How Cushion Tire Forklifts Can Benefit Your Operation

An operator maneuvering on a forklift with press-on forklift tires while a warehouse worker instructs him on where to go.

Many forklifts, like cushion tire forklifts, get their name through their tire type. Tire types are a very popular way to categorize forklifts. This is because they’re one of the most important components of a forklift. 

The right forklift tire type is key to the handling and safety of your operation.

Tires to a forklift are like the footwear you choose to wear at a worksite. Both are dependent on your workplace and its terrain. You wouldn’t wear flip-flops to a construction site. Likewise, the forklift tire type you choose should be appropriate for your surroundings. You want to make sure you’re as safe as possible and your “shoes”- or tires- should reflect that. 

There are many other reasons choosing the right forklift tire type is important. For example, most forklifts can only use specific tires. Each tire requires a different frame, preventing them from being interchangeable. In the rare instance it’s possible to switch your tires for another type, it still isn’t advised. 

When it comes to choosing between forklift tire types, there are two popular choices. Operators typically decide between pneumatic or cushion tire forklifts. 

Pneumatic tires are generally only used for outdoor applications. Cushion tires, or press-on forklift tires, are suitable for indoor, and some outdoor, surfaces. In addition to their versatility, cushion tire forklifts have many other benefits. Continue reading to find out what they are.

Cushion Tires

Cushion tires, which are press-on forklift tires, consist of smooth, solid rubber. They’re fitted around a metal baseband. This makes them ideal for indoor applications as they don’t puncture, bend, or deflate. 

This forklift tire type is an asset to indoor operations for many reasons. However, they’re also great for certain outdoor applications. A more in-depth overview of cushion tire benefits is below.


  • Cushion tires have a very simple design. This simplicity makes them easy to manufacture. Since they’re cheaper to make, cushion tires are also relatively cheaper to buy. 
  • Press-on forklift tires are very durable. Having good tires is very important. They absorb all the pressure of your forklift. Weak tires can put your forklift and operator at risk. Cushion tires are strong and withstanding, making for safe operation.
  • On top of their durability, cushion tires are also very easy to maintain. Making your cushion tire forklift last is simple. All you have to do is keep your warehouse floors clean and stay away from rough terrain. Cushion tires can operate outdoors on smooth surfaces. However, if you’re going over uneven, rocky terrain, use a rough terrain forklift with pneumatic tires.
  • One of the main draws to this forklift tire type is its smaller turning radius. Cushion tire forklifts have excellent maneuverability, allowing them to function in tight spaces. Cushion tires also fit a smaller forklift frame and sit low to the ground. Due to their positioning, they have lower clearance when going through doorways. This is a great asset for smaller indoor spaces. By having a more compact forklift, you can make the most of your space. You can navigate through narrow aisles and tight spots. You can add more racking and hold more product in your warehouse. The opportunities are limitless!
  • There's a hard outer surface on these tires. This reduces chipping on wheels, extending tire life. There's also more rubber on cushion tires than pneumatic tires. This makes operators more safe and comfortable. The extra rubber also contributes to longer vehicle life.
  • Another benefit is a quieter operation. Warehouses, especially, get very loud and disruptive. This muffles and impedes communication, which puts everyone at risk. Keep noise and distractions at a minimum by using cushion tires. For maximum silence, use a battery-powered cushion tire forklift. They're quieter and greener for the environment.

Additional Considerations

While press-on forklift tires are great, they aren’t for every operation. Be mindful of the information below to ensure cushion tires are your right match. 

We covered how cushion tires are cheaper to manufacture and maintain above. This allows them to be sold at lower prices than their pneumatic counterparts. However, pneumatic tire forklifts provide higher levels of traction. This is because they are designed for outdoor use. Cushion tires are meant for indoors. This means cushion tires aren't compatible with tough surfaces or unpredictable weather. In the instance where you have to use your cushion tire forklift on rough terrain, install traction-style tires on the front of your forklift to ease the burden somewhat. 

Another factor to consider is how low cushion tire forklifts sit. Pneumatic and resilient tire forklifts are much higher off the ground. Cushion tire forklifts are comparatively limited in their positioning. While they can operate outdoors, they’re limited to easier surfaces like smooth concrete or asphalt.

If you operate indoors, cushion tire forklifts are your best bet.

Two operators in a warehouse, one on a yellow and black cushion tire forklift, going over plans for the day.

Industrial Forklift Truck

Cushion tires are the preferred tire type for many operators. They work on all indoor and outdoor spaces with smooth surfaces. 

These press-on forklift tires do not puncture. This prevents you from the downtime a flat tire would cause. Downtime creates a loss on your operating budget. Avoiding this means less spend out of your pocket! 

In general, cushion tires cost less than their pneumatic counterparts. They’re cheaper to produce and easier to maintain. You’ll save more money, while getting a higher return.

Cushion tire forklifts come with many load capabilities, satisfying most operating needs. Some can even range up to 15,000 lbs! This isn’t the only advantage they offer, though. Cushion forklifts also have a smaller turning radius and incredible maneuverability.

When you decide it’s time for a cushion tire forklift, Industrial Forklift Truck is here to help. 

Industrial Forklift Truck partners with the top forklift dealers in the industry. This is how we help you get the best equipment based on your needs. Fill out a short, quick form to get started. 

Enter your selections here. Once Industrial Forklift Truck receives the information, we’ll send you free quotes. You'll receive quotes on equipment that matches the specifications you enter. 

If you're not quite ready to purchase, test drive your forklift first with a rental. Renting is an easy, low-risk way to determine which forklift tire type is best for you. Access your rental options now by filling out this form on Industrial Forklift Truck

The options available to you are endless. Find your next forklift with Industrial Forklift Truck today.

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