There are so many aspects to industrial and heavy equipment parts that I almost didn’t know where to start. But, it dawned on me that just about all of our equipment (with exception to a few tracked pieces) has tires or wheels of some kind. Just like cars, tires don’t last forever and we should be aware of some of the signs and signals that indicate it’s time to replace them.
Things that affect the wear on tires range from general use to the environment the equipment is being operated in or on. When it comes to forklifts, tire wear can increase simply because of cracks in the concrete floor. When it comes to wheel loaders, skid steers, telehandlers and other heavy machinery, they’re being operated on some pretty rough terrain. Even though they’re designed to handle the elements, it’s important to maintain equipment with good tires. Keeping tires in good condition and replacing tires when recommended will allow the equipment to run properly and more efficiently.
Most of the signs will be visual, so detecting when it’s time to replace tires shouldn’t be too difficult other than the investment. But don’t worry about guesswork; if you ever doubt yourself or question the integrity of your equipment tires, let a forklift professional take a look and make a recommendation. Did we mention that we’re happy to do that for you? In any situation, waiting too long to replace tires can result in more damage to equipment and costly downtime.
There’s a magical line called the “wear line”. As the forklift tires wear down, a highly visible orange band appears on the tire surface indicating that replacement tires should be ordered and service fitting scheduled. When this band is visible, the tire will have close to 100 hours of operational life left which means you have some time to order new tires and shedule your fitting.
Once you see that wear line, it’s time to call a reputable tire provider like Fairchild Equipment to get a new set.
Other visible signs might be chunks of tire missing or pieces of tire falling off. This is sometimes referred to as “chunking”. This is a major sign to replace tires; not just for safety purposes, but also for efficiency of equipment.
Additionally, watch for tears or cracks in the surface of a tire. Driving over debris can cause a tear to occur, but in terms of safety, it means it’s time to replace the tire.
Have a few lift truck operators who drive like they’re in the Indy 500? We probably don’t want to admit that publically, but in today’s fast-pace environments and high fulfillment requirements, we want to get the job done fast. Taking sharp turns with heavy loads could create additional wear on tires but it also presents a safety risk.
Don’t ever hesitate to take a safety stance with lift truck operators. Not only is it required by OSHA that they're trained and certified, but operators who understand proper operating and safe driving reduce the chance of an incident and also reduce the amount of wear on equipment.
With these three pieces, the Fairchild Equipment parts experts can source any part that you need for your equipment.
Lastly, always remember that working with a provider who can source parts and complete service for all makes and models of forklifts, warehouse, construction and agriculture equipment is a key factor in your satisfaction. Fairchild Equipment is the provider that can work with you on your next project – just give us a call.
NOTE* Always refer to the equipment manual and refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to replace tires.