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Source for heavy wheels and tires?


Oct 9, 2014
South Dakota
I'm trying to build a device to handle large objects trailer style that will get moved via forklift. Will need to be capable of getting pulled through gravel yard and in and out of paint room. Currently have some trailers using standard 16" 8 bolt trailer tires(i think they are rated at 3500lb each). I'd really like smaller tires, preferrably 23" or less but still have enough capacity to handle at least as much weight as the 16". Having a hard time finding a source for something like that. Any ideas?
Forklift steer tires are surprisingly cheap.

If you make your own wheels to adapt whatever hub you have to what the steer tires need, do yourself a favor and make it a split rim with a circular bolt pattern.
Forklift tires and R4 ag tires are not DOT approved and you will get a citation if stopped. but if you are just moving in your yard skid skid steer tires are really good at handling the load but you will need to machine your rims to fit your trailer.
A forklift wrecker /salvage yard would be the place to look .......some of the Japanese forklifts had very wide tires for the diameters...Mitsubishi ,was one I recall ..........by all means ,buy tyre and wheel together .....and also the hub will simplify constructing your trailer.
If you're only using your existing trailer to move things around your yard you can ignore the normal load rating on the sidewall - this is based on highway speeds.
There are tables that show increased load rating at slow speeds.
You can increase the load by 50% at slow speeds, from memory, and be quite safe.
Any load on the tire causes the sidewalls to deflect (bulge). This causes heat build up. Tires are designed to tolerate a certain amount of flex at highway speeds, and not build up too much heat, if the max load is respected.
At yard trailer speeds there is far less heat build up, so the tire will tolerate more deflection, therefore more load.
If you double the load, you're into issues other than heat build up.
A paint cart rolling in and out of a booth in a yard, but do you need to go far or fast? If not I would cut 8-bolt wheel centers from plate, and weld on rolled rings. Plenty strong, as big or small as you want , bolts right up to what you have now.

Forklift wheels that could be fit onto the existing trailer hubs will not be cheap or small, and the cost in time and money to retrofit forklift hubs or something would be astronomical imo.
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Great ideas, Looks like forklift tires are best option I found. really like a pneumatic so doesn't bounce so bad on the yard. Ya It'll never be on the road, and if it goes faster than the forklift we got other problems! I may be able to tweak my design and just make standard trailer tires work....
Now I'm on to the next challenge on this thing, may have to start another thread.......
Try Superior Tire in Warren , Pa. as they make solid rubber tires molded on many different wheels for low speed off road applications!
Another cheap option may be the EWP wheels /tyres/drive units ......older EWP s seem to be scrap in the US .The tyres are generally semi pneumatic ,foam filled ,small dias with wide section profile,and probably ideal for any kind of loose gravel.....Again you need the lot for any kind of economic construction.
You can always just stick another axle with the smaller tires under the trailer. The other option would be to install longer wheel studs and make a spacer so you can mount dual wheels on either side of the axle. Double the number of tires, double the capacity.