on tires that are more resistant to splitting, tearing, or chunking under heavy loads than rubber tires. They combine good traction with low-rolling resistance. Polyurethane tires generally experience about twice the lifespan of rubber tires, but should be used indoors only for light applications such as warehousing.

Non-Marking Tires

These tires are made with hydrated silicas and special additives to prevent black marks on floors. They are available for pneumatic, solid pneumatic, and cushion tires.

Comparison Chart

Determining what tires you need

Finding the right tire for your working environment, demands and needs will not only extend the life of the tire — saving you money in the long run — but it will also help you work the most efficiently. The main concerns I hear from customers are cost and lifespan. Finding the right tire can help with both of those concerns.

Pneumatic Yes Yes No No No Medium Medium $
Solid Pneumatic No No Yes Yes No Long High $$
Cushion Yes Yes No No No Medium High $
Polyurethane Yes No No No Yes Long High $$
Scroll to view entier table

Similar to automotive tires, forklift tires don’t have a specific time frame for replacement. The schedule in which you replace them depends on use or obvious damage.

Thankfully, most forklift tires come with an indicator to help you know when it’s time to replace. All of the tires have a wear indicator, much like an automotive tire. Unlike an automotive tire, however, the indicator isn’t always going to be located in the tread depending on the tire.

Smooth tires will typically have an indicator painted on the side of the tire. If the rubber has been worn down to the line, it’s time to replace the tire. Another way to check for tire wear is on the sidewall of the tire. Once the tire reaches the top of the numbering or lettering on the sidewall, the tire needs replacement.

And if you’re wondering if you should stock up on tires in order to reduce downtime, BJ says not to worry about making room in the warehouse.

We have three tire trucks and a press in-house as well. In most cases, we offer same-day or next-day service for tire replacement. So that allows you as a customer to not have to worry about stocking an extra inventory of tires.

Getting the Best Deal

Shoppa’s forklift tires are competitively priced, but I know replacing your tires can be a costly, although necessary, expense. However, there are a few ways you can reduce your costs.

Choose smooth over traction

If your environment, demand, and needs comply, use smooth cushion tires rather than traction tires. This switch can increase the consumable rubber in the tire by 7-12%. More rubber equals a longer-lasting tire.

Think Big

Increasing the size of your tires can provide several benefits. Upsizing can give you longer tire life, as well as increased traction, stability, and shock absorption. Larger tires also allow you to increase the carrying capacity. On average, increasing tire size by one inch translates to 800 pounds in additional load carrying capacity.

Switch out Air Filled Pneumatics with Solid Pneumatics

In many situations replacing your air-filled pneumatic tires with solid pneumatic tires can increase tire life by 2-3 times, increase stability, and reduce downtime since solids will never run flat.

We’re Always Here to Help

We’re always here to help

If you have any questions, concerns, or want to make changes to your forklift tires, Shoppa’s is always a call or click away. Don’t be afraid to contact us! We’re here to help and we have the personnel in place to meet your needs.

To get the tire replacement process started, email or call Toll Free: 866.506.2200.