This article was originally published in the RC Driver’s April 2016
Radio control trucks have a level of fun that other vehicles just can’t compete with. With their big tires, aggressive looks and go-any-where attitude they truly are in a league of their own. There are trucks for nearly every application including stadium trucks, short course trucks, trucks for racing, trucks for bashing, monster trucks, trail trucks, gas trucks, nitro trucks, electric trucks and on and on and on. While I like nearly every type of truck listed above and more, my favorites always seem to be electric due to their ease of use and the fact that my neighbors are not too fond of the roar produced by gas and nitro vehicles! With such a large number of electric trucks from so many manufacturers on the market today, it may be hard to find the right one for you to go out and simply have fun with. That is where we here at RC Driver swoop in to help. I present you, our loyal readers, with the top 10 fun electric trucks.
The inclusion of the Traxxas Slash should be absolutely no surprise to anyone who has been inside of a brick and mortar hobby shop over the last eight years or so. This 2WD short course truck has evolved with the times to remain relevant and comes standard with a waterproof electronics package for go-anywhere fun and a pre-paint- ed, full-fendered body with so many schemes to pick from I’ve lost count. Additionally, Traxxas has released vari- ous versions of the 2WD electric Slash to accommodate the budget and skill level of just about everyone. Starting at just $189.90 of so for the most basic version, a brushed version with a 2.4GHz radio system, the top-of-the-line Slash comes with a Velineon brushless power plant, Traxxas Stability Management (TSM), a low center of gravity chassis, On Board Audio (OBA), 4-amp charger, 7-cell NiMH and will run you about $449.99.
The Savage may be the hot machine on everyone’s mind when they think of cool machines from the popular HPI brand, but there is a new truck in their line-up that has drivers talking thanks to its great price and ability to pump out the action. The HPI Jumpshot MT mon- ster truck costs about $199.98, comes with a 2WD drivetrain and utilizes a 15T brushed motor that helps it pull wheel- ies on demand and power through tough terrain. The twin vertical chassis plates give it that cool Savage look, but more importantly the tough frame driv- ers who are hard on their equipment are looking for. The truck comes with HPI’s cool signature graphic styling on a prepainted black body, chrome rims and the RTR electronics package is top notch. This is certainly a fun truck for all types of terrains.
Stadium trucks are all sorts of fun for their unique looks and track conquering capabilities. The RC10T4 series of trucks from Team Associated has won eight ROAR national champi- onships and countless club races since its debut. This ver- sion of the race truck comes standard with a great electronics package that includes a 3300Kv Reedy brushless motor, water resistant ESC, water resistant receiver box, Reedy 324-S balance charger, 3300mAh LiPo battery pack and XP2G transmitter. The chassis features V2 type oil-filled shocks with blue anodized shock bodies, sealed gear differential, adjust- able slipper clutch, adjustable steel turnbuckles, and Interceptor 2.0 body in either blue or red. A bargain at just $299.99, the RC10T4.2 Brushless Ready-To-Run LiPo Combo needs just six “AA” batteries for the transmitter.
Small, fast, loaded with features found on much larger vehicles, and ear to ear fun, that is what the Mini 8IGHT–T from Losi is all about. This 1/14-scale vehicle is a scaled down version of the 1/8 version of the electric 8IGHT-T and as such, costs only $279.99 and is delivered as a ready-to-run. The backbone of this pint sized machine is an aluminum plate chassis and it features a shaft driven 4WD drivetrain. Metal geared diffs are found at both the front and rear gear boxes and are super tough. While the spur gear is plastic it is well protected by a convenient gear cover. As for power, that is taken care of with a Dynamite 4500Kv brushless motor and waterproof ESC that is both 2S and 3S compatible. For phenomenal control, Losi gave the Mini 8IGHT-T a Spektrum DX2E V3 transmitter and AVC enabled SR4200 receiver. The oversized 2.2” Blockhead tires are mounted on standard sized 2WD 1/10-scale buggy rims and feature a 12mm wheel adapter. The cab forward body with rear wing looks great and helps generate downforce to keep all four of the tires planted to the ground.
