Forklift Tires and Wheels – Basics of Tires

Similar to larger trucks parts, forklift tires and wheels may also have their own set of standards that it can be a good idea to pay attention to before attempting to replace existing wheels. For example, there are wheels that have been designed to operate more efficiently in extreme conditions. Smooth forklift tires may have a groove that allows them to release heat, so that the tire is given a longer shelf life. Although some may be tempted to install truck tires onto their forklifts, this is in fact not approved by OSHA. This is because the commercial truck tires don’t have the same safety features that forklift tires do.

Skid Loader Tires

Even though the truck tires may fit onto a forklift, forklift manufacturers also do not approve of using them in place of approved forklift tires and wheels. They are designed with the specific purposes and needs of the warehouse environment in mind. These tires tend to come in two different types, both smooth and traction tires. Smooth tires give better traction in dry environments, and so will last longer. For moist environments however, a traction tire may be the better fit and could also be a more economical solution.

One problem that some places have with forklift tires and wheels is that they can leave black marks on the floor. As a result, in grocery or other food processing plants, specialty non-marking forklift tires are required instead. These can be cushioned with metal bands and rubber for a greater level of comfort and smoother ride, and are available in a number of different colors. Some of the most popular include black, gray, or white, but this will depend according to the manufacturer and the preferences of the work environment.

Solid Tyres

Another way to improve comfort with your forklift tires and wheels is to choose those solid tires that are made with holes. The purpose of the hole is to allow air to pass through, and give a smoother ride than a wheel that is completely solid. However, this lessens the overall capacity of the load that the forklift will be able to take on. Solid tires tend to outlast air tires, which makes them a great option for forklifts that are going to be used for some time. When purchasing used forklifts, it can be a good idea to replace the tires immediately to give the machinery a longer shelf life.



  1. Posted September 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm |

    Great information. We have been using solid tires on our fork lifts and you are right, they are best for dry conditions. Once the concrete gets a little wet, things get real slippery in a hurry! We seem to have a little trouble finding just the right tire as the side walls of ours seem to lose small chips of rubber occasionally. It may be more of an issue of keeping nails off the floor and not driving over them too. Thanks for the information. Dave

  2. Robert Latimer
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm |

    How can fork lift tires be made to hold traction on a oily floors. The rubber quickly became saturated and now the wheel just slips badly when trying to go from a stopped position?

  3. Posted November 30, 2011 at 2:42 pm |

    Thanks for these information about forklift tires. I know something also about Tires i want to share That many rough terrain lifts are pneumatic tires, which give them a firm grip on the ground, although some have foam filled tires which are pricey, but don’t go flat. I hope to find this info helpful. Thanks for sharing

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