Review – Pro-Line PRO-MT Monster Truck
THE Pro-Line PRO-MT Monster Truck Review
Low slung buggies and stadium/SCT trucks are great for busting out fast laps, but for real bashing monster trucks still rule. With bigger tires and more ground clearance, monster trucks can blast over the roughest of terrain, land from the highest jumps, and smash into hard objects better than their smaller counterparts.
Recently Pro-Line decided to throw their hat into the 10th scale 2wd monster truck ring. Their new PRO-MT is made up from a slew of high-end hop-up parts, do they jell to form the ultimate basher, or fall short into an overpriced shelf queen? You know the drill, hit the “Read More” button to find out…
Review By: Cubby
Pictures By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: Partially built kit
2wd or 4wd: 2wd
Electric or Gas: Electric
Weight: 4.1 lbs w/ tires, w/o electronics
Differential: Gear type, oil filled
Slipper Clutch: Yes
Driveshafts: Pro-Spline heavy duty
Gear Ratio: 2.72
Shocks: PL Powerstroke
Servo Saver: Adjustable, in steering rack
Body: Includes PL Sentinel clear body
Screws: Metric hex
Spur/Pinion Pitch: 48 pitch
Bearings: Full set
Tires: Pro-Line Trenchers
Part Number: #4003-00
Top Speed (measured by BSRC): 42 mph (2S LiPo, 3800kV motor, 20t pinion)
Runtime: 27 minutes on 2S 6500mAh LiPo
Warranty: “Handled on a case by case basis”, contact Pro-Line customer service for more info
Street Price: $389
Primary Competition: The PRO-MT is in perhaps the toughest class there is, 2wd MT. Its competition includes the 2 time BSRC Bash Vehicle of the Year ARRMA Granite, the legendary Traxxas Stampede, and the ECX Ruckus.
What’s Needed To Complete: The PRO-MT is a kit so you’ll need to supply a lot of gear. You’ll need paint for the body, tools for assembly, a transmitter and receiver, a servo, a speedo, a motor, a pinion, a battery for the truck, and a charger.
Build Quality: Some parts of the PRO-MT kit do come assembled. This makes it faster to build and makes it an ideal kit for a first timer. The shocks, tranny, chassis, and tires/wheels all come pre-built and we found ours to