Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Selecting the Right Type of Forklift Tire - Cushions vs. Pneumatics

Overall, there are three basic types of forklift tires: cushion, pneumatic air and solid pneumatic. Since each type of forklift tire is designed for specific usages and applications, there is a direct correlation between tire type and the overall design and dimensions of a forklift. The by-product of this relationship is a categorization system that identifies forklifts by tire type above other – seemingly more important – considerations. In accordance with this correlation, it is essential that potential buyers consider both their operating conditions and work environment during the purchasing process.

Designed for indoor applications, cushion tires are constructed of solid rubber attached to a round metal rim and have the smallest diameter of the three options. This corresponds to a smaller forklift chassis, lower ground clearance and a superior turning radius when compared to other models. In turn, this results in a more maneuverable forklift capable of operating in the narrow aisles and restrictive spacing typically found in indoor applications including manufacturing and distribution facilities, receiving docks and/or greenhouses.

Pneumatic forklift tires are larger and wider than solid cushion tires and are constructed of a treaded rubber exterior with an internal cavity filled with air or polyurethane foam. When combined with the added durability and ground clearance that result from these components, pneumatic forklift tires are the preferred option for heavy-duty and/or outdoor applications with rough, uneven terrain. Since forklifts are built without a suspension system, pneumatic tires also provide the operator with superior comfort by suppressing bumps and vibration, thereby decreasing operator fatigue and improving productivity.

Similar to pneumatic air tires, solid pneumatic tires are constructed of aggressively layered rubber with one distinct difference - the absence of a hollow internal cavity. Solid pneumatic tires are best viewed as a mix between the solid construction of a cushion tire and the durability of a pneumatic tire. The net effect of this combination is a forklift tire that is less susceptible to punctures or damage from sharp, irregular objects or debris typically found in storage facilities, lumber mills and scrap metal yards. This dynamic construction also ensures that solid pneumatic tires are more versatile than the other two tire types, enabling owners to utilize them in small to mid-sized operations with both indoor and outdoor applications.

For more information, advice, or a quote, please contact your nearest Stärke Material Handling Dealer with locations throughout Canada or the USA.

Local: (905)-227-7554  |  Toll free: 1-877-435-4352

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