Forklift trucks play a significant role in the smooth running of manufacturing and distribution operations and a breakdown can have a detrimental affect on productivity. Servicing your forklift truck is important, however quite often tyre maintenance is overlooked, leading to long term safety and performance issues.
Forklift tyres sustain wear and damage through regular use, and it is easy to assume they don’t require attention because the forklift is still functioning, however if not maintained properly, worn tyres can cause issues that will decrease both driver and fleet productivity.
Knowing the impacts of tyre wear
- Load stability - jarring and rocking caused by worn tyres can compromise the stability of the machine, leading to damaged products. Little to no cushioning from worn tyres can cause stress and shock to the steering mechanism, leading to stability issues.
- Tyre blow out - there is potential for the truck to tip-over, cause loss of load, and potential injury.
- Engine and transmission damage - reduced ground clearances from tyre wear subjects assemblies' underneath to more damage. Little to no cushioning from worn tyres can also loosen hardware on the unit, causing engines and transmissions to leak.
- Operation downtime - mechanical damage or flat tyres caused by long time tyre wear would mean the forklift trucks are out of use until they are repaired, this could slow down or even stop the operation, decreasing business productivity.
- Operator safety - results of unexpected damage or instability of the machine or load can lead to accidents and injuries to the driver or others in the working area.
- Operator fatigue - worn tyres can slow down the job, creating stress and fatigue for the driver, resulting in an increase of potential for mistakes and safety accidents.
- Facility damage - of the floors.
It is a lawful requirement to maintain tyres to a set standard and important to know when to replace them after they sustain a certain amount of wear or noticeable damage.
Knowing the warning signs
Forklift tyres typically fall into two types; pneumatic or cushion, and it is important to know the warning signs to look out for associated with each type when knowing if it is time to replace your tyres.
• Balding – tyres wearing at different rates.
• Cuts – visible cord and/or frayed cord piles.
• Inflation – under or over-inflated tyres.
• Flat spots – bald areas.
• Tearing - torn areas of rubber.
• Chunking and cracks – rubber loss and debris.
Is it time to replace your forklift tyres?
Well maintained tyres will enhance the stability of your carry load, increase your fleet productivity, and support the safety of your operators. Toyota provides a one stop shop for all forklift tyre care.