What Does DRW Mean on a Truck? Understanding Dual Rear Wheels

When browsing through the specs of trucks, you may come across the term “DRW,” which stands for Dual Rear Wheel. This designation indicates that a truck has two sets of wheels at the rear axle, as opposed to the standard single set found on most passenger vehicles. The addition of an extra set of wheels increases the truck’s stability and allows it to carry heavier loads, making DRW-equipped trucks a common choice for heavy-duty tasks.

The presence of DRW is not just a marker of a truck’s capacity to handle hefty cargo; it also implies certain handling characteristics. Due to their expanded wheelbase, DRW trucks exhibit improved traction and stability, especially while towing or under load. However, these trucks also require wider parking spaces and can be more challenging to maneuver in tight areas. For those who require a vehicle that can accommodate significant weight, either for commercial or personal use, understanding the implications of DRW is crucial to making an informed decision.


Key Takeaways

  • DRW refers to Dual Rear Wheel configuration on trucks, enhancing load capacity and stability.
  • The dual wheel setup improves traction but necessitates larger parking spaces and careful maneuvering.
  • Identifying the need for a DRW truck is vital for tasks that involve heavy towing and hauling.

Understanding DRW in the Context of Trucks

When discussing truck capabilities, the term DRW, or dual rear wheel, is significant. It represents a distinct category of trucks designed to handle heavier loads and provide increased stability.

Definition of Dual Rear Wheel

A dual rear wheel (DRW) truck features two wheels on each side of the rear axle, amounting to a total of four wheels at the back. This setup, often referred to as a “dually,” offers a wider stance, which enhances load distribution and provides a more stable platform for towing and hauling heavy loads.

DRW vs SRW: Comparing Truck Types

Comparing DRW trucks to single rear wheel (SRW) models is crucial for understanding their differences. An SRW truck has one wheel on either side of the rear axle. The primary differences between the two lie in their payload and towing capacities, with DRW trucks typically having a higher capability in both areas.

Feature DRW SRW
Wheel Count 4 rear wheels (2 per side) 2 rear wheels (1 per side)
Stability Higher, due to wider rear stance Lower compared to DRW
Payload Increased, for heavier cargo Less, suitable for lighter loads
Towing Ability Enhanced, stable towing of heavy trailers Adequate for smaller trailers

In conclusion, my knowledge of trucks gives me the confidence to say that whether to choose a DRW or an SRW truck depends entirely on the specific hauling and towing needs of the user.

Advantages of Dual Rear Wheel Trucks

When discussing trucks, DRW—which stands for Dual Rear Wheel—refers to vehicles with four rear tires instead of the typical two. This configuration significantly enhances a truck’s abilities in several areas.

Enhanced Towing Capacity

One major advantage of dually trucks, which are fitted with a DRW setup, is their enhanced towing capacity. This is because the additional tires increase the vehicle’s traction, allowing for more weight to be towed more effectively. Dually trucks can handle larger, heavier trailers, making them an excellent choice for commercial hauling and heavy-duty work.

Increased Stability and Safety

The broader stance provided by a DRW setup on trucks contributes to increased stability, which is crucial, especially when towing large loads. This stability improvement is reflected in reduced sway during towing and more secure handling in adverse conditions. The additional rear wheels help distribute the vehicle’s weight more evenly, adding to a safer driving experience.

Optimized Payload Handling

For truck owners who prioritize payload over towing, DRW configurations offer significant benefits as well. These types of trucks are apt at carrying heavier loads with greater safety and stability. The dual rear wheels support the weight of the cargo, reducing the strain on each tire and enhancing the vehicle’s overall payload capacity. This can be a critical factor for those who use their trucks for transporting heavy materials in industries like construction and agriculture.

Common Applications of DRW Trucks

In the world of heavy-duty vehicles, DRW (Dual Rear Wheel) trucks hold a significant role. These vehicles are designed with two wheels on each side of the rear axle, enhancing stability and load distribution. I’ll explore how DRW trucks are utilized across different sectors, showcasing their versatility and performance in demanding conditions.

Commercial Use

In the commercial sphere, DRW trucks shine due to their enhanced payload capacities and towing abilities. Businesses rely on DRW trucks for transporting goods that require a sturdy vehicle, such as construction materials, large equipment, or bulk items. These trucks, often referred to as dually trucks, are a common sight on construction sites where they haul heavy machinery and tools. For businesses that manage fleets of vehicles, durability and reliability are paramount, and that’s where DRW trucks deliver.

Recreational Use

For recreational purposes, I’ve observed that DRW trucks are frequently chosen by enthusiasts for their capability to tow large trailers or RVs. With the added stability of dual rear wheels, these trucks can easily handle the weight and balance challenges associated with pulling campers or boats for weekend getaways or long road trips. They offer the power and safety necessary for families or individuals to transport their home-away-from-home or aquatic recreational equipment.

Agricultural and Industrial Towing

Turning to agriculture and industry, DRW trucks are essential. They’re built to stand up to the intense demands of towing heavy agricultural implements or industrial payloads. On farms, these heavy-duty vehicles are used to move large quantities of produce or livestock. In industry, they might tow specialized trailers carrying raw materials or products to and from production sites. The DRW design is crucial here as it ensures that weight is evenly distributed, reducing the strain on the vehicle and keeping the roads safe.

