Telehandler TiresTelehandlers vary by function, and so do their tires. Over the past few years, tire manufactures have developed some innovative designs to give you more comfort, reliability, and affordability. Currently, there are three primary types of telehandler tires.
Pneumatic tires are hollow, sealed, and filled with pressurized air. It’s the same design you run on your car. By maintaining a higher interior pressure than that of the outside air, the tire is able to stay inflated even with the weight of a vehicle.
The main advantage of going pneumatic is the cost. These tires are often half the price of solid rubber, and by absorbing more shock, they also provide a more comfortable ride. However, they are much more prone to damage, especially when driven around construction sites with protruding objects. As an operator, you know that a flat tire is a major disruption and can be potentially dangerous when your machine is handling a heavy load.
When a pneumatic tire is filled with a polymer instead of air, it’s called a foam-filled or flat-proof tire. This type is made by pumping polymer foam into the valve while allowing air to escape through a punctured hole.
Even though foam is expensive, this is a cost-effective way to reduce downtime caused by flat tires. The one drawback is that your tire is still susceptible to sidewall damage.
Solid Rubber Tires
Compared to pneumatic and foam-filled tires, solid rubber lasts up to eight times longer. The main benefit is that they never go flat. You enjoy excellent traction and durability, and the added weight even helps improve stability.
As the most expensive option, solid rubber does come at a price. Moreover, the ride is not quite as smooth, and the mounting process is much more complicated.
Each of these tires provides advantages and disadvantages for telehandler operators in the agricultural, construction, and industrial markets. The key is to evaluate your own needs in order to choose the option that’s right for your equipment.