Tires are one of the most overlooked components on a forklift. Distribution and warehouse facilities typically run forklifts relentless to ensure product moves quickly from point A to point B, taking a toll on tires.
Even though they are the main source of cushioning and support for your operators and loads, tires are often forgotten about until there are major problems resulting in costly downtime. Taking a more proactive look at the way tires are used in a facility and what contributes to their failure can help prevent these costly situations from occurring.
Why Forklift Tires Fail:
1. Operator abuse – such as excess spinning, stopping, ramming, overloading or throwing into forward or reverse without stopping first.
2. Dock Plates- If improperly driven over dock plates, spiking in the plates can cause shredding.
3. Poor bond construction- in manufacturing, the rubber is bonded to a steel band which is the pressing component that presses to the hub.
4. Heat build-up – if too much heat occurs, primarily in long forklift runs, the rubber compound turns to a gel and blows out the sidewall of the tire.
5. Uneven floors- when a warehouse or factory has uneven floors this will cause the tire to increase the wear at certain areas of the tire and make the tire wear out faster.
6. Incorrect rubber compound- if the application requires a specific compound like oil resistance, smooth or traction tread, etc., it will make a tire prematurely wear out. The correct tread type or compound is needed to have a longer wearing product.
7. Improper tire pressure in pneumatic tires – When running on underinflated tires you can easily overload the tire, running the risk of sidewall separation, blowouts, rapid tread wear and bead failures.
8. Non-Marking tires- these tires are needed when the application requires floors to not be marked and typically in cleaner environments. However the chemical that makes up the non-marking does not last as long as a black inked tire and will need quicker replacement.
Protect your equipment investment by reviewing this list of reasons why forklift tires fail and save by replacing tires less often. The impact tires have on fuel consumption, vehicle downtime, lost productivity, as well as replacement, disposal and maintenance costs all add up. Also remember, the wear and tear on your machines will not be offset by trying to save money on tire replacements.
In order to reduce avoidable maintenance costs in the future, have your lift truck fleet’s tires inspected today. We offer free, no-obligation tire surveys, as well as mobile tire press services to keep you up and running.