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Monday, October 2, 2023

Knowing when it's time to replace forklift tires is essential for safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in your warehouse or industrial facility. During your pre-shift inspection, make sure to look for these warning signs that your tires may need replaced:

Tread Wear: Excessive tread wear is one of the most obvious signs that your forklift tires need replacement. When the tread depth reaches the wear limit indicated on the tire, it's time for new ones.

Flat Spots: If you notice flat spots or uneven wear patterns on the tire surface, it can affect the forklift's stability and performance. This is a clear indication that replacement is necessary.

Cracks or Cuts: Visible cracks, cuts, or gouges in the tire rubber can compromise its structural integrity and safety. Damaged tires should be replaced promptly.

Bulges or Blisters: Bulges or blisters on the tire's sidewall or tread area are signs of internal damage. These can lead to blowouts or other hazardous situations and should be addressed immediately.

Loss of Traction: Reduced traction and slipping on surfaces that were previously manageable can be a sign of tire wear.

Vibration: Excessive vibrations during forklift operation can be caused by worn tires. Vibrations can lead to operator fatigue and affect the forklift's stability.

Regular inspections of your forklift tires and keeping accurate maintenance records can help you identify these signs early and replace tires as needed, ensuring the safety of your operators and the efficiency of your material handling operations.

Our certified technicians are available to assist you with recognizing potential issues and with maintenance and repair.

Dillon Toyota Lift is also offering a special on forklift tires now through November 30th, 2023. Save 15% on tires & additional discounts available for bulk orders! *Pneumatic tires excluded.

Posted by tfinco at 10/2/2023 3:12:00 PM
Thursday, September 1, 2022

he three common enemies of drive and load wheels for warehouse products like Reach TrucksOrder Pickers, and Pallet Jacks are: heat, debris, and poor floor conditions. Here’s what you need to know about these enemies in order to decide on the best solution and overcome them in your unique operation.


Compression in these types of wheels creates heat. As the wheel rotates, the portion contacting the floor is compressed, and then when that part is no longer touching the floor, it expands back to its original shape. You can see an example of this by looking at the tires on your car. This expansion and contraction create heat. If this heat builds up enough, it creates cracks in the load wheel compound or causes the bond between the wheel compound and the wheel hub to release. As surprising as it may seem, this heat buildup even occurs in freezer applications.

Higher durometer compounds are the most common way to battle the heat. A higher durometer number means the wheel is “harder,” so it resists compression. Less compression equates to less heat. Trucks that move constantly generate more heat in the wheels, so they benefit from higher durometer wheels. The trade-off is that harder wheels have a rougher ride and usually cost more to purchase. The diameter of the wheel also plays a part in this heat equation. Larger diameter wheels do not have to spin as fast as smaller diameter wheels, so the compression cycle is not happening as often in a given distance. This is why drive tires can outlast load wheels on a given truck, even if they are the same compound.


Debris exists in many customer operations as a by-product of the work environment. It may be due to poor housekeeping or due to a process that generates a lot of debris in the area where operators drive; but it is a load wheel killer. While debris can shorten the life of any forklift tire, load wheels tend to suffer the most.

Good housekeeping practices are the best form of eliminating load wheel damage from debris. Debris such as a piece of pallet stringer, or a rock from the outdoor yard, can keep the load wheel from turning. In the case of a forklift or pallet jack, though, there is a drive motor strong enough to keep the equipment moving while that load wheel slides along the floor. This creates a flat spot on the load wheel. If the debris is small enough for the load wheel to roll over, the heavy load on the forks often presses the debris into the load wheel material. Eventually, there isn’t enough space for both the debris and the load wheel compound, forcing the load wheel to come apart.

Good housekeeping is essential because even the smallest debris can seriously damage your wheels — regardless of its brand name or durometer.


Load wheels are one of the most often overlooked aspects of warehousing products that can cause headaches when not configured correctly. The standard load wheel is frequently selected, assuming that it is a “one size fits all” solution. Understanding and using the correct load wheel for the application can significantly reduce your downtime and increase your productivity.

Reach Trucks:

As mentioned before, heat and debris are enemies of drive and load wheels. Reach trucks have the unique opportunity to increase the diameter of the load wheel. This reduces heat by reducing the number of rotations the wheel has to make over a given distance. The increased diameter also allows the wheel to roll over debris easier, reducing or eliminating the cause of flat spots. On the Toyota Reach Truck, there is an option for a 10-inch tall load wheel to accomplish this solution. Keep in mind that with such tall load wheels, you will need either wider baselegs to straddle the load or lift the loads up and over the load wheels to keep the pallets from coming in contact with them.

