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

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

Oct 11, 2017
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 hardness 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.

A durometer is a device for measuring the hardness of a material as according to the Shore Hardness scale. The higher the number, the harder the material.

The Shore "A" Hardness Scale is used for measuring the hardness of rubbers, such as with wheels and tires. You may see various colors for industrial equipment wheels and tires, however the color of a wheel actually has no bearing on the hardness of the wheel being utilized. For instance, one manufacturer will make a black colored poly wheel in a Shore hardness of 90A and another makes it a hardness of 95A.


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

83A-85A Hardness: The Industry’s Most Versatile Tires

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

90A-92A Hardness: Preferred Tires, considered Heavy Duty.

  • Every-day 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

93A-95A Hardness: 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 shore hardness offerings.


Parts | Categories of Forklift Tire & Wheels| Maximizing Tire Life