6×6 vs Dually Trucks: Difference between trucks with 4 wheels in the back

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Most trucks you see on the road today have 4 wheels, 2 in the front, and 2 in the back! However every once in a while you will see a truck with 4 wheels in the back. So what are these trucks, and what purpose do they have?

There are in fact two different styles of trucks with 4 wheels in the rear! The Dually is the most common where you have four wheels on a single axle. This is then followed up by the 6×6 which has two axles in the rear. Each of these types of trucks serve very different purposes.

What is a dually pickup truck?

[Image courtesy of Ford]

Dually pickup trucks are some of the most common pickups with four wheels in the rear! Generally speaking they will only be found on heavy duty pickups.

So what is the purpose of this version of truck? Generally speaking it is meant mostly for towing, and hauling. With the extra set of wheels on the rear axle, it can handle considerably more weight as the weight is distributed over a larger surface area on the axle.

A great example, is the F-350! With the standard two wheels in the rear, it can tow up to 18,000 which is a great amount. However if you opt for the dual rear wheels (dually), you will find that it can tow up to 21,000 pounds.

So what does this get you? This means you can purchase larger 5th-wheel campers, you can pull larger trailers, and you can have far heavier and more stuff in the bed of your truck.

Generally speaking, you will find these types of trucks primarily at construction sites, or doing long hauls.

So what isn’t a Dually made for? Off-roading. That is where a 6×6 comes into play!

What is a 6×6 pickup truck?

Are you someone that is incredibly serious about off-roading and have a serious amount of money to pour into it? Then a 6×6 pickup truck might just be the type of truck for you.

Instead of having 4 wheels on a single axle like a dually has, a 6×6 has two axles in the rear and two wheels on each axle.

The main benefit of this, is spreading the weight of the vehicle across the three axles resulting much better off-roading prowess.

That said, having a 6×6 is not normally meant for off-roading like we are used to in the USA, and instead is actually more designed for markets like the Middle East where it involved primarily sand. This is where you will end up sinking down into the sand if you don’t have your weight distributed enough.

How do you get a 6×6?

A 6×6 is generally built by a manufacturer or an aftermarket company based on another vehicle. A great example of a stock 6×6 is the Mercedes G63 6×6! This is an incredible machine made by one of the highest regarded vehicle manufacturers in the world right now.

On the other hand, with the aftermarket route, the most popular builder of 6×6’s has to be Hennessey. Two of their most popular builds are the Goliath 6×6 Silverado, and the Ford VelociRaptor 6×6 (based on the Raptor). Both of these have not only been modified to offer a third functional axle, but they also have massive power upgrades as well.

Which one is better for you?

For most people that are looking to get a truck that has four wheels in the back, the Dually is going to be the best option for them! These trucks are less expensive, more usable, and surprisingly the more compact option of the two types.

Some great recommendations of trucks to check out that have this Dually design would the Ford F-350, the Silverado 3500 and of course the RAM 3500. All of these trucks should give you more performance than you should ever need out of a truck.

On the other hand, if you have some serious money to burn, you should definitely get the Ford VelociRaptor 6×6 and let me know what it is like.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there 6×6 trucks that only have two functional axles?

Surprisingly there are 6×6 conversions out there that only have four-wheel-drive rather than six-wheel-drive. This is generally a decision made during the build to save money, rather than have the additional off-road prowess. Most of these trucks are so expensive, that many never make it off the pavement, so spending money on the additional axle doesn’t make sense.

Why do trucks have double rear wheels while cars do not?

Trucks are work vehicles first, and transportation second. Because of this, being able to tow, and haul is an important part of the trucks existence and is why you only see double rear wheels on the back of trucks. Cars on the other hand are primarily transportation, which means there isn’t much of a market for a dually car.

Can a dually be 4 wheel drive?

While four-wheel-drive on a truck that hauls isn’t really necessary, and having those additional wheels on that rear axle actually hurts it off-roading potential, you can get dually’s with 4 wheel drive. I mean, its more a 6 wheel drive, however people don’t refer to it in that way.


This was a fun article to put together, as I always enjoy talking about fringe vehicle features such as a performance 6×6 like what Hennessey has to offer.

That said, I hope you learned the difference between the two, and what each offers in ways of off-roading and hauling heavy loads!

Which truck would you want?

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