Of all the forklift parts, forklift tires cover a greater percentage of productivity costs, with worn out tires taking 20-30% of operating costs. The operation of a forklift with worn out tires poses a risk of accidents and eats away at its productivity. Forklift tires are an integral part of its shock absorbing system, making it important as the forklift speed and manoeuvrability are also dependant on the amount of comfort for the operator. The condition of forklift tires therefore has a direct impact on the forklift speed, distance it covers every day, and overall productivity. The following are some of the signs to look out for to know when to change your forklift tires.
Signs of worn out forklift tires
The tire volume is indicated on the sidewall as 3 numbers for instance 21 x 7 x 15. The first number is the tire height (21), the 7 is the width and the 15 is the rim size. A simple measuring tape can be used to check the tire volume and when there is a loss of 2 inches on the standard tire volume, the truck will be working 15-18% harder and wearing out parts other than the tires. There is also a 50% wear line that is marked just above the tire size. If the top of the tire now meets the wear line, it is time to replace the tires.
Rubber fall off/ chunking
Routinely take a closer look at the tire surface for any pieces of rubber peeling off. This is caused by the rough surfaces on which the forklift will be operating. When chunks of rubber are falling off the tires, the forklift can start rattling and become unstable during operation. It can also be noticed when forklifts frequently run over sharp machinery edges. When you notice tearing of your forklift tires, the forklift tires needs to be replaced.
Another indicator that your tires are worn out is the presence of flat spots. These occur when forklift tires are screeched frequently during sharp turns and sudden halts while hauling heavy loads. Failure to replace tires with flat spots will make the forklift start shaking when it moves.
Keep an eye on the tire treads to avoid wearing them out unevenly and to know when to make a tire change. When your forklift tires start to become bald, it is a good sign that they need to be replaced as they lose traction. Watch out for overinflated or underinflated tires as they also pose a serious stability problem to forklifts and result in accelerated tire wear. Over inflated tires are more difficult to stop and under inflated tires make it challenging to turn.
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