6 Reasons some pickups have 6 wheels: and 3 downsides to this

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A dually is a type of truck with two rear axles. The main reason these trucks have two sets of wheels instead of one set is to support the weight capacity required by the job- which often includes hauling heavy equipment or cargo. Having six wheels may seem excessive, but there can be many benefits related to having this many wheels.

What are the benefits of having six wheels?

1. Stability

A vehicle with higher stability is safer for everyone. With six wheels, there are three points of contact on the road at all times. A dually pickup truck also has a longer wheelbase than most standard trucks. A longer wheelbase can increase stability in inclement weather conditions. When the truck is loaded down with cargo or equipment, a longer wheelbase can also increase stability. The increased surface area touching the road makes a dually much more stable than a 2 wheel drive standard truck.

2. Load Capacity

Having six wheels allows for a higher load capacity. This is especially helpful when hauling cargo or equipment that may be extremely heavy or unwieldy in shape. A dually is able to carry heavier loads with greater stability than a standard truck.

3. Better Traction

The dual rear axles provide better traction on the road. Six wheels reduce the risk that one or two of them will lose contact with the ground, especially when driving over rough terrain or obstacles like mud or rocks.

4. Operational Vehicle Modes

Because a dually pickup truck has six wheels, manufacturers are able to use one or more of these wheels in conjunction with the drive axles. This provides options for how much power is transferred to each axle which can improve vehicle performance when turning corners or driving over rough terrain.

A vehicle’s ability to take turns can be greatly enhanced by having the ability to select the drive axle that should receive power during a turn. This can greatly improve how well this vehicle is able to perform in many conditions, especially off-road, where it would be beneficial to have maximum traction and stability.

5. Extra Tire

Having six wheels allows for an additional tire option when it comes to replacing a flat or damaged tire. A dually uses only the inner two wheels on each axle for propulsion, but often these vehicles will have an outer wheel that can be used as a spare tire in situations where one of the drive tires may become unusable.

6. Different Drive Modes

Depending on the manufacturer, having six wheels may allow a dually to have different drive modes. In some cases, these vehicles can be switched into a mode that will only use the outer wheels on each axle to improve traction and maneuverability in some conditions.

These six-wheeled trucks also usually have an option for overdrive which uses all six of the wheels at once to increase performance when going down hills or on smoother surfaces. The ability to have overdrive is what makes these trucks get the highest recorded speeds in the world for 6 wheeled trucks.

A 6-wheel drive truck can get up to very high top speed because it has two additional wheels, which are used primarily when going downhill. This is necessary because you want all 6 wheels to receive the maximum amount of power possible.

What are the downsides of a dually pickup truck?

1. Extra Weight and Size

When you consider that having six wheels will add extra weight, these trucks may be harder to control and take turns more slowly than other vehicles. The increased weight means an increase in fuel consumption, and a dually will almost always be bigger than a standard truck. The larger size can make them harder to control as well as decrease the maneuverability of the vehicle.

2. Additional Cost

Many people do not consider how much it will cost to own a dually-style vehicle, so the benefit of having the extra wheel may not be worth the additional expense. Owners of these vehicles must consider factors such as gas mileage (due to increased weight and size), cost of repairs (due to the number of axles), and even maintenance costs (more wheels mean more potential for problems).

3. Additional Maintenance

Having six wheels is exciting, but it also requires more maintenance than a standard four-wheel vehicle. Six wheels require six axles, and these axles need to be maintained just like the drive axles on a truck. They will often experience more wear and tear since they are carrying most of the weight of the vehicle and getting used much more frequently than any other axle or wheel on a dually truck.


Overall, there are some benefits that come with having six wheels on a truck, but additional cost and maintenance are very important factors to consider before making this decision. While the increased size and weight are two downsides that are quite obvious when considering these vehicles, the loss of space and towing capacity may be factors that aren’t initially considered.