It’s easy to overlook the humble tire when it comes to maintaining a forklift. Choose the wrong tire, however, and you could end up with a dramatic increase in fleet operating costs or, worse yet, increased safety risks. Choose the right one, and you can realize significant cost-savings, improved safety, and a more efficient operation. For example, a properly chosen tire can last 40 percent longer.
Making those right decisions can be difficult, because contrary to conventional wisdom, tires are very complex components. There are many brands, types, compounds and treads, which means you must be fully armed with data before making a purchase. Here are some questions we typically ask our customers:
If you are evaluating tires for more than one forklift be prepared to answer the previous questions for each unit.
In addition to knowing the specifics about your tire needs, it will be helpful for you to understand the unique wording used for forktruck tires. Some commonly used terms include:
Durometer is used to describe the hardness of forklift tires. The higher the durometer number, the harder the tire. Most load tires range in durometer from 83 to 95. Our industry uses a couple of standard classifications that cover 80 percent of the tires purchased today.
Softer tires, like rubber, provide better traction for facilities where frequent maneuvering is required. They also are more forgiving of floor debris and offer the operator a more comfortable ride. Be aware, however, tires made of softer compounds create heat and wear faster, making them a less desirable choice for applications where maximum speed and long runs are the norm.
Harder tires are excellent for maximum loads, multiple shifts, long runs and high speed applications. They will wear better and last longer than tires made of softer compounds. But the ride will be harder and the tire more vulnerable to floor debris. They offer less resistance and are well suited to operators especially concerned with energy efficiency.
The actual tread of the tire is important to consider, too. Pay special attention to whether you want a smooth tire, such as for indoor applications, or a treaded one, for forklifts operated outdoors or over uneven terrain.
We recommend operators track by application how well their tires perform. Create a spreadsheet with rows for each of your forklifts. Track the date tires were purchased, the type of tire, the reason for the replacement and the hour meter reading. Over time, you will see trends emerge that will help you adjust purchasing decisions for the type of performance you need, such as correlations between harder tires and damage, or softer tires and premature wearing.
In the end, there is no one tire that can optimize tread life, traction, durability and fuel efficiency. The key is finding the best fit for each of your forklift material-handling applications. Working with a company that is knowledgeable about forklift tires can assist you in selecting the right application and optimize your fleets for performance. PMT Forklifts, Inc. has been helping companies select the right tires for decades. Give us a call today to discuss your tire performance and let us help you improve your bottom line!
I have been dealing with PMT for over a decade. This is a family run business and each family member is talented in each division of business and a pleasure to deal with. I have peace of mind knowing PMT will perform with dependability and be there when we need them. From forklifts to pallet jacks I highly recommend them.
Mark was very informative and easy to work with as well as Kathy. We had a big meeting at our office and they accommodated us for two separate certification classes on the same day. Paul was also fantastic, our guys truly appreciated coming out to the office.
PMT Forklifts is the best!!! Year after year they always pull through on our super complex project in Rockefeller Center. The staff is super helpful and very attentive to our needs. Thank you PMT!!!
Fantastic! Incredible service. Reached out to so many companies for quotes and PMT was the most attentive and provided a great product. Highly highly recommend!!
Found PMT Forklift to be very professional, courteous and knowledgeable. Russ was always available when needed. Five stars.
Dan Gettinger- M. Schwartz & Gettinger Feather, Inc. (Hauppauge, NY)
We purchaser a used unit that looks like new. Gabriel was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend calling him if your are in the market