There are two kinds of pneumatic tires: air or solid rubber. which one is the best outdoor forklift tires ? Air pneumatics are similar to tires used on cars and other passenger vehicles. Solid pneumatics are the same size as air pneumatics, but are made of solid rubber. Solid pneumatics are typically used in areas with a lot of debris, and cannot be punctured by nails, screws, etc. This type of tire is typically used in lumber yards, scrap yards and construction sites and, over the years, has become an industry standard.

If you’re in the forklift industry, you’ve probably heard the terms pneumatic, cushion and rough terrain. While most people know that rough terrain forklifts are usually used outdoors in rough terrains, as the name suggests, there are still some questions on the applications and differences between cushion and pneumatic forklift tires. To decide what kind of tires you should choose, you need to know the difference between the two and consider several key factors.

Before you settle on cushion or pneumatic tires for your forklift, identify where and what type of work your forklift will perform, along with the lift capacity. While cushion forklift tires are perfect for indoor lifting, pneumatic forklift tires are designed for outdoor operation. For answers to all your questions on the best outdoor forklift tires option for you, reach out to our forklift experts.

Like solid pneumatic tires, cushion forklift tires are made from solid smooth rubber with the difference being fitted around a metal band. Cushion tire forklifts are much lower to the ground as they have a smaller chassis than a pneumatic. They generally have great traction on smooth surfaces and are long-lasting with an indoors application. Cushion tires have a smaller turning radius, making them an ideal choice for smaller facilities or warehouses with space constraints. They’re also less expensive than pneumatic tires.

Pneumatic tire forklifts have greater ground clearance than cushion tire trucks, so you can move around a lot better over gravel and other rough surfaces.

Smooth solid cushion Forklift Tires
Smooth solid cushion Forklift Tires

Should I Use Smooth or Traction Tires? In general, smooth tires give better traction on dry surfaces and can give you more rubber for the dollar spent. If your working environment has exposure to moisture , a traction tire is usually a better option.
If you use a cushion tire forklift outside, traction tires can give better grip and help reduce the chance of the tire “Chunking.”

Be advised: ramps with metal teeth can damage traction tread tires. With the traction tread, the teeth grab more and rip the lugs off. Do not drive a traction tire truck up a ramp with metal teeth. The damage will not be covered by any manufacturer’s warranty.

21x7x15 forklift tire
21x7x15 forklift tire

Can I put pneumatic tires on a cushion truck? In general, the answer is no. Axles and tires are specific to a forklift frame and lifting capacity. Forklift manufacturers build forklifts build them to operate safely with specific wheels and tires.

What about foam filling? “Foam Filling” is an alternative to solid tires and is generally used to help prevent flat tires when using air tires in an environment where your equipment is exposed to nails or other sharp objects. Foam filling can also be used where there is no solid tire available.

Foam filling usually takes 2 to 3 days to fill and cure. Foam-fill and solid tires can usually be used with your existing wheels. Always follow manufactures specs and the professional recommendation from your local dealer.
Can I use solid and air tires on the same forklift? You can use solid tires on the front of the lift and air on the back, or vice versa. You must run the same type of tire on the opposite sides, drive and steer axles.

How much air pressure should I use in my forklift tire? The required air pressure is located on the sidewall of the tire. If it is not there, contact us for further assistance

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