Can You Plug a Forklift Tire?

If you have a flat tire on your forklift, can you simply plug it like you would a car tire? The answer might surprise you. Here’s what you need to know about forklift tires and proper maintenance.

If you have a punctured pneumatic tire, you may be able to plug it with a special kit

A punctured pneumatic forklift tire can be one of the most frustrating problems on a busy day, and in many cases, it can seem like you have no choice but to spend money getting a new tire. However, a simple repair kit can be a lifesaver, allowing you to plug up your puncture and keep your wheel in service for longer. These kits typically include a patch of special rubber as well as a vulcanizing solution for bonding it to the inside of the tube. When correctly applied, this patch will provide an airtight seal in the area of the puncture, allowing for normal use of the tire until a proper replacement is available. The procedure itself is fairly straightforward and requires only minimal supplies (except for possibly the removal tool used to take out the old valve stem). In addition to saving money on repairs, this method can also save you time by reducing or preventing downtime due to a flat tire.

When Should Forklift Tires Be Replaced?

The lifespan of a forklift tire is much shorter than that of a car’s, and how often they need to be changed depends greatly on the work conditions and operator habits. You can tell if it’s time for new tires by inspecting them visually for these signs:

  • If the rubber on your tires fall below the safety line on the sidewall, it’s time for new tires
  • Pneumatic Cushion Tires – Replace your tires when 30% of the tread has worn down.
  • Solid Pneumatic Tires – Get new tires when you’ve lost about 75% of the tread on your current ones.
  • Cracking in Polyurethane Tires – If your tires have cracks in the sidewalls, replace them.
  • Flat Spots – Inspect your tires periodically for any flat spots or uneven wear.
  • Deep Cuts – If your tires have deep cuts in them, you should replace them.
  • Missing Chunks – Tires should be replaced when the rubber has large chunks missing.

Forklift Tire Replacement

You’ll know it’s time to replace your forklift tires when you notice wear and tear, or if they become unsafe. While polyurethane lasts longer, both types will require replacing eventually. It also depends on the surface – driving over rough terrain won’t do them any favors. When it is time to get new tires, you can often find the cheapest prices online. Click here to check out new tires for sale on FleetNow.