Tech Tips

Tires and Wheels

Tires and wheels on aerial equipment differ than those used on cars. For example, on slab scissor lifts the tires and wheels are made of solid rubber either molded onto the rims or are bolted together. They can be smooth or have a tread pattern and come in non-marking, which have no carbon black and will usually not leave marks on the floor.

Since there is no carbon in the tires, the tires develop static electricity as they roll across the floor. Most machines with non-marking tires are equipped with a static strap that drags against the floor to prevent operators from getting shocked if they reach for something that is grounded to the floor.  C-Tech offers a wide variety of static straps to keep your equipment safe.  Check out our line of static straps here.

Since the tires are an integral part of the machine stability, care must be taken when replacing them. All four tires should be replaced at the same time. If tires are replaced only on side to side or fore or aft (front or rear), this will cause the machine to be out of level. A tire with ¼” of wear on a 20 foot scissor lift will cause the unit to be as much as 1° off level when fully elevated.

As tires run over surfaces, nails, screws, sheet metal shards and other bits of debris are picked up. With molded tires, these items will often go all the way to the rim causing a tear in the bonding of the tire to the rim. When this area is at the bottom of the tire, you will notice that it will squash out, seriously affecting the stability and ride of the machine.

Pneumatic (air filled) tires are often used on rough terrain scissor lifts and on boom lifts. On certain units, it is required that the tires be foam filled. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications. These tires most often have a semi-aggressive tread or lug pattern for improved traction, as well as an 8 to 16 ply sidewall rating.

Proper tire inflation is extremely important. As little as a 5 psi difference in tire inflation can translate to a 40 foot boom lift being 2° off level at elevation. When replacing these tires, it is highly recommended that they are replaced as a set. If not done as a set, tires should be done as a pair for the front or rear of the equipment.

Check out our expansive selection of wheels and tires for your equipment on our secure website here. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is available to help you select the parts for your equipment.


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