The term “six-wheel drive” (also known as “6WD” or “6×6”) refers to an all-wheel drive powertrain system having three axles and at least two wheels on each axle that can be powered simultaneously by the vehicle’s engine. All-terrain vehicles, armored vehicles, and prime mover are a few examples of heavy-duty off-road and military vehicles that use this layout.
6-wheel three evenly spaced axles and a continuous 6×6 H-drive are features of the military Alvis Stalwart 66 built in Britain. Since there are just six wheels on a vehicle like this, every one of them must be driven.
Even though all ten of them are driven when it has ten, the 6×6 designation still applies since there are two pairs of ganged “dual” wheels on each rear axle, similar to the GMC CCKW. Traction and mobility are prioritized over payload capacity in the majority of military applications.
Both in the military (as tank carriers and artillery tractors) and commercially (in logging and heavy equipment transporting both on- and off-road), heavy hauler and ballast tractor 6x6s have a long history of use as prime movers.
A forward axle, two rear axles (with just the front pair steering), or three evenly spaced axles with various steering arrangements make up the majority of six-wheel drive vehicles.
The number of wheels varies between six (in three pairs) and ten (with two in the front and two dual axles with four wheels each in the rear), depending on the role of the vehicle. For on-road use, drive might only be possible on the rear two axles.
The introduction of the 6WD truck from a major automaker was made possible by automakers like Mercedes-AMG, which began equipping existing truck models with a second powered axle.
According to the duPont Registry, “No matter who makes these trucks, they all look absolutely menacing on the road thanks to their gigantic size,” only being surpassed by semi-trucks and work trucks that are specifically designed for their purpose.
The majority of 6WD trucks feature an amazing drive train for better payload capacity and are built to deliver additional traction. Even though a 6WD truck has many benefits, there are some disadvantages, such as the extra maintenance required and the need for an extra set of tires, wheels, brakes, differentials, prop shafts, etc.
A truck with 6WD improves weight distribution throughout the vehicle and increases off-road capability. The conventional 4WD off-road pickup is easier to maneuver and accelerates faster due to its smaller and lighter size, even though a 6WD can go places other trucks can’t. It is also significantly less expensive than its bigger counterpart.