Forklifts have so many different specifications, when it comes to capacities, lift heights and attachments. Well its no different when it comes to forklift tyres, you have a few different options such as cushion Tyres, pneumatic tyres, solid tyres or polyurethane.
Well there there is also the option of solid filling your pneumatic tyres. It basically includes ‘In-fill’ materials (for Pneumatic Tyres) and ‘In-fill’ materials include sprays, rubber foams and urethane fills.
Along the way in developing these fill products, there have been many problems associated with these types of fillings, they have tended to leave voids in the material. The latest urethane/rubber fillings, which are not a foam, are put into the tyre as a liquid, then pressurized and cured.
Over the last 10 to 15 years a number of proprietary items have been marketed to prevent punctures in pneumatic tyres, but very few have been successful until recently.
Advantages of ‘In-fill’ materials
The advantage of ‘in-fill’ materials is that the tyre —
(a) can operate at higher speed ratings than the resilient type of tyre;
(b) gives similar ride characteristics to the pneumatic tyre; and
(c) completely avoids ‘down-time’ on expensive machines which operate on difficult sites and away from a service point. Obviously you don’t get punctures with a Solid Filled Pneumatic forklift tyre, so it will save you from down-time with less tyre punctures.
Disadvantages of ‘In-fill’ materials
The one biggest disadvantage of ‘in-fill’ materials is that once the tyre is pressurized it cannot be altered to obtain more or less flotation.
With the above in mind, before you are looking to solid fill your pneumatic forklift tyres, you should always talk to your Industrial tyre supplier before you go down the solid filling route to ensure it’s the right thing for your operating environment.
You also need to way up the cost of solid filling vs. buying a solid puncture proof tyre, as its usually charged by the Kilo and can get quote expensive.
Once you wear out the tyres that has been solid filled, it can also be a problem and getting the remaining tyre off the rim so a new tyre can be fitted. You can potentially damage the rim.
So there you are, if you are looking at solid filling your pneumatic forklift tyres, we are not saying don’t do it, we are just saying be aware of what you are doing it for.