Poly vs. Rubber Press-on Tires. Understand the differences.

How do you choose between Poly vs. Rubber Press-on Tires? What applications should you use polyurethane or rubber compounds? Can you switch between compounds?

Both rubber and polyurethane press-on tires have unique qualities that make them more appropriate in certain circumstances and application. This page will help you select the best press-on tire for your application.

Polyurethane Press-on Tire

Advantages / Compare of poly press-on tires to rubber press-on tires

Polyurethane is a totally engineered plastic material, which exists in various compound mixes. Different compounds, hardness (durometer) and even grooves or sipes provide a wide range of solutions to specialized applications.


  • High load capacity
  • Longer tire life
  • Specialized hardness (durometer) for wider range of applications
  • Lower rolling resistance; longer battery time
  • Higher cut and tearing resistance
  • No floor marking
  • Higher chemical resistance even after long term exposure
  • Widest range of sizes


  • Tends to flat-spot when encountering floor debris
  • Heat dissipation and high speed leads to more bond failures
  • Not great for outside operation

Rubber Press-on Tire

Advantages / Compare rubber press-on tires to poly press-on tires

Premium rubber press-on tires are all natural rubber which disipates heat more efficently and provides longer running duration. Mid-grade and economy rubber press-on tires are a mix of natural rubbers and other compounds such as plastic. Non-premium tires are designed for lower costs and provide a lower duty cycle as the compound mixes do not dissipate the heat as well as all natural rubber tire.


  • Less expensive
  • Able to absorb floor debris and irregular surfaces
  • Better traction on wet surfaces
  • Better heat dissipation (premium are best)
  • Good outside operating if surface is flat and smooth
  • Lower vibrations


  • Lower load capacity
  • Black tires mark floors. Premium black tires produce less floor marking. Non-marking compounds help.
  • Low chemical resistance, especially petro-based chemicals
  • Reduced size variations

Compare the Load Capacity

Below is the load capacity comparison between polyurethane and rubber press-on (cushion) tires for common sizes. For more sizes, click on the Poly Press-on and Rubber Press on pages.

  Load Capacity (6 mph (lbs)
Size Polyurethane Rubber
9x5x5 3020 2116
10x4x6-1/2 2490 1720
13-1/2x5-1/2x8 4740 3335
16x5x10-1/2 4760 3325
16x6x10-1/2 6040 4205
16-1/4x5x11-1/4 4800 3365
16-1/4x6x11-1/4 6050 4225
18x8x12-1/8 9470 6625
21x7x15 9050 6340
21x8x15 10604 7455
22x12x16 17760 12450
28x12x22 21280 14900

Data may vary by manufacturer and compound. Information is provided as a general guide only. If size is not listed, please call toll-free 604-265-1118.

Buy on-line or talk with a knowledgeable industrial tire & track specialist:

Polyurethane Compounds

  • Standard –General usage applications
  • Soft –Wet and cold storage applications and an excellent tire for applications with lots of floor debris
  • Hard –Extra Load, high speed and long duty cycle.

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