Anyone who works with forklifts knows how crucial pre-shift inspections are. Before forklift operators begin their work, they must do a comprehensive safety and maintenance inspection of the whole vehicle. To complete these inspections successfully, operators must understand when forklift tires require replacement. When should you replace forklift tires?
Sometimes, a forklift’s tires have sustained too much damage or wear to function safely. Not only is this crucial for forklift operators to recognize, but it’s also something managers and business owners should identify so they can properly train new hires.
They Reach the 50 Percent Wear Line
Cushion and pneumatic are the two common classes of forklift tires. Each tire has its pros and cons depending on how you’re using them. One of the benefits of cushion tires is that most of them feature a 50 percent wear line. Tires develop wear and tear the more you use them, but when is the level of wear too high? When forklift operators see that the tire has worn down to the designated 50 percent line during inspections, it’s time to swap those tires out for a new set.
Visible Holes and Tears
Visible holes or tears indicate that the forklift needs a new set of tires. In fact, forklift tires can experience “chunking”—when chunks of rubber fall off. Chunking tires require immediate replacement.
This damage can result from various issues—poor operator driving habits, frequency of use, and unsafe floor conditions. For instance, cushion tires work great on smooth indoor surfaces. But they can suffer significant damage if operators use them on unstable, rough terrain. One crucial safety tip for operating forklifts in winter includes properly upgrading the tires ahead of time.
You’re Already Replacing One
The answer to “When should you replace forklift tires?” extends beyond looking for cosmetic damage. If you spot any of the issues above on one or two tires, don’t just replace those tires. When you’re replacing one tire, replace them all. This principle isn’t just useful for cars, but also for forklifts. Using tires of different ages will lead to an inconsistent and potentially dangerous performance. By replacing all tires at once, you can keep the forklift reliable, stable, and safe to use.