Perhaps you want to take things a bit slower but still want a cool truck loaded with features. Then you must take a long look at the SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited C/R Edition from Axial. Equipped with a 27-turn brushed motor and AE-2 ESC with ample drag brake, this scale truck will conquer the toughest trails with ease thanks in part to the metal frame chassis and WB8 Wild Boar driveshafts. This sharp looking RTR will run you about $409.99 and also features a TSX45 metal geared servo, fully licensed Poison Spyder Rock Brawler Bumper and Crusher Flares as well as CRC Edition Black Rock wheels. All of this, coupled with a light bar that allows for nighttime use, makes the SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited C/R Edition a winner from bumper to bumper.
OK, the Talion is probably the most expensive truck on our list costing $479.97, but there is a good reason for that; it’s ultra-tough, big, and can hit 60 mph when used with a pair of 3S LiPo battery packs. It comes with a waterproof 180-amp rated ESC that is paired with a 2050Kv red anodized motor with heat-sink can, has a beefy 3mm thick aluminum plate chassis, plush 16mm big bore shocks, very adjustable pillow ball style front end assembly, sharp looking five-spoke wheels with dBoots tires, and a metal geared steering servo that has plenty of torque. Realizing a truck like this needs to be built tough to withstand such
speeds, the shock towers are made from 5mm thick aluminum and are back anodized, the steering servo attached to a metal arm, the motor mount is made from a solid piece of rigid aluminum to keep the motor secured in place, and all of the gears throughout the drivetrain are made from durable steel.
OK, not too fast, not too slow, and a cool look with nice features. This is how I’d describe the Contakt 12TR mini truggy from Helion. This 1/12 2WD tiny terror comes with a go-anywhere waterproof electronics package that features an all-in-one ESC/receiver unit, 390 sized brushed motor and 1500mAh LiPo battery pack that help it reach speeds of 15 mph. All of the plastic components are made from engineering grade composites, helping make it super durable, the all-terrain high grip tires are made from a long wear compound so they will last a long while even if used on rough asphalt and come pre-mounted on cool black mulit-spoked rims. Available in blue and red, it is well priced at only $129.99 and all you need to add to the Contakt 12TR to get going are four “AA” batteries for the transmitter.
Ideal for entry level enthusiasts and those on a budget, the 1/10-scale AMP MT from ECX looks cool in either black, green, or red and while. Ready to go anywhere thanks to the waterproof electronics package that includes an all-in-one ESC/receiver unit and 1800mAh battery pack, the AMP MT is also plenty quick because if the 20-turn brushed motor. It has fully independent suspension with oil filed shocks that help smooth out the toughest terrain, a durable nylon composite chassis that has just the right amount of flex, a 2WD drivetrain with low maintenance gear differential and even comes with a Dynamite wall charger. The AMP MT 2WD Monster Truck costs just $129.99, a great value for a 1/10-scale ready-to-run vehicle, and needs just four “AA” batteries for the 2.4 GHz transmitter.
If you liked smashing around Tonka trucks when you were a kid you’ll absolutely love the Heavy Duty Dump Truck from Tamiya. The yellow body on this dumper is made from injection-molded ABS plastic so it is plenty tough and has a movable rear bed for raised and lowered positions. The GF01 chassis, which also has many yel- low details, features fully independent double wishbone suspen- sion, a torque tuned motor that is centrally located for easy wheel- ies, and a gear driven 4WD drivetrain. Other cool features include a spring mounted front bumper, wheelie bar, and large chevron style tread tires mounted on, you guessed it, yellow rims. This cool kit costs about $144.99 and will need the addition of a radio sys- tem, battery pack and steering servo.
From fast to slow, big to small, on-road and off-road, work and play, there is an electric radio control truck for everyone. Stop into your local hobby shop and see what they have in stock, too. Getting a vehicle that has no or limited parts support could be rather troublesome. If you have to constantly mail-order option and replacement parts it won’t make for much fun. All of this said, at the end of the day any of these trucks and plenty more, will provide hours and hours of enjoyment.