The Smart Guide to Buying Forklift Tires


Getting the right forklift tires is an important part of protecting your investment.

Shopping for forklift tires can be overwhelming. While there are a variety of options to suit different environments and demands, all those options can make your head spin. But getting the right tires for both your forklift and your applications can save you time and money in the long run, and most of all, keep your team and your equipment safe.

At Shoppa’s, we want to make the process as easy and smooth for you as possible, so we created this quick guide breaking down everything you need to know when it comes to buying forklift tires.

Types of Forklift Tires

There are multiple types of tires designed for any terrain and environment.

Cushion Tires

Contradictory of the name, cushion tires are made of solid rubber and are directly pressed onto the wheel. They sit lower to the ground and offer a smaller turning radius, which provides an advantage in maneuverability. Cushion tires are best suited for indoor or paved applications due to their smooth surface.

Solid Pneumatic Tires

Much like cushion tires, solid pneumatic tires are designed with solid rubber. They are the most commonly purchased tire because they can be used both indoors and outdoors. However, solid pneumatic tires do not offer the same comfortable ride a cushion tire does across paved surfaces.

Polyurethane Tires

Polyurethane tires are press-on tires that are more resistant to splitting, tearing, or chunking under heavy loads than rubber tires. They combine good traction with low-rolling resistance. Polyurethane tires generally experience about twice the lifespan of rubber tires, but should be used indoors only for light applications such as warehousing.

Non-Marking Tires

These tires are made with hydrated silicas and special additives to prevent black marks on floors. They are available for solid pneumatic and cushion tires.


Comparison Chart

Determining what tires you need

Finding the right tire for your working environment, demands, and needs will not only extend the life of the tire — saving you money in the long run — but it will also help you work more efficiently.

Pneumatic Yes Yes No No No Medium Medium $
Solid Pneumatic No No Yes Yes No Long High $$
Cushion Yes Yes No No No Medium High $
Polyurethane Yes No No No Yes Long High $$

Scroll to view entire table

The need to replace your forklift tires depends on use and avoidable damage.

Most forklift tires have indicators that let you know when it is time to replace them. Located on the side of the tire instead of the tread, a line is present which shows the operator how much rubber/tire life is left. When the rubber is worn down past the line or the line is no longer visible, it’s time to replace it. Another way to determine this is to inspect the sidewall of the tire to see if any of the numbering or lettering is worn down.

You’ll never have to worry about stocking up on tires in order to reduce downtime. We have four tire trucks and an in-house tire press for tire replacement, so that allows you as a customer to not have to worry about stocking an extra inventory of tires.

Core Electric Forklift Application 151 - The Smart Guide to Buying Forklift Tires - Shoppa's Material Handling

Getting the Best Deal

Replacing your forklift tires is necessary but can be costly. Our Shoppa’s tire experts can help you find the right fit for your equipment while also reducing your costs.

Smooth Tires Over Traction Tires

Depending on your unique application, smooth cushion tires may be more beneficial as they have more rubber than traction tires. This can allow for longer tire life, which means more time in between replacements.

Upsize Your Tires

Depending on your equipment and facility, increasing your tire size can increase your tire life. Other added benefits of upsizing are increased carrying capacity, traction, shock absorption, and stability.

Solid Pneumatics Over Air Filled Pneumatics

Consider replacing your air filled pneumatics with solid pneumatics. This can allow for a longer tire life and less downtime as solid pneumatics will never deflate.

Shoppas Forklift Tires - The Smart Guide to Buying Forklift Tires - Shoppa's Material Handling

For all of your forklift tire needs

We’re always here to help

If you have any questions, concerns, or want to make changes to your forklift tires, Shoppa’s is always a call or click away. Don’t be afraid to contact us! We’re here to help and we have the personnel in place to meet your needs.

To get the tire replacement process started, email or call Toll Free: 866.506.2200.