There are three common tyre types available for forklift trucks and a few not so common types. It is important that the correct tyre be fitted for the application although in many cases, the user doesn't have a choice as only one type is available for that particular model.
CUSHION TYRES, (or solid tyres), are easily the most common type found on forklift trucks and these are usually fitted to electric counterbalanced forklift trucks. These are basically solid tyres with a small diameter and they can only be fitted to the wheels by the use of a tyre press at a tyre specialist.
Because they are solid they do not provide much in the way of comfort for the forklift operator and should primarily be used on reasonably flat floors. Using a forklift truck fitted with these tyres on rough ground is likely to be dangerous as they can cause the forklift truck to overturn under certain circumstances.
On the plus side, they have a very long life and they also enable the forklift manufacturer to keep the overall height of the forklift truck down so it will fit under a lower headroom.
As a bonus these tyres are available in different colours such as red or more commonly white which helps to reduce marks on warehouse floors. Be prepared to pay more for coloured tyres however.
Other specialised types of cushion tyre can be obtained such as anti-static types which are suitable for applications where there is a risk of fire. Again, these cost more than standard tyres.
Reach trucks use rubber compounds, similar to cushion tyres, on the wheels at the operator's end of the truck but polyurethane tyres in the reach legs as rubber won't stand the load. This is why it's normally recommended that reach trucks only operate on flat surfaces. Hard, solid tyres such as these on rough ground can cause the reach truck to overturn.
For details of the other types of tyre available please click this link