What Does 2×4 Mean on a Truck?

Trucks and SUVs come in different drivetrain configurations, each with benefits and drawbacks. This guide will cover the most common drivetrain configurations and help you choose the one that’s right for your needs.


Understanding the “2×4” Code on Trucks

The code “2×4” on the back of a truck is a weight code used by truck drivers to indicate the weight of their load. The first number before the “x” indicates how many pounds of weight is on each axle. In contrast, the number after the “x” indicates the total weight for both axles. For example, “2×4” means 2,400 pounds on each axle and 4,800 pounds. This code is essential for other drivers to know so they can learn how much weight the truck carries and how it may affect their driving. It’s also essential for the truck driver to know, so they don’t exceed the weight limit for their truck.

2WD vs. 4WD on Trucks and SUVs

Trucks and SUVs come in two main drivetrain configurations: 2WD and 4WD. A 2WD vehicle has a two-wheel drive with four wheels. The code “4×2” means four wheels, and two wheels are driven. The driven wheels can be either back or front wheels but are usually the back wheels. On the other hand, a 4WD vehicle has four-wheel drive, meaning all four wheels are driven. The code “4×4” means there is four wheels total, and all wheels are driven. Utility ATVs are typically 4×4.

Which is Better: 4×2 or 4×4?

The answer depends on your needs and preferences. A 4×4 truck or SUV is typically more expensive than its 4×2 counterpart. Still, it offers excellent traction, which is helpful when driving on slippery roads or navigating off-road terrain. Additionally, 4x4s often have higher ground clearance than 4x2s, making them better equipped to handle deep snow or rough terrain. They also have built-in features like tow hooks and skid plates, further enhancing their off-road capabilities. However, 4x4s are more expensive upfront and have worse fuel economy, requiring more frequent maintenance. If you mostly drive on pavement and don’t need the extra off-road capabilities, a 4×2 truck or SUV will likely suffice.

Understanding Drivetrain Configurations on SUVs

SUVs come in different drivetrain configurations, including 4×2, rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and 4×4. Rear-wheel drive sends power to the rear wheels only, while front-wheel drive sends power to the front wheels only. All-wheel drive generally describes a system where all wheels are driven, but sometimes, only some of the wheels are driven. A 4×4 SUV means the vehicle has four wheels, and torque can be delivered to each wheel.

Is a 4×2 Truck Good in Snow?

A 4WD truck or SUV has an advantage over a 2WD vehicle when driving in snow. The extra set of wheels provides more traction and stability, allowing the 4WD truck or SUV to handle off-roading, rain, snow, and ice better. However, 4WD vehicles can still be at risk of slipping and sliding on slick roads. It’s essential to take extra care when driving a 4WD truck or SUV in winter weather.

How to Determine if Your Car is 4×4 or 4×2

When shopping for a new car, you may encounter unfamiliar terms like 4×2 and 4×4. 4×4 refers to a four-wheel-drive vehicle, while 4×2 indicates a two-wheel drive. Most passenger cars are 4×2 since this type of drivetrain is less expensive and easier to maintain.

4×4 systems are commonly found on larger vehicles, such as trucks, SUVs, and some sports cars, designed for off-road use. If you plan on doing any serious off-roading, then a 4×4 vehicle is a must. However, a 4×2 should suffice if you mostly drive on paved roads. Before making a final decision, it’s recommended to test drive both types of vehicles to see which one better suits your needs.


Different trucks have different capacities, and it’s essential to determine the truck’s capacity before making a purchase. This way, you can be sure that the truck will be able to handle everything you need it to. One way to do this is by checking the truck’s drivetrain. By identifying whether the truck is a two-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive, you can ensure it can handle the required tasks. Remember to determine the truck’s capacity to avoid any potential issues later.

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.