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August 31, 2023

What Are The Different Types Of Rubber Tires In The Material Handling Industry?

Tires play a crucial role in the efficiency, safety, and productivity for warehouses and distribution centers to construction sites and recycling facilities. Due to this, there is a dynamic landscape of rubber tires in the industry meant to fit the various needs of the consumer. Here at East Bay Tire, we consider ourselves the experts in all things tires, and can speak to the specific needs of the material handling industry. Read on to delve into the different types of rubber tires used in the material handling sector, each designed to tackle specific challenges and optimize performance.


Pneumatic tires are the go-to choice when it comes to conquering challenging terrains and heavy-duty tasks.  These tires have more flex and often more traction than their solid counterparts. These tires provide significant traction and great heat dissipation. Pneumatic tires are recommended for off-road or low-hour usage forklifts, industrial tractors, airport vehicles, and heavy load transport vehicles. With their exceptional shock absorption capabilities and load-bearing prowess, these tires excel in outdoor environments where rough surfaces often beat other tires.

Used with:

  • Construction sites
  • Off-road applications
  • Rough terrain


In environments where “up-time” is essential, the solid tire is tough to beat. These puncture-proof workhorses provide unparalleled durability, making them ideal for industrial uses that expose tires to sharp objects or rough surfaces, such as recycling centers and scrapyards. These tires are best used in similar applications to pneumatic tires but where puncture resistance and reduced down time are critical. You are likely to see solid rubber tires being used on industrial and farm carts, military vehicles, and more.

Used with:

  • Recycling centers
  • Scrap yards


When it comes to indoor material handling tasks in spaces such as warehouses and distribution centers, cushion tires dominate the field. With their smooth tread design, tight turning radius, and solid rubber construction, cushion tires offer excellent maneuverability on flat and even surfaces, providing enhanced control and stability.

Used with:

  • Warehouses
  • Distribution centers


In settings where floor marking is a concern or weight restrictions are paramount, polyurethane tires wheel up to the plate. These lightweight and non-marking tires are popular for light-duty applications and are commonly used on electric forklifts, ensuring reduced floor damage and improved traction. Polyurethane tires have better traction and a lower rolling resistance than rubber tires. These tires are ideal for cold storage areas and warehouses that handle fresh products that may create wetness on the floor.

Used with:

  • Electric forklifts
  • Indoor material handling


Combining the best of both pneumatic and solid tires, foam-filled tires provide an optimal balance of shock absorption and puncture resistance. These tires are designed to offer stability and durability, making them a preferred choice for applications that demand increased load stability and excellent shock absorption properties. You will usually see foam-filled tires used in rental fleets and on boom lifts where safety is paramount.  

Used with:

  • Boom lifts
  • Skid steers
  • Loaders


In industries such as food processing, warehousing, and cleanroom environments, non-marking tires play a vital role. Crafted with special rubber compounds, these tires minimize or eliminate tire marks on indoor surfaces while maintaining the required performance and reliability.

From pneumatic tires that conquer rough terrains to non-marking tires designed for clean environments, each type of rubber tire serves a specific purpose in enhancing efficiency and safety. At East Bay Tire, we understand the importance of selecting the right tires for your material handling needs. Our tire specialists are always ready to assist you in finding the perfect solution for your unique requirements.

Used with:

  • Cleanroom environments
  • Indoor facilities

At East Bay Tire, we know that in an industry that deals with moving and handling materials, material handling equipment takes center stage in operations, making sure everything gets where it needs to be efficiently. Alongside this, tires play an equally vital role in keeping that equipment rolling smoothly and getting the job done right.

Our tire selection for material handling tires is backed by rigorous testing and quality assurance, ensuring optimal performance, durability, and safety. Experts at any of our California & Hawaii service locations are ready to assist you in selecting the most suitable tires for your application. By choosing East Bay Tire for your material handling tires, you can rest assured that you’ll be outfitting your equipment with the finest tires, enhancing efficiency, reducing downtime, and ultimately achieving superior productivity in operations.