Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Tamiya Heavy Dump Truck GF01

Have fun Haulin’!

Time after time I’ve heard people say, “I got into the hobby with a Tamiya (insert model name here) and I’ve been hooked ever since.” I’ve said it myself; I got into this hobby with a Tamiya Falcon. My father and I picked it out at a local hobby store and we went home and built the model together and then raced it in the Production Class at our local track. There were plenty of great times with the Falcon from the building to maintenance. Now that I’m a father of twin boys, I couldn’t wait any longer to build their first RC kit with them and I turned to Tamiya for that fun, first-time build. We picked the Tamiya Heavy Dump Truck GF01, because well, it’s a dump truck! My boys loved the look of the truck and were super excited that they got to take part in building it. At just five years old, they couldn’t do everything on their own, but they sure tried. It was truly a ton of fun and I once again tip my hat to Tamiya for the RC experience they offer the hobby community.

Tamiya GF-01 Heavy Dump Truck
Photos: Edwin Rodriguez


WHO IT’S FOR:  Beginners and up
HOW MUCH:  $144.99

LINK TO BUY: http://amzn.to/2wrOxkZ

• It’s a dump truck, what’s not to love
 Fun wheelie popping action
 4WD dirt churning action
 Simple fun build
 Comes with ESC and motor
 Spring loaded bumper up front, wheelie bar out back

•  Plastic driveline bushings instead of bearings

Kits like the Heavy Dump Truck GF01 from Tamiya spell out pure RC fun from start to finish. I sat down with my twin five-year-old boys and had a blast building with them and teaching them what an RC kit is all about. When we were finished we had a fun wheelie-popping machine that they’ve enjoyed driving for countless hours.

•  4-way wrench
•  L wrenches
•  Turnbuckle tool

• 2-Channel Radio
 7.2V 6-cell NiMh battery

Tactic TTX300 Radio System, TACJ0300, for just under fifty bucks, this is a great 2.4GHz radio that has basic trim functions which are perfect for entry level machines like the Tamiya Heavy Dump Truck.
Duratrax Onyx 3000mAh NiMh 7.2V Battery, DTXC2055, This budget battery pack offers great run time for just the right price. It comes with a Tamiya connector which will work with the speed control.
Duratrax Onyx 210 Charger, DTXP4210, This is the perfect inexpensive peak charger for NiMh batteries. We love the LCD readout so you can monitor the pack’s charge.

• Pro-Line Tire Glue, 6031-00

The chassis is actually mostly made up of the drivetrain gearboxes. Tamiya integrated the gearboxes and suspension mounts into the gearbox halves. The bottom of the halves are smooth to skid along the ground if the truck bottoms out. On the top side a battery box is molded in to support the battery and the electronics mount to the battery retaining plate. The plate can be lifted up by removing two body clips to access the battery for swaps. A wheelie bar extends from the back of the chassis to prevent it from flipping over and a big bumper up front with heavy duty springs behind it protects the truck from impacts.

‹Stubby two piece plastic suspension arms extend from the pivot bosses molded into the trucks frame with a fixed upper link to mate to the hubs and caster blocks. Once the parts are assembled, there is a little slop and a little wiggle, but we’re used to seeing this from Tamiya. In a fun car, those traits are no big deal. The suspension is damped by coil over friction shocks…boing!

‹Your choice of steering servo gets secured to the mounts on the side of the frame. A servo saver bolts to the servo and from there a long link travels down to a single center mounted steering crank. Then turnbuckles extend to the steering knuckles to crank the wheels.

‹As mentioned earlier, the frame is also the gearbox for the truck. This is a 4WD machine, so a series of gears gets power from the included 540 motor to the front and rear gear differentials. Steel dogbones then send power to the wheels. The driveline rides on plastic bushings which can wear if they get too dirty. Upgrading to bearings at some point will be a fairly inexpensive improvement.

‹The body that makes this RC machine so attractive is molded from ABS plastic and obviously resembles a massive CAT dump truck. Honestly my kids freaked out when they saw just the box art. A little painting is required to finish off the body like painting the grill black and the exhaust. The rest of the body gets decals for finishing touches. The front of the body hooks onto the chassis and is then clipped in place. The dump bed is clipped in place too and can be swung up and secured in a raised position with additional swing away body posts extending from the back of the body. In the raised position, it allows you to get to the battery for swaps.

Since this was a basic build-up kit, I enjoyed the kit along with my twin boys, Jacob and Logan, as their first kit build at the age of five and a half. They were super excited to build a model and Tamiya’s RC models are great for the first-timer who wants to learn the inner workings of an RC car. The build took several days for us to complete although someone sitting down by themselves may be able to finish it in just a few hours. My kids assembled the driveline, chassis, suspension arms, bumper and many other areas. There were a few parts where dad had to step in and install the shock shafts, thread  the ball ends on the tie-rods, paint the body and glue tires, but my boys were determined to do as much as possible and when it was done, they sure were proud of their accomplishment. But since its Dad’s job after all to test out the truck, I did head out with the controls first to run the rig in front of the camera.

The Heavy Dump GF01’s fun factor is off the chart! This truck does not handle like it’s on rails and it does not carve tight corners. What it does do is wheelie, bounce around and push dirt off the tires as you crank the steering. It’s just fun, it bounces all over, making you laugh at its erratic behavior. Every time you punch the throttle, it lifts the nose up and rides on the wheelie bar. Over jumps, it either nose dives and tumbles over and over or it bounces up and down on landing. It’s fun, that’s it, the best way to describe it.

My boys were up for the next pack and did they ever beat it up! They hit the fence, rock wall, stairs, the Heavy Dump is a brute and took the beating my kids dished out. There were so many “Whoa’s and Wow’s and did you see me wheelie” I lost count. My boys did have to fill the bed of the truck with rocks. The suspension was squished all the way down and as soon as we pulled the throttle, the truck tilted back, dumped all the rocks out and rode a wheelie for about ten feet. Tamiya keeps doing it, offering fun, inexpensive, easy-to-use RC cars that simply deliver a great RC experience with lots of fun to boot.




LENGTH: 13.8 in. (350mm
WIDTH:  10.6 in. (270mm)
WHEELBASE: 6.88 in. (174.8mm)
WEIGHT: 4.6 lbs

BODY: Yellow ABS Dump Truck
WHEELS: Yellow deep off-set
TIRES: Spiked Chevron styl

TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: Fixed position
CAMBER: Fixed position
ROLL: Fixed position
WHEELBASE: Fixed position
RIDE HEIGHT: Full extension

TYPE: Single bellcrank with servo mounted saver
TOE: Adjustable turnbuckles

TYPE: Monocoque

BEARINGS: Plastic bushing
GEAR RATIO: Optional pinion gears

Opinion: 9
Performance – Acceleration: 9
Performance – Steering: 6
Performance – Handling: 4
Performance – Durability: 7
Feature Breakdown: 6
Overall Value: 8

Tamiya’s Heavy Dump Truck GF01 is pure fun from start to finish as it should be in the RC world. The truck’s build is simple and a great learning experience for first-time kit builders. The truck isn’t going to win any races and its handling isn’t like it’s driving on rails, but the GF01 based Dump will bounce around, pull wheelies, tumble over jumps and best of all leave you smiling from ear to ear because it simply delivers a fun, laughter-filled driving experience. My kids loved all elements of the GF01 with the only exception that we had just one that my twins had to share.

By Greg Vogel

Duratrax, distributed exclusively by Great Planes Model Distributors, duratrax.com, (800) 682-8948
Tactic, distributed exclusively by Great Planes Model Distributors, hobbico.com, (800) 682-8948
Tamiya America Inc., tamiyausa.com, (800) 826-492

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