June 27, 2007 - The condition of tyres is one of the most important safety aspects of industrial handling vehicles. Tyres affect the steering, stability, braking, acceleration and vibration levels of vehicles so fitting incorrect tyres for the application will adversely affect the efficiency of the truck. Badly worn or damaged tyres, can expose drivers to hand/arm or whole body vibration increasing the risk of back problems, and pains and strains. These factors can be eliminated through choosing tyres carefully.
When choosing tyres, the following need consideration:
• The type and size of machine
• The application for which the machine will be used – whether indoor or outdoor, the type of floor/terrain and the length of shuttle are all factors for consideration.
• The size and type of wheel on the vehicle – one piece, split rim, 3-4 piece etc
The choice then boils down to three types of tyre: resilient; pneumatic or press on bands. Resilient tyres are solid and made of a 3 compound rubber construction with a hard rubber base, a high grade rubber inner layer, and a thick, hard wearing outer tread. Pneumatic tyres contain air and give the best ride on a variety of terrains. Press-on bands are a single piece tyre, made from a rubber compound that is moulded directly onto a steel band.
Factors to consider when choosing tyres:
1. Are you likely to get excessive wear or are punctures a problem? If so, choose a resilient tyre such as the Bergougnan XP or elite.
2. Do you need increased stability for wide loads or high stacking? If so, a premium pneumatic tyre would be a better choice.
3. Are you working in a warehouse? Then use press on bands. And if you have very smooth floors or are using reach trucks or narrow aisle equipment, use polyurethane, which is extremely hard wearing and will carry greater loads without difficulty.
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