What Trucks Come with Locking Differential?


A locking differential is crucial when it comes to off-roading vehicles because it allows the wheels to move at the same speed and gives torque to each wheel as needed. This is why many 4 wheel drive pickup trucks have been designed with this mechanism to meet the demands of off-roading and towing.

4-wheel drive trucks are known to be built with a locking differential. Trucks that are made specifically for off-roading and towing have either automatic or driver selective locking differentials. This mechanism can be in the front, center, or rear of the vehicle. Since many pickup trucks are built with locking differentials, the following list has been narrowed down to the most popular and reliable trucks with this mechanism as well as other popular features of each pickup truck.

Ford F-150 Raptor

The Ford F-150 Raptor is a very popular pick-up truck known for riding well on desert terrain. The vehicle has a single locking rear differential. Having this mechanism in the rear of the Ford F-150 Raptor gives the car more power in comparison to if it had both a front and rear locker.

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 mid-size truck has both rear and front electronic locking differentials. This vehicle is known to have great handling both on and off the road due to the suspension system. With its 9-inch ground clearance, it makes for a great ride both on and off the road.

RAM 1500

The RAM 1500 comes with an electronic rear locking differential. Drivers of this vehicle have the option to either turn on or turn off the locker, which is found under the gear

GMC Sierra AT4

The GMC Sierra AT4 has a rear locking differential. This pickup truck has many other features that make it stand out from other 4-wheeling vehicles. It has Hill Descent Control, shock absorbers, different drive modes, and driver assistance. Due to the many features of the GMC Sierra AT4, it is a great truck for climbing steep grades all while ensuring a smooth ride.

This vehicle also has a clearance of 8.4 inches, which makes it great for scaling objects.

Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma has an electronic rear locking differential. The high ground clearance of 9.4 inches (one of the highest clearances on the market) makes it a great vehicle for any type of challenging terrain and for scaling up objects such as mountains, boulders, etc.

Even the most basic models of the Toyota Tacoma, such as the SR and SR5, have a rear locking differential.

Toyota TRD Pro Series

The Toyota TRD Pro Series offers a rear locking differential. There are a few different packages that you can choose from in the TRD (Toyota Racing Development), but the Pro Series is the most compatible for off-roading and towing. Buyers also have the option to buy this vehicle in an automatic or manual transmission.

The Bilstein shocks also create a smooth ride when riding off-road. This is a new and highly anticipated feature for the Toyota TRD series, which is more fine-tuned in comparison to Toyota’s other vehicle models.

RAM 2500 Power Wagon

The RAM 2500 Power Wagon has a selective front and rear locking differential. In order to turn on the mechanism, the vehicle needs to be put into 4-wheel drive low or high, or it can be in 2-wheel drive.

In order to utilize the locking differentials, the driver must be driving at a speed less than 10 miles per hour. Then, under the gear shift, the driver can press the rear or front locking differential.

The manufacturer warns customers to not press the rear differential button if the vehicle is stuck and the tires are spinning.

Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator has both electronic rear and front “Tru Lok” locking differentials. Having both rear and front locking differential makes this a popular truck for off-roading on any kind of terrain. Buyers also have the option to purchase the car with a manual or automatic transmission.

It can handle up to 260 pounds per foot of torque and 285 horsepower. The amount of torque and horsepower makes the Jeep Gladiator powerful and it is able to retain enough traction while driving on rough roads.

Locking Differential

So what exactly is locking differential? Locking differential is designed specifically for 4-wheel drive and towing vehicles. It is a mechanism found on the axel of the vehicle, either on the front or rear of the shaft. The amount of axels also depends on the size of the car, where larger cars can have a center axel.

The locking differential is when the axel locks (either automatically or by the press of a button) to ensure that the wheels turn at the same speed and to give torque to the necessary wheels. This is extremely important for off-roading because if there is a single wheel off the ground, the grounded wheel is given all the torque and is able to make the car move forward.

Locking differentials are only utilized when necessary. Vehicles that have this mechanism will often drive with open differential unless the locking differential is turned on manually or automatically.

Other Options

Not only can you find pickup trucks with locking differentials. There are many other makes and models of cars that have the same mechanism.

Four-wheel drive SUVs can also be a great option for those who are looking for a car with locking differentials. Some of these cars include Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Mercedes G-Class, Toyota FJ Cruiser, and the Toyota Land Cruiser.

You may consider one of these options because they are top-performing vehicles due to their locking differentials.

If you have an off-roading vehicle, you also have the option to install a front locking differential in addition to the rear locker. This can give drivers more of a customized feel to better fit their needs. However, having a front locking differential can make the truck harder to turn since the wheels are spinning at the same speed.

If you want the most power in your vehicle, the rear locking differential will certainly deliver.

Will Turner

Will has an absolute passion for 4x4s and loves discovering all of the small details about each model. Will joined the Four Wheel Trends team in early 2021 and has been a valuable contributor ever since!

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