What Is a Squatted Truck? All You Need To Know About Details

A squatted truck is a pickup truck that has a lift kit put on the front end, but the back end stays the same height or even goes down.

In the past five years, squatted trucks have become more and more popular. But squatted trucks have different names, and it’s not clear where they first came from.

When a truck is carrying something, the back of the truck goes down. The more weight the truck is carrying, the lower the back of the truck will go. In the world of trucks, this is called “squatting.”

Even though it’s obvious that a vehicle is carrying more than it can carry, it’s become popular to make it look like your truck is always overloaded and drive a “squatted” truck.

So why do people drive trucks with low seats? Let’s dive in and find out why it’s become popular among truckers.

Squatted Truck

Squatted Truck

A squatted truck has a lift kit on the front, but the back stays the same or is sometimes even lowered. The end result is that the front of the truck is a lot higher than the back.

A lot of people call this the “Carolina Squat.” Normal trucks sit almost completely level, but this style of truck will probably make you look twice the first time you see it.

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What Does It Mean to Squat a Truck?

Squatted trucks don’t do anything other than look cool. Changing a truck into a “squatting truck” makes it less able to tow, wastes a lot of gas, and makes it very hard for the driver to see what’s going on around them. But if you want to get people to notice your car as you drive down the highway, this style of truck is one way to do it.

Why do people drive Squatted Trucks?

Many drivers think of their cars as works of art and use them as a way to show who they are. Instead of having a truck that looks like every other truck that comes off the assembly line, theirs stands out.

A truck that is lowered stands out from the other trucks on the road. Since these trucks are less safe and can’t do as much, there aren’t many other reasons to drive one.

What are some other names for squatted trucks?

squatted truck in grass

People who like squatted trucks call it by a few different names. People sometimes call this move the “Carolina Squat.” Some people call this a “California Lean” or a “Cali Lean” on a truck or SUV. Lastly, a squat is sometimes called a “Tennessee Tilt.”

Squatted Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | Whistlin Diesel on YouTube
Many brand-new trucks are in a “raked” position when they leave the factory. So, the bed is a little bit higher than the cab. Automakers build trucks so that they can carry weight in the bed, which makes them level.

“Leveling kits” are bought by a lot of truck owners. This kit raises the front of the truck a few inches to make it level. You can also level some trucks by lowering the bed a few inches and taking the lift blocks off the rear springs.

Most people who like squatted trucks will know what you mean if you say something like “squatted truck” or “reverse rake.” But depending on where you are in the country, people may call their lowered trucks by different names.

Where did trucks that squat start?

Around 2016, I saw my first squatted trucks in the middle of California. By that time, they were well-known in a number of places across the country. But many fans agree that California is where squatting trucks got their start.

How come California? Because racing trucks in the desert is a part of life in California. The front of Baja trucks and prerunners are higher than the back so that they can land jumps better while driving over sand dunes.

According to the Custom Offsets YouTube channel, some fans of desert racing started to order lift kits for their on-road trucks that made the front end higher than the back. This was just a way to make the desert racers look “lean,” but it didn’t help them perform better off-road.

Squatting trucks is a popular thing to do today, especially in California, the southern East Coast, and North and South Dakota. Many people who own squatted trucks are younger than the average person who owns a truck. TikTok has a lot of accounts and videos about squatted trucks.

Every generation comes up with new ways to make their cars unique. These new trends help each generation stand out from the one before it. Squatting trucks may have come up in more than one place at the same time, as Gen Z looked for new ways to customise their pickup trucks.

How do you get a truck to squat?

You can give your truck or SUV a bit of that “Cali Lean,” “Carolina Squat,” or “Tennessee Tilt” look by ordering a moderate lift kit and only putting in the front parts. But it takes more engineering to get a more dramatic squat.

