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Ladder Bars VS. Traction Bars; Which One Gives More Traction? 

Ladder Bars VS. Traction Bars; Which One Gives More Traction? 

Does your vehicle lose traction while accelerating? The wheels tend to hop when you are off-road or brake hard. This traction loss is known as axle wrap. Anti-hop or anti-wrap suspension bar can resolve this problem. But, which bar is better, ladder bars or traction bars? 

In the ladder bars VS. traction bars debate, ladder bars increase acceleration while traction bars improve the rear suspension. They are different in shape and function. For instance, ladder bars keep the rear axle in an accurate position, and traction bars control the axle’s rotation angle. 

However, ladder and traction bars’ primary purpose is to reduce axle wrap. We will explore the similarities and differences between them. It will help you to decide.

Ladder Bars VS. Traction Bars In A Chart 

Category  Ladder Bars

Ladder Barsir?t=moto0f6 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B000CO874K

Traction Bars

Traction Barsir?t=moto0f6 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B000BWE242

Purpose  Reducing axle wrap Decreasing axle wrap
Design  A pair of long rods Straight connecting bar 
Connection  Spring perch and chassis Rear axle and Heim joint
Material  Aluminum steel  Steel and rubber 
Price  Comparatively expensive Cheaper than ladder bars 
Weight  Heavier than others   Light-weighted 
Performance  Better at off-road  Better at on-road
Noise  Clunking noise  Noise with vibration
Function  Hold the axle in the correct position Change the rotation angle of the rear axle

Similarities Between Ladder Bars & Traction Bars 

A ladder bar and a traction bar have more differences than similarities. However, they are the same in their purpose. They share a few of their functions too. 


The main similarity between these two bars is they are anti-wrap bars. They are also known as anti-hop bars. Because they prevent the vehicle’s wheel from hopping.

Nevertheless, the purpose of both these anti-wrap bars is to reduce axle hop. By reducing axle wrap, they help the vehicle to regain its lost traction. 


During acceleration and deceleration, the axle tends to rotate. This rotation makes the leaf springs twisted. Anti-wrap bars automatically apply brakes to stop the rotation.

The anti-wrap bars come in adjustable shapes and sizes. In four drive wheels, they prevent the wheels from hopping. Also, they supply active air suspension for better traction.

Contrasts Between Ladder Bars & Traction Bars

Though the aim of anti-wrap bars is the same, they have many differences. Ladder and traction bars differ in design, function, price, weight, and performance.

Design & Connection 

Criteria  Ladder Bars Traction Bars
  • They are usually made of ammonium steel. 
  • They are made of steel with rubber snubber.
  • A pair of cylinder shape rods 
  • After installation, form a rigid triangular shape.
  • Straight hefty steel bars 
  • They contain brackets on the two ends.
  • They have two separate attachments. 
  • One point connects at the bottom of the axle 
  • Another point connects at the top of the axle
  • They joint the axle and vehicle’s chassis.
  • They have only one attachment. 
  • One end connects at the bottom of the axle.
  • The other single bar mount gets connected with the chassis. 
  • They joint the front spring mount and the rear axle.

Functions & Performance 

Criteria  Ladder Bars Traction Bars
  • Control the S-shape twisting of the wheels 
  • Hold the axle in its accurate position 
  • Manage forward and rearward movement with the suspension cycle 
  • Handle the u-joint misalignment of the wheels
  • Change the rotation angle of the rear axle 
  • Push upward on the frame to have ground clearance with rear-wheel
  • Do not bind during suspension flexing
  • Provide excellent support on a rough surface 
  • Provide adequate articulation to the suspension 
  • Work better on highway street 

Price & Weight 

A ladder bar is more expensive than a traction bar. The price difference between them is pretty noticeable. Ladder bars are more durable than traction bars.

Also, a ladder bar provides more traction than a traction bar. Ladder bars offer a more dependable axle housing performance than traction bars.

Traction bars do not have as much weight as ladder bars. A traction bar is a lighter substitute for a ladder bar based on performance and function.

Pros & Cons Of Ladder Bars & Traction Bars  

Ladder bars and traction bars are essential suspension components. They prevent unnecessary, rare tire hops and save the vehicle from axle tube damage. 

Due to their differences in function, design, and performance, they have some pros and cons. Let’s see their benefits and drawbacks.


