A guide to the types of forklift tires

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

Guide to Forklift Tires

With the variety of different types of forklift tires available, choosing the right type of forklift tires can be a little confusing. With our forklift tire guide, we hope to give you a little more insight when it comes to the most common types of forklift tires and what applications to use them in.

Different types of forklift tires and their uses

Cushion Tires
Cushion tires are solid rubber tires that are pressed directly onto the wheel. They are typically lower to the ground and may have a smaller turning radius. Cushion tires are best used indoors or on paved surfaces. However, due to the rigidness of cushion tires, we do not recommend taking these on uneven or rough surfaces as they do not have enough grip and would not provide a comfortable ride. Cushion tires can come in smooth, lugged and ‘non-marking’ varieties. Note that machines are designed specifically to offer cushion tires, and you can’t move between cushion and pneumatic on the same machine.

Pneumatic Tires (Air-Filled)
Similar to a car tire, air-filled pneumatic tires are as the name suggests, filled with air! This means they can absorb the unevenness of terrain giving a smoother ride and more traction. These tires are perfect for uneven or rough terrain. Keep in mind that air-filled tires are not puncture-proof. This means if you’re operating in an area with sharp objects or nails floating around, you might want to consider a foam-filled or solid option instead.

Pneumatic Tires (Foam-Filled)
Pneumatic foam-filled tires are similar to their air-filled counterpart. The main difference is they are filled with foam instead of air, but are more expensive and tend to be heavier. Foam-filled pneumatic tires have the advantage of being puncture-proof while keeping most of the traction and ride quality of the air-filled tires. This makes them the perfect choice for uneven terrain and puncture-prone applications.

Pneumatic Tires (Solid)
Solid rubber pneumatic tires are the most prevalent tire on the market today. Many people will confuse solid pneumatic tires with cushion tires, but they’re quite different, as solid pneumatic tires are generally larger, have greater traction and allow for both indoor and outdoor applications. Though these tires may not be ideal for more specific applications, they are a great all-around solution that can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Frequently asked questions about forklift tires

What are forklift tires made of?
Most forklift tires are made from rubber. However, some forklift tires are made of other materials like polyurethane and may contain carbon black or hydrated silicas.

How long do forklift tires last?
Depending on the type of tire, quality, application and operation, forklift tires should last between 2,000 to 2,400 hours.

How do I choose a forklift tire?
Choosing the right tires for your forklift is entirely dependent on your specific situation and application. Don’t settle on replacing what you have with the same. If you’re not sure what tires are right for your application, feel free to reach out to our team of experts and we’ll help you find the perfect solution!

Where can I buy forklift tires?
You should be able to purchase forklift tires at any forklift dealer. Forklift tires can also be purchased online and shipped directly to you.