What Is A 4×2 Truck?

Dustin Hawley | Jan 13, 2021

Most standard trucks are configured as RWD, or 4×2, in which a driveshaft delivers torque to the rear wheels. The torque that is produced from the engine block gets delivered to the rear wheels to turn them. There is a likelihood of the truck having a limited-slip differential that controls power distribution between the left and right tires. However, only the front wheels do the steering. 

What is a 4x2 truck

So what exactly is a 4x2 truck? Are you curious to know if purchasing a 4×2 truck is the right decision? Let’s discuss what it is and some of the pros and cons of owning one of these types of vehicles.

4×2 Truck: An Overview

The term “4×2” in a truck implies that there are a total of four wheels, but only two of them are driven. The driven wheels can be the front or back wheels, though it is most often the wheels in the back. 

Simply put, A 4×2 or 2WD is a truck that is a two-wheel-drive vehicle with a total of four wheels. It transfers torque directly to the rear wheel axle, whereas a 4×4 truck transfers torque to all of the vehicle’s four wheels.

Aside from trucks, a 4×2 drivetrain is a bit more common than a 4×4 and is found on virtually all cars and SUVs. The power comes through the drivetrain from the vehicle's engine.

The following process is a basic rundown on how a truck's engine functions: 

  • In the engine, cylinders rotate due to a controlled explosion called combustion, generated using diesel or gasoline.
  • The rotation motion moves from the cylinder to the crankshaft.
  • In turn, the crankshaft connects ( through the transmission and driveshaft) to the vehicle's axle, enabling the wheels to turn.

What Are The Pros Of A 4×2 Truck?

One of the primary advantages of a 4×2 truck is most often related to weight. A four-wheel drivetrain has additional components designed to transfer torque to all four wheels. These components make a 4x4 truck heavier than it’s 4x2 contemporary. 

Here are some of the pros of a 4×2 truck.

  • Light Weight: A 4x2 truck is a perfect choice if you don't want a heavy truck. 4x2 trucks are lighter in weight when compared to a 4×4 truck.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Typically, 4x2 trucks are less expensive than 4x4’s. Additionally, maintenance and repair costs are often lower, as well. Also, insurance companies acknowledge that 4x2 trucks experience fewer accidents and moving infractions, which means they usually cost less to insure than 4x4 trucks.
  • Superior Towing Capacity: Due to their lightweight, 4x2 trucks typically offer a higher towing capacity than their 4x4 counterparts.
  • Easy Handling: 4×2 trucks are often much easier to handle than a 4x4. Moreover, drivers are typically more inclined to avoid dangerous road conditions in a 4x2, whereas you may get a bit bolder in a 4x4.

What Are The Cons Of A 4×2 Truck?

The downside of 4×2 trucks is less prevalent to those who live in warmer climates - locations with no ice or snow. However, for those who enjoy going off-roading or reside in icy or snowy areas, a 4×2 truck will likely fall short of their demands. Here are some of the negatives of a 4×2 truck: 

  • Lower Performance: This is one of the major pitfalls of 4×2 trucks. Using only two driving wheels instead of 4, they have low traction and stability, making them have a poor or weak performance level compared to 4x4’s.
  • Reduced Resale Value: 4x2’s are relatively cheap compared to 4x4’s, and as a result, their resale value is often lower.
  • Less Off-Road Capability: As mentioned above, 4x2’s have less traction and stability, so they are not able to handle the performance requirements for off-roading or certain dangerous road conditions like rain, ice, or snow. Simply put, 4x2’s are similar to most cars in the sense that they are not suitable for all terrains.

Final Words

If you reside in an area with favorable climate conditions, or perhaps you tend to drive on flat terrain mostly, then a 4×2 truck may be an excellent fit for your needs. They are often inexpensive to purchase & maintain and offer superior payload and towing capacity. 

Those are just some of the reasons why utility companies and contractors often prefer them. However, if you live in an area with more hostile weather or terrain, you may want to consider a 4x4 as a viable alternative.

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