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There are a multitude of tire types that are available for forklifts, something you start to notice when you begin looking into purchasing one. The two most common types of forklift tire are pneumatic and cushion. In addition to fuel type, these tire types are used as a dividing line when deciding what forklift to use in different operations. If you are planning to use it indoors, then a cushion tire forklift is perfect for you.
What Are Cushion Tires?
Ideal for indoor applications, cushion tires are more stable than pneumatic tires and tend to be less expensive. They are made of solid rubber and pressed on, as opposed to put on. While the press on method makes the tires less suitable for rough use, their solid rubber construction requires little maintenance and keeps them from being punctured.
Additionally, though cushion tires are traditionally used indoors and provide inferior shock absorption when compared to pneumatic tires, that factor has improved in recent years. There are cushion tire designs available that feature aperture holes and ridges that allow the solid rubber to bend and flex, increasing the shock absorption and traction in dirt. Still, cushion tires are generally used in indoor applications.
More specifics on the tire type can be selected once it has been determined that cushion tires are the correct choice for you. Basic tire options include treaded or non-treaded, but you will also need to consider whether or not you need non-marking tires. Some industries or environments require that non-marking tires be used, while others may not care at all. The main drawback to non-marking tires is that they have a shorter lifespan than other cushion tires, but they may be a necessity depending on the job and floor type.
Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts
There are several advantages that cushion tire forklifts have over other types of tires. Cushion tires are more cost effective than their pneumatic tire counterparts, since they require less materials to manufacturer and tend to come at a lower initial cost. Couple this with the fact that virtually no maintenance is required (and the fact that you rarely have to change them out) and you're looking at a far lower cost in comparison to pneumatic tires. Cushion tires are also superior when it comes to indoor and smooth surface applications, as that is specifically what they are designed for. The extra rubber used in manufacturing also allows for a longer surface life. In addition to this, cushion tire forklifts offer higher maneuverability than their competitors, as cushion tires have lower ground clearance and are able to fit a smaller frame. In a warehouse setting, smaller forklifts can be ideal and allow you to navigate narrow aisles and keep your racking close.
How Much Does a Cushion Tire Forklift Cost?
The price of a cushion tire forklift varies depending on your location, as well as the manufacturer, model, and vendor you select. The power type and safety features will also play a role in determining the final cost. Here is a general guide as to what you can expect to pay for a cushion tire forklift:
- CLARK C25L Cushion Tire Forklift, 6,000 lbs capacity, side shift, 3 stage mast 88/189, LPG fuel type, price range: $14,900 to $15,525
- JAC CPQYD30 Cushion Tire Forklift, 6,000 lbs capacity, dual fuel, 3 stage mast, side shift, price range: $25,900 to $26,200
- Viper FY25C Cushion Tire Forklift, 5,000 lbs capacity, LPG fuel type, side shift, 48" forks, Nissan K25 engine, price range: $19,950 to $21,225
- Dyson Octane FL25 Cushion Tire Forklift, 5,000 lbs capacity, Triplex mast with 189" of lift, side shift, 42" forks, Nissan K25 engine, price range: $24,950 to $25,995
You can also consider purchasing a used cushion tire forklift. Often, purchasing a used model can cut the price in half. If you decide to purchase a used model, make sure to discuss any warranty or service options that are available, just in case.
Additional Cost Considerations
It is important that any prices you look at or comparisons you make between brands and models include any accessories or attachments you want. You also need to make sure that the unit can handle the necessary attachments. Think of popular attachments such as carton clamps (lets the operator pick up loads without a pallet), layer pickers (lets the operator take the top layer off a pallet), and side shifters (lets the operator move a load side to side without moving the forklift itself). With all extra features, consider whether you or your operator will actually use them before adding to the purchase price. Once you take all of these factors into consideration, you will be able to make your final purchasing decision.