Tyre failure? Preferably not … a broken down forklift costs a lot of money! Make sure to replace your worn out tyres before they fail. But do you know when a tyre has to be replaced?
Why replace a worn out tyre?
Worn out tyres are a risk to the safety of your forklift and forklift driver. Worn out, damaged or underinflated tyres increase the risk of your forklift toppling over, especially if the forklift is carrying heavy loads. Even though certain safety measures are already provided, e.g. seat belts and a safety cage, worn out tyres are still the cause of many serious injuries. Bare tyres also bring along excessive vibrations which can lead to back complaints of your forklift driver.
When should you replace your tyres?
Forklift tyres have to be replaced from time to time. It’s difficult to put a certain timing on wear and tear as this greatly depends on:
- Tyre quality
- Application and environment
- Driver behaviour
- Surface conditions
- Ambient temperature
Pneumatic tyres have a certain tread pattern. Just like car tyres, you replace them when the tread pattern is no longer visible. Forklifts that are only used indoors don’t really need a tread pattern as the floor is usually mostly dry and quite flat. Whenever your forklift is used both inside and outside, we advise you to choose tyres with a profile as these provide better grip on wet and uneven surfaces.
Solid tyres are often replaced prematurely. The depth of the profile isn’t really a good indicator for the remaining service span of the tyre. Even if the profile is completely gone, you can still continue to use the tyre. How? Use a tyre cutter to cut a new profile in the tyre tread.
So how do I know if my solid tyre has to be replaced?
Undamaged solid tyres can be worn down to the 60-J line. The 60-J line, also known as the safety line, is indicated on the sidewall of your tyre. This line indicates the transition between the wear surface and the softer core of the tyre. The safety line often lies a few centimeters deeper than the start of your tread pattern. Once you reach the 60J-line, you can no longer regroove the tyre surface and your tyre has to be replaced.
Can you prevent wear and tear of your tyres?
A good driving behaviour is essential in preventing wear and tear of your tyres. Taking a turn too fast, accelerating hard and braking abruptly can cause severe damage. Just like your car, it is very important that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure to save energy and prevent damage. If you use pneumatic tyres, we advise you to check the tyre pressure of your forklifts monthly, as this is something that is often forgotten. This is important however, as underinflated tyres can result in an unstable forklift prone to tipping over, burst tyres, and also cause a higher energy consumption (especially on electric forklifts). This monthly check also enables you to detect minor tyre failures.
Martijn, TVH Blogger