Wheels and Tires - What is the best option for your environment

Wheels and Tires: What is the best option for your environment?

Oct 11, 2017
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Wheels and Tires

There are a variety of different warehousing environments that require specific material handling equipment.

This equipment helps to move products and complete daily tasks in the most efficient and effective manner possible.  This same thought process also applies to the wheels that are on this equipment.

There are a number of polyurethane (Poly) wheel manufacturers that offer multiple compounds or Durometers for use on forklifts.  This article will provide you with an overview on these compounds to give you a better understanding of what each one means and what purpose they can serve you.

Durometer is the measurement (Shore “A” Hardness scale) of a wheel or tires hardness; the higher the number, the harder the wheel.  Additionally, the Color of a wheel actually has no bearing on the durometer of the wheel being utilized.  For instance, one manufacturer will make a black colored poly wheel in a 90A durometer and another makes it a 95A.

Here are some common durometers along with their generalized rules of thumb for their proper application.

83-85A:  Industry’s most versatile durometers.

Typically the Standard offering by most OEMs, classified as Medium Duty.

- Very good cut, chunk and flat spot resistance 

- Softer ride and Improved traction

- Freezer and Cold storage applications

- Good price to performance alternative

- Lowest cost

90-92A:  Preferred Tires that are considered Heavy Duty.

- Everyday use on clean smooth floors

- Heavy duty enough to survive moderate dock plate use

- Moderate Resistance to cuts, chunking or flat spotting

- Good Heat resistance

93-95A:  High performance/Extreme Duty, premium wheels

- Highest resistance to Flat spotting and chunking

- Highest load capacities

- Extended wheel life

- Designed for long runs due to heat resistance

- Typically a more expensive alternative, but with commensurate results

Please note, as with any new technology, there are now Zero runout tires available. These tires are machined on a lathe to ensure smoothest operation and increased stability at heights. These are typically offered by all leading manufacturers in a premium compound in a variety of durometer offerings.