What Are Axles on a Truck?

Axles are an essential component of a truck, which helps the vehicle move and carry heavy loads. In this piece, we will explore axles, their function, and their types in trucks.


What are Axles in Trucks? 

Axles are long metal rods that connect a truck’s wheels to its frame. Located beneath the vehicle, they support the truck’s weight and help transfer power from the engine to the wheels, allowing the truck to move forward or backward.

The Importance of Axles in Trucks 

Axles play a critical role in the proper functioning of trucks. Trucks could move or carry heavy loads with axles, thus hindering their usability. When an axle breaks, the truck’s movement comes to a standstill, making it crucial to repair them as soon as possible to avoid downtime.

Types of Axles 

The number of axles in a truck varies depending on its size and intended use. Two-axle cars are the most common, but trucks can have up to five axles. A vehicle’s purpose or intended use determines its number of axles. For example, four-wheelers have two axles, whereas 18-wheelers often have five. This helps distribute the load’s weight evenly, improving handling and braking.

Tri-Axle Trucks 

A tri-axle truck has three axles grouped at the rear. This design helps haul heavy loads as the multiple axles and wheels allow for better weight distribution and stability. Dump trucks, tow trucks, and cement mixers are some examples of vehicles that usually have a tri-axle design. Although tri-axle trucks are more expensive due to their design complexity, they benefit businesses that regularly transport heavy loads.

4WD and AWD Trucks 

Four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) trucks refer to the drivetrain’s capability of simultaneously providing torque to all of its wheels. This can be accomplished in various ways, but the most common is having two axles, each with its wheels and drivetrain. This allows even power distribution to all four wheels, providing increased traction and stability. Four-wheel drive is often associated with off-road vehicles. Still, it can also be found on many passenger cars and trucks.

Five-Axle Trucks 

A five-axle truck consists of two units: a tractor or straight truck power unit and a trailer with at least five axles. Five-axle trucks haul heavy loads that would otherwise require a six- or seven-axle truck. They also transport oversized loads that a standard tractor-trailer combination cannot accommodate. To operate a five-axle truck, the driver must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with the appropriate endorsements.

Axles in Specific Trucks 

The 2017 Silverado 1500 is a versatile pickup truck available in various configurations. The Silverado 1500 can have two or four rear axles, depending on the model. In addition, the pickup truck is available in either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. The Silverado 1500 has three different engines with different transmissions, making it customizable for each customer’s needs.

How Many Axles Does a 26-Foot Truck Have?

All commercial trucks have at least two axles, and a 26-foot truck is no different. The number of axles does not change based on the length of the truck. Unless you install a trailer or tow dolly, a 26-foot truck will have two axles. An additional axle is only needed if the load exceeds the weight limit for two axles. A third axle is required to support the extra weight in such cases. However, most 26-foot trucks can accommodate large loads without needing an additional axle. Therefore, the answer to how many axles a 26-foot truck has is two.

Which Is Better, AWD or 4WD?

When driving on challenging terrain or in harsh weather conditions, all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) systems can provide additional traction and stability by sending torque to all four of a vehicle’s wheels. However, which system is better depends on your needs.

AWD is typically more fuel-efficient and less costly for everyday driving than 4WD. It is also less likely to cause damage to road surfaces. However, 4WD provides more power and traction than AWD, making it better suited for off-roading and other adventurous activities. If you frequently drive in deep snow or mud, 4WD is the better option.


A truck’s axle configuration is an essential factor in determining its capabilities. Most trucks have two or four axles, with more than two axles reserved for heavy or oversized loads. Choose the suitable model with the appropriate number of axles for your needs. Additionally, drivers must have a commercial driver’s license with the proper endorsements to operate a truck with more than two axles. Whether you need a powerful workhorse for your ranch or a comfortable daily driver, there’s a truck out there that’s right for you.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.