Cushion tires used on cushion tired forklift trucks are made of smooth solid rubber and are fitted around a metal band. They are cheaper to manufacture and easier to maintain, but cushion tires do not get the same level of traction as a pneumatic tire, particularly outdoors. Cushion tires are best for smooth surface applications, primarily indoors or on loading docks. They also help with handling in smaller spaces, as they facilitate a smaller turning radius.
When you start looking to buy a forklift, one of the first things you will notice is the different tire types that are available. Pneumatic and cushion tires are the two most common, and those tire types are often used as a dividing line for the forklifts used in certain operations (along with fuel type) If your business operates a lot outdoors, then you may want to take a look at this post explaining pneumatic tires and why they are beneficial. But if you work mostly indoors, then cushion tires are made for you. To put it simply, cushion tires are made of a smooth rubber that is fitted around a metal band, great for indoor applications. The following are some of the major benefits of cushion tires.
Advantages of Cushion Tired Forklift Trucks: Great for Smooth Surface Applications
Cushion tires are designed specifically to work great on smooth surfaces, and the hard outer surface is designed to reduce chipping on the wheels. Cushion tires also contain more rubber, allowing for a safer, more comfortable ride for the operator. This extra rubber will also allow for longer service life. But, using these types of tires outside on uneven terrain could cause early chipping, and could be a safety hazard due to the reduced traction of the cushion tires. While it is alright for you to use it on smooth asphalt outdoors, we recommend you limit the time you use them outside.
Another reason cushion tires are great for indoor applications is that they allow for a more maneuverable forklift. They are able to fit a smaller forklift frame and have a lower ground clearance. When you operate in a warehouse, having a smaller forklift is important when it comes to making the most of your space. This allows you to navigate narrower aisles, and keep your racking closer together. The more space you have for racking, the more product you can hold in your warehouse.
Advantages of Cushion Tired Forklift Trucks: Cost-Effective
Because cushion tires require fewer materials to produce, it is less expensive for companies to manufacture them. This is good for you because they are usually cheaper than pneumatic tires. Another way cushion tires help you save money is by being easier to maintain. By making sure your warehouse floors are clear of debris, and not driving your forklift over tough terrain, you can help your cushion tires last.
Make sure you do some research, and really look into all of the different uses the forklift could get in order to make an informed decision. Once you choose a specific forklift and its tire type, I highly recommended against changing tire type on your forklift (and it’s often impossible to do so).
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The original article was published by Toyota Material Handling U.S.A.
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