Selecting the Right DRW Truck for Your Needs


When choosing a DRW (Dual-Rear-Wheel) truck, it’s crucial for me to consider the specific towing and payload capacities required for my tasks. These trucks, such as the Ford F-350, Ram 3500, GMC Sierra 3500, and Chevy Silverado 3500, are designed to provide stability and performance for heavy-duty hauling.

Consideration of Towing and Payload Capacities

Towing Capacity:

  • Ford F-350: Capable of towing up to 21,000 lbs (conventional).
  • Ram 3500: Offers impressive towing up to 35,100 lbs with diesel engines.
  • GMC Sierra 3500 and Chevy Silverado 3500: Known for towing capacities exceeding 20,000 lbs with proper equipment.

Payload Capacity:

  • Ford F-350: Provides a robust payload of up to 7,850 lbs.
  • Ram 3500: Allows for a maximum payload of around 7,680 lbs.
  • GMC Sierra 3500 and Chevy Silverado 3500: Both boast high payload capacities, often reaching or surpassing 7,000 lbs.

The right choice of a DRW truck depends on my specific requirements for hauling and towing. Each model offers different capacities that must be evaluated against the planned usage.

Evaluating Vehicle Specifications

To effectively assess which DRW truck suits my needs, it’s imperative to examine the specifications beyond just the numbers:

  • Engine: Options range from powerful diesel to efficient V8 engines. For example, the Ram 3500 comes with a 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel engine that delivers high torque for heavy towing.
  • Transmission: Smooth, reliable transmissions are key, with choices between automatic and manual. The Ford F-350’s 10-speed automatic transmission is noteworthy for its versatility.
  • Drivetrain: I need to decide between 4×2 or 4×4 configurations, depending on whether I require off-road capabilities or not.

I should also consider the aftermarket support for each vehicle, which includes availability of parts and ease of maintenance. Considering these specifics will guide me in making a well-informed decision when selecting the right DRW truck for my needs.

Key DRW Truck Models and Their Features

In examining the landscape of dual rear wheel (DRW) trucks, certain models stand out for their robust performance and design. Commonly known as “duallies,” these vehicles feature two wheels on each side of the rear axle to provide greater stability for towing and heavy loads. I’ll delve into some of the key models and their notable features.

Ford F-350 Super Duty

The Ford F-350 Super Duty is a powerhouse that’s built for substantial towing capabilities. It is available with a choice of powerful engines, including a 6.2L Flex Fuel V8 and the 6.7L Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel. My focus on the DRW variant is due to its enhanced towing capacity and stability, offering a maximum gooseneck towing capacity up to 37,000 lbs when properly equipped.

  • Engines: 6.2L V8 / 6.7L Turbo Diesel
  • Max Towing: Up to 37,000 lbs (Gooseneck)
  • Key Features: High-strength steel frame, advanced towing tech

Ram 3500

Next is the Ram 3500, noted for combining performance with luxury. The DRW version supports superior payload and towing capacity, much attributed to the available 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel I6 engine. It’s designed with an emphasis on comfort without compromising on power, delivering up to 1,075 lb-ft of torque for outstanding towing performance.

  • Engines: 6.4L HEMI V8 / 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel
  • Max Torque: 1,075 lb-ft
  • Key Features: Active Noise Cancellation, luxurious interior options

Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD

The Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD DRW is another dominant player with remarkable towing abilities, backed by its hefty Duramax 6.6L V8 Turbo-Diesel engine. This matches strength with smart technology, such as the Advanced Trailering System and up to 15 camera views to assist with hitching and maneuvering.

  • Engines: 6.6L V8 Gas / 6.6L V8 Turbo-Diesel
  • Max Towing: Up to 36,000 lbs
  • Key Features: Multiflex tailgate, multiple towing camera views

GMC Sierra 3500 HD

Finally, the GMC Sierra 3500 HD DRW distinguishes itself with a signature blend of utility and refinement. The Sierra offers similar powertrains as its Chevy counterpart but brings an added layer of sophistication with features like the Denali trim for those who don’t want to compromise on luxury even in a heavy-duty truck.

  • Engines: 6.6L V8 Gas / 6.6L V8 Turbo-Diesel
  • Max Towing: Up to 36,000 lbs
  • Key Features: ProGrade Trailering System, Denali-exclusive design elements

Each of these DRW truck models is equipped to handle intense payloads and towing jobs, showcasing a balance between grit and advanced technology, ensuring they are equipped for both work and comfort.

Maintenance and Upkeep for DRW Trucks


When it comes to maintaining DRW (dual rear wheel) trucks, I give priority to two key aspects: regular inspections and addressing tire wear and tear. These trucks endure more on their tires due to the dually setup, so a vigilant approach to maintenance can prevent larger issues down the road.

Regular Inspections and Servicing

In my experience, regular inspections are pivotal for DRW trucks. I always suggest a detailed servicing schedule that includes:

  • Engine and Transmission: Checking for optimal performance.
  • Brakes: Ensuring the increased mass of a DRW truck hasn’t led to undue wear.
  • Suspension and Steering Components: Examining for any unusual stress or damage, which is more common in dual rear wheel configurations.

I meticulously keep a log of all servicing performed, which aids in timely preventative maintenance.

Dealing with Tire Wear and Tear

Tire maintenance for DRW trucks is more demanding than single rear wheel vehicles. My approach is methodical:

  1. Regular Tire Rotation: Due to the weight distribution on dually trucks, I recommend more frequent rotation of tires to even out the wear.
  2. Balancing and Alignment: To prevent irregular tire wear, I ensure these trucks receive balancing and alignment checks with each tire service.
  3. Pressure Checks: Keeping tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure is crucial, as improper pressure can lead to increased tire wear and reduced fuel efficiency.

By consistently monitoring and servicing the tires on my DRW truck, I can effectively reduce the rate of wear and tear, ensuring the vehicle operates safely and efficiently.

Challenges and Considerations of Driving DRW Trucks

When I consider driving Dual Rear Wheel (DRW) or “dually” trucks, I’m attentive to specific challenges. These vehicles are markedly different from their single rear wheel counterparts due to their width and handling characteristics.

Maneuverability Concerns

Maneuvering a dually truck demands heightened spatial awareness, particularly in urban environments or narrow roads. The wider rear end that provides stability also makes negotiation through tight spaces more challenging. In parking lots or during turns, I must take greater care to avoid clipping curbs or other vehicles. The turning radius is notably larger, which necessitates clear planning and execution of maneuvers to ensure safe navigation.

Fuel Efficiency and Costs

The fuel efficiency of DRW trucks is an important consideration due to the additional weight they carry and larger engines that are often required. My observation has been that the fuel tanks on these trucks often compensate with larger capacities, but this also means higher fuel costs on fill-ups. Regular driving habits can put stress on the larger and more complex drivetrain, which might lead to increased maintenance costs over time. The balance between the utility of a dually truck and its operational expenses is a critical consideration for any potential owner or operator.

Customization and Accessories for DRW Trucks


In my focus on customization and accessories for Dual Rear Wheel (DRW) trucks, I’ll cover performance enhancements and aesthetic improvements, alongside specific products such as fenders, shocks, springs, gooseneck hitches, and extra tires.

Enhancing Performance

To enhance the performance of a DRW truck, it’s crucial to consider the suspension system. By upgrading the shocks and springs, I ensure greater handling and stability, crucial for a vehicle that’s often subjected to heavy loads. I might install heavy-duty shocks for more consistent performance under load. Also, upgrading to more robust leaf springs can help manage the extra weight. For towing, a gooseneck hitch is a must-have; it allows my DRW truck to handle substantial towing capacities with ease, all while maintaining stability.

Improving Aesthetics

When it comes to aesthetics, it’s not just about looks; it’s also about function. A set of well-designed fenders not only adds to the visual appeal of my DRW truck but also protects the dual rear tires from debris and reduces spray. As for customization, I might choose fenders painted to match the body color for a seamless look. An extra tire might seem like a utility feature, but a well-placed spare tire, perhaps with a custom cover, can also contribute to the rugged aesthetics of my DRW truck.

Frequently Asked Questions


In this section, I’ll address common inquiries regarding the distinction between Dual Rear Wheel (DRW) and Single Rear Wheel (SRW) trucks, with a focus on functionality, payload capacity, and towing advantages.

What are the differences between Dual Rear Wheel (DRW) and Single Rear Wheel (SRW) trucks?

The primary difference between DRW and SRW trucks lies in stability and load management. DRW trucks have two sets of wheels on each side of the rear axle, providing a wider stance that gives them greater stability and a higher load capacity compared to the single set of wheels on each side of an SRW.

How does DRW compare to SRW for daily driving conditions?

For daily driving, SRW trucks offer better maneuverability and can be more convenient for city driving, where parking and navigating through tight spaces are common. In contrast, DRW trucks may feel bulkier on the road due to their increased width.

What payload advantages does an F350 with Dual Rear Wheels offer over Single Rear Wheel models?

An F350 with DRW typically supports a higher payload capacity than its SRW counterpart. This allows for heavier loads to be carried safely, with the dual rear wheels helping to distribute the weight more evenly across the vehicle’s rear axle.

Which is preferable for towing a fifth wheel, DRW or SRW, and why?

DRW trucks are generally preferable for towing fifth-wheel trailers due to their enhanced stability and load distribution. The extra set of wheels augments traction and provides additional support, reducing sway and improving overall towing safety.

In the context of Ford trucks, what does SRW stand for?

In the context of Ford trucks, SRW stands for Single Rear Wheel, indicating that the truck has one wheel on each end of the rear axle.

Are there specific benefits to purchasing a DRW truck compared to an SRW model?

Yes, DRW trucks offer specific benefits, including improved towing capacity, better stability when hauling heavy loads, and potentially enhanced resale value for those who require a vehicle suited for rigorous towing and payload demands.

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.