Trucks and Traction

Trucks are made to go everywhere, they can access where other vehicles can't, but it changes when winter comes and there is ice, snow or even water on the road.

Usually, sports cars, some trucks and some SUVs are equipped with rear-wheel drive which take the power while the front wheels do the steering.

Other types of traction are 4WD and AWD. We are going to explain each one so you can understand better how they work.

4WD, also called 4x4, is a traction system that transmits the same power to all the wheels. This is good for off-road, low speed, broken paths or big rocks but not that good on paved roads.

Some 4x4 cars give you the option to deactivate the 4x4 traction and use them like a RWD car and you can activate the 4x4 traction again in a specific moment.

Other vehicles have a limited slip differential in order to improve the driving on regular pavement roads. These differentials shift a portion of the torque to the wheel with the most traction and limit the slip on the wheel with least traction.

How a Limited-Slip Differential Works, And Why it Makes Your Car Perform  Better

Nowadays, most of the 4WD have central locking differentials that force all the wheels to rotate at the same speed, then the front and the rear axles have their own differential that varies the power between the right and left wheel depending on the traction.

AWD traction varies the power transmitted to each wheel with differentials, transfer cases or electronically through the independent action of the brakes. The brakes lower the speed on the wheel that is losing traction. This system is always on and working.

AWD cars can't provide the same maneuverability in off road but they can give you great security on daily normal use on pavement roads. 

There is a Motor Control Unit (MCU) which analyzes the traction conditions and decides the speed for each wheel.

So the best choice for off roads is a 4WD transmission while the best choice for a regular road is an AWD vehicle.

Now that we understand how different transmissions work, let's see how they work on trucks.

Most of the available trucks today have 4WD or RWD traction. Just a few trucks have AWD (2021 Honda Ridgeline, 2020 Ford F-150).

If you live in a cold place where it usually snows in winter, you are going to need a 4x4 or 4WD truck, and if your truck is RWD just read the following information so you can take the most of it.

RWD trucks are not so good in winter because their weight is basically on the front part of the vehicle not where the power is (back), so you can lose traction and spin or slide on snow or on ice.

If you add to this fact a long bed and two doors model you will have to be very careful and put some weight on the back of the vehicle.

The weight you have to use depends on the truck but between 400 and 800 pounds will be more than enough. You can use sand or cement bags but don't ever use bricks or something similar because it can be a dangerous missile in case of an accident.

You can add some weight in any RWD vehicle you want.


Some of the best trucks for winter:

Honda Ridgeline 4x4

Ford F150 4x4

Chevrolet Silverado 4x4

Chevrolet Colorado 4x4

Toyota Tundra 4x4

Toyota Tacoma 4x4

Nissan Titan XD 4x4

Ram 1500 4x4


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