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Forklift Tire Replacement -When to Replace Your Tires

 The Cost of Old Tires

Forklift tires are a large part of operating costs - 20%-30% of a forklift's total lifetime operating expense goes into the tires. Worn tires cut into productivity, taking up to 10% more time to cover the same distance.

Operator comfort, and therefore productivity, is also strongly linked to tire condition. Tires are the only shock absorber on a forklift. Comfortable operators get more work done.

When To Replace Your Lift Truck Tires

Look for these signs that you need new tires:
  • Chunking (missing sections of tread from a tire as though  sliced or torn off)
  • Gouging (pieces missing from tire)
  • Flat spots
  • Separation of rubber from the wheel.
  • Tire volume loss

Identifying Tire Volume Loss

Tire volume has to do with these numbers placed on the tire sidewall. For example, "21 by 7 by 15". The first number, 21 is the height of the tire. 7 is the width, 15 is the rim size. If this was measured out 2 inches less than the diameter from the floor to the top, it would be time to replace that tire. in this case if height was 19.

Why does Tire Volume Loss  Matter?

When you lose 2 inches on a standard size tire, you're driving a truck 15-18% harder and farther than it needs to, simply because you now have a smaller tire, so you're wearing out more pieces and parts than just the tire. That' s one good reason to be checking out your tire wear, and volume on your tire.

Lift Truck Tire Types


ProTire-Pnuematic TireGenerally less expensive, and provide a smoother ride, which protects equipment against excess vibration.


ProTire-Pneumatic Shaped Solid Tire Improved capacity over cushion tires, added stability, and last longer than pneumatic tires. Non-marking available.


ProTire Polyurethane TirePolyurethane lasts longer than rubber, and is resistant to oils and chemicals. They are also non-marking.


ProTire Cushion TireCushion tires are solid rubber, and do not require much maintenance, but they have less traction than a pneumatic tire, particularly outdoors. The majority of forklift tires are cushion tires. Non-marking available.

Learn more about the tire types, applications, and tire care: Forklifts of Michigan Tire Guide (PDF)

Get a quote on tires

Contact our Tire Experts to help you find the tire you need, and in many cases, arrange on-site tire replacement.

Tags: tires  forklift-tires 

by , published updated 2023-01-20 14:44:32
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