The life of the tire on a forklift is a difficult one. A forklift does not have suspension, so the tires alone are responsible for softening the ride for the cargo and the employee driving the vehicle. Forklift tires will have to traverse over some truly rough terrain at your factory or worksite and on average they will carry more than 9600 pounds at one time. In addition to all of the stopping, turning, reversing and accelerating that the forklift will do, the tires take quite a beating.
This is why it is important to keep a close eye on the tires of your forklift and to replace them when needed. Driving with damaged tires can cause a lot of issues, because the wear on the tires will not be even and will cause the vehicle to become unstable. Also, when the tires are low this means that you run the risk of hitting a dock plate or running into debris on the floor. Furthermore, the damaged tires will contribute to the greater vibration of the forklift, which results in increased driver fatigue and also wears out the forklift faster. The worn out tires will also be more likely to shake and jolt on harder surfaces, which can make the driver lose control or cause the load to become unstable.
Signs of Worn Out Forklift Tires
Driving a forklift with worn out tires is dangerous, so here are some signs to look for that will let you know that you should replace the tires as soon as possible.
- Take a look at the 50% wear line that is marked just above the tire size. If the top of the tire now meets the wear line, it is time to replace the tires.
- Examine the surface of the tire. Have pieces of rubber started to fall off? This can be caused by debris and litter on the floor or by the forklift driving over rough surfaces. If chunks of rubber have fallen off the tires, this can cause the forklift to rattle and become unstable when you are driving it.
- You might also notice tears in the surface of the tires, which is caused by debris on the floor of your workspace or by running the forklift over sharp machinery edges. If you see these, you should also replace the tires.
- Another sign to look out for are flat spots, which occur when the forklift tires are spun during acceleration or when it performs frequent sharp turns under heavy loads. This can cause the truck to start shaking when it moves.
- You should also watch out for tires that are under inflated or over inflated, as this can compromise their stability or accelerate the wear. Over inflated tires are more difficult to stop and under inflated tires make it challenging to turn the vehicle.
- Also, you should keep an eye on the wear of the tire tread. If the tires have started to become bald, this is a sign that they need to be replaced.
If you are concerned about the status of your tires, you can always consult the services of a forklift specialist to take a look at them. They will be able to give you advice on whether or not the tires of your forklift fleet need replacing. If the tires are worn or damaged in any way, they will likely recommend replacement so that the vehicle will not only function better, but also be much safer for you and your employees to drive while you are on the job.
Aki Hashimoto is a writer who believes that businesses who use heavy machinery and vehicles such as forklift trucks should consider the safety of their staff constantly. By monitoring and replacing forklift tyres when necessary, you will help to improve the safety of your business environment.