Selecting Between Cushion & Pneumatic Tires
Forklift tires contribute a lot to your machine's safety and handling characteristics, as well as affecting maintenance costs. The type of forklift will determine to a large extent the kind of tire since nearly all forklifts are made with a specific frame which accepts just a specific kind of tire. It helps to know the properties of both cushion and pneumatic tires before choosing a tire.
1 Check your forklift owner manual for specifications concerning tires. Most likely your forklift will run either on pneumatic tires or cushion tires. This would limit your options to the kind of tire for which the forklift frame is made.
2 Check the type of forklift. Electric forklift trucks and electric pallet jack trucks are usually made to use cushion tires that do not need much friction. Pneumatic tires are normally for forklifts that are powered by liquid propane gas or diesel.
3 Make certain you know what kind of terrain you would be using the forklift on. Soft cushion tires are constructed for even terrain while pneumatic tires are best for rough terrain. Cushion tires, if utilized on uneven ground, could cause the forklift to get stuck because they are set lower. Pneumatic tires perform well on gravel, packed stones and crushed concrete but not on very rough grounds and potholed surfaces.
4 Make certain you know the space limitations. Forklifts used mainly indoors have to be able to pivot in tight areas. Cushion tires work better than pneumatic tires in those kinds of environments.