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Parts & Service

3 Tire Care Tips for JLG® and SkyTrak® Telehandlers

Tech Tips - Oct 22

3 Tire Care Tips for JLG® and SkyTrak® Telehandlers

JLG Industries, Inc.
World-leading access equipment manufacturer
McConnellsburg, PA

A telehandler’s ability to lift heavy loads to high heights, often on unstable or unfinished surfaces, relies on its tires. From their terrainability (aka rideability), or the way they contribute to the way the machine contacts the ground, to their stability, or the way they impact the machine’s balance, tires are a critical component on a telehandler — and require specific attention.

While tires might not be the first things that come to mind when maintaining a telehandler, preventive maintenance can positively affect the machine’s performance, improving everything from productivity and safety to total cost of ownership. 

Tire Care Tips for Telehandler Tires at a Glance

Below are three tips for taking care of the tires on JLG® and SkyTrak® telehandlers…

#1: Inspect tires daily
Telehandler tires need to be inspected frequently throughout the workday, starting with the daily machine walk-around inspection before operation begins and also at each operator change during a shift, as well as at each shift change. 

For pneumatic tires, JLG recommends that when any cut, rip or tear is discovered that exposes sidewall or tread area cords in the tire, measures must be taken to remove the JLG product from service immediately. Arrangements must be made to replace the tire or tire assembly. 

For polyurethane foam-filled tires, JLG recommends that if any of the following are discovered during tire inspections that measures must be taken to remove the telehandler from service immediately and arrangements must be made for replacement of the tire or tire assembly: 

  • Smooth, even cut through the cord plies which exceeds 3 inches in total length
  • Tears or rips (ragged edges) in the cord plies which exceeds 1 inch in any direction 
  • Punctures that exceed 1 inch in diameter 
  • Damage to the bead area cords of the tire

If a tire is damaged, but within the above-noted criteria, the tire must be inspected on a daily basis to ensure the damage has not propagated beyond the allowable criteria. 

#2: Check tire inflation
Properly inflated tires are important to the stability and handling characteristics of the machine, especially under load. It is important to make sure a tire’s inflation in accordance with the tire pressures labeled on the side of the tire, or the rim, which are approved by the tire manufacturer. Check tire inflation when the tires are cold.

Large-bore valve stems are used to help expedite tire inflation and deflation. An inner tube may be used if a tire does not provide an airtight seal. 

#3: Change damaged tires
If a tire on the telehandler needs to be replaced, it is recommended that the replacement be the same size, ply and brand as originally installed on the machine. Please refer to the JLG and/or SkyTrak Parts manuals, available here or in the technical publications section on Online Express. for the part number of the approved tires for a particular machine model. 

When installing a replacement tire, it is important that all of the tires are inflated to the pressure stenciled on the side of the tire or rim decal for proper operational characteristics.

If not using a JLG-approved replacement tire, the replacement tire(s) are recommended to have the following characteristics: 

  • Equal or greater ply/load rating and size of original; 
  • Tire tread contact width equal or greater than original; 
  • Wheel diameter, width, and offset dimensions equal to original; and 
  • Approved for the application by the tire manufacturer (including inflation pressure and maximum tire load) 

Due to variations between tire brands, mismatched tire sizes, ply ratings or mixing tire types (example: radial tires with bias-ply tires) may compromise the machine’s stability and may cause it to tip over. 

It is also important to note that rims installed on JLG and SkyTrak telehandlers’ also have been designed for stability requirements, which consist of track width, tire pressure and load capacity. Size changes, such as rim width, centerpiece location, larger or smaller diameter, etc., without written factory recommendations, may result in an unsafe condition regarding stability. 

More guidance on tire care can be found in the machine’s Operation & Safety manual, as well as the Service & Maintenance manual for the specific model. Manuals for JLG and SkyTrak telehandlers can be accessed via Online Express or by clicking here.

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