9th Aug 2019
Even though polyurethane tires usually outlast both pneumatic and rubber tires for similar applications, improper use can expose them to damage or accelerate existing damage.
For instance, overloading, over-speeding and running over debris have been observed to cause serious damage to polyurethane tires as we'll see in this article.
So What Are Some Of the Observable damages to Polyurethane Tires?
One observable damage to polyurethane tires is cracking that develops on the sides of the tires.
These cracks normally occur when the tires are overloaded which eventually makes them stretched beyond their elastic limit.
You can prevent this from happening by getting polyurethane tires that have a tapered sidewall or going for those with a harder durometer.
Another sure sign that your polyurethane tires need replacement is when they start chunking.
They can begin chunking if they are exposed to docking impacts where shear forces develop destroying their structure.
It can also happen due to bad driving habits like sudden braking and frequent turns. You can solve this problem by going for tires with a harder durometer or thicker treads.
In some cases, the damage on the tires manifests as wrinkles on the surface of the tire.
They occur when an operator tries to maneuver around a tight corner with only tires moving while the forklift remains stationary. This kind of movement exposes the tires to high shear forces that lead to the development of folds on the surface.
You can prevent such damage by going for polyurethane tires that have a harder durometer.
It is also common to find tires that are still in good condition with cuts on the surface. The main culprit for this kind of damage is usually the debris that is left lying around the warehouse.
Sometimes this debris can be sharp enabling them to cut through the polyurethane tires while the operator rides over them.
The solution for this is to go for tires with a softer durometer.
In a busy warehouse with fewer fleet, practices like overloading and over-speeding meant to ensure the set targets are met are common.
However, when polyurethane tires are exposed to such practices they eventually experience meltdowns.
The meltdown occurs because the polyurethane tires experience a build-up of heat internally.
You can prevent meltdowns from happening by using tires with a harder durometer or a center groove to counter the effects of a heat build-up.
Yes, polyurethane tires are known for their durability but improper use can lead to cracking, chunking, tearing, cuts and meltdowns which reduce their usable life. However, you can prevent damage on them by choosing those with the right qualities to limit damage.
Forklift Tire Company is one of the largest suppliers of forklift tires in the USA. We would be very happy to help you find the right tires for your forklift truck. Visit our online store here for great discounts and assistance.