Pallet Trucks:

One type of wear unique to pallet trucks is “coning.” This is when the load wheels wear into a cone shape, usually with the edge closest to the outsides of the forks being the most worn. Frequent, tight turns can cause coning. This is especially noticeable when the floor surface is more abrasive. The best way to combat coning is to use load wheels that have been split into sections. This allows the outer portion of the load wheel to spin faster than the inner portion during a turn. This reduces the scuffing that causes cone-shaped wear. This is available as a triple load wheel on the Toyota Center-Controlled RiderEnd-Controlled Rider, and Large Electric Walkie Pallet Jack. The Toyota Electric Walkie Pallet Jack is available as a dual load wheel.

Stand-Up Counterbalance Trucks:

These trucks do not have load wheels. They are included in this list because the steer wheels on these models can suffer from the same heat effects as load wheels do. On a Stand-Up Rider Forklift, the steer wheels carry the heavy counterweight when there is not a load on the forks to counterbalance. Customers who have light loads or frequent trips across the warehouse with empty forks can experience the same type of heat-related failures as a reach truck customer with load wheels. For this reason, the Stand-Up Counterbalance has steer wheel compounds ranging from a soft rubber to a hard polyurethane. The hard polyurethane tire will have a rougher ride but will not heat up as easily in applications that do a lot of driving with little to no weight on the forks.


Drive wheels (aka Drive Tires) deal with similar heat and debris issues as load wheels, with the addition of needing to provide traction for acceleration, braking, and steering. When needing to find the best fit for an application, this makes the trade-off into a three-way consideration, instead of the two-way consideration of the load wheel. Generally speaking, traction takes priority of the three factors. Floor conditions will play a big role in determining how much of a priority traction takes.

Drive wheels may have to function on smooth floors with moisture or dust making traction difficult. The floor may be abrasive, providing high traction, but also increasing wear on the tire. There may be ice on the floor, but in a food environment where a metal-studded tire would not be acceptable. In order to provide the best possible solution for the customer, a variety of drive tires are offered. The below list describes a few of the available options, but there are more types available through factory installation and aftermarket sales.


Rubber Wheels

Pros: Smooth ride, good traction on a variety of floors.

Cons: Soft compound means easier heat buildup in applications that are always moving.

Smooth Polyurethane Wheels (Varying durometers and compounds)

Pros: Non-marking, various compounds allow for a customized balance of ride quality vs heat resistance.

Cons: Requires better floor conditions for traction. Smooth, dry floors or mildly abrasive floors are best.

Siped-Polyurethane Wheels (Smooth polyurethane tire that has diagonal razor cuts in the traction surface)

Pros: Provides better traction in slippery conditions than a smooth poly tire, while retaining heat resistance benefits.

Cons: Razor cuts in the poly material reduce the tire’s life if driven on a dry or abrasive floor. Potential reduction in traction on smooth, dry floors due to reduced surface area.

Posted by tfinco at 9/1/2022 10:22:00 AM
Thursday, October 8, 2020

Every business owner wants to increase productivity. Here are six easy ways to get more from your forklift.

  1. Request a service inspection be conducted regularly. See if a maintenance plan is right for you or help train and back up your in-house technicians.
  2. Leave promptly and don’t idle. Don’t start the engine until you’re ready to go to avoid wasting fuel and turn off the engine if it looks like you could be waiting for more than a minute.
  3. Don’t make sudden changes in speed. Maintain a steady pace, drive smoothly and accelerate gently. It will save fuel and reduce maintenance costs.
  4. Train your drivers. Good training not only helps improve safety, but also trains your operators to approach a load correctly to avoid unnecessary maneuvering and make them more efficient.
  5. Keep up-to-date with maintenance. This is extremely important to keep your forklift fuel efficient and running well.
  6. Buy the right tires and check them often. If your forklift has pneumatic tires, make sure they are inflated correctly. Under-inflated tires increase fuel consumption and wear more quickly. If your application is primarily indoors on concrete, cushion tires are a better bet.


Posted by tfinco at 10/8/2020 3:25:00 PM
Sunday, October 20, 2019

Every operation needs the right tool for the job. Which is why choosing a forklift with the correct tire type is extremely important. When it comes to working on uneven terrain, pneumatic tires are your best bet for standing up to the challenge. But why are pneumatic tires the best choice for outdoor use? Here is a little more about pneumatic tires, and the benefits of having them on your forklift.

