Forklifts are categorized by their tire type. There are three categories of tires for forklifts: cushion tires, pneumatic tires, and rough terrain. Rough terrain tires are typically used for outdoor areas and tougher conditions, but how do you decide if cushion tires or pneumatic tires are right for your forklift? Choosing the proper tires for your forklift affects the handling, safety, and frame of your vehicle. There is a myriad of factors to consider when it comes to deciding between pneumatic tire forklifts and cushion tire forklifts—here are some help facts to consider when determining what you should use for your next project.


Cushion Tires

If your forklift will be operating primarily indoors or very occasionally on easier surfaces like asphalt, cushion tire lifts are a reliable choice. They sit lower to the ground than pneumatic tires and provide outstanding traction on smooth surfaces. However, they don’t stand up well to rougher terrain like asphalt or gravel over an extended period. Traction-style tires can be installed on the front of your forklift to ease the burden somewhat, but they still aren’t an ideal choice for those conditions. Cushion tire forklifts do offer a smaller turning radius, making them perfectly suited for smaller manufacturing facilities. If you plan on using a lift truck for working in a smaller, less-rough environment than cushion tires are a great fit for your next project.


Pneumatic Tires

There are two types of pneumatic tires: air-filled pneumatic and solid pneumatic. Air pneumatic tires are similar to standard car tires, while solid pneumatic tires are made up of solid rubber. Air-filled tires offer durable quality and a smooth ride, and work perfectly so long as the surface doesn’t have any sharp objects protruding out. Although they can also be used indoors like cushion tires, they work perfectly fine on asphalt and gravel. For rougher conditions like lumber yards, solid pneumatic forklifts are a better alternative. When you’re working in an area with sharp objects, it’s crucial that your tires are resistant to pops or punctures.


Before you make any tire purchase for your forklift, take the time to evaluate your project at a granular level: what sort of work are you looking to accomplish? Where are you going to accomplish it? How long is the project going to take? If you have any further questions or inquiries, reach out to our team at Brennan today.

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