What Is a 6X6 Truck?

While a 4×4 truck is a must for off-road enthusiasts, there are other new trucks in town capturing the attention of those looking for better traction, mobility, and performance. The 6×6 truck handles dirt, sand, and other off-road terrains with uncompromising ability, but you will need a hefty wallet to purchase one of these bad boys.

Once built solely for military purposes, the 6×6 truck is gaining popularity among domestic users, although it still has a long way to go before becoming mainstream. Modification shops have been making these trucks for a while, but recently several well-known automakers are getting into the game, taking off-roading to a new level. 

So, what exactly is a 6×6 truck, anyway?

A gray Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6 truck in the dessert.
Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6 truck Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Showcar G 63 AMG 6×6 | Mercedes-Benz Group AG.

Although dually pickup trucks have two wheels in the front and four rear wheels, the 6×6 truck is a different animal. The AWD vehicle, built for both on and off-road use, features three axles, with two of the six wheels powered by the engine.

Auto manufacturers such as Mercedes-AMG started outfitting existing truck models with an additional powered axle, marking the advent of the 6×6 truck from a major automaker. As the duPont Registry reports, “No matter who makes these trucks, they all look absolutely menacing on the road thanks to their gigantic size,” dwarfed only by purpose-built work trucks and semi-trucks.

Some of the hottest 6×6 trucks on the road today include souped-up models from Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford. Apocalypse Manufacturing, based out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, is making a name for itself in the market, putting out outrageous truck designs with an exorbitant price tag surpassing $250,000. According to Hot Cars, “the pickup trucks in their lineup look ready for the apocalypse.” They explained the custom-built trucks are “designed to look large and aggressive” and “can handle anything.”

Is a 6×6 truck better than a 4×4?

Most 6×6 trucks are designed to offer more traction, with an impressive drive train for improved payload capabilities. While a 6×6 truck has distinct advantages, a few drawbacks include the additional maintenance cost for and an extra set of tires, wheels, brakes, differential, prop shaft, etc.

A pickup truck equipped with 4×4 has four wheels on a single axle, whereas a 6×6 utilizes two axles (with two wheels on each) to improve weight distribution across the vehicle, increasing its off-road prowess.

Even though a 6×6 can go places other trucks can’t, the traditional 4×4 off-road pickup is easier to maneuver and accelerates faster due to its smaller and lighter size. It also is much more affordable than its larger counterpart.

What is a 6×6 good for?

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A 6×6 truck is ideal for conditions that demand equal weight distribution for getting out of difficult off-road terrain situations. Originally built for military applications, the heavy-duty trucks are the optimal solution for maneuvering deep sand and treacherous road conditions.

For domestic use, the 6×6 truck is best used for off-road driving and for those looking for an undeniably incredible experience. Of course, it is also handy to have around if the apocalypse does come, as evidenced by the number of YouTube videos that assure viewers a 6×6 truck can protect you from zombies.

Hot Cars picked the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG as the 6×6 truck they would “love to own.” Measuring 19 feet in length with over 18 inches of ground clearance, “the G63 AMG 6×6 has the twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V8 engine that produces 536 hp.” It can hit a top speed of 99 mph, going from 0 to 60 mph in just under six seconds.