By: Trinton Castetter
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Forklifts don’t have a traditional suspension system so the entire weight of the forklift and its load rests on the tires. Your average 5,000 lb. capacity forklift actually has to support up over 11,000 lbs. of weight on the front tires when fully loaded which is no small feat. Using a forklift with tires that need to be replaced can damage your forklift and create a dangerous environment for your operator as well as others nearby. Tires that need to be replaced can cause your forklift to be unstable. Riding in a forklift that needs to have its tires changed is uncomfortable for the operator and can lead to fatigue and mistakes.
Because tires that need to be replaced can become a hazard, it’s important to know how to tell when it’s time to change yours. During your pre-shift inspection, make sure to look for these warning signs that your tires may need to be replaced and contact Welch Equipment for assistance if any of them are detected.
Tires worn over the wear line. Many forklift tires have a wear line, often called the 50% wear line. When the wear of your tires reaches that line, it’s time to replace.
Chunking. If pieces, or chunks, of your forklift tires are falling off, that’s a good sign you need to replace them.
Tearing on the tires. Similar to chunking, if your tires are tearing off in spots, they need to be replaced.
Flat Spots. Your tires should be round, if they’re flat in any place, it’s time to replace them.
When inspecting your tires also make sure to check if there are any uneven signs of wear on each individual tire and between tires on the front and rear and on the left and right side. There could be an underlying issue that is causing premature wear due to the forklift’s condition or the application. Be sure to check your rims for any bending as they may need to be replaced as well. Tire pressure on air-filled, pneumatic tires should also be maintained at the manufacturer’s recommended level.
State and Federal law requires that you be fully trained and qualified before performing maintenance on wheels and tires. Our certified technicians are available to assist you with recognizing potential issues and with maintenance and repair. Contact us for more information about setting up an appointment today!