Tires have a huge impact on your forklift. By not replacing them at the appropriate time, you can experience reduced fuel efficiency and operator discomfort or fatigue which could lead to safety issues. On top of that, worn tires can cause extensive damage to the forklift itself.
It’s clear that replacing your forklift tires at the right time is important but how do you know when they need replacing? Forklift tires – like automotive tires – don’t have a specific time frame for replacement. Instead you replace your forklift tires when they are worn or damaged.
COMMON WAYS TO CHECK FOR WEAR ON FORKLIFT TIRES
One of the most common ways to check for wear is by using the safety line. If the rubber on your tire has reached the safety line, it’s time for replacement.
Another way to check for tire wear is on the sidewall of the tire. Once the rubber reaches the top of the numbering or lettering on the sidewall, the tire should be replaced.
CHECKING SOLID PNEUMATIC FORKLIFT TIRES FOR WEAR
When solid pneumatic tires have lost 75-80% of the available tread, they should be replaced. Though this rule works for most cases, you’ll want to take your operators and your application into consideration.
OTHER TYPES OF FORKLIFT TIRE DAMAGE
Regardless of your tire type, some signs of damage shouldn’t be ignored. They’ll affect your operators’ productivity and fuel efficiency.
When tires repeatedly run over debris, large pieces of rubber can fall off the tire – called chunking. This causes a bumpy ride for the operator, increasing fatigue and therefore mistakes. Damage to the load can also be caused by chunking.
Overloading your forklift can cause radial cracking when heat builds up within the tire. If you’re consistently seeing radial cracking on your solid pneumatic or cushion tires, it may be time to use larger or wider tires to spread the weight of the load over more area.
Radial cracking can also be caused by travelling long distances with no weight on the forks. It may seem counter intuitive, but without a load on the forks, the counterweight rests on the steer tires instead of being evenly distributed.
BENEFITS OF REPLACING YOUR FORKLIFT TIRES
Newly replaced forklift tires can offer benefits like reduced fuel consumption, maximized efficiency and increased traction. Plus, new tires reduce shock – creating a better ride for the operator and reducing operator fatigue.
It can also lower maintenance costs. Newly replaced tires can cover the same distance with fewer rotations and that means the drive train components will experience less wear.
Using these tools you’ll be able to determine the best time to replace your forklift tires.
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