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Your Guide to Selecting the Right Tires for Your Telehandler

Your Guide to Selecting the Right Tires for Your Telehandler

selecting the right telehandler tires

Your telehandler is a vital part of your operations. Without this crucial piece of equipment, many of your processes might cease to function altogether. Even if they were able to continue, they would suddenly become much more difficult and laborious.

Because the telehandler is such an important piece of equipment we rely on so heavily, it’s essential to care for it and keep it in the best working condition possible. There are a lot of different ways we can do this. We can clean it often, service it regularly and never use it incorrectly. We can also pay special attention to selecting the right tires for use on our telehandlers.

You may not realize it, but there are several different choices of tires you can outfit your telehandler with. Each type of tire comes with a unique set of pros and cons. To help you decide which is best for your use, we’ve put together this quick guide on how to choose the right tires for your telehandler. After reading this, you’ll be able to select your tires like a seasoned pro.

Things to Consider When Selecting Your Tires

When faced with the decision of what tires to choose for your telehandler, you might be wondering about your basis for this kind of decision. That’s an excellent question, and one we’re prepared to answer. Here are the top factors you should keep in mind when you prepare to make this crucial decision.

things to consider when selecting telehandler tires

1. The Type of Fittings

Tires intended for these types of machinery generally come in two different fittings. Both are viable options, and the conscientious telehandler owner will need to choose based on which design best fits their needs. The first option, press-on tires, are exceptionally easy to fit into place, but tend to be less durable and reliable over rough terrain. The second type, standard tires, work exactly like ordinary car tires and have a little more durability.

2. Size and Expected Load

Every telehandler will be expected to carry different loads. Some are going to need to carry a lot of weight, while others will only be transporting smaller loads.

Because of this, these tires come in different sizes that are equipped to bear up under different loads. For the best results, calculate the expected load each tire will need to bear, then choose your tires accordingly. It’s also a good idea to select a tire with low inflation pressure, to better carry the heavier loads.

3. Length of Working Time

How long will your work operations last, and how often will you be using these tires? These are both important questions to ask yourself, as they will play a large part in determining which tires you should select. If the tires are going to need to hold up under long hours for weeks and months at a time, you would be well-advised to look for tires offering high levels of durability.

4. Expected Environment

Are you going to be using these tires in an indoor or outdoor setting? There are different styles of tires suited to each situation. Because of this, it’s not a good idea to use indoor tires in an outside setting, and vice versa.

5. Used or New?

As with almost every other machinery part, you can buy your tires new or used. When choosing which to buy, you should develop an awareness of the advantages of each.

Used tires will be more affordable. In many cases, they are just as dependable and durable as any brand-new tire, but they carry a greater risk of some hidden flaws. On the other hand, new tires are more expensive, but more reliable, and carry less risk of being defective.

Telehandler Tire Options

The first step in selecting the right tires for your telehandler is to review this list of considerations. Come up with a list of factors that are important to you, such as durability, affordability and more.

Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for in a tire, it’s time to review your available options. To help you along these ends, here is a list of the most common tire options for a telehandler.

common telehandler tire options

Air-Filled Pneumatic Tires

Air-filled telehandler tires are one of the most popular options to choose from. Plenty of people with operations just like yours are choosing every day to outfit their telehandlers with these types of tires. Let’s take a look at why.

1. Pricing

As the name suggests, these tires are filled with air. Because of this filling, these tires are almost always the most affordable option on the market, making them an excellent choice for smaller budgets. The reason for this low price is the fact that the manufacturers don’t have to pay for a filling. While you will still have to pay for the cost of the outer tire, you won’t pay extra for an expensive material to fill up the inside of the tire.

Still, there can be quite a bit of variance when it comes to making a price estimate. Depending on the size you’re looking for, or the quality of the construction, the price can fluctuate significantly. In comparison to other types of tires, however, these air-filled pneumatic models will be near the bottom of the list almost every time.

2. Recommended Working Conditions

Because these tires are filled with air, they tend to be exceptionally light. This lightness helps them provide a high level of flotation for your telehandler itself, keeping the whole machine light on its wheels. With all these qualities combined, we can clearly see air-filled pneumatic tires are an ideal choice for situations where the ground is soft, and heavier tires would sink into the ground and become stuck. If you’re going to be working outdoors in conditions of heavy mud and flooding, for example, these make a perfect choice.

In addition to these advantages, the lightness and flotation of the air-filled tires provide the smoothest and most comfortable overall ride for the telehandler operator.

3. Disadvantages

While the lower price, the ability to work over soft ground and the comfortable ride all combine to make the air-filled tires an attractive option, there are a few downsides to these tires you should consider as well.

Because the tires are filled with air, they’re extremely susceptible to punctures. If you’re working in a site filled with heavy debris and there is a likelihood of running over a rusty nail or similar sharp object, the odds are good this could puncture your tire and put your entire machine out of commission until you get a replacement tire.

