What seemed long time ago, HBX first introduced its RC products to the RC monster truck market. What’s then a toy manufacturer has now grown into hobby-grade RC model provider with a number of proud products. In a time when everyone’s talking about size, HBX still adheres to the small-scale market, with great success. Bigger trucks pack brutal power, but such brutality cannot be unleashed in limited space, and cannot be safely harnessed by newbies. Before I get into today’s review, I just want to clear it up a bit: smaller scale doesn’t translate into compromised fun. Would this truck offer the simple joy that we are looking for? Let’s find out.
The main features of this truck include waterproofed electronics, a solid PVC chassis (which we will elaborate later), splash-proof body, high precision ball bearings and others. Once again HBX did an excellent job packing so many great features into a compact truck.
The build quality is never an issue with HBX products, and this truck is no exception. All the quality parts are put together on a tough PVC chassis, which is super light-weight and tough. We all agree that HBX made a smart choice using the PVC instead of anodised aluminium: by going plastic HBX lowered the overall weight and enable the chassis to handle tough terrains with much more flexibility, all the while knocking big bucks off the price tag. Though looked less fancy compared with metal chassis, we do prefer this pragmatic-looking small truck.
Motor and battery
Powering this light-weight truck is a RC380 brushed motor with its own cooling fins which is a nice design, even though the truck won’t gain that much heat during normal use. The battery is firmly secured by a pin-and-clip mechanism and almost impossible to fall out of the compartment during the tough run. I just love this kind of simple yet effective and easy-to-access design. The stock 7.4V, 650Mah Li-ion battery takes about 1.5 hours to replenish with the stock USB charger and offers around 10 minutes’ run time, which is quite short-lived. The remote control is just as compact as the truck, and gets trimmed down to its essentials. You’ll need 2 AA batteries for the controller. The 2.4GHz remote control offers a stable proportional control range of around 270 feet. We were especially impressed by the four oil-filled shock absorbers which look that they can take great abuse.
Size is no excuse, so we took the truck to a nearby BMX dirt track. Knowing that the battery won’t power the truck for too long we brought an extra one. Initially we went easy on the truck and slowed down intentionally before hitting a slope. After getting into the rhythm we started to punish the truck by going full throttle all the time. After 10 jumps, to our surprise the truck survived the punishment and came out just with some minor scratches on the body.
Steering wise, thanks to the shaft-driven 4wd transmission, the truck handles corners exceptionally well. The servo was crisp and responsive. It was such fun to start the truck abruptly in loose soil and watch its wheels stir the soil while the truck conquer the soft surface.