A squatted truck is a modified pickup truck with a lowered front suspension and an elevated rear end, creating a slanted appearance. This customization trend gained popularity in the automotive enthusiast community, drawing attention for its unique aesthetic.
However, this craze has faced bans in various jurisdictions due to safety concerns. The altered suspension geometry can compromise vehicle stability and handling, increasing the risk of accidents. Additionally, squatted trucks often violate regulations regarding headlight alignment and obstruct visibility, which may block the driver’s view, making it dangerous on the roads.
Carolina and Virginia has banned it because of an accident where a squatted truck hit and killed a pedestrian in Myrtle Beach.
What Is A Squatted Truck ?
A squatted truck is a modified pickup truck that features a lift kit installed on the front end, while the rear end remains at its original or even lowered height.
For a more dramatic squat, choose nine or ten-inch lift kits. Some people go a step further, removing rear suspension blocks to achieve an even more extreme angle.
The Rise Of Squatted Trucks:
Sometimes known as the “Carolina Squat,” this unique style deviates from the level stance of standard trucks, attracting attention and reflecting the owner’s desire for a distinctive and visually striking vehicle.
The origins of squatted trucks can be traced back to a subculture within the automotive community, with fanatics showcasing their modified trucks and attracting widespread attention. The impact on automotive culture has been significant, with squatted trucks becoming symbolic of rebellion and individuality.
Squatted Truck History :
Although squatted trucks or Cali Lean are often associated with North and South Carolina, they actually originated in California through the modification culture of lowrider enthusiasts in Los Angeles during the 1990s.
Started by the Baja Racing Circuit members who sought to enhance their performance in desert racing. By raising the front end of their trucks, they aimed to improve landing after jumps and prevent potential damage or injuries caused by nosedives. Then people wanted to copy that look but not actually have the real suspension to go with it, then it cropped up on the east coast.
The trend has since spread across the country, with some automobile manufacturers even offering squat kits for vehicle modification.
I started seeing squatted trucks in Cali back in the early to mid 90’s in the off-road / dirt bike seen. Where many people were trying to mimic the stance of a trophy truck commonly used in the Baja 1000 race in Baja California. Many also referred to it as a pre-runner look.
How Much Does It Costs To Squat A Truck?
The cost for squatting a truck depends upon the level of squat you want to achieve. Obviously, extreme squats are more costly. But for an average, you should keep $400 to $11000 in your pocket if you are planning to alter your truck. Or even higher amounts depending on the quality of services you are seeking.
Safety Concerns Of Squatting A Truck:
Unless you engage in desert racing, altering your vehicle in this manner is not recommended due to following risks and disadvantages.
Disrupted Balance And Stability:
Suspension Modification disrupts the vehicle’s natural weight distribution and balance. This imbalance increases the risk of instability during driving, leading to potential issues like swaying, fishtailing, and loss of control.
Visibility Is Poorly Effected :
The lifted front end of a squatted truck poses a visibility challenge for the driver, particularly when towing a trailer. The limited field of view obstructs the driver’s ability to perceive obstacles, vehicles, or pedestrians around the truck and trailer, elevating the likelihood of accidents or collisions.
The alterations made to the suspension dynamics of the truck can negatively impact its overall performance and handling characteristics. These modifications can undermine the vehicle’s ability to handle the additional stress and forces exerted during towing, potentially resulting in mechanical failures or loss of control.
Legal And Insurance Concerns:
Squatting the truck falls in a gray area of legality and may violate certain laws and regulations. Additionally, towing with a modified vehicle can have implications for insurance coverage and liability protection, potentially leaving drivers exposed to financial and legal risks in the event of accidents or damages.
“Carolina Squat” Ban :
Squatted trucks were legally banned in Virginia and North Carolina. Now South Carolina has also issued orders for the ban of the notorious “Carolina squat,” which has already been implemented on November 2023. Upon the first violation, a fine of $100 shall be imposed. A second offense warrants a steeper penalty of $200, while a third transgression incurs a fine of $300 and a one-year suspension of the offender’s license.
It was stated in the news that squatted trucks whose front ends are raised off the ground by more than 4 inches have been banned as of November 12, 2023, in South Carolina. Those violating the law will be given a 6-month notice; after that, their license will be suspended for 2 years.
Is Squatting Damaging To The Truck?
Yes! It will harm your truck but not immediately. Especially if you are a rough driver you will notice with time that the fuel efficiency is deceased and, engine and some other parts are not working as they should. And if you planned to tow something with your squatted truck like truck camper or trailer, you are putting a big strain on other components of your truck.
Squatted Truck Craze And Your Limitations:
Everyone is an art lover and enjoys trying unique things. But be sure that the craze should not compromise your safety and others’ security.
It has been noticed that many youngsters use high-volume music and disturbing sounds while having fun with their lean trucks which is very disturbing for others.
Driving the squatted trucks on exhibitions and off-road racing is highly encouraged. But running these vehicles on highways and public areas is not recommended and can be damaging to social safety.