Dually Trucks Vs. Non-Dually Trucks: Comparing the Towing Capabilities

4WheelOnline
5 min readAug 16, 2023

Are you a car enthusiast looking to tow using your vehicle? With tons of different truck models available today, one significant distinction lies within the dual trucks vs. non-dually trucks debate. Duallys usually promise more stability and increased towing capabilities, but at what cost?

Let’s dive into the differences between these two types of trucks so you can decide which is suitable for your driving needs.

Photo Credit: Keith Alderman

Towing Capacity: How Dually Trucks Excel in Heavy-Duty Towing

Dually trucks, also known as dual-rear-wheel or DRW trucks, are considered the ultimate heavy-duty towing vehicles. They are equipped with dually wheels instead of the usual single set, providing several towing advantages.

  • Increase Stability and Load Distribution: One of the main benefits of DRW is its increased stability and load distribution. With four wheels in the rear, the weight of the towed load is spread out over a larger surface area, reducing the chance of swaying or fishtailing. Its added stability makes dually pickup more reliable and safer when towing heavy loads.
  • Greater Payload Capacity: Dually trucks also have a greater payload capacity compared to single-rear-wheel trucks. The additional mags, like American Force wheels, allow for a higher weight rating, meaning they can carry more weight without exceeding their maximum capacity. It makes dually trucks ideal for towing large trailers that require a higher payload capacity, such as fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailers.
  • Enhanced Braking Power: When it comes to braking power, DRW vehicles have an advantage over SRW trucks. The extra set of rear wheels increases the contact area between the tires and the road, resulting in improved braking performance. Its added braking power is crucial when towing heavy loads, allowing for more controlled and safer stopping.
  • Better Handling on Uneven Terrain: Dual trucks offer better handling on uneven terrain. The dual rear wheel configuration provides better traction and stability, making maneuvering on rough or unpaved roads easier. It is crucial when towing on challenging terrains, as it helps prevent wheel slip and improves overall vehicle and trailer control.
  • Tire Durability and Resistance to Blowouts: Tire durability and resistance to blowouts are the other advantages of DRWp pickups. With two sets of rear tires, the load is distributed more evenly, reducing the strain on each tire. This results in less wear and tear on the tires, increasing their lifespan and reducing the risk of blowouts, especially when towing heavy loads for extended periods.
  • Towing Safety Features: Dually trucks often have additional towing safety features. These may include trailer sway control systems, integrated trailer brake controllers, and advanced suspension systems that enhance stability and control during towing. These features provide peace of mind and ensure a safer towing experience.

Versatility and Maneuverability: When Non-Dually Trucks Have the Advantage

Non-dually trucks, also known as single-rear-wheel trucks, offer several advantages regarding maneuverability and versatility. These trucks excel in various scenarios:

  • Easier Parking and Navigating in Tight Spaces: One key benefit of non-dually trucks is their ability to fit into compact parking spots and maneuver through narrow streets. Unlike dual trucks with dual rear wheels that add width to the vehicle, SRW has a narrower profile, making them more agile in crowded urban areas or cramped construction sites.
  • Fuel Efficiency: SRW trucks have better fuel efficiency than their dual counterparts. With a single set of rear wheels, these trucks experience less rolling resistance on the road, resulting in improved mileage and reduced fuel consumption.
  • Smoother Ride Quality: The absence of dual rear wheels allows for better shock absorption and suspension performance, leading to a more comfortable driving experience for passengers and cargo.
  • Lower Maintenance Costs: Non-dually pickups are more affordable than dually trucks in terms of upfront costs and ongoing maintenance and repair expenses. Consider your budget and the long-term costs associated with owning and operating a car when making your decision.

Tow Rating and Payload Capacity Comparison

DRW trucks, which have two rear wheels on each side of the axle, generally offer higher towing capacities than SRW trucks, with only one wheel on each side. This is because the additional set of rear wheels provides increased stability and weight distribution, allowing for more outstanding towing capabilities. For example, an SRW truck may have a maximum tow rating of 18,000 lbs, while a DRW truck could have a tow rating of 21,000 lbs or more. This extra capacity can be crucial when hauling heavy loads or towing large trailers.

Payload capacity is also vital in determining a vehicle’s towing capabilities. Payload refers to the weight a vehicle can safely carry within its bed or cargo area. While DRW trucks generally have higher payload capacities due to their dual-rear wheel setup, it’s essential to consider specific vehicle specifications for accurate comparisons.

The power of the truck’s engine will determine its ability to tow and haul. Look for a truck with an engine that can provide sufficient torque and horsepower for your towing needs. SRW often have smaller engines than DRW, but they can still offer adequate power for most towing applications.

Additionally, driving conditions for towing should be considered when evaluating tow rating and payload capacity. Terrain, weather conditions, and elevation can affect a vehicle’s ability to handle heavy loads safely. It is advisable to consult manufacturer guidelines and recommendations for optimal performance in various driving situations.

Which should you purchase?

Consider your typical towing requirements and evaluate how often you haul heavy loads. If you anticipate regular heavy-duty towing tasks, investing in a dually truck can provide added peace of mind and enhanced towing capabilities. However, if your towing needs are sporadic or involve lighter loads, an SRW truck may be more cost-effective and practical for your everyday driving experience.

After considering all of the crucial factors to bear in mind when choosing between a dually or non-dually truck, it is clear that both advantages and disadvantages are associated with each option. Ultimately, making an informed decision between DRW or SRW should depend on factors such as the frequency of your towing tasks and the specific load capacities required for your intended use.

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