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Why and when to replace forklift tires

Sep 01 2022 Tires Safety 3 Min. Read

Forklift tires are essential to your equipment’s safe operation. Worn tires can cause accidents and harm forklift operators. Let’s review the why and when of forklift tire replacement.

Why replacing forklift tires is important

There is a lot riding on your forklift’s tires. Efficiency, the overall safe operation of the vehicle and the protection and comfort of forklift operators to name a few.

Forklift safety

Forklifts do not have suspension systems like cars, so the tires are essential to the vehicle’s stability. Forklifts have narrow wheelbases and carry heavy loads, making them susceptible to tip-over accidents. Tire damage and wear make instability worse, adding to the potential for the truck to tip over. Plus, worn, or damaged tires may lack the traction needed to prevent slipping and swerving on slick surfaces.

Forklift operators

Because there’s no suspension system to cushion a forklift operator from the bumps and shocks of driving through a facility, forklift tires play a big role in protecting operators. Worn or damaged tires will make for a rough ride. That can translate to operator injuries, lost work hours, more insurance claims, and worker dissatisfaction.

When is it time to replace forklift tires?

The two major reasons for replacing forklift tires are wear and damage. Encourage your forklift operators to inspect their truck’s tires each day before they start their shift. Here’s what to look for.


Ask your operators to look at the side of the tires. If they are cushion tires, they’ll see the tire’s size printed there. If a tire is worn down to the top of the printed tire size numbers, it’s time to replace it.

For solid pneumatic tires, there’s a wear ring or wear band. If an operator sees that a tire is worn down enough to expose that ring, it’s time to replace.


While the operator is looking at the tires for excess wear, he or she should also look for tire damage. Chunking, tearing, cracking, and any other damage will add to the instability of the vehicle and means the tire needs to be replaced.

Whether it’s wear or damage, you’ll need to replace both the offending tire and the tire directly opposite on the same axle. Having tires with unmatched wear makes for an unstable forklift since a new tire will be bigger than one that’s been used.

Morrison - your partner for forklift tires

Replacing forklift tires is often tricky. Experimenting on your own can be dangerous. Leave it to our trained, qualified forklift technicians. For repairs and preventive maintenance in Michigan and Northern Indiana, you can call us at 855.811.5250 or schedule an appointment online.

Each tire replacement service with Morrison includes disposal of the old tires along with the installation of new ones. Please plan to give us the following information:

  • Model
  • Serial Number
  • Size of the tire (molded into the side and inside sidewall
  • Compound (usually we can figure it out by the color)