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Why Do People Squat Trucks?

October 15, 2021

There are a ton of different modifications you can make to your truck to customize it and make it uniquely yours. Some of the biggest include aftermarket wheels, tires, suspension, lighting, and performance parts. However, maybe you’re looking to make a serious statement, and you wake up one morning and decide, “I want a squatted truck.” If that’s the case, you probably know by now you’re going to get some dirty looks and confused faces on the road, and you’ve accepted it. Either way, keep reading to discover what exactly is a squatted truck and why people do it so you have something to tell your friends and family when they ask why the hell your truck looks like that. 


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What Does it Mean to Squat Your Truck?

A squatted truck is a truck that’s been modified to have the front end lifted more than the rear. Essentially, it looks like the rear fender is sagging. This “lifting-and-lowering” technically, referred to as the “Carolina Squat”, makes it so the front fender of the truck is sticking up, sometimes to the point where drivers have difficulty seeing over the dash.


carolina squat truck

Photo Creds: GMAuthority


How Do You Squat Your Truck?

There are a variety of ways to achieve a squatted truck. This is because you can decide the “severity” of how dramatic you want the squat to be. In some cases, removing the rear blocks from your suspension may give you the look you’re trying to achieve. In more drastic cases, you’ll need a lift kit or leveling kit to raise the front end. When choosing one, remember that lift kits and leveling kits are designed to be tailor to specific years, makes, and models, so find one compatible with your truck. A suspension lift is usually spendier and more labor-intensive than the alternative: a body lift. A body lift may also give you the look you’re going for. They’re generally way cheaper than a suspension lift, have fairly easy installation, and won’t drastically change your truck’s performance. Achieving the Carolina Squat works best on trucks with independent front suspension. To maximize the squatted look, pair a body lift/suspension lift with the removal of the rear blocks. 


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carolina squat trucks

Creds to billy_dunlap19 on YouTube



How Much Does it Cost to Squat Your Truck?

There’s no great one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best way to be prepared for truck-squatting costs is to be aware of all the expenses associated with it. First, the choice of how you want to squat your truck comes into play. Are you removing the rear blocks? Body lift? Suspension lift? Both? Body lifts are typically anywhere between $200-$400. Lift kits and leveling kits can range anywhere from $200 to $10K and beyond depending on how high-quality of a system you’re looking for. Because of this, there’s no way to give a solid estimated cost, as it boils down to preference and individual budgets.


carolina squat truck


Plus, it’s recommended that you take your truck to a professional mechanic to work on suspension-related upgrades. So you’ll also have to find out rates from your local shop and factor in labor time along with any additional parts they might need for a successful installation. 


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Why Do People Squat Their Trucks?

The name “Carolina Squat” is pretty misleading since it originated from California. Another popular term for it is the “California Lean” or the “Cali Lean.” It came from the Baja racing circuit back when it was popular in the hilly, desert terrain of California. This is because when racers would fly over a jump and hit the ground, the rear would hit first. The thought process behind this was that it would help to avoid serious crashes. Racers could still make wild jumps without fearing they’d nosedive into the ground. 


carolina squat truck


Since desert racing isn’t really a thing anymore, there’s no real functional purpose as to why people want to squat their trucks. It’s basically a looks-only change these days, and most people think it looks pretty ridiculous. 


Is Squatting Your Truck Bad?

Determining whether squatting your truck is bad for its looks is entirely up to you. However, using your squatted truck on the road will come with some drawbacks. Most of them are safety concerns too due to the height of the front being different from the height of the rear. This includes:

  • poor steering and braking control due to tilt of driver’s seat resulting in less control on the wheel and truck brakes
  • driver no longer has a clear view of traffic 
  • headlights are aimed higher and into the eyes of oncoming drivers 
  • rough drive due to uneven suspension lift
  • truck has less ability to handle body roll
  • reduced towing capability 

So, squatted trucks are kinda bad, but they’ve gained popularity anyways on social media. After introducing squatted trucks to Instagram, others quickly picked up the trend. Whether the intention is to look obnoxious on the road or not, most other drivers perceive it that way. 


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carolina squat truck


Are Squatted Trucks Illegal?

Once squatted trucks started popping up more frequently, it raised more concern among other drivers on the road due to safety concerns. This ignited petitions across multiple states to start circulating calling for their ban. In the state of North Carolina, 70,000 people petitioned to have the practice banned. It looks like a lot of people, especially Carolinians, aren’t very supportive of the Carolina Squat. 


carolina squat truck


With so many people against it, the North Carolina House of Representatives proposed a ban to the Senate. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the bill into law. Going into effect on Dec. 1, 2021, the Carolina Squat will be illegal in the state, making North Carolina the first state to outlaw the practice. Some are viewing this ban as a bunch of people with no sense of humor wanting to take away people’s love of truck modifying, while others see it as a necessary measure for safety on the road. 


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Final Thoughts

As far as truck modifications go, squatted trucks are definitely on the more controversial side. With it about to be banned in North Carolina, it won't be surprising to see other states soon follow the same route. So if squatting your truck has been a life-long dream of yours, now might be the time to do it. Let us know in the comments below if you have a squatted truck or plan on making this extreme modification any time soon! Also, what are your thoughts on the ban in North Carolina? Is this a little too extreme or necessary for the safety of others?


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