Tyres are the only part of your forklift truck that are in constant contact with the floor at all times and it’s extremely important that they are checked regularly and are in perfect condition. Whilst we would always recommend you seek the advice of experts (like us here at KS Lift Trucks!). If you have any concerns regarding the condition of your tyres, or their maintenance or replacement, there are a number of simple checks you can carry out yourself to minimise the risk of incidents and to improve the performance and lifespan of your Tyres. The most used tyre for materials handling equipment due to their long life are solid tyres. Puncture proof, and available in treaded and non-treaded, solid tyres are a preferred choice for many forklifts. However, many types of handling equipment use inflated tyres and its critical that these are regularly checked and maintained.
Firstly, check that your types are inflated properly, it is probably good practice to schedule this into any maintenance schedules you have and ideally check them every week. Running your forklifts on the correct tyre pressure will lengthen the lifespan of your tyres. Underinflated tyres can result in excessive and uneven wearing of the tread and also increase rolling resistance, which in turn, uses more fuel and increases CO2 emissions.
Correctly inflated tyres will improve fuel economy, more than offsetting any time costs incurred checking the pressure. Tyres of the right pressure will also maintain optimum friction with the floor, or put it another way, will optimise the breaking distance should a fellow worker step out in front of the driver. This is an extremely important consideration when complying with any health and safety legislation covering the maintenance of on-site machinery.
To check your tyre pressures, you will need to purchase a pressure gage that is designed for the tyres on your forklifts, these are available in all shapes and sizes, digital and analogue, but they all do the same thing. Tyre pressure can be measured in different units, but the most common is PSI which stands for lbs per square inch.
You should also check your tyre tread. according to the Forklift Truck Association, Pneumatic tyres should have a minimum of 1.6mm of the original or re-grooved tread pattern over the centre 75% of the tread around the entire circumference. Solid rubber resilient tyres may be used until they are worn to the wear indicator, also known as the 60J line, or safety line as indicated on tyre sidewall. Press-on band moulded direct and conical base tyres may be used until 2/3rds of the original thickness remains. They should be changed if there is any sign of damage, deformation or the tyre coming away from the wheel. Not all tyres have a tread. Some tyres that do can be re-grooved, but this should only be done professionally, in accordance with the tyre manufacturer’s instructions and never below the 60J line.
Here at KS Lift Trucks, we can supply and fit a wide range of tyres for all types of materials handling equipment to suit various budgets. We offer service exchange rims and tyres and can re-cut tread in to worn tyres. Our team can offer advice on the most suitable tyre for your application. We also have a Service Exchange for rims & tyres which allows you to exchange your old tyres and rims for a new or used replacement set to minimise downtime.
Call the KS Lift Trucks team today with your Forklift tyres requirements Telephone 01257 452296 and one of sales team will be able to assist and make any necessary appointments.