Forklift tires are available in three types: Cushion, Solid & Air Pneumatic tires.
These tires are composed of solid rubber and are directly pressed onto the wheel. They sit lower to the ground and offer a smaller turning radius, which provides an advantage in manoeuvrability. Cushion Tires are primarily suited for indoor or paved applications use as they can struggle on uneven surfaces like gravel. Cushion tires are offered as rubber or polyurethane. Rubber tires are standard. Polyurethane is a synthetic material that is stronger than rubber. They are more expensive but have a higher load capacity and last 2-4 times as long.
Solid Rubber Forklift Tires are exactly as you would picture them. They are made of the same rubber as the Pneumatic Forklift Tires, but instead of being filled with air, are solid rubber all the way through, wrapped around a metal band. The Solid Rubber Forklift Tires will last a very long time. The trade-off, though is less protection for your vehicle. Solid Rubber Forklift Tires can be used outdoors, but only for lighter jobs. For heavy-duty outdoor jobs, you will require Pneumatic Forklift Tires.
Air Pneumatic Tires
Pneumatic tires are like car tires. They provide high performance and a strong grip on uneven surfaces, or uneven terrain. They also have a tread and are also larger and wider than cushion tires.
Depending on the chemical composition, forklift tires can exhibit dramatically different characteristics. For example, marking tires are made from a mixture of natural and/or synthetic rubbers and black carbon, a composition that dramatically improves tire life compared to other formulations. The black carbon, in particular, reduces heat absorption and protects the tires against UV radiation – two key factors in tire wear.
Non-marking tires are made from a mixture of synthetic rubber and white silica (chalk) gel or resin instead of black carbon. By replacing black carbon with silica, these tires do not leave black marks and/or residue due to rapid starts, stops or turns. Instead, non-marking tires leave a chalk-like dust, which doesn’t adhere to the floor and is easily swept up. This is absolutely essential for applications in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries, where black carbon residue is prohibited by law. Most polyurethane tires are also non-marking.