A bill passed by the North Carolina Senate could bar truck and SUV owners from following a popular trend in vehicle modification called the “Carolina Squat.”
The modification installs a suspension lift in the front end of a truck or SUV, while the rear is either intact or lowered, Austin Carrigan, Carolina Custom sales manager, told the Charlotte Observer.
If passed, the bill would prohibit passenger vehicles from being “modified or tampered with by raising the automobile more than three inches from the height specified by the manufacturer at the front.” House Bill 692 would also prohibit “lowering the automobile more than two inches from the manufacturer’s specified rear height.”
The North Carolina House of Representatives passed the bill on May 6, while the Senate passed first reading of the bill on May 10. If the Senate passes the bill, the ban would go into effect on December 1.
“Extreme elevators can cause all kinds of safety issues,” Brenden Jones, a Columbus County Republican who sponsored the bill, told News and Observer in May.
Some elevators are already illegal, and Jones said the bill would “change” those rules to focus more on inclined elevators in particular.
“As long as people have their elevators done correctly and consistently, they shouldn’t get stopped even if this change becomes law,” he said.
Problems with squatting a vehicle
Carolina Custom does not offer this particular modification due to safety and liability concerns, Carrigan said. If a customer comes to their store with their own parts, they will install them, but said the person should sign a liability waiver form.
“Squatting a truck can put more wear and tear on the front [of the vehicle], given that they’re two completely different joints, ”Carrigan said. “The front is under a lot more stress than the rear because the rear supports a lot more weight. I mean it just puts a stalemate on it.
This vehicle’s fuel gauge could also be affected because the fuel tank will not read the same if a truck or SUV is crouched, Carrigan said.
“All of your fuel is in the back of your tank, so your gauge won’t be accurate,” he said.
Driving could be difficult for people in crouching vehicles because the high lift could prevent them from seeing other drivers ahead, sidewalks and pedestrians, Carrigan said.
Dangerously angled headlights and vehicles collapsing when driven are also major concerns, said Jones, who owns a used car dealership in Tabor City.
“I have seen several instances where the wheels literally rolled on these vehicles,” he said.
Do you have a lifting kit? Crouching truck? You could receive a ticket if this NC bill becomes law
‘It was different’
Back then, “everyone liked the lowered stuff and wanted to have low runners,” Carrigan said. A few years later, he said people wanted raised vehicles with big tires.
“I guess everyone comes up with their new ways to kick off new trends and the squat is just one of them,” Carrigan said. “Someone got the idea, someone liked the look and everyone started to follow their lead.”
Demario Page Jr., a member of an automobile club called HeavyRollerz, said he started crouching because he grew up around very shiny and brightly colored “candy painted” vehicles, playing loud music and seated on 24 inch rims. As an adult, he started lifting his vehicles because they “attracted people’s eyes and that was different,” he said.
Conflicting thoughts on the ban
Although Page Jr. lives in Richmond, Virginia, he followed the possible ban in North Carolina and said there was “no way the squat could be dangerous.” Depending on how the front is raised, he said “it’s the same as a truck pulling a trailer”.
“If it was dangerous to the point where you couldn’t see, a lot of people wouldn’t do it,” Page Jr. said. “Some people just do it for shows and things, but people just wanna be angry. because they don’t like it. “
Page Jr. said he doesn’t understand why some are so angry with people lifting their vehicles if they don’t pay or are negatively affected. He said there is a time when an elevator is too high and the exhaust fumes are too loud, but “everyone loves what they love” and he doesn’t think they should be punished for. their hobby.
Carrigan said the squatting is “completely unnecessary and stupid” and should be banned.
“If you want to lift a vehicle, lift it the right way,” he said. “If not, leave it as it is.”
While supporting the ban, Carrigan said he understands why enthusiasts like Page Jr. would be unhappy with this, as it would prevent them from being able to modify their vehicles as they wish.
“It’s not necessarily that they are doing something wrong,” he said. “It’s what they like and the look they want, but at some point it’s enough. You can’t go crazy with this.