What are Pneumatic Tires?

To start, pneumatic tires are similar to your regular car or truck tires, and are most commonly used outdoors. There are two types, solid pneumatics and air pneumatics. The air pneumatics are filled with air, while the solid pneumatics are made of rubber and more puncture proof. If you have nails, rocks, or other sharp objects around the yard or workspace, you may want to lean more towards the solid pneumatic option.

What are Pneumatic Tires’ Benefits?

One of the biggest benefits of using pneumatic tires are their ability to absorb the unevenness of terrain. This allows for a smoother ride, and less bumping and shaking. They are also going to have a thicker tread, which provides traction to drive over loose and uneven surface.

The value of pneumatic tires in outdoor applications is that they ultimately increase your uptime. Using the alternative, cushion tires outdoors will quickly lead to damage that will mean you’re sitting and waiting on replacements. If you have a continual outdoor need, make sure you work with your Toyota dealer to get the right pneumatic tire forklift for the job.

Original Post: Lucas Collom, Digital Projects Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Posted by tfinco at 10/20/2019 9:52:00 AM
Friday, April 19, 2019

When you start looking to buy a forklift, one of the first things you will notice are the different tire types that are available. Pneumatic and cushion tires are the two most common, and those tire types are often used as a dividing line for the forklifts used in certain operations (along with fuel type) If your business operates a lot outdoors, then you may want to take a look at this post explaining pneumatic tires and why they are beneficial. But if you work mostly indoors, then cushion tires are made for you. To put it simply, cushion tires are made of a smooth rubber that is fitted around a metal band, great for indoor applications. The following are some of the major benefits of cushion tires.

Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts: Great for Smooth Surface Applications

Cushion tires are designed specifically to work great on smooth surfaces, and the hard outer surface is designed to reduce chipping on the wheels. Cushion tires also contain more rubber, allowing for a safer, more comfortable ride for the operator. This extra rubber will also allow for a longer service life. But, using these types of tires outside on uneven terrain could cause early chipping, and could be a safety hazard due to the reduced traction of the cushion tires. While it is alright for you to use it on smooth asphalt outdoors, we recommend you limit the time you use them outside.

Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts: More Maneuverability

Another reason cushion tires are great for indoor applications is that they allow for a more maneuverable forklift. They are able to fit a smaller forklift frame, and have a lower ground clearance. When you operate in a warehouse, having a smaller forklift is important when it comes to making the most of your space. This allows you to navigate narrower aisles, and keep your racking closer together. The more space you have for racking, the more product you can hold in your warehouse.

Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts: Cost-Effective

Because cushion tires require less materials to produce, it is less expensive for companies to manufacture them. This is good for you, because they are usually cheaper than pneumatic tires. Another way cushion tires help you save money is by being easier to maintain. By making sure your warehouse floors are clear of debris, and not driving your forklift over tough terrain, you can help your cushion tires last.

Make sure you do some research, and really look into all of the different uses the forklift could get in order to make an informed decision. Once you choose a specific forklift and its tire type, I highly recommended against changing tire type on your forklift (and it’s often impossible to do so).

Original Post:  Lucas Collom, Digital Projects Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Posted by tfinco at 4/19/2019 6:55:00 PM
Monday, April 1, 2019

Using forklifts effectively in any application requires assessing how they will work in concert with the other elements of your facility. From understanding your dock capabilities to making sure pallet racks and forklifts match up appropriately, a successful facility takes into account every touchpoint of forklifts in use.

An easy to overlook touchpoint that requires attention is facility flooring. Too often, operations that use forklifts experience unexpected damage to both product and equipment because floors become damaged. In this post, I’ll discuss some of the impacts of damaged floors on equipment and personnel, help identify some trouble areas on concrete floors, and discuss possible solutions to damaged flooring.

Concrete Floors and Forklift Ergonomics

The thing about forklifts? They’re aren’t equipped with the suspension system of a luxury SUV. When you roll over a bump while driving a forklift, you’re going to feel it. And while Toyota forklifts are ergonomically designed for operators’ optimal comfort, a floor that’s fallen into disrepair will place stress and strain on an operators’ body. Maintaining a floor inspection schedule is key to preventing damage. But if you’re an operator and you see or feel floor damage, make sure your report it.

Concrete Floors and Forklift or Product Damage

Most forklifts that operate indoors will have cushion tires, and cushion tires are not manufactured to withstand uneven terrain. Uneven terrain includes flooring surfaces where chunks of floor are missing or general rough patches are present. When you continually drive cushion tires on a damaged floor, you’re likely to shorten the intervals between necessary tire replacement, placing strain on the forklift and on your budget.

