What Is The Carolina Squat Truck Modification And Why Is It Banned In North Carolina?

While the term "Carolina Squat" may sound like a dance move, it has nothing to do with shimmying or grooving. However, after this lift modification is applied to a truck, it can make it shimmy and shake, and it sometimes results in death.

In September 2021, Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina signed House Bill 692, which prohibited anyone from altering a private passenger automobile's suspension, frame, or chassis so that the front fender was more than four inches higher than the rear fender. Moreover, if anyone is cited three times in 12 months, they will lose their license for at least one year. The law went into effect on December 1, 2021.

From the hot rods of the 40s and 50s, and the lowriders of the Southwest, to the California Looker ... tweaking a car to make it unique is the lifeblood of the entire existence of "car culture" — not only in the United States but around the globe. Sometimes mods can be uber-regional, like the stolen subway handles called "Tsurikawa" attached to car bumpers in Japan or the 24-inch wire wheel "elbows" called "swangas" that is part of the Houston Slab Culture found in Houston, Texas. Now you can add the Carolina Squat to the ever-growing list of car alterations.

Also known as the Cali Lean or the Tennessee Tilt in other parts of the country, the Carolina Squat mod significantly drops the back of the truck while raising the front. It actually looks like a lowrider but on a truck.

Don't squat your truck if you want to keep your license

It's not entirely clear where modification started, but some enthusiasts think it might have derived from the nose-up/tail-down look of off-road Baja trucks used in desert and dune racing worldwide. In the case of these desert racers, the front ends are raised to keep the nose from diving while scooting across the bumpy landscape at high speeds (via The Drive).

Applying this to a private passenger truck changes the look dramatically and alters some features that make a vehicle safe to operate. First, it raises the angle and height of the headlights, typically making them appear as if the truck has its high beams on. Lifting the front of the truck while simultaneously dropping the back causes the hood to rise even higher. This, in turn, can dramatically restrict the driver's front-facing forward-view of the road. Gauging how far you are behind the car in front of you becomes significantly harder, as does seeing any pedestrians that might walk in front of the truck. This modification is also said to change how the truck brakes and "alter the dispersion of mechanical force" when in a crash. 

After a Virginia death in February 2022 was caused by a truck with the Carolina Squat modification, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed Senate Bill 777, which banned the mod on vehicles in his state as well. And a similar bill banning the mod is making its way through the South Carolina legislature