Pneumatic Tyres VS Solid Tyres - feature image

Pneumatic Tyres VS Solid Tyres

Which Tyre Will Best Fit Your Forklift? 

There are 2 kinds of tyres that are commonly used in forklift vehicles: the pneumatic tyre and solid tyre. People don’t just use pneumatic tyres and solid tyres for forklifts. They use it for mobility scooters and other smaller vehicles for transporting items and people. 

However, do you know which tyre will best fit your forklift? If you have ever found yourself in a situation where your forklift tyres need changing, which one should you choose? 

Purpose of Changing Forklift Tyres 

Most times when people change forklift tyres, there are a few good reasons for it. 

Business owners change their forklift tyres because they want to extend their tire life. For obvious reasons, when people buy new tyres it’s to see if it lasts long enough without having to keep getting new ones. Most business owners, if not all, do not like to keep replacing old or broken tyres as it can cost a lot of money for a replacement. 

Difference Between Pneumatic Tyres and Solid Tyres

Difference Between Pneumatic Tyres and Solid Tyres
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Here is a summarized version of the difference between the 2 different tyres. Have a look at which one you need. 

Pneumatic TyresSolid Tyres
Best fit for general construction jobs as pneumatic tyres is considered standard-duty tyres.Can last up to 3x longer than pneumatic tyres as they are made from rubber compounds. It provides and offers the lowest operational cost for forklifts that are used on harsh job sites.
Designed for maximum grip and traction when you are driving your forklift from point A to point B.Comes with twin flex technology that offers a softer ride. It reduces vibration and increases driver comfort. It also helps to resist stress-point cracking and increase the tyre’s life. 

Has added shock protection for your forklift that helps reduce vibration-related maintenance costs.

Usually made of superior-quality rubber, self-cleaning tread designs and a higher ply rating. Some pneumatic tyres have extra bead guarding to protect rims and reduce sidewall damage.Solid tyres are made to suit dry, hard concrete and asphalt surfaces in construction industries and paving applications. 

Smooth and conventional solid tyres are better in terms of performance when used on solid surfaces. They have a wider surface area to promote even wear.

Are sometimes called “air-filled tyres” as the tyre is filled with air and is tube type. They are available in multiple thread patterns and offer smoother rides.As solid tyres are mostly made from a durable, cut-resistant rubber material, they are often offered in a narrow or wide base. 

Narrow-base solid tyres have higher point loading. That means there will be less chance of spinning and friction for easier manoeuvring on hard surfaces. 

Its wide-base tires are made with more rubber and offer better flotation.

The downside of using pneumatic tyres is that it is vulnerable to punctures and wear out a lot quicker than solid tyres.Depending on what application you’ve intended for your forklift solid tyres, t has different tyres for different usages. 

Solid tyres do come in 2-layered tyres and are suitable for forklifts that are used for 8-1o hours a day intermittently. 

3-layered solid tyres are great for forklifts that are used for 15-16 hours a day continuously.


In short, we can say that solid tyres are made with unmated durability and are great to be used in rough environments. That means you can use solid tyres outdoors where there are a lot of sharp objects and debris and not worry about it getting punctured. 

Pneumatic tyres are made for indoor uses such as in warehouses and factories. It’s not made for a rough environment. If you do, you shouldn’t be surprised that it gets punctured easily. 

Key factors to consider before choosing the right tyre for your forklift 

Key factors to consider before choosing the right tyre for your forklift
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It is without a doubt that as a business owner, you will want to choose the best tyre for your forklift. There are several factors to consider. In this next section we have summarized some of the main factors for you to consider. 

  • Environment you are going to use your forklift in: It’s pretty obvious that both tyre types are to be used for different environments. If you are planning to use your forklift for a rough environment, choose the solid tyres. If you wish to use your forklift in an indoor setting, then the pneumatic tyres would do. 
  • Ride quality: ride experience matters when you are choosing the right tyre for your forklift. However, after much research, it’s pretty clear that pneumatic tyres emerge as winners as they have a smoother ride compared to solid tyres. Pneumatic tyres are better at deforming under impact and make obstacles easier to scale. 
  • Puncture resistance: why buy a tyre only to have it punctured easily in the end? After comparing solid tyres and pneumatic tyres, it’s pretty obvious that solid tyres are better. It does not puncture as it has no air in it anyway. 
  • Tyre grip: tyres are meant to grip the vehicle to the ground it’s driven on. So you will want to look into a tyre that has great grips so you will not fall over easily. It’s said that pneumatic tyres are the best for tyre grips in most situations as they are made of rubber. However, tyre pressure can be adjusted if you are using air-filled tyres. It offers better traction on looser surfaces and wet conditions – something that solid tyres are unable to offer. 


In summary, the most important factor to consider is what environment you plan on using your forklifts in. Then you can start making your decisions from there onwards. Don’t forget to check your forklifts often for maintenance. A neglected forklift will mean that you will need to fork out more money for replacements in the near future. 

If you need any forklift maintenance, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to assist you. 

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