Buying A Truck? Get Answers You Have About Truck Axle Configurations

If you are in the market for a commercial truck, semi truck or heavy duty truck, you are most likely planning on hauling items with the truck. Anytime you are using a truck to haul items, one of the key factors to pay attention to when selecting a new or used truck is the truck axle configuration. However, if you aren't familiar with this term, you may have many questions. Getting answers to the questions you have will help you determine what type of truck axle configuration will best suit your needs.

What Is a Rigid Versus Articulated Axle?

A rigid versus articulated axle is the type of axle found on a rigid or articulated truck. A rigid truck is a truck that does not pull a trailer. Instead, the load that is going to be hauled is going to be hauled in the bed of the truck or the permanently attached box car. An articulated truck is a truck that is designed to pull a trailer. It is important to note that when you are talking about articulated axles, you are talking about the axles found specifically on the truck hauling the trailers. The trailers themselves will have their own axles that are not included in this count.

How Do You Know What a Truck's Axle Configuration Is?

As you are shopping for a truck, the axle configuration will mostly likely be listed on the vehicle description sticker in the window or in a dealer's description on the website. An axle configuration generally looks like 4x2 or 8x4. The first number in the configuration refers to how many wheels the vehicle has on the ground. For example, standard motor vehicles will always have a standard axle configuration starting with 4, as they have four wheels. If you divide the first number in half, you will know how many axles your truck is using. The second number in the configuration determines how many of those wheels are driven or controlled by the gearbox. In standard vehicles, this number is typically two. This is because most vehicles are either front wheel drive or rear wheel drive. That means the gearbox controls either the front axle and wheels or the back axle and wheels. In a truck, the gearbox may control more than one axle, giving you more control over the wheels on your truck.

Why Is Selecting the Right Axle Configuration Important?

The axle configuration has a huge impact on your truck. The configuration of the axles determines how much weight your truck can hold. The more axles, the more weight the truck can support and hold. The configuration of the axles also impacts your gas mileage. The more axles your gearbox controls, the more gas your truck uses. Lastly, the axle configuration can also affect the balance of your truck. When you have more wheels controlled by the gearbox, you have a large number of gears you can shift into. This allows you to drive your truck on rocky roads, icy roads or other less-than-ideal surfaces because you have more control over the wheels.

How Do You Know What Axle Configuration Is Right?

There are many variables that go into determining what axle configuration is ideal for you. And unfortunately, axle configuration isn't the only thing you need to look at. As the size and weight of the tires and axles vary on each vehicle, the amount of weight one 4X4 truck may be able to haul can vary from the amount of weight another 4x4 truck can haul. As such, it is important that you carefully read the towing and payload tables for the vehicle you are considering buying, as well as pay attention to the truck axle configuration. This will help you select the truck that can handle the load you are looking to tow, on the types of roads you plan on hauling it on, while giving you the best possible fuel efficiency.

Taking the time to learn about truck axle configurations can help ensure you find the truck that best meets your needs. If you still have questions, a reputable truck sales company can help you find the truck that has the axle configuration, payload and towing capacity that you need. You can also visit sites like for more information about truck sales in your area.