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For towing large trailers or carrying heavy payloads, a dually pickup truck makes sense. However, its size can make it challenging to maneuver in parking lots. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a dually pickup truck?

What is a dually pickup truck?

A dually pickup truck is typically included in an automaker’s heavy-duty truck lineup and is commonly called a “one-ton truck.” These trucks usually carry a model number, such as 350 or 3500. Examples include the Ford F-350 and 3500 models from Chevrolet, GMC, and Ram. However, the dually’s distinctive flared rear fenders make them recognizable from a distance. 

The dually’s two tires per side on the rear axle make the flared rear fenders necessary. The dual rear wheels (DRW) and tires on each side also provide the source of the dually name. But the four rear tires aren’t just for show. They significantly increase the truck’s weight capacity over a single rear wheel (SRW) model. 

Depending on trim and optional equipment, a heavy-duty dually pickup weighs between 6,000 and 9,000 pounds. These trucks’ gross vehicle weight rating (GCWR) can range to nearly 14,000 pounds. For example, an F-350 dually weighs 5,854 pounds with an 8,000-pound payload capacity, according to Ford

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a dually pickup truck? 

Like most things, driving a dually pickup truck presents advantages and disadvantages. Most dually pros and cons stem directly from the truck’s size, while others come from its heavy-duty suspension. To simplify matters, we’ll compare the generalities of SRW and DRW one-ton trucks.


  • More payload and towing capacity
  • Increased driving stability, especially when towing or hauling heavy loads
  • Six tires mean more traction
  • Unique style


  • Lower fuel economy
  • More difficult to fit into a single parking space
  • Extra maintenance cost of two additional tires
  • Higher potential for hydroplaning in wet conditions
  • Heavy-duty suspensions equal rough ride characteristics

Can a dually be a daily driver?

Besides the cons listed above, there is no reason to avoid having a dually truck as a daily driver. If you need a dually for work or recreation, such as towing a large boat or camper, the extra costs of driving a dually daily could pale compared to owning an additional vehicle. However, you should also factor in the additional depreciation cost of adding more miles to your dually. 

Is a dually pickup truck hard to drive? 

A dually pickup truck is easy to drive if you account for the extra width. However, dually trucks are more challenging to park than other cars and trucks.

Are dually trucks comfortable? 

Lower-trimmed dually trucks feel like work trucks, but higher-end trims offer luxury comparable to any other vehicle. However, a dually’s heavy-duty suspension provides a rigid ride. 

Are dually trucks safer? 

Larger vehicles typically fare better in collisions than smaller ones. While that keeps dually drivers safer, they must accept they’ll cause more damage in an accident. Evidence also suggests that SUVs and trucks present a greater safety risk to pedestrians

Is owning a dually worth it?

Much like beauty, a dually’s worth is evident in the eye of the beholder. If you need the dually’s capability, then owning one is a matter of necessity. However, it’s difficult to justify the extra expense if you don’t need the additional payload or towing capacity. 

Dually owners, chime in: Does the extra capacity for work justify the higher cost and other negatives of duallys? Whether you own a dually or not, leave a comment below. 


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