Ladder Bars Traction Bars
Tringuler shape makes them more effective  Non-complicated yet effective axle wrap preventing system 
During up-down suspension flex; they do not bind The lighter weight provides productive performance 
Have durable material for heavy-duty trucks  Have flexible and adjustable material for super-duty trucks 
Provide outstanding performance off-road Provide excellent articulation control on-road 
High hang does not affect ground clearance  Less expensive than other anti-axle wrap suspension bars 



Ladder Bars Traction Bars
Expensive than other anti axle wrap suspension bars  Tend to bind during suspension flex 
Unable to pull harder while negotiating corners  Less bend provides less ground clearance 
Provide less grip due to heavyweight  Serves limited articulation 
Serve poor performance on-road and drag race  Less durable due to inadequate material 
Makes clunking noise  Makes clunking noise with vibration

 If you evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of both anti-wrap bars, you will lean towards a ladder bar. 

Most people prefer a ladder bar due to its off-road performance. However, transaction bars are your perfect fit if you want a lightweight anti-wrap bar for your on-road car. 

Lakewood Ladder Bar VS Lakewood Traction Bar

Let’s compare two anti-hop suspension bars by their brand and models. It will help you understand the comparison clearly. 

You can check and collect Lakewood ladder bars and traction bars on amazon. 

Lakewood 20460 Ladder Bar Lakewood 20470 Traction Bar
Made of alloy steel  Steel tubing and MIG welded brackets
Enhance rear suspension traction  Decrease axle wheel hops 
Provides long-lasting durability  Fragile in durability 
Designed for Muscle car  Works on any car with leaf coil springs 
Easy to install  Easy DIY install 

How To Install A Traction Bar 

Installing a traction bar is not as complicated as an anti-wrap bar’s geometrical function. The installation process depends on the car’s model. Hence, the primary installation method is the same. 

  • Place the car on a solid and even level. Use the wheel blocks & lift bar properly to prevent any movement. 
  • Remove the four nuts from the stock axle palate. Use penetrating oil to make the undoing easy. 
  • Go under the lifted truck. Replace the nuts with new, longer supplied ones. 
  • Install NY-Lok hex nut into the snubber stud. Tighten them properly.
  • Place the factory axle palate and install the traction bar on the U bolts.
  • Place two spacers onto the front U bolts and the other two spacers onto the rear end. 
  • Install the self-lock nuts and washers loosely to the rear U bolt.
  • Now attach the other hex nuts to the leaf spring on the frame mount. 
  • Finally, tilt the traction bar and tighten all the necessary U bolts.

You need to repeat the process for the opposite side traction bar. Read the manual carefully. Additionally, it will guide you through the process. 

People Often Ask 

Does A Traction Bar Make A Difference?

Yes, it does. A traction bar allows the rear suspension to work properly during axle wrap. It prevents continuous wheel hops. Also, it changes the axle rotation angle.

Do Ladder Bars Affect Towing? 

Positively yes. Ladder bars help the vehicle to improve its towing capacity. It provides sufficient towing capacity off-road by preventing axle wrap and wheel hops.

How Much Should Tight A Traction Bar Be?

Not too much. You can tighten them with your hand. Try to spin the lock nuts until there is a slight pressure on the hind axle. Traction bars follow easy installation.

What Is Responsible For Axle Wraps? 

The high amount of low-end torque is responsible for axle wraps. Axle wheel twist, downforce on the rear, and de arch leaf spring also cause spring wrap and wheel hop.

Do Ladder Bars Worth It? 

Yes, they are. Ladder bars enhance acceleration, reduce axle wrap, decrease wheel hops and improve tire traction. They work fine off-road, on-road, and in drag racing.

Are Ladders Bars And Traction Bars The Same? 

Their primary aim is similar, which is reducing axle wrap. However, ladder bars are expensive, heavy, and durable, while traction bars are cheap, light, and on-road performers.

Are Anti Wrap Bars And A Sway Bar The Same?

No, they are not. A sway bar or rear sway bar reduces body roll, while anti-wrap bars reduce axle hops or wrap. They are not the same in the competition engineering of vehicles. 

Do Slapper Bars Help Traction?

Yes, a slapper bar helps to improve traction. Also, slapper bars help to reduce wheel hops. But, they do not gain noticeable traction on the street.  

Who Has Won The Race? 

Wheel hoops during acceleration and deceleration can damage your car’s axle and driveshaft. Also, it can lead to a major accident. So, an anti-wrap suspension bar must have support during hard brake and off-road riding.

Ladder bars increase hard acceleration, reduce axle wrap, and keep rear axle position accurate. In contrast, traction bars reduce wheel hops and handle axle rotation angle.

They both improve traction for your car. However, go for ladder bars if you need excellent off-road traction with less axle wrap. Traction bars are perfect if you opt for limiter articulation, less wheel hop, and on-street performance.


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