This Dually Toyota Tacoma Conversion Is a Sad Waste of a Pickup Truck
In the realm of excess, nothing is too far...except maybe this.
It seems hardly any new pickup trucks go long without being modified in some way. There are different flavors—the workhorses, the off-roaders, and the show ponies—each with opinionated owners who will gladly share why their version is best. That said, the builder of this dually Toyota Tacoma will have a hard time convincing anyone that adding two extra wheels to the rear axle of a mid-size pickup will do much besides prompt a firestorm of criticism.
The photo set popped up on Instagram this week, shared by Sacramento, California-based off-road fabricator Stellar Built—though they're not responsible for this particular creation, so save your hate mail. The circa-2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro has undergone what at first appears to be a true dually conversion, with a second set of concave wheels and all-terrain tires bolted up to the rear axle. It looks...finished, at least, and the vanity license plate reading "2X1 TACO" is a nice touch.
But there are just so many things wrong with this picture. One, adding a second set of wheels to a stock rear axle does not a dually make. There are ways to properly convert a normal pickup to a dually if you must, but the process involves swapping out the rear axle entirely for a wider, stronger unit with the correct suspension parts. Using spacers to bolt on the extra wheels does nothing to actually strengthen the stock rear end—in fact, it'll weaken it dramatically over time. Those advanced Fox internal-bypass off-road shocks are not meant for hauling, either.
Then there's the fact that the builder opted to leave the bed alone so the extra wheels stick out like sore thumbs, which means they're in a perfect spot to sling small rocks all over the rear fenders and destroy the paint—not to mention the windshield of anyone unlucky enough to be behind this thing. And those cheap Federal tires don't inspire much confidence in the money spent here.
Finally, even if this truck was properly constructed, the biggest benefit of a dually setup is the ability to easily handle massive payloads and fifth-wheel trailers, where the weight is centered over the strengthened rear axle. This Taco Grande, as Stellar dubbed it, is all for show. It's also entirely unsafe.
We reached out to Stellar to learn more about how this truck travesty came to be, though the shop didn't know anything about its origins. That "Redneck Edition" badge on the back appears to be a clue, but it's just a generic adhesive thing you can buy on eBay. So we're left to wonder about why exactly this dually Toyota Tacoma exists. Its saving grace is that it can be easily converted back to stock—if the damage hasn't already been done.