What Is a Squatted Truck (And Why It’s Banned)

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Close up of squatted trucks

Some vehicles stand out from the rest and can make you do a double-take. We’ve seen some unusual things, but we had to look twice the first time we spotted a squatted truck. These modified vehicles don’t look normal. 

You’re not missing much if you’ve never witnessed one of these oddities on the road. So what is a squatted truck, and why are states banning them?

Today, we’ll look at these modified vehicles and the potential risks associated with them. Let’s get started!

What Is a Squatted Truck?

A squatted truck is a vehicle altered to sit lower to the ground, often by cutting and lowering the suspension. The front sits several inches higher than the rear.  

This modification is popular among truck owners who want to create a distinctive, custom look for their cars.

A squatted truck can look as if the driver has placed tremendous weight in the bed. This provides a similar effect as the truck would squat lower on the rear axle as it carries the load.

When and Where Did Squatted Trucks Start?

While squatted trucks often go by their nickname of “Carolina Squat,” the trend didn’t start in either of the Carolinas. 

The phenomenon began in California with Baja racers. These drivers wanted some help with absorbing the impacts when jumping their vehicles. However, it was only a matter of time before non-racers began embracing the look.

Now, there’s a community of vehicle owners who pride themselves in customizing their vehicles this way. The “squatted truck” trend made its way through social media and various car enthusiast communities, and they began appearing more frequently on roads. 

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Is It Expensive to Squat a Truck?

The cost of squatting a truck greatly depends on several factors, such as the type of truck. You can do this easier on some smaller vehicles. 

The larger the vehicle, the more robust the parts and the more expensive it will be. In addition, you have to consider the amount of squat you hope to achieve with your vehicle. Again, the more you modify it, the more it’ll cost.

However, the biggest deciding factor in cost is the amount of work you can do yourself. If you know your way around cars and have the correct tools and gear, you can save a ton in labor costs. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has the skills, tools, or knowledge to do the work themselves.

Depending on the kit, size of your truck, and other factors, this modification could cost between $300 to $10,000.

Are Squatted Trucks Unsafe?

While you may like the way squatted trucks look, they’re typically not very safe. They transfer weight from the front axle to the rear axle. 

Since the front axle steers the car, this can reduce a driver’s ability to control the vehicle. And, when traveling at high speeds, you want as much control of the vehicle as possible.

Additionally, the angle can cause visibility issues for the driver. They may not see anything directly in front of them as easily. Furthermore, the increased angle can cause the headlights to shine up, making driving these vehicles more challenging at night.

If safety is important to you, a squatted truck likely won’t be your best option. You’ll want a vehicle with a standard suspension. Having control of your vehicle and seeing all around you, whether during the day or at night, is essential for driving safely.

Luckily, If you squat your vehicle and regret it or find it too unsafe, you can undo it. Unfortunately, it won’t be as simple as hitting “Control + Z” on your keyboard. You’ll need to undo all of the work you previously did to change the suspension. And it’ll cost you more money.

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A squatted F150 truck on the road
Source: Ford Authority

Where Are Squatted Trucks Banned?

Many states recognize that squatted trucks are unsafe. As a result, we see increased rules and regulations regarding how you can modify your vehicle. Some states even ban squatted vehicles from driving on the roads.

Currently, North Carolina and Virginia are the only states with laws prohibiting squatted trucks. Other states, like South Carolina, want to move toward passing legislation that would ban these vehicles. Violators would face an increasingly expensive fine, and repeat offenders could have their licenses suspended. 

Should You Drive a Squatted Truck?

We understand many drivers want to give their vehicles some character. Unfortunately, squatted trucks can be unsafe on highways. And overtime, it can cause undue strain on wear on other vehicle components. 

However, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying these vehicles when parked at car shows or in magazines. 

But, it might be best to keep squatted vehicles off highways and avoid getting behind the wheel. Looking cool isn’t worth sacrificing your safety.

Do you like the look of a squatted truck?

  1. Lowered Trucks was a big thing in Texas in the 1990’s. At that time the whole truck was lowered to the ground more like a low-rider, not just the backend.

  2. No i think they are basically useless and non practical. After this modification has been done they are no longer of any use.

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