One of the most popular segments of the RC hobby in HRM (and worldwide) is the trail truck category. These RCs are based on off-road vehicles such as Jeeps, Land Rovers, 4×4 pickups, and the like.
Although they are undoubtedly off-road vehicles, trail trucks differ from the other off-road RC disciplines like bashers and off-road racers. Whereas bashers and off-road racers put an emphasis on speed, trail trucks are all about conquering the gnarly terrain in front of them, even if it’s at slow pace. An off-road racer may be able to zip around a dirt track ten times faster than a trail truck, but that same off-road racer wouldn’t make it 10 feet down the wilderness path that a trail truck can conquer.
There are several active Facebook groups in HRM devoted to RC trail trucks (see our main Beginner’s pages for links). There are trail runs most weekends. A spot and time are posted on a group’s Facebook page, and then it’s up to you to show up! It is very common to have a dozen, twenty, or even more trail trucks on a trail run.
A trail run usually takes place on wilderness trails, or at parks in and around HRM. Participants meet at a set location (usually a parking lot near the start of the trail), and then start off into the woods. As the name of the game is tackling tough terrain (rather than speed), the group progresses through the woods at a comfortable walking pace, occasionally stopping if there’s a really interesting obstacle that everyone wants to tackle. It’s a great way to get some exercise, fresh air, and enjoy the great outdoors! As all trail trucks are electric, there is no worry about pollution, noise or otherwise.
Trail runs usually last 2-4 hours, but of course you can always head back sooner if time is limited.
Another important aspect of trail trucks is scale appearance. Some RCs, expecially race-style vehicles, put most of the emphasis on performance, and so realism is not a priority. For instance, you may recognize a racing buggy as a dune buggy, but it doesn’t necessarily look like any particular full-size vehicle. With trail trucks, the bodies, wheels, tires, and other accessories like lights and rollbars, are all made to look like their full-size couterparts. Many trail truck RCs have bodies that are licensed reproductions of full-size vehicles, such as the Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford Bronco, Chevy Blazer, etc.
RC4WD Trail Finder 2
Another popular type of trail vehicle are so-called “rock-racers”. They look similar to 4wd dune buggies, but again are designed for tackling rough terrain. Although they are not necessarily modelled after a specific full size vehicle make and model, they faithfully replicate scratch-built full size competition machines that compete in ULTRA4 events and the infamous King of The Hammers off-road race.
The Axial Wraith Rock Racer
The Axial RR10 Bomber “King of the Hammers”-Style Racer
Suspension emulates full size off road rigs. Many trucks run 3- or 4- link suspension systems with coil-over shocks and springs. Some trucks run leaf springs on solid axles, sacrificing a bit of performance for a realistic reproduction of what many full size pickup trucks run for suspension.
The good news is that there is no shortage of wonderful places to run these RCs in Nova Scotia!
As many RCers use waterproof electronics in their trail trucks, it’s a year-round activity!
It’s also good to note that people new to the hobby are usually welcome to show up to these events to get a better idea of what trail trucks are all about!
Some of the more prominent manufacturers of RC trail trucks, their websites, and some of their models are listed below:
Axial – http://www.axialracing.com – SCX10, Wraith, RR10, Yeti
RC4WD – http://www.rc4wd.com – Trail Finder 2, Gelande II (Defender D90, Cruiser)
Tamiya – http://www.tamiyausa.com – CC01, CR01, High Lift, Bruiser, Mountaineer
Check out some cool trail truck videos below! (The first video was filmed in Bedford)