Damaged floors might also be hazardous for the products you’re moving. Not only will driving over damaged floors cause less than optimal work conditions for your operators, it increases the risk of product spills if items fall from pallets due to traveling over the uneven terrain. Even something as seemingly negligible as increased vibration of products on a pallet can damage certain types of materials. Making sure your floors receive optimal care helps protect your investment in the product.

An even bigger investment might be your forklifts; those capital investments need protection, too. Forklifts are designed to have a low center of gravity, so there are many points on a forklift such as under the mast and chassis where under clearance is minimal. If a clearance assessment was made prior to acquiring the forklift, this may have been done prior to any flooring damage. Should floors later become damaged, you might not have the necessary clearance, potentially increasing impacts on the forklift. Such sudden impacts caused by poor flooring conditions can also damage internal forklift components over time, potentially causing a forklift to become unstable.

One helpful preventive measure? Toyota’s T-matics solution can be installed on most Toyota equipment to monitor for impacts and assess where they occur. If there is damaged floor where impacts are occurring often, T-matics might be able to help you identify the problem.

Concrete Floors Inspection Tip: Check the Joints

Performing a regular visual inspection of your floors is highly recommended. One main problem area that requires frequent inspection are the joints between concrete slabs. Because these are inherent weak points in the floor and receive pull away pressure from the weight of forklifts, they are likely to be the first places that fall into disrepair from natural wear and tear. Replacing concrete joints when they become damaged might seem like a costly investment. However, the long-term ROI of less forklift repair and more efficient operations makes the investment worthwhile.

Concrete Floors and Friction

The condition of your concrete floors goes even beyond the damage that they undergo due to wear and tear. You must also consider how friction plays a role in several critical forklift functions. When floors are wet or slick due to spills or chemicals that are used, it reduces the friction of the tire surface with the ground. This can have a significant impact on a forklift’s ability to stop or accelerate effectively, which can be an eminent safety hazard. It is imperative that floor surfaces are cleaned properly and allowed to dry before attempting to drive over them. Ensuring that the floor is also free of debris and any obstructions will help to avoid potentially unsafe driving situations. Be sure to thoroughly read and understand your forklift’s operator manual for more information regarding proper floor conditions for your particular piece of equipment.

Whatever you plan strategically to make sure your floors stay in top condition, having an inspection plan in place is key to success. Material handling investments work hand in hand with facility investments, right from the ground up.

Original Post By:  Jake Stewart, Digital Copywriter, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Posted by tfinco at 4/1/2019 3:14:00 PM
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Forklifts don't have a traditional suspension system so the entire weight of the forklift and its load rests on the tires. Your average 5,000 lb. capacity forklift actually has to support up over 11,000 lbs. of weight on the front tires when fully loaded which is no small feat. Using a forklift with tires that need to be replaced can damage your forklift and create a dangerous environment for your operator as well as others nearby. Tires that need to be replaced can cause your forklift to be unstable. Riding in a forklift that needs to have its tires changed is uncomfortable for the operator and can lead to fatigue and mistakes.

Because tires that need to be replaced can become a hazard, it’s important to know how to tell when it is time to change yours. During your pre-shift inspection, make sure to look for these warning signs that your tires may need to be replaced and contact Dillon Toyota Lift for assistance if any of them are detected.

Tires worn over the wear line. Many forklift tires have a wear line, often called the 50% wear line. When the wear of your tires reaches that line, it's time to replace.

Chunking. If pieces, or chunks, of your forklift tires are falling off, that's a good sign you need to replace them.

Tearing on the tires. Similar to chunking, if your tires are tearing off in spots, they need to be replaced.

Flat Spots. Your tires should be round, if they are flat in any place, it's time to replace them.

When inspecting your tires also make sure to check if there are any uneven signs of wear on each individual tire and between tires on the front and rear and on the left and right side. There could be an underlying issue that is causing premature wear due to the forklifts condition or the application. Be sure to check your rims for any bending as they may need to be replaced as well. Tire pressure on air-filled, pneumatic tires should also be maintained at the manufacturers recommended level.

State and Federal law requires that you be fully trained and qualified to before performing maintenance on wheels and tires. Dillon Toyota Lift's certified technicians are available to assist you with recognizing potential issues and with maintenance and repair. 
- Trinton Castetter, Product Marketing Specialist, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Posted by tfinco at 8/16/2018 7:07:00 PM
Entries 1-7 of 7