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What is a Truggy?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A truggy is an off-road vehicle that is a combination of a truck and a buggy. Based on a truck frame, a truggy is typically a four-wheel drive vehicle used for competition in desert racing and off-road racing, both outdoors as well as inside stadiums and arenas around the world. Often fitted with powerful V-8 racing engines, a truggy is a purpose-built racing vehicle consisting of a roll cage and tube chassis complete with a fiberglass or carbon fiber body resembling a factory-built, street-driven truck. The sport of rock crawling has led to the inclusion of both front and rear steering in some types of truggy, as well as dual transfer cases to allow for extremely reduced gear ratios for turning over-sized tires.

The common buggy gets its name from the Volkswagen Beetle or Bug that donates its chassis to the buggy build. A truggy requires the extra durability and strength that a truck chassis offers, along with the capability of carrying the powerful engine and transmission/transfer case that makes four-wheel drive operations possible. Most vehicles of this nature are not street legal and are only used for competition and recreation. Races such as the infamous Baja 500 and 1,000 rely on a field of truggy-type vehicles to draw the fans to the event.

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Advances in the suspension system of these trucks have come a long way from the nearly stock systems found on the earliest race trucks. It is not uncommon to see a modern truggy with suspension travel allowances 10 times that of a street-driven vehicle. Much of the abuse put on a driver and his vehicle has disappeared due to the complicated valving in the shock absorbers of these vehicles. Now, a truck can be launched into the air after encountering a big jump and land as softly as a wet sponge on the other side. The shock absorbers actually allow the truck to land with no bounce or jolt, saving not only the driver from the impact but also saving the truggy from any damage stemming from the harsh impact.

While most people think of a truggy as being a four-wheel drive vehicle, there are also two-wheel drive versions. The typical two-wheel drive truck is not as fast as the four-wheel drive type, however, many of the drivers feel that the two-wheel drive trucks are a bit more difficult to drive and are, therefore, more fun. Many drivers choose to run vehicles in both classes.

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