Can You Put Car Seats In A Single Truck

Beginner Info, Car Seat

can you put car seat in a single truck
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Frankly speaking, quite a few of our clients have asked us in the recent past whether they can put car seats in a single truck or NOT.

And, I hope many of the avid readers of would have similar queries in their minds, right?

So, seeing the demand, we’ve decided to end this age-old debate, Can you put car seats in a single truck?

To begin with, we did an online survey to find out what the common perception about putting car seats in a single truck, and what we thought was absolutely CORRECT.

There is a general perception that a car seat can’t be installed in a truck.

But, to be honest, that isn’t necessarily the case.

As per my knowledge and experience, I can affirm that depending upon the type of truck cab your vehicle is considered, installation methods may differ slightly.

It wouldn’t be wrong if I said that installing a car seat in a truck significantly differs from installing one in a car.

Before we come to a conclusion, I would request you to stay with us till the end because the core team of has put loads and loads of effort into coming up with a superlative idiosyncratic piece of information.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

Truck Cabs Types

There are numerous names for different types of truck cabs.

In case you’re not familiar with what a truck cab is then let me tell you it is essentially the amount of space your truck has got in its cabin.

In simple words, there are three types of truck cabs types, that is, single, extended, and crew.

Regular (Single): As the name suggests, a single cab truck has one row of seating and a single set of doors on each side.

Extended: The extended cab trucks also have one row of seating plus a small amount of space behind the row of seating. They usually include usually one or two small seats.

Crew: The crew cab trucks come with two rows of seating and four doors in total.

The most important thing that you need to understand here is that each type of truck comes with its own rules and regulations for car seat installation.

In order to keep the article simple, short, and informative, we’ve decided to focus on installing a car seat in your single-cab truck.

I know many of you would be wondering whether it’s LEGAL OR NOT, right?

Don’t worry, we’re not gonna do or promote anything that isn’t LEGAL.

I hope I made my point clearly.

Is It Legal?

Of course, it’s legal but before you expedite the installation make sure that you’ve met the prerequisites.

First thing first, your car seat must support at least 85 percent of your child’s car seat.

You can find more information about it here.

Let’s understand it this way if your car seat needs to be forward-facing then your truck must have a spot for the top tether.

The reason why I’m saying tether is a must is because during the collision it will reduce head excursion up to 6 inches.

When it comes to installing a rear-facing seat, you need to ensure that the installation doesn’t take place in front of an active airbag especially when your truck has single-row seating.

If you’re a resident of the USA then definitely, you would be aware of the fact that there are several American-made trucks with single-row seating that have a key-activated on/off switch for the truck’s passenger airbag.

Furthermore, if you don’t have an option but to install a rear-facing car seat in the front of an airbag then what you can do is turn off the passenger airbag beforehand.

At the same time, you also need to understand that quite a few American-made truck models, unfortunately, don’t come with a turnkey option to shut off the passenger airbag.

How To Find The Tether Anchor in My Truck?

Well, especially the first-time buyers would be wondering where a tether anchor actually lies, right?

I always suggest my clients go through the user manual as all the essential information is present there including the location of the tether anchor in the truck.

As per our knowledge and experience, we can affirm that all the vehicles manufactured after 2001 will have a tether anchor located mostly behind the back seat.

Behind the Seat Anchors

My husband owns a couple of trucks and each one of them has a tether anchor behind the truck seat.

You can easily locate the tether anchor by folding the seat down.

I too agree that it may increase the installation time but at the same time, you also need to understand that by doing so you would be able to ensure the safety of your child while riding in your truck.

Webbing Loops

I wouldn’t deny the fact that there are trucks that use webbing loops, and trust me, there isn’t anything wrong with it.

These are mainly present behind the vehicle headrest.

In order to tether with webbing loops, what actually you need to do is to feed the seat tether through the loop behind the headrest and attach the anchor to the wedding loop behind the middle seat’s headrest.

I’ve attached a self-explanatory video for your perusal.

In the next step, you need to remove some of the slack and not all without tightening it all the way.

Now, you need to finish installing the car seat irrespective of the ways that you’re following, that is, be it via LATCH, or SEATBELT.

Finally, you need to remove the rest of the slack from the tether.

Once you’re done with the aforementioned steps, the last thing that you need to do is to tuck the extra tether behind the seat’s headrest.

Behind the Seat Loops

The last location that we’ve got on our list is behind the seat loops.

Just for your information, these loops are vastly different from the tether anchors present in our cars.

To expedite the installation process I would suggest you should consult your vehicle’s manual to ensure that you’ve done things rightly.

In this case, the car seat tether would be fed through a webbing loop and then anchored to a seat loop directly behind the vehicle seat or adjacent outboard position.

Once your child’s seat is tethered more than half of your work is done, and the further installation process would be almost similar to what you’ve been doing when you were installing in your car.

Moreover, in case of unfit, doubt, or query, the best person to reach out to is the local CPST.

Car Seats, Trucks, and the Law

Whether you own a truck or you’re planning to, it is really important to be aware of the law in your region.

It wouldn’t be possible for us to discuss laws for each and every state.

However, we would be throwing light on some of the states where mostly our clients are located.

If you would’ve been an avid reader of this blog then you would be aware of the fact how much we’re emphasizing rear-seat importance.

Trust me, the safest spot in a car for your kid is the second-row middle position.

We always recommend parents keep their kids in the rear position as much as they can.

As per the National Law, if your child’s seat isn’t compatible with your truck’s back seat then you can install the seat in the front row.

While installing the car seat in the front row, you need to keep in mind that the front row doesn’t have an active airbag installed.

Unfortunately, an active airbag will do more harm than good to your kid due to the speed and force that a deployed airbag exerts.

Since most of our clients reside in  Florida, Indiana, Arizona, and Texas let’s have a quick look at the seatbelt laws in these areas.

Law In Florida

Well, Florida state law on safety belts and child restraints requires all children under the age of 5 to be in a harness car seat designed specifically for their size and age.

And, to keep the children safe and secure, anyone who is less than 12 years of age should be in the rear seat if POSSIBLE.

You might be wondering what if my truck doesn’t have a back seat, right?

Well, in that case, your child doesn’t have an option but to sit in the front seat as long as the airbag is turned off.

Law In Indiana

Indiana State Law requires all children under the age of 16 to be restrained in a vehicle.

Anyone who is less than 8 years of age must use either of three types of car seats – rear, forward, or booster.

However, the good thing is that there isn’t any specific law for or against your child riding in a single cab truck, but to be on the safer side what I would suggest is to keep the airbags switched off as it will do more harm than good if kept open when your kid is sitting in the front side.

Did I make my point clear?

Law in Arizona

Arizona State Law requires all children under the age of 8 to make use of a child restraint seat.

The children under the age of 3 should be rear-facing for safety reasons.

The law states that children can ride in the front as long as they follow the weight and height limit aligned for the front seat in Arizona.

In case, they are riding in the front, the airbags need to be switched off.

Law in Texas

Well, the interesting thing about the Texas Law is that it doesn’t have any specific legislation dictating where children should sit.

However, we recommend keeping your kid rear-facing till she satisfies the height and weight limit.

When allowing your kid to sit in front make sure that the airbag is switched off.

Putting a Car Seat in an Extended Cab

The thing that I really admire about the extended cab is the “extra” space that is present behind the row seating.

You can very well utilize that space in case you don’t have any plan to install your child’s seat in the front.

On the other hand, if you’ve made up your mind to install your child’s car seat in an extended cab truck then the below guidelines can help you. (source)

  • Keep in mind, that child seats are intended to have at least 80 percent of their base support by seat cushion so that both comfort and support aren’t compromised
  • Moreover, you can remove the head restraint present on the passenger side in order to help them sit better
  • As we said earlier, most likely the tether anchor would be located behind the seat cushion and will take some finesse to get it connected
  • Ensure that the seats in your extended cab have a seat belt right in place that can be used to install your child’s car seat
  • And, in case of doubt or query, you should contact your vehicle manual to figure out if your extended cab seats are car seat compatible

It’s A Wrap

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.

Secondly, I would like to bring to your notice that I along with my core team have put loads and loads of effort into coming up with this idiosyncratic superlative piece of information.

And, in case, you liked our efforts and want to appreciate us then please do share the information with like-minded people and the ones who are in need of it.

After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?

To cut the story short, I’m assuming that after going through the article you’ve got an idea about the know-how of the laws and logistics of both car seats and trucks.

Don’t hesitate to consult a CPST in case you’re not sure what you’re doing.

Follow what is written in the manual to reap maximum benefits from your child’s car seat.

We at always recommend our clients keep their kids rear-facing as long as possible because it is the safest spot during a collision.

However, if your truck doesn’t have a rear seat then in that case you don’t have an option but to install your child’s car seat in the front row.

While doing so, keep in mind that the airbags are switched off and safety rules and regulation of the state is followed in which you’re driving.

That’s all, as of now:)

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