Foam-Filled Pneumatic Tires

Air-filled tires are one available option, but they’re certainly not the only one. Another possible type of tire you may decide to install on your machine is foam-filled telehandler tires. These are basic pneumatic tires that have just had foam added to them as a filling.

This foam can be added to the tire at any time over the course of the tire’s life, but you’ll have the best results if you buy foam-filled tires, instead of adding foam to existing tires.

1. Pricing

As you might expect, these foam-filled tires cost a bit more than their air-filled counterparts, which only makes sense. Air costs nothing. Foam, on the other hand, must be purchased by the manufacturer, meaning a higher sale price for you to pay.

If you’re purchasing foam-filled tires, you can reasonably expect to pay between one-and-a-half to two times more than you would for air-filled tires.

2. Recommended Working Conditions

Foam-filled tires are significantly heavier than air-filled ones. They give an added weight and stability to any machine they’re installed on. This stability makes them strongly suited for working conditions where the terrain is rough and uneven, because the weight of the tires helps the telehandler remain steady even over uncertain ground.

weight of foam filled tires

They’re also great choices for conditions where the ground is covered in debris. Where air-filled tires might be at risk of being punctured, foam-filled tires carry less chance of this. While it’s still possible for these tires to become flat, the odds are greatly reduced.

3. Disadvantages

Foam-filled tires undoubtedly offer a whole range of advantages, but they aren’t without their drawbacks as well. While it’s true foam-filled tires become flat much less easily than air-filled tires, they are susceptible to other types of damage. Most notably, sidewall damage can compromise them.

In addition to this, foam-filled tires tend to wear out faster. While the foam filling makes these tires heavier and capable of working in rougher terrain, it also is very hard on the tires. In some cases, the foam filling may cause the tire to wear out faster than it ordinarily would. Because of this, it’s extremely important to keep a close eye on foam tires and monitor the level of wear and tear they’re exhibiting.

Solid Tires

Now that we’ve examined two types of tires with two different types of fillings, it’s time to take a look at a completely different type of tire. These models are solid and don’t need an alternate filling of any kind.

While solid tires might not always have been the most popular option, they’re experiencing a surge in popularity among both contractors and renters alike. They’re constructed from solid rubber all the way through, eliminating the need for a filler that makes the tire more susceptible to going flat — like air — or more susceptible to breaking down faster — like foam.

1. Pricing

Air-filled tires are the cheapest, because a good portion of the tire is just empty air. Foam-filled tires are slightly more expensive, because you’re paying for the foam filling in addition to the outer materials. It only makes sense, then, that solid telehandler tires are the most expensive option because the whole tire is constructed from solid rubber. They cost more money to manufacture, meaning you pay a higher sale price.

While every model will be priced slightly differently based on the specifics, you can expect to pay two to three times more than you would for air-filled tires, on average.

2. Recommended Working Conditions

Because these tires are solid rubber all the way through, they offer a lot of advantages their air- and foam-filled counterparts don’t. One of the most prominent benefits is the longevity these tires boast. They can last anywhere from four to eight times longer than other tires. This makes them ideal for situations where your machine will be working long hours, and your tires will need to hold up to considerable amounts of strain.

longevity of solid telehandler tires

They also almost never go flat, meaning that you’ll rarely, if ever, lose time thanks to such a situation. This makes solid tires a perfect choice for high-debris situations that might easily cause a flat in more fragile tires. These are perhaps as close as is possible to flat-proof telehandler tires.

3. Disadvantages

No matter how advantageous solid rubber tires may be, they’re not perfect. They have some drawbacks as well, and it pays to know about them as you decide which types of tires are best for you and your working conditions.

Because these tires are solid, they’re a great deal more rigid than either the air-filled or foam-filled tires. This rigidity is not in and of itself a bad thing, but it does impact the comfort of the individual operating the telehandler. Most likely, their ride will be significantly less smooth and comfortable.

In addition to this, the solid tires are a great deal heavier than air-filled tires. While air-filled tires are capable of working in conditions where the ground is soft, solid tires will perform poorly in such conditions. They’re very likely to sink into the ground and may even become stuck. If your operation requires you to work in such conditions frequently, you may be better off avoiding the solid tires.

Which Option Is Best for You?

To choose which type of tire is best for you, you’ll need to think carefully about the type of work you’ll be doing, as well as the conditions you’ll be doing it in. Will you be working on a construction site with heavy amounts of debris on the ground? Will you be working in rough, uneven terrain or soft ground? How often have flat tires been an issue for you in the past? Is comfort while operating your telehandler a large concern for you?

Your answers to questions such as these will determine which type of tire is best suited to your needs. The choice is up to you.

Learn More About Telehandlers Today

Do you frequently operate a telehandler? Are you interested in learning more about it, how it works and how you can keep it in the best working condition possible?

Here at Access Lift Equipment, we’d love to continue this conversation with you. To learn more about telehandlers or any other similar machines, contact us today with any of your questions by using our online contact form or by giving us a call at 866-709-0820.

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