The Difference Between Cushion and Pneumatic Forklift Tires

A forklift, or any piece of heavy machinery, is an investment for your company or project. Choosing a model with the right features to do the job is challenging, and there many components and decisions to make. Choosing between cushion and pneumatic forklifts tires is one of the decisions you will have to make when finding the new forklift or used forklift for your needs.

This choice will depend on the forklift’s primary function, as well as the brand and model. Most models already have a specific tire choice; therefore, you must understand the difference between the two.

Pneumatic Forklift Tires: The Advantages

Pneumatic forklift tires are similar to personal motor vehicle tires, such as cars and trucks. They consist of rubber, and most are inflated with air. They are very versatile and are excellent for uneven surfaces as they are known for their firm grip.

One of the advantages of pneumatic tires is that you can use them for a wide range of conditions. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments, and forklifts would need to work between the two. 

They are able to operate in rugged conditions, such as wet ground, uneven or less stable surfaces or ground, and on slopes or rough terrain. These types of tires are ideal for forklifts operating on construction sites.

There are multiple types of pneumatic forklift tires. Air pneumatic tires are inflated and can survive through some punctures. Solid pneumatic tires are made of rubber compounds that are not inflated, making them puncture-proof for the toughest challenges. At the end of the day, all pneumatic forklift tires are known for their durability and smooth ride.

Pneumatic Forklift Tires: The Disadvantages

When comparing cushion and pneumatic forklift tires, pneumatic tires are more expensive. Tires are an investment, but sometimes it is not worth paying the upcharge for pneumatic tires if you do not have the rough terrain needs.

Sometimes with pneumatic tires, it is difficult to get the ideal tire pressure. Variations in pressure can affect your tires and forklift’s performance. It can also cause the tire to wear faster than other types of tires. Air-filled pneumatic tires are also susceptible to puncture in comparison to other types of tires.

Cushion Tires: Pros

Cushion tires are constructed of one piece of solid rubber wrapped around a metal band. There are many advantages to this simple design. For example, these tires are maintenance-free, which means your team will have less work to prepare for the day and a lower chance of needing to troubleshoot problems that arise.

These tires are perfect for indoor use on even, stable ground, such as a warehouse. They don’t grip surfaces very tightly, which can be an advantage for these types of environments. One advantage is they boast a smaller turning radius and can navigate narrow spaces.

Cushion Tires: Cons

Due to their simple design, cushion tires cannot be used on rough or uneven terrain. They do not have a strong grip, making them unsuitable for outdoor conditions. 

Additionally, they are not designed for use in unpredictable situations, such as on construction sites. They are primarily ideal for working indoors in a warehouse.

The Right Tire for the Job

Selecting the right tire comes down to your forklift needs. You must consider the ground your forklift will be operating on, as well as the conditions during its use. Your team’s safety is the top priority, and the tires you choose need to be a safe fit for your needs. 

Additionally, your team needs to be able to handle and maintain the equipment that you purchase. The cost must also be considered when selecting tires for your forklift. A combination of these considerations can help you decide on forklift tires for your needs.

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