This is a blog post about forklift tires, and specifically, the importance of proper tire care. All too often routine tire inspections (and timely replacements) are forgotten or just simply neglected. Not only is this a dangerous practice, but it may result in unnecessary damages and maintenance costs.
Some tires have a visible safety line, referred to as a 60-J line, to serve as a reminder when it’s time to replace a worn tire. Other manufacturers suggest replacement when the tire reaches 2/3 the original height. Care should be taken to replace tires as pairs, so as not to throw off the alignment and stability of the forklift. Typically, tires should also be replaced in pairs, by axle.
Besides normal wear and tear, many forklift tires are subject to rough conditions such as uneven surfaces like dock plates or cracks in the floor, tire spin, sharp embedded debris or even extreme temperature changes. These conditions result in cracked, chunked, flat-spotted and /or split tires. Obviously, none of these are good.
Anyone who has operated a forklift can attest to the lack of a robust suspension system. Yes, forklifts have some shock features, such as engine mounts, suspension seats and mast accumulators. But like many true industrial machines, forklifts will never provide as smooth a ride as your family automobile, equipped with struts, springs, and shock absorbers. So, forklift tires serve as a front-line defense against the transference of shock to other forklift components and the operator.
Worn tires result in excessive vibration, which may cause engine and transmission fluid leaks, increased fuel consumption, a loss of braking or steering issues, as well as decreased load capacity. Additionally, shock from worn tires may result in operator fatigue, leading to more accidents, product or property damage, or worse yet, serious bodily injury.
When operating a forklift with worn tires, operators are prone to drag the load forks on the ground resulting in premature heel wear of the forks.
Eastern Lift Truck Co. technicians understand all these issues and are trained to help our customers identify them before they create additional problems. Our Southern Division, which covers DC, DE, MD, the panhandle of WV and Northern VA, is excited to introduce you to our brand-new fleet of mobile press trucks. We’re the only forklift dealer in this area to still handle this important service in-house. So, you have one vendor to deal with when you call us. Plus, we maintain a robust $400,000 tire inventory. Ask your ELTC Customer Service Rep. for a quote today.