SRW Axle vs DRW Axle: Which One Do I need?

Full shot of heavy duty axles at Lugnut 4x4

Read and Learn the Benefits of Both Single and Dual Rear Wheel Axles

In pickup trucks, SRW and DRW are two types of axles used in used by Ford, Dodge, or RAM, and GM, which covers Chevy and GMC. Understanding the differences between these two types of axles is important for anyone looking to purchase a pickup truck, such as the Ford F250 or F350, or a GM and Dodge 2500 or 3500 especially if they plan to use it for towing or hauling heavy equipment.

What Do SRW and DRW Stand For?

A-Frame rack of 3/4 ton to 1-ton axles for trade shows

SRW is the abbreviation or acronym for Single Rear Wheel, while DRW means Dual Rear Wheel. The visible difference between these two axles is the number of wheels on each site. On a single rear axle, there is only one wheel on each side, while in a Dual Rear Wheel axle setup, there are two sets of wheels on each side, usually with flared fenders, unless on a chassis only or flatbed.

Dual Rear Wheel Axle Benefits

1996 F350 Crew Cab HD Truck with Duallys

So what is the benefit of one axle over the other? Simply put, towing capacity. Dual Rear Wheel axles provide higher weight and load capacities and greater stability by spreading the weight and movement over a greater wheel to road surface area. This makes the dually rear end a far superior choice for those who do a lot of towing or hauling.

Editor’s Notes: The wide footprint of a DRW can be a hindrance in bank and fast-food drive-thrus, as well as other tight spots. If a lane is divided by curbs or posts check those side view mirrors for your fender and tire clearance.

Single Rear Wheel Axle Benefits

3/4 ton chevy truck with SRW axle

Single Rear Wheel setups are much lighter and easier to maneuver. They fit in tighter spaces as much as a car would. They are considered to be more fuel-efficient with less wheels and weight but the engine size makes the biggest difference. If you have 7.5L engine, you will get better efficiency from tune-ups, quality fuel, exhaust and air intake upgrades. This makes them a better choice for those who don’t need to tow or haul heavy loads, all the time. Trucks with SRW axles make great work trucks for hauling tools, plywood, drywall, etc., and recreational trucks for camping and overlanding. If you want a truck that is easier to maneuver but can still manage to carry your light equipment from point A to point B, a single rear axle is probably for you.

Dual Rear Wheel trucks are also more expensive, whether you buy them brand new or used. They are rarer to find than single-wheel axles, so when comparing equal equipment and condition from an SRW truck to a DRW truck, expect to spend at least $5,000 more on a used dually. With new trucks, you could be looking at an additional $8,000 – $10,000 and up for a dual rear axle.

Which Rear Axle Do I Need?

Close up of 1-ton axles

Ultimately, your choice between a truck with a single-wheel or dual-wheel rear axle comes down to what you need it for. If you’re hauling and towing heavy equipment, whether it’s a bumper-pull, fifth-wheel, or gooseneck hitch setup a dual rear-wheel axle is for you. If you are towing and hauling lighter cargo and need more maneuverability, then you should go with an SRW axle.

SRW and DRW Disc Brake Upgrades for ¾ Ton and 1-Ton Trucks

Whether you are driving an SRW or DRW truck, one thing is certain, you can never go wrong with increased braking power. On newer trucks, it’s more common to see front and rear disc brakes. On older vehicles, however, it is much more common to have drum brakes on the rear axle. That’s why Lugnut4x4 offers the best disc brake conversion kits for ¾ ton and 1-ton pickups available. We have easy-to-install, bolt-on disc brake conversion kits for SRW 14-Bolt axles on Chevy and GMs. Bolt-on disc brake conversion kits for Ford Sterling axles are available as well.

Checkout Lugnut4x4 For Questions on SRW and DRW Rear Axles

If you have any questions about your rear axle or what disc brake conversion kit you need, please check out the Lugnut4x4 blog posts and our Disc Brake Conversion Kit FAQs. You can also contact us with any questions that you may have. All of our kits come with instructions and part numbers should you need to find maintenance parts locally for your convenience.