Forklift Tire Selection Guide

Outfitting your forklift with the proper tires is key to the performance of your forklift truck and its productivity. When it's time to replace your forklift tires, refer to this guide to help identify which type of tire is best for your application

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Cushion Forklift Tires

What are cushion/press-on forklift tires?

Cushion forklift tires, also known as press-on tires, are airless and constructed of solid rubber formed onto a steel band. These tires are durable and ideal for indoor or light outdoor use on smoother surfaces. 

What are different types of cushion/press-on tires?
Types of cushion forklifts include smooth tires, best for indoor applications needing coverage for the entire facility and stability, and non-marking tires, best for applications where maintaining clean surfaces is essential.
What applications are cushion tires best for?

Cushion tire forklifts are best utilized in indoor applications, and on electric forklifts, as they have a shorter lifespan than rugged outdoor options, such as pneumatic tires. This includes plants, warehouses, and other indoor applications with smooth surfaces. 

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Pneumatic Forklift Tires

What applications are pneumatic tires best for?
Pneumatic forklift tires, both air-filled and solid, can be used indoors and outdoors, though solid pneumatic tires are the best option for more rugged outdoor applications where there is loose terrain, debris, and uneven grounds. 

Traditional, air-filled pneumatic tires are a more durable outdoor option than cushion tires, though should be cautious of rougher terrain and debris to avoid punctures to the tires. 
What are pneumatic forklift tires?
Pneumatic forklift tires are similar to car or truck tires and made of durable traction rubber. 
What are the different types of pneumatic forklift tires?
Pneumatic forklift tires are either filled with compressed air or made out of solid rubber.

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Polyurethane Forklift Tires

What are polyurethane forklift tires?

Polyurethane tires are a type of press-on tire with better traction and resilience than rubber tires, as they will not split or chunk out from frequently carrying large loads.

What applications are polyurethane forklift tires best for?

Polyurethane tires are best for cold storage environments or applications with wet floors. This type of tire has good stability, especially in tight spaces, making them ideal for applications with narrow aisles where standup forklifts/order pickers are used. 

How to Know When You Should Replace Your Forklift Tires

Learn what to look for when inspecting your forklift tires, and when it's time to replace them.


If too much heat occurs, primarily during long forklift runs, the rubber compound turns to a gel and blows out the sidewall of the tire.


When poorly bonded, press-on tires will begin to separate from the steel band and appear to be falling off the forklift. 

Low air pressure


When running on underinflated tires you can easily overload the pneumatic tire, running the risk of sidewall separation, blowouts, rapid tread wear, and bead failures.


When forklift tires operate in extreme temperatures, collide with objects or continuously travel over debris, the tires will begin to lose pieces of tread, known as chunking or chipping. 

Though a forklift operating with damaged tires is still operational, the condition of the lift truck's tires could negatively impact other maintenance components and productivity.


When the forklift appears to have concave dents in the tire surface, resulting in the forklift traveling unevenly.


Uneven wear on your forklift tires could indicate that an inspection is needed, as the truck has most likely undergone improper use – such as sharp turns with heavy loads or excessive and heavy braking.

Flat or uneven spots can also occur when a warehouse or factory has uneven floors, causing uneven wear, and resulting in faster wear.


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