A Silverado pickup truck parked in a grassy field had a “Cali Lean” or “Tennessee Tilt” lift kit on it, which made the truck look very low.
Most of the work that needs to be done to lift a truck is done at the front, so if you only order the front half of a lift kit, you won’t save much money. So, trucks that are very low to the ground need an expensive nine- or ten-inch lift. Some builders also take the levelling blocks off the back suspension to make the angle steeper.

When you squat a truck, it changes how it handles. Even worse than a regular lifted truck, the truck will be hard to turn. The bed will also be able to hold less weight before it bottoms out. Lastly, squatting a truck raises the hood and reclines the driver, which makes it very hard to see ahead.

Because it’s hard to see in front of squatted trucks, they are very dangerous around people on foot. If you want your truck to be this low, you might want to put a “parking” or “trail” camera on the front of it. It works a lot like the one that came with your car and will help you see better at low speeds.

If you change a truck, does it get worse?

Squatting a truck doesn’t always hurt it if you do the job right. But the sharper the angle, the more likely it is that it will put stress on other parts of your car. Over time, you may have problems with parts that don’t have anything to do with your lift.

A squatted truck can’t pull as much and is less aerodynamic, which makes it use more gas. Depending on what you plan to do with your car, squatting it could be bad for it. But driving a truck you’ve changed in this way won’t hurt you if you don’t plan to tow with it or care about how much gas it uses.

How much does it cost to put a truck on its side?

If you want to change something about a truck, you could pay anywhere from $300 to $10,000 or more. The total cost depends a lot on your car, how low you want it to go, and how much work you’ll do yourself. If you can’t do the job yourself, you’ll have to pay for the parts and the person who does the work.

Are Making Modified Trucks Illegal?

Like many other highway laws, the rules about squatted trucks are set by each state. Since state laws can change, you should find out if squatting a vehicle is legal in your state.

Right now, it is only against the law to drive a squatted truck in Virginia and North Carolina. South Carolina, on the other hand, is taking steps to ban squatted vehicles. Drivers could get fined $100 for their first offence, and fines for repeat offences could go as high as $300. A driver’s licence could also be taken away if they get pulled over too many times.

Those who break this law could have their licence taken away for a year.

Virginia did the same thing in March 2022. A 27-year-old man was killed by a squat truck a few weeks before Virginia’s governor signed a law against them. Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed the bill, which limits changes that raise the front bumper of a vehicle by 4 inches or more over the back bumper.

ABC15 says that a bill to ban squatted trucks is also on its way to Governor Henry McMaster’s desk in South Carolina.

While all of this is going on, another petition on wants to keep the changes made to Carolina Squat trucks legal.

With all the fuss about squatted trucks, let’s take a look at what they are and why some people want to ban them and others swear by them.

Are squatted trucks risky?

This modification is dangerous because the front of the truck or car is tilted up. This makes it hard for the driver to see what’s ahead of them. This could cause accidents on the road. Also, the truck driver can’t see as far ahead the higher the front of the truck is. This makes it more likely that the plane will crash.

Also, the tilt of the truck keeps the headlight from lighting up the road as well as the car manufacturer intended. So, it might make it hard for other cars to see, which could cause an accident.

Because the truck is tilted up and the back is lowered, the suspension wears out faster. The braking system is also affected negatively by this change. So, these changes to the car could make it more likely that it will get into an accident.

Another bad thing about lowering your truck is that it can no longer tow or haul.

The science behind why squatting is bad for your truck

When your truck lowers, more of its undercarriage is shown. This makes the frontal area bigger, which makes it harder to move through the air. The most important thing that affects how well an engine works at high speeds, according to the EPA, is aerodynamic drag. Also, if you squat while towing, the front of your trailer may dip, which could hurt the aerodynamics of the way the trailer was made.

When the weight isn’t spread out evenly, rolling resistance, also called rolling friction, goes up. In turn, this makes the engine run less well. When you add in the uneven and excessive tyre and brake pad wear that comes from improper weight distribution, your squatted truck could start to really hurt your wallet.

Because of these things, there are more and more calls to ban squatted trucks.

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