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Forklift Tire Safety

Kyle Thill

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Kyle Thill | March 11, 2015 | Comments Off on Forklift Tire Safety

Forklifts require a lot of focus on safety when anyone is working with them, or around them. That focus on safety is paramount when that forklift requires maintenance. Probably more safety concerns than the average Joe might think of when looking at a forklift down for maintenance or repair. But because of the forklift’s fuel sources, its hydraulic system and the sheer weight of its components forklift technicians need to be very aware of the dangers found on a forklift even as it sits dismantled in front of them.

One area of concern that might be given less attention that it requires is the “simple” tire change.

Changing the Forklift Tire

Now, your first warning: You must use a jack that has a rated capacity of 8,000 Ibs or more. Make sure the counterweight mounting bolts are fully tightened before lifting the truck, and follow these instructions to avoid injury:forklift_jack_1

  • Truck must be unloaded and parked on a smooth level floor.
  • Make sure the parking brake is properly adjusted and fully applied and opposite end wheels securely chocked.

You can be killed or seriously injured if a lift truck falls on you. After jacking, use blocking or proper stands to hold the truck. Never get under a truck supported by any hydraulic jack.

Front Wheels:

To raise the front, lift the forks about 3 feet with the mast vertical and place a jack under the front frame. Make sure that the jack is properly positioned.forklift_tire_hub_nuts2

  1. Jack up until the wheels are about to leave the ground and then, loosen the hub nuts.
  2. Jack up until the wheels come off the ground. Completely remove the air pressure from the tire then remove the hub nuts and remove the wheel.
  3. To reinstall the wheel after changing a tire, perform the steps for removal in reverse order. The hub nuts should be tightened evenly and in the sequence shown in the figure.
  4. After replacing the wheel, check and adjust the tire air pressure.

Rear Wheels   forklift_rear_jack3

To raise the rear, use either a floor jack or a bottle jack of the right capacity and place it as shown.

  1. Jack up until the wheels are about to leave the ground and then, loosen the hub nuts.
  2. Jack up until the wheels come off the ground then remove the hub nuts and remove the wheel.
  3. To reinstall the wheel after changing a tire, perform the steps for removal in reverse order.
  4. The hub nuts should be tightened evenly and in the sequence shown in the figure
  5. After replacing the wheel, check and adjust the tire air pressure.

Jack setting positionforklift_rear_Lift4

  1. Hydraulic garage jack (unavailable in 1-ton models)
  2. Portable hydraulic jack

Set the jack in the jack point under the counter weight.

Wheel and Tire Servicing

Federal and State laws require you to be fully trained and qualified before doing maintenance on wheels and tires. Injury or death can result from the exploding rim components if servicing is not done correctly.

Check tire pressure facing the tread of the tire, not the side. Use a long handled gauge to keep your body away from rims and wheels.forklift_tire_cage7

Remove air from the tire before removing rim locking rings on multi-piece rims.

Always use a safety cage to inflate tires after servicing. Tire air pressure is very high, so pay attention to rim deformation, cracks, etc. Never exceed proper air pressure.

  • Never loosen the nuts that hold the inner and outer wheels halves together when there is air pressure in the tire.
  • Completely remove the air pressure from the tire before it is removed from the lift truck. Air Pressure in the tires can cause the tire and wheel parts to explode, causing serious injury or death. Tires and wheels must be changed and repaired only by trained service persons.
  • If a tire has less than 85% of the correct air pressure, completely remove the air pressure form the tire. Remove the tire from the lift truck. Add air pressure to the tires only in a safety cage.

forklift_tire_explode8

Forklift tire work is not only dangerous, but it is also physically very demanding. Our hats off to the professionals that do this work every day. We would enjoy hearing from you. Post your ideas or comments below, let’s start a dialog.

 

Forklift safety training online


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