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Why Do People Drive Squatted Trucks?

When a truck carries weight, the back end lowers and the more weight it holds, the lower the truck’s rear end will go. In the truck community, people refer to this as “squatting.” While it’s an obvious sign that a vehicle is likely exceeding its payload capacity, it somehow has become trendy to make it look like your truck is overloaded all the time and drive squatted trucks.

 So why do people drive squatted trucks? Let’s dive in and discover why it has become stylish in the truck community.

Carolina Squat - Where It Started, It's History, and More!

What Is a Squatted Truck?

A squatted truck is a truck with a lift kit on the front, while the rear either remains the same or sometimes even lowered. The final result is that the front end is substantially higher than the truck’s rear end. Some refer to this as the “Carolina Squat.” While standard trucks sit almost entirely level, this truck style will likely cause you to do a double take the first time you see them.

Pro Tip: How many of these 10 Most Common Types of Trucks do you know?

Blue squatted truck driving in the sand
Often called the “Carolina Squat,” a squatting truck will be lifted in the front.

What Is the Purpose of Squatting a Truck?

Squatted trucks serve no purpose other than aesthetics. Modifying a truck into a squatting truck makes it less capable of towing, kills fuel efficiency, and drastically reduces a driver’s ability to see around them. However, if you’re looking to attract attention to your vehicle while you cruise down the highway, this truck style is one way to do it.

Why Do People Drive Squatted Trucks?

Many drivers view their vehicles as artwork and express themselves by working on and modifying them. Instead of having a cookie-cutter truck like all the others rolling off the assembly line, their vehicles stand out from the rest. A squatted truck stands out from other trucks on the road. Since these trucks are less safe and less capable, there are few other reasons a driver would drive a modified truck.

Pro Tip: Want to update your truck? Find out What Mods Should I Do to My Truck First?

squatted truck in grass
Squatted trucks uniquely stand out on the road, but otherwise offer minimal driving benefits.

Does Modifying a Truck Hurt It?

When you do the job correctly, squatting a truck doesn’t necessarily hurt it. However, the more aggressive the angle, the more likely it will cause strain on other components in your vehicle. Over time, you’ll likely experience issues with parts that have nothing to do with your lift.

A squatted truck is also less capable of towing and less aerodynamic, making it less fuel efficient. Depending on how you plan to use your vehicle, squatting it could hurt it. However, driving a truck you modified in this way won’t hurt if you’re not planning to tow with your vehicle or aren’t worried about fuel efficiency. 

How Much Does It Cost to Squat a Truck?

If you want to modify a truck, you should expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $10,000+. The total costs significantly depend on your vehicle, how much you want it to squat, and how much work you’ll do on your own. If you cannot do the work yourself, you’ll pay for the parts and the labor. 

expensive squatted truck cost
Modifying your truck to be squatted will make it harder to drive, less fuel efficient, and less safe.

Are Making Modified Trucks Illegal?

Like many highway laws, the squatted truck laws are up to individual states. Since state laws can change often, you’ll want to check the legalities of squatting a vehicle in your state.

Currently, Virginia and North Carolina are the only states where it is illegal to drive a squatted truck. However, South Carolina is actively taking steps toward banning squatted vehicles. Drivers could face $100 fines for their first offense, and repeated violations can be upwards of $300. In addition, a driver could have their license suspended if they experience multiple infractions.

Pro Tip: Want to use your truck to tow your RV? We uncovered if it is safe to Tow an RV with a Lifted Truck.

squatting truck
Squatting your truck can rack up a hefty tab, not just in modifications, but also in fines you could receive.

Who Invented These Modified Trucks?

Squatting a truck first became popular in California’s Baja Racing Circuit. Drivers raised the front of their vehicles to help land jumps. A higher front end meant they were less likely to experience a nosedive during their landings. This could cause severe damage to the vehicle and the driver.

Eventually, drivers took notice of the unique look of the vehicles, and they began to appear in passenger trucks. The trend quickly spread across social media, and squatted vehicles have been popping up across the country ever since.

Is a Squatted Truck Worth It?

Not only are squatted trucks more challenging to drive and less fuel efficient, but they’re also less safe. A driver in a squatted vehicle has reduced visibility. Therefore, the increased angle of their headlights can make it extremely challenging to drive at night. In addition, by changing state laws, you could flush a lot of money down the toilet if your state changes the rules once you complete your project.

However, some truck owners will lower the ends of their trucks and haul them to automotive shows to showcase them like art. If that’s your plan, then squatting your vehicle can be worth it. Still, we don’t recommend squatting your vehicle if it’s your daily driver or if you plan to use it for towing or hauling.

Would you modify a squatted truck? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

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Monday 20th of March 2023

It's one of the dumbest trends, I've ever seen and I've lived through bras, vortex generators, sanded hoods, ultra-thin low pro tires, Gabriel hi jackers with lifted rear ends (cars), donks, budget frame draggers, camber insanity, clear tails with clear bulbs, tinted headlights, tinted windshields, trailer side mirrors (longer the better), and it goes on and on... but the Squat is one helluva contender for heavyweight champion...

Dan Caldwell

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

"stupid is as stupid does" The height of most of the new pickups is already an issue with oncoming headlights. Can you imagine having a squatted truck coming at you? The lights may go over top of your vehicle, up close, but at a distance it would be blinding.

Mortons on the Move

Monday 23rd of January 2023

So True!

Goode-Leake M. J.

Monday 26th of December 2022

The purpose and reasoning for squatted trucks are similar to many American Fads, like Pet rocks without any off-road use. The low profile ties eliminate the ability of the vehicle to attempt turns too fast as the bead of the tire may separate. But, the drivers feel emotionally "cool" seated above other vehicles with oversized chrome wheels.