Cushion vs. Pneumatic: The Breakdown

The most common option for forklift tires is pneumatic or cushion. These two types have advantages in different environments, and choosing the right one has a big impact on handling, safety, and life span of the tires. Forklifts are designed to use a specific tire type, and tires are designed for specific applications. Educating yourself on this topic will make shopping for a new forklift much easier, and you will have peace of mind knowing your next forklift is designed to meet your needs.


Pneumatic forklift tires are designed for outdoor applications like lumber yards, ports, rail yards, and construction sites. These tires perform great on tough or uneven terrain. Pneumatic tires are filled with air or are completely solid rubber. Air Pneumatics are cheaper and but they are less durable and won’t last as long. Solid Pneumatic tires are extremely durable and can’t be punctured by sharp objects, making them the ideal option for most outdoor applications. 

Pneumatic Forklift Tires


Cushion forklift tires are a solid rubber ring that gets pressed onto a metal rim. Cushion tires are designed for indoor applications like factories or warehouses. They are cheaper to maintain and replace than pneumatic tires. Cushion tires have poor traction compared to pneumatic tires, but are better at handling in tight spaces, and have a smaller turning radius. Cushion tires are very durable when used in proper environments.

Cushion Forklift Tires


The first thing that needs to be considered when purchasing a forklift is understanding how and where the forklift will be used. Will the forklift be inside or outside? Is the ground smooth or uneven? Do some research and inspect the workspace before making a decision on a new forklift. 

Do you need more help deciding on tires? Give us a call today at 610-868-1481 and one of our product experts will help you come to a decision.