Pickup Truck Cab Styles

Pickup Truck Cab Styles

Pickup trucks have been produced with a number of different configurations or body styles. Most common are Single Cab, Extra Cab or Double Cab.

Standard or Single cab

A standard cab pickup has a single row of seats and a single set of doors, one on each side. Most pickups have a front bench seat that can be used by three people, however within the last few decades, various manufacturers have begun to offer individual seats as standard equipment.


Extended or Extra or Smart or Super or Club cab

Extended or super cab pickups add an extra space behind the main seat. This is normally accessed by reclining the front bench back, but recent extended cab pickups have featured laterally opening doors on one or both sides for access called Smart Cabs. The original extra or extended cab trucks used simple side-facing “jump seats” that could fold into the walls, but modern super cab trucks usually have a full bench in the back. Toyota offered a version of the Stout with two doors (one each side) and two full width bench seats to hold 6 people in 1954. Dodge introduced the Club Cab in 1973. Ford followed with the SuperCab concept on their 1974 F-100. In 1977 Datsun introduced the first minitruck with extended cab, their King Cab. GM did not offer one on their full-size pickups until 1988, however their smaller S-Series(Chevrolet S-10/GMC S-15) pickups had extended cab models starting in 1983

Double or Dual or Crew cab

A true four-door pickup is a crew cab, double cab or dual cab. It features seating for up to five or six people with a rear bench seat and two full-size front-hinged doors on both sides. Crew cabs are not available in combination with the longest bed or box in some cases, particularly in lighter-duty models, to limit their overall length and required wheelbase.
 
International Harvester introduced the first crew cab in 1957. It had 3-doors; the 4th door was added in 1961. The Toyota Stout had a full crew cab version in 1960. Dodge followed with its own factory built crew cab in 1963. Ford introduced its crew cab in 1965 and General Motors in 1973. Through the 1980s, most crew cab pickup trucks were sold as heavy-duty (3/4 and 1 ton) models intended for commercial use, and custom vehicle builders such as Centurion built light-duty crew cabs for the personal-use market. Nissan offered the first US-market compact crew cab pickup in 2000; Ford, GM, Dodge, Nissan and Toyota all introduced their own compact and 1/2 ton crew cab models in the 2000s as demand grew. In North America, for carpoolers, truck sales have increased as some American full-size cars have dropped the front bench seating feature from the lineup. Double cabs were popular and widely available in other markets many years before they caught on in the US because of their superior passenger space.
 
Land Rover used what they described as crew cabs in the 1970s for their special vehicles (e.g. a crane mounted on the rear for street lighting maintenance) providing up to six seats so the whole work crew or gang could be accommodated. Land Rover introduced the (Defender) 127 Crew Cab at least in 1987.
 
Four-door compact pickup trucks are quite in vogue in most of the world, due to their increased passenger space and versatility in carrying non-rugged cargo. In the United States and Canada, however, four-door compact trucks were very slow to catch on, although eventually almost every brand offered this choice. In recent years seat belt laws, requirements of insurance companies and fear of litigation have increased the demand for four-door trucks which provide a safety belt for each passenger. In Mexico four-door compact pickups are quite popular

Cab-forward

A cab-forward pickup may be derived from a cab-forward van; a van where the driver sits atop the front axle. The first cab-forward pickup was the Volkswagen Transporter which was introduced in 1952. It had a drop-side bed which aided in loading and unloading. American, British, and Japanese manufacturers followed in the late 1950s and 1960s. American manufacturers adopted this design only later, most notably on the 1956–1965 Jeep Forward Control and the first generation Ford Econoline, Chevrolet Corvair Rampside and Loadside pickups, and Dodge A-100.
 
While this configuration remains popular for large commercial trucks and buses, it is largely regarded as unsafe in smaller vehicles due to the lack of a crumple zone. In the event of a frontal impact, there is nothing in front of the passenger cabin to absorb the force of impact, thus crushing the entire front of the vehicle, occupants included. There have been many accidents in Europe involving large trucks where the cabin was crushed when rear-ending another truck at high speed in conditions with heavy fog. They remain popular due to unimpeded forward visibility and flexible maneuverability, but have largely fallen into disuse in the United States with the exception of purpose-built school and transit buses, as well as garbage and fire trucks.
 
The Japanese embraced this design because of its high maneuverability on narrow streets and fields. The smallest ones are 360/550/660 cc Kei trucks based on microvans from Daihatsu, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Suzuki where the statutory limitation on length makes a short cab necessary.

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