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That’s NOT triple locked!

That’s NOT triple locked!

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Don’t confuse centre and cross-axle lockers!

There has been a recent trend to refer to vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen as triple locked, and it’s wrong to do so, even though it’s right.

In 4X4 terms, a locker always refers to a cross-axle differential locker. So when we say a vehicle has a rear locker or has a front locker that means a cross-axle differential lock.

Now some vehicles have lockable centre differentials, such as the G-Wagen, and you could refer to them as lockers too. Except, you’d then confuse everyone that understands the 4X4 world because lockers mean cross-axle locking differentials. So, we refer to lockable centre diffs as centre diff locks, or CDLs.

In the cover image above the G-Professional has two cross-axle differential locks, one on the front axle, and one on the rear, plus a centre differential lock. We call that car twin-locked, or double-locked with a centre diff lock. We do not call it triple locked, even though it has three locking differentials.

An example of an actual triple-locked vehicle is the Pinzgauer on the right of the image, because it has three cross-axle differential locks, one on each axle.

The Patrol Y62 above has a single cross-axle differential lock on the rear axle plus a centre diff lock, and the LC76 has one on the front axle, and one on the rear. So both have two locking differentials. But, we say the Patrol has a rear locker, and we say the LC76 is twin-locked. We don’t say the Y62 is twin-locked.

Why do we make this distinction? Because the centre and cross axle differential locks perform the same mechanical function, but are very different in what they mean for effective 4X4 offroad capability.

Unsure what cross-axle or centre diffs are? Yes, it’s confusing, so watch this and learn…

Robert Pepper Automotive journalist specialising in 4X4s, sportscars, camping and future tech.

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