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Can You Put A Carseat In A Single Cab Truck?

There is a general consensus that under no circumstances can you put a car seat in a single cab truck, but that isn’t actually true.

In fact, you can put a car seat in a truck providing that you follow certain measures. It is also worth keeping in mind that the way you install the seat itself may be a little different in this type of vehicle.

I took the time to read through some of the legislation from the US Department of Transportation, and it is legal to have a car seat in the front of a truck.

But this is only the case providing the width of the truck seat or bench has the ability to support a minimum of 85% of the car seat.

I also consulted the experts at my nearest CPST (Child Passenger Safety Technician) to make sure I had everything set up correctly before using my car seat in my truck.

Read on to keep your child safe and comfortable in there car seat when you hit the road in your single-cab truck.

Is It Legal To Have A Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck? 

Yes! It’s legal. It’s worth noting that there actually isn’t any specific law when it comes to a single cab truck and car seats.

So the law that you’re actually dealing with in this instance is the front seat law.

And according to this law, regardless of age, any child can be transported in the front seat of a vehicle provided they are in a restraint or booster seat that is appropriate for their age.

Tethering Your Car Seat

It is a legal requirement to ensure that your car seat is appropriately tethered in your truck, check out are article for How to Loosen Car Seat Straps, for tips. . Each truck will have a tether anchor that you’ll need to locate.

In all likelihood, you’ll need to close down the seat to find it. Below you’ll find the most common places to find your cab’s tether anchor.

Tethering Your Car Seat
  • Behind The Seat Anchors – The most common placement for the anchor will be behind the seat. If you fold down the seats there is a good chance that you’ll notice it. This can be a tad inconvenient but it is essential to your child’s safety. My truck has these anchors. It took me a bit of snooping to find them, but they’re incredibly reliable.
  • Webbing Loops – Certain trucks will have webbing loops that can be found behind the headrest of your seats. You’ll need to feed the seat tether through this loop and attach the anchor to the loop behind the middle seat headrest.
  • Behind The Seat Loops – These vary quite vastly from your typical car anchor so I would always recommend consulting your car manual. Usually, this will consist of feeding the tether through a webbing loop like above and then anchoring it to a seat loop that can be found behind the seat.

Thankfully, once you have tethered your seat, the rest of the process is pretty similar to that of installing a car seat in a car. So, once you’re tethered, the hard work should be over.

If you are apprehensive of how the car seat fits in your vehicle, I would advise you to visit a local CPST to double-check that the fit is safe for travel.

Forward & Rear Facing Car Seats

When you purchase a car seat, you’ll have an option between forward-facing or rear-facing seats.

From our experience, you should really avoid rear-facing car seats when your child is sitting in the front of any vehicle.

So, I would recommend ensuring that you have a front-facing car seat for a single cab truck.

This is so important because of the airbags in the front.

Should the worst happen, and the airbag must be deployed it can cause catastrophic consequences for small children if they are in rear-facing seats.

For some trucks, there is the option to turn the passenger airbag on or off.

The only exception for installing a rear-facing car seat in front of an airbag is when it is possible to ensure that the airbag is turned off.

Again, I cannot emphasize enough that the airbag must be off if your child is in a rear-facing car seat. If your car does not have the option to turn off the airbag, then you must use a front-facing car seat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A CPST?

CPST stands for child passenger safety technician. It’s their job to answer any questions caregivers may have about the safety of children in cars.

They’ll also help you wrap your head around all the essential safety precautions, no matter what seat you have and no matter what vehicle you drive.

If you’re unsure about anything regarding infant car seat safety, it’s essential that you consult a CPST before hitting the road with a little one.

Can A Car Seat Go In The Middle Of A Truck?

The middle back seat of a truck is actually the safest spot to set up your child’s car seat, as it’s a good distance from airbag zones, and there’s little chance of impact.

Having said that, fitting an infant car seat to the middle front row seat (if you have one) is strictly out of the question.

Are Trucks Good For Newborns?

These trucks of ours may be great for most practical applications, but sadly, harboring a newborn simply isn’t one of them.

Many models won’t even have the basic requirements to fit an infant car seat, and the ones that do aren’t always totally ideal for babies.

That’s not to say that you can’t transport your baby safely in your truck.

As long as the proper mechanisms are in place, you absolutely can, but other vehicles more geared towards parents are almost always going to be safer.

The good thing about a truck, though, is that they fare well against other vehicles in the event of a collision, but, obviously, this is a worst case scenario, and shouldn’t really be a consideration.

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, there is no law that will prohibit you from driving your little one around in your single-cab truck providing you follow the correct measures.

Essentially, as long as your little one is in a car seat that is appropriate for their age, at least 85% of the seat is supported by a seat, and it is front-facing/rear-facing with the airbags turned off, you’ll be all good to go.

Personally, I think it’s always a good idea to consult a CPST before you drive anywhere with your child even if you are just 1% unsure.

If you are not following the guidelines you may find yourself with quite a hefty fine, though that pales in comparison to the thought of your child getting hurt.

It’s also a good idea to always check your vehicle manual. Some trucks just aren’t car seat compatible and some even completely prohibit them.

And if it is prohibited, remember this isn’t to be annoying or to cause you inconvenience, it’s to keep your little one safe.

The only reason you’ll ever be told not to install a car seat is if doing so could put your child in serious danger just like putting your car seat in a shopping cart – and nobody wants that.

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