What Does SWB Mean on a Truck?

You may have wondered what it means if you’ve seen a truck with “SWB” written on the back. SWB is “short wheelbase” and refers to the distance between a truck’s front and rear axles. This feature allows for easier maneuvering in tight spaces like city streets or parking lots. Additionally, SWB trucks have a higher payload capacity than their long-wheelbase counterparts, as the weight is distributed over a smaller area, reducing stress on the frame and suspension.

While SWB trucks offer many advantages, they could be better suited for off-road driving or hauling large loads. A long-wheelbase model would be more suitable if you require a truck that can handle tough terrain or heavy cargo.


How Do I Know if My Truck Is SWB or LWB?

Although it may seem like a simple question, determining whether your truck is SWB or LWB can be challenging without looking at specific measurements. However, a few general guidelines can help you identify your truck’s wheelbase length. Typically, an SWB truck will have a wheelbase under 145 inches, while an LWB truck will have over 145 inches. Another consideration is the vehicle’s overall length, with SWB trucks typically around 20 feet long and LWB trucks around 22 feet long.

Lastly, consider the bed size. The beds on SWB trucks are usually between 50 and 60 inches long, while those on LWB trucks are generally 60 inches or longer. These general guidelines help determine whether your truck is SWB or LWB. If you are still determining, measuring your truck’s dimensions and comparing them to the specifications for SWB and LWB trucks can help.

SWB or LWB: Which is Right for Me?

Choosing between an SWB or LWB truck depends on several factors, including how you plan to use the truck and what driving conditions you anticipate. SWB trucks are ideal if you require a vehicle that is easy to maneuver in tight spaces, such as city streets or parking lots. Additionally, if you need a vehicle with a high payload capacity, an SWB truck may be the better option. However, if you plan to do off-road driving or haul large loads, an LWB truck would be more appropriate.

Ultimately, deciding between an SWB or LWB truck comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you are still trying to decide which one is best suited for you, consulting with a qualified truck dealer or mechanic can help you weigh the pros and cons of both types of trucks and make an informed decision.

How Long Is an SWB Truck?

An SWB truck has a short wheelbase, the distance between the front and rear axles. Typically, an SWB truck will have a wheelbase between 79 and 86 inches (2,000 and 2,200 millimeters), making it smaller than an LWB truck, which typically has a wheelbase between 120 and 150 inches (3,000 and 3,800 millimeters). SWB trucks are sometimes called regular cab trucks, while LWB trucks are called crew cab trucks. 

Although SWB trucks are shorter overall than LWB trucks, they typically have the same-sized bed, making them ideal for maneuvering in tight spaces such as city streets or parking lots. However, their shorter wheelbase can make them less stable when carrying heavy loads. 

Thus, SWB trucks are often used for light-duty applications, such as local deliveries or personal use. In contrast, LWB trucks are better suited for heavy-duty applications, such as interstate commerce or construction work.

Is a Short Wheelbase Good for Towing?

Regarding towing, there are two crucial factors to consider: the weight of what you’re trying to tow and the length of your vehicle’s wheelbase. The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear wheels.

A shorter wheelbase means less distance for the weight of your trailer to distribute evenly across the axles. Consequently, it can make your vehicle more challenging to control, especially at high speeds, and stress your suspension and brakes more. However, a shorter wheelbase can also be an advantage when you’re trying to maneuver in tight spaces. Considering a short-wheelbase vehicle for towing, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Is a Short Bed Truck Worth the Extra Cost?

Short-bed trucks are increasingly popular, but is the added expense worth it? The primary advantage of a short-bed truck is that it’s easier to maneuver in tight spaces, making it ideal for city driving or parallel parking. Additionally, short-bed trucks tend to have better fuel economy than their long-bed counterparts, saving you money at the pump.

However, short-bed trucks have less cargo space than long-bed trucks, making them less suitable for hauling large items regularly. Furthermore, they can be more expensive than long-bed trucks, so a short-bed truck may not be the best choice if you’re trying to save money. Ultimately, deciding whether to buy a short-bed truck depends on your needs and preferences. A short-bed truck is worth considering if you prioritize maneuverability and fuel economy over cargo space.


Short-wheelbase trucks have several advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before purchasing. Ultimately, whether or not to buy one depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you still need to decide which is correct, it’s always a good idea to talk to a qualified truck dealer or mechanic. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of short-wheelbase trucks and decide what’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.