Maximus Fun for a Minimum Price
Words: Tony Phalen
Photos: Wayne Phalen
As RC fanatics, when someone mentions monster trucks we have a pre-set notion of what that is in our hobby. We think of 1/8-scale (or larger) trucks that include big tires, big suspension, big horsepower—just big everything. With the release of the Maximus, I think DHK might be in the same mindset as us! The Maximus, which coincidentally is Latin for “greatest” or “largest”, is a big ol’ beast that not only includes our monster truck wish list, but also does it at an extremely affordable price. Bring on the MT playground!
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: DHK
WHO IT’S FOR: Intermediate to advanced
WHAT’S IT COST: $479.99
TYPE: 1/8-scale electric 4WD monster truck RTR
• The Maximus is a complete package; you get the truck with installed 2.4GHz radio system, high-power brushless system, a pair of 2S LiPo batteries and a charger! All you need is “AA”’s
• The huge tires and 4WD allows the Maximus to claw over most obstacles with ease
• Large cooling fans on both the ESC and motor
• Includes massive, 3mm aluminum shock towers, upper and lower chassis decks
• Smart chassis layout with easy-access battery compartments on either side of the centerline
• Sealed receiver box
• Bonus extras like threaded shocks, anti-roll bars, battery wire clips and aluminum steering knuckles
• Personally, I love the orange and black coloring
• Driveshafts seem kind of puny
• Electronics wiring is a bit disorganized and rubs a lot on the steering system
This is a burly MT that packs quite the punch. The 4S power system is a lot to handle and should only be run in large, open spaces. For the more experienced drivers, you’ll certainly have fun with the power, blasting over dirt piles and hitting the big jumps at full speed. It can certainly take what you dish out!
• The DHK Maximus includes some serious hardware strapped to the chassis. On one side, the 80A brushless ESC (with reverse) is snuggled up front next to the metal-geared steering servo while the enormous 2260kV brushless motor mounts on the other. At the back of the chassis, the pair of 2S LiPos straddle the center driveshaft.
• The brushless system has some heavy lifting to do trying to haul around this 7.3-pound behemoth. To help keep things running as efficiently as possible, the Maximus is equipped with a pair of heavy-duty fans on both the motor and ESC. If that wasn’t enough, the motor has an equally monster-sized heatsink attached to it! I’d be surprised if this motor came off a bash session with any heat in it at all!
• The chassis design reminds me of the current crop of competition 1/8-scales; flat aluminum chassis that is slightly angled on the sides (for additional ground clearance), a pair of driveshafts that connect the center diff to the front and rear gearboxes and three differentials that you can change the fluid in to aid in tuning the Maximus for different surface conditions.
• The aggressive MT tires are mounted on a cool-looking set of 3.5-inch wheels and attach using a 17mm hex. Traction is good on dirt and grass, but beware on gravel. The large lugs tend to kick up rocks and with 4S of LiPo power could easily put an eye out!
• The Maximus comes with a few features that not only help make it durable, but also give it a competition feel; threaded shocks, front and rear anti-roll bars, 5mm adjustable toe and camber links, aluminum steering knuckles and wheel hexes and a really low CG. The highest point in the center of the chassis is the wallet-sized fan on the motor.
• The whole Maximus package is pretty impressive. You get the MT, a powerful brushless system, 2.4GHz transmitter, 2S LiPos and a charger for under $500. While a great value, I would pick up a better charger only because the one included takes forever to charge the batteries and, if you’re like me, the least amount of downtime the better!
OVERALL PERFORMANCE RATING: VERY GOOD
I took the Maximus over to my local dirt area that is perfect for trucks like this. Loose dirt, elevated sections and big rocks all help test the different aspects of the vehicles I’m reviewing, including monster trucks! After a couple quick passes to check all the functions, I headed right to the elevated dirt section. This section is about 6-feet high, 20-feet wide and 120-feet long. With most of the smaller vehicles, it usually takes quite a bit of power (or a good run up) to get up the 60 degree slope, but not for the Maximus. With only about quarter throttle (actually less) applied, it crawled right up without a problem. The tires have really good bite and simply clawed their way to the top. I bashed around a bit more going up and down the hill, sometimes jumping up or off of it, other times just casually climbing it.
The far side of the elevated dirt section is where all of the bigger rocks and debris has been pushed. I knew the power and size of the Maximus were there, but couldn’t help taking it up and down the slope to really see its offroad ability. It was great seeing the suspension work as it traversed the rocky terrain. Other than a boulder that was slightly larger than the truck itself, the Maximus had no problems powering up and over all of the obstacles. It even tore through a few small bushes that were poking through the debris field.
As the drive went on, I found myself becoming more ambitious with my jumps. The Maximus had withstood everything the testing grounds had for it so there was only one thing left to do…SEND IT! I drove to the end of the 120-foot elevated dirt area, turned it around and let ‘er rip. The Maximus danced a bit while getting up to speed, but was soon barreling towards its doom…or was it? It hit the dirt lip at full throttle and sailed through the air only to easily land on all fours. After a quick smile and laugh, I definitely wanted to do it again. The second attempt, however, wasn’t quite as successful as the first. After hitting the dirt jump, the Maximus went into an immediate forward flip that typically you can pull out of using the throttle or brakes (and the inertia of the big MT tires). But it was not to be and the Maximus (sailing dead in the air) landed hard right on the back end. I thought for sure that was game over, but after tumbling back onto its wheels it was able to continue going! I brought it over to give it a look and it was indeed still in one piece, but the rear tower was bent pretty badly, so much so that the rear shock was pinned against the upper suspension arm, preventing it from moving up and down. Even though this ended my day, I took the Maximus home, removed the tower and bent it back to shape…zero cost and about 20 minutes of my time.
THE LAST WORD
Whether you’re planning on hitting the track or attacking the fields, the DHK Maximus puts a solid MT at your disposal. Its powerful brushless system allows it to go just about anywhere and the suspension is actually really good. I did quite a bit of dancing on my dirt test section and there wasn’t much that stopped this truck. The fact that I sent the Maximus off the huge dirt mound with zero regard for what would happen to it, I’m actually quite impressed that the only BENT part (not broken!) was the tower. Maximus fun from DHK.
DHK, distributed by HRP