Dually Trucks: Do Extra Rear Wheels Give More Towing Power?

If you get a cent for every pickup truck you see on the road, you might get a few bucks right now. Pickup trucks have dominated the roads, whether you’re driving around town or driving on the freeway.

Not every pickup truck you see on the road is the same. A lot of pickup trucks sold by various manufacturers come in a Single Rear Wheel (SRW) configuration. This means it only has a pair of wheels on the front and back.

When it comes to outstanding towing or hauling capacity, trucks with Dual Rear Wheels (DRW) have a big advantage. The extra pair of rear wheels are called dually trucks. That makes the truck have a total of six wheels.

Dually vs. non-dually

It is not difficult to differentiate a dually from a regular pickup truck by just looking at it. Aside from the additional set of rear wheels, the dually trucks have a larger appearance and protruding fender flares to cover the extra wheels.

“Duallies” as some people call them, have a bigger towing capacity than the single rear wheel truck variant. The extra wheels on the truck’s rear are what make them special. The additional wheels increase the stability of the truck. Even though non-dually trucks are commonly sold in the market, it has a lower towing capability. It is also less stable when towing in windy conditions.

In a standard four-wheel truck, it may be more dangerous when a tire suddenly blows out. Trucks with dual rear wheels are safer in case of a blowout situation since the extra wheels provide better stability.

Extra wheels, extra benefits

You might be thinking how is having four tires per axle is better than having two tires only per axle? Well, they are generally better than non-dually trucks for a few reasons such as:

  • Maximum towing and payload capacities
  • Driving it doesn’t feel like dragging a heavy load
  • Added safety and less worry when driving in a windy condition
  • Great to use when you have a heavier load and perfect for a 5th wheel trailer
  • If one of the rear tires gets a flat, the other tires will temporarily carry the load

Regular pickup trucks carry the vehicle’s weight and can only provide sufficient towing capacity. But for dually trucks, they have axle shafts that transmit the torque only. The axle transmits the torque to the road and gives more efficient power transfer. Compared to SRWs, the tires in dually trucks have a longer tire life.

The “full floating” configuration makes it sturdier. In a 1-ton range, you can tow about an extra 1,000 lbs. with the duallies. This is why the design of dually trucks are significantly more robust than that of a weight-bearing rear axle on standard pickup trucks.

The bearing hubs located in the outer ends of the axle carry the truck’s weight. Because of the extra set of rear wheels, it can accommodate the increased load. It can also distribute or spread out the added weight. This setup gives the pickup truck a higher payload potential.

Dual rear wheel trucks are an ideal vehicle for those who typically tow or haul heavy loads. Its biggest advantage can be seen in fifth-wheel tow or gooseneck towing parts. Due to the higher payload on the dually trucks, they can typically tow more than regular ones.

Choosing a dually truck

The downside of this vehicle is its price tag. Compared to standard 4-wheeled full-size pickup trucks, the duallies are always more expensive to buy and operate. Due to the heavy chassis and the larger engine, they get less fuel economy.

It is not easy to park and drive a dually truck and you might notice an uncomfortable ride without a load. Compared to non-dually, it has a wider and heavier body to accommodate the extra rear wheels. That’s also the reason why they cost more to maintain. If you’re planning to put on a lift kit, it doesn’t work well together with it.

But despite the hefty price tag, you’ll get the towing and hauling power from this type of truck. If you’re the type of truck owner who spends more than 75 percent of the time towing things or transport heavy loads, then getting a pickup truck with dually wheels is a great option. For instance, a dual rear wheel truck can pull up to 35,000 lbs., which is almost three times the maximum towing weight capacity of a non-dually. It is considered a heavy-duty pickup truck.

Dually trucks are designed with a wider stance and extra surface area to help spread the weight out. It also helps in increasing the weight capacities considerably. For those who are planning to haul a heavy trailer or consider hauling as a regular activity, a truck with six rims can be a nice option than a regular cab truck with four wheels.

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