Guide – Cushion Tire Forklifts

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Used Cushion Tire ForkliftsIn forklift vernacular, when someone mentions a “cushion tire” forklift, that typically means an internal combustion engine rider forklift with solid rubber tires.

Many other forklifts use solid rubber tires like four wheel electrics and three wheel electrics. But when referring to a “cushion tire” forklift, that is going to be a sit down rider with an internal combustion engine that most commonly runs on LP Gas.

The cushion tire forklift is one of the more common forklifts and probably what most people picture in their head when thinking about a forklift.used forklift nissan cfs60lp

Most of the major forklift manufacturers produce cushion tire forklifts ranging in capacity from 3,000 lbs to 15,500 lbs.  This includes brands like Hyster, Yale, Cat, and Toyota. You will find these forklifts used in just about every type of business and user application.

Hoist F180 ForkliftCushion tire forklifts with capacities larger than 15,500 lbs are typically made by specialty manufacturers like Hoist and Taylor. These are larger industrial trucks that also run on LP Gas but sometimes operate on diesel fuel. You will see these types of high capacity cushion tire forklifts in steel operations, at rigging companies, and wherever a smooth ride is required when picking up a heavy object.

The cushion tire forklift can have any type of mast – a two stage, three stage, or quad – but most often has a three stage mast. Three stage mast lift heights vary from about 170″ to around 220″ for forklift with capacities under 8000 lbs.

Cushion Vs. Pneumatic

Sometimes the cushion tire forklift can be confused with a pneumatic tire forklift when the tires are treaded. Its important to see the difference in tire size so you know which one is which when buying a used forklift.

This is a picture of a cushion treaded drive tire on a 5000 lb capacity cushion tire forklift.  The tire is still quite thin and is meant for use on smooth surfaces.


And here is a picture of a solid pneumatic drive tire.  You can see the difference in thickness in the rubber and the depth of the tread.


Is a Cushion Tire Forklift Right For You

Cushion tire forklifts can be used in any number of applications and are versatile machines that can lift, stack, put away in racking, and load and unload trucks. Here’s a brief list of what to consider when thinking about buying a used cushion tire forklift:

  • What capacity do I need?
  • How high do I need to lift?
  • How many hours per week will I use this forklift?
  • Do I need LP Gas, diesel, or other?
  • Do I need a sideshift attachment?
  • How long should my forks be?

You can browse our complete inventory of used cushion tire forklifts for sale here.