When and How to Change Forklift Tires

When and How to Change Forklift Tires

28th Mar 2018

When and How to Change Forklift Tires

Forklifts undergo a substantial amount of wear and tear throughout its usage and checking for wear, especially on the tires, is essential.

Forklifts lack a suspension system unlike other automotives. Therefore, the entire weight of the forklift is supported by the tires. Average forklift tires can support nearly 10,000 lbs.! Using a forklift with damaged tires not only damages your forklift, but also creates a dangerous environment for the operator as well as others nearby. Work out tires cause your forklift to become unstable and moreover, riding it on a forklift is very uncomfortable leading to fatigue and fatal errors.

Furthermore, worn out tires leave the operator to absorb all the shock, if the forklift is operated under rough surfaces. To be precise, the transmission must work extra hard to make the tires turn the same amount of rotation, resulting in a breakdown. Swapping tires is a relatively inexpensive way to maintain your forklift and its operation top notch. Not forgetting the health benefits attributed to the operator when he/she absorbs less shock.

Every forklift tire has its own ways to determine if they should be replaced. In general, the tires letters can act as a guide and when there is less than an inch of space between the outer rim of the tire and the letters then it is prime time you replaced them.

On cushion tires, for instance, each tire has intricate number markings of its size, i.e., a set of size “21x7x15”. When the tire’s rubber wears down until the top of its surface kisses these numbers, it is time to replace them.

On solid pneumatic tires, on the other hand, there is a ring or band that serves as a marker. Once the tire wear reached this strip, then it is high time for a new outfit. The beauty of pneumatic tires is that they are a solid mass, letting you get the most out of it, but this increases the chances of slipping and tipping due to reduced tread surface and friction with the surface.

Since operating on worn out tires is hazardous, this article guides you on when to change your forklift tires and how to change them.

Other Signs that your Tires need Replacing

Aside from the ring/band or letter and number markings, there are other determinants that imply the need for forklift tire replacement. Take a gander at these critical signs to indicate your forklift tires is nearing its end and you should change them to prevent danger and extra forklift wear.

  • Chunking.

If your forklift tires are having pieces, or chunks out of it falling off, it’s a good indicator that your tires need replacing.

  • Tearing on the tires.

Quite similar to chunking, your tires will start tearing off in spots, once they reach critical use.

  • Flat Spots.

Your tires should be well rounded, if they are irregularly shaped due to flat areas, then replace them immediately.

What you need to Replace Forklift Tires

You will require the following items to replace either a Cushion or Pneumatic Forklift Tire

  • A forklift jack
  • Correct size forklift tire
  • Impact wrench
  • Forklift tire press (if changing cushion tires)

Instructions for Changing Forklift Tires

  1. First, find a completely flat surface, clear from obstacles to work on.
  2. Begin by loosening the lug nuts on the wheel that needs replacing with the air impact wrench. Remember, just loosen the nuts and don’t remove them completely.
  3. With a forklift jack, raise the side of the forklift that needs to be replaced.
  4. As the forklift gets off the ground, proceed now to remove the lug nuts.
  5. If your forklift uses solid pneumatic tires, just replace it with a new wheel and continue from step seven. If it’s a solid cushion-type tire, first remove the rubber from the wheel and using a forklift tire press, press a new one on.
  6. Once you’ve replaced the wheel onto the hub, tighten the lug nuts with your fingers first, then tighten them to spec using the air impact tool. Don’t apply too much force as tightening it too much also damages the tire hub, adding costs of repairs and if the wheel is not held in place tightly, it may come loose and drift away from the forklift.
  7. Double check the wheel to ensure it is spinning freely and most importantly, is balanced.
  8. Lower the forklift and remove the forklift jack.
  9. Test drive to ensure it provides a smooth ride.

Skipping any of the steps or incorporating the use of an improper lifting method has the potential to cause serious injury or even possibly, death.

Essential Safety Precautions for Changing Forklift Tires

If changing solid forklift tires due to regular wear, it is essential that you consider replacing both opposite wheels at the same time. While your first instinct may involve wanting to save money, an unbalanced forklift is prone to tipping or slipping while under load, leading to injury both to the driver and any others around.

Storing your Forklift Tires

Tires have a shorter shelf life, usually months. Therefore, limit storing tires in stores for long. They should also be stored in a cool, dark, dry, oil and dirt-free area. Depending on usage, a solid tire normally outlasts a pneumatic tire, to the ration of 2:1, i.e., for every one solid tire used, 2 pneumatic tires have been expended.

The forklift tire market is vast, imbued with different tires suitable for your forklift needs. Is it the rough outdoor terrain, then a pneumatic tire is ideal. Or perhaps it’s for the smooth indoor surfaces inside your warehouse, then a polyurethane tire is the item for you.

Forklift tire replacement is indeed a tricky venture which must be done with specialized tools and with diligence. Thus, you should leave it to the professionals and should never attempt to do so on your own. For repairs and preventative maintenance innew free mobile service in So Cal, and Miami, you can call our service dispatch.