Do I Need 4×4 For A Work Truck?

November 25th, 2020 by

4×4 drivetrain systems are a staple of RAM pickup trucks. Many Iowa businesses and contractors enjoy the added capabilities and off-road performance that these systems offer. However, others prefer the increased towing capacity and greater efficiency of a standard rear-wheel drive vehicle. So as an Iowa contractor or small business, when should your next work truck use 4×4? When is it okay to stick with rear-wheel drive?

As the top RAM Commercial dealership in Central Iowa, Deery of Ames has plenty of experience helping customers find the best RAM work truck. Our advisors can point you to trusted and budget-friendly upfitters, as well as provide financing advice to help your business save money on its fleet. Contact us for details.

What are 4×4 systems?

When designing a four-wheel truck, automakers have to decide which of the two axles will receive the driving power from the engine. This decision is primarily based on the qualities which the automaker wishes to optimize for on the specific vehicle they are designing. On many trucks, the power is routed to the rear axle. Yet on an off-road optimized vehicle, it is often necessary for both axles to receive engine power.

The reason is simple. 4×4 systems distribute engine power to both axles as needed. By sharing power between the axles as conditions warrant, the system keeps the vehicle from getting stuck. When one wheel loses traction on a slippery patch of mud or ice, the opposite axle can take on more power to compensate. This allows the vehicle to pull itself free more easily.

4×4 Advantages/Disadvantages

4×4 work trucks are better in off-road situations, especially when towing heavy loads at low power up and down steep hills. They are also the best choice for muddy, sandy or snowy driving conditions. However, the increased weight and complexity of a 4×4 system adds costs to a vehicle.

Both systems offer advantages for towing. Vehicles with only one drive axle tend to have higher maximum towing capacities. However, the low-power capabilities of a 4×4 system allows these vehicles to more safely haul loads up and down steep inclines on icy, sandy or muddy ground.

Perhaps the best way to decide if your operation requires a 4×4 work truck is to consider how often you would actually use the system. Extensive use on dry pavement can damage a 4×4 system. However, if you do not use your 4×4 system once every few months, it can break down. Therefore, asking yourself how often you would use 4×4 on your truck will help you decide whether the inefficiency and extra cost are worth it.

Does my work truck need 4×4?

The choice between rear-wheel drive and 4×4 for a work truck is heavily dependent on the specifics of the situations the truck will find itself in. If your truck will not regularly face difficult driving conditions during normal operation, rear-wheel drive will suit it fine. However, if you are going to regularly need a system adapted for off-road capability, 4×4 is a good investment.

At Deery of Ames, we are proud to be Central Iowa’s go-to place for 4×4 work trucks and commercial vehicles. We also offer a wide variety of new and used consumer vehicles for Marshalltown residents. Our service and finance centers are eager to help Ankeny shoppers find and keep their next great ride. Visit us at 1700 SE 16th Street in Ames or call us at (515) 337-0306 to ask questions or to schedule a test drive.

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