The reason most truck owners go for four rear wheel trucks has more to do with capabilities and less with style. Opting for a truck with four rear wheels, also known as “dual rear wheel”(DRW) or dually, has to do more with need. Dual rear wheels are known for their capabilities in towing heavy payload. Dually trucks were used for commercial purposes, but American highways have thousands of large personal recreational vehicles on its roads.
These recreational vehicle are heavy and need trucks that can carry such weight around. Dually trucks fit this description because of extra weight to the back. Dually trucks have more significant advantage as they offer a high gross vehicle weight, which translates to efficient higher towing capacity and stability.
History Of Dually Trucks
Dually trucks have been around for over a century. They were designed to allow trucks have more stability and payload capacity. This allows for spreading heavy loads over four rear tires instead of two. In a situation where one tire blows out, the remaining tires can support the weight originally allocated to four.
The first trucks ever made with dual rear wheels were manufactured by Dodge in 1924. The Dodge brothers John and Horace were not car manufacturers at the time, as their major concentration was in supplying mechanical parts for automobile companies like Ford and several others. Eventually in 1914, they built their first automobile. They didn’t make any trucks though, due to the fact that they could not produce cars that were easy enough to meet demand.
After World war 1, the Dodge brothers were contracted by the US Army to supply trucks to help replace equipment destroyed during the war. Dodge accepted, which led them to building their first truck. Later in 1924, the Dodge brothers entered into a contract with the Graham brothers to build a 1 ton, dually truck with the Graham brothers name plate on them.
In 1928, Walter Chrysler purchased the Dodge brothers company. The following year, the sale was complete when the Dodge dually truck was available in 3 ton trucks and now had the Dodge logo on them.
Truck Types with Dual Rear Wheels
Since the advent of dually wheels 100 years ago, different automobile brands over the years have made dually trucks. Most have upgraded their models and specifications for heavy hauling application. Let’s highlight a few of them;
- Chevrolet 3500HD
The Chevrolet 3500HD dual rear wheel configuration comes from a choice of two engines. These include the 360 horsepower, 6.0 liters gasoline fired V8 engine and the 397 horsepower 6.6 liters turbo diesel engine. This truck maxes out at 7,180 pounds of payload and can pull 23,000 pounds of trailer.
- GMC Sierra 3500HD
The 2015 GMC Sierra 3500HD is a dually truck that comes with a choice of two engines. With 360 horsepower gasoline engine and 397 horsepower, 6.6 liters engine, this truck can pull up to 23,200 pounds and has a maximum payload of 7,180 pounds.
- RAM 3500HD
The 2015 RAM HD offers an outstanding hauling capacity. With a state of the art interior, this gasoline and diesel engine dually truck has the potential to pull 7390 pounds payload.
- FORD F-350
The 2015 F-350 has a 440 horsepower, 6.7 liters turbo-diesel engine and a fifth wheel gear in place. This truck has both a single rear wheel and dually wheel variants. The dually can pull 26,500 pounds of trailer. Other F-series like F-450, F-550 come only with dually wheels.
One significant advantage of dually trucks is the payload capacity they offers. As a matter of fact, the extra tires in the rear were designed for this purpose. Trucks like F-350, F-450, F-550 are some of the trucks with dual rear wheels. Although there are models of the F-350 with single rear wheel that can carry less payload, the driving experience with the DRW is far more convenient even with twice the payload capacity on single rear wheel.
Compared to single rear wheel with 2100-3300 pound payload capacity (which is perfect for hauling lighter cargo), most dually wheel configuration packages (even with long beds) generally have between 4500-5500 pounds payload capacity. This means if about 1000-1500 pounds of weight are on the back corner of a dually truck (even without weight distribution) the dually wheel is more levelled than it would be on an single rear wheel truck with 2200-3300 payload capacity.
The dually wheel is also hydroplaned because of the extra rear tires. The front tire sits lower, and the rear is slightly higher. This means that in the event of hauling a large travel trailer or a fifth wheel behind, it levels the ride as opposed to causing the back of the truck to squat. This allows for traveling with a large trailer or fifth wheel.
Stability is another great advantage that the dually wheels have, especially when it comes to hauling large RVs around. You can guarantee a far more stable towing ride with dually wheels compared to a single rear wheel truck. It’s a good idea to tow a large travel trailer or fifth wheel with dually wheels, because of the increased weight at the back of the truck gives more stability and can resist sway, which ensures a more comfortable experience if you are towing a large RV.
More Weight To The Rear
The dually wheels allow for an extra weight to the rear. This extra weight allows for more payload capacity and stability. More so, it provides extra stability which means less risk of items falling from the flat bed when driving through rough terrain.
When hauling heavy loads on a dually truck, one factor to put into consideration is the brakes. A dually offers an improved braking performance than a single rear wheel truck because of the increased tread contact. This factor makes it easier to tow large payloads and have better, more efficient braking when needed.
Tire damage when hauling or towing heavy payloads can be devastating, especially on a single rear wheel truck. Even though maintenance on a dually truck is somewhat higher when considering the extra tires, this compensates for the trouble it will cost you when towing heavy payloads such as trailers. If one of the rear tires were to get damaged, the additional tire would ensure that you still have control of your trailer/what is being towed until you stop the truck.
Ultimately, the main reasons to own a dually truck are the conveniences such as increased rear weight and added payload capacity. If you find yourself frequently hauling large loads and need something to get the job done more effectively, then a dually truck is something to consider.
Recommended Dually Tires
Firestone TransForce HT Tire – 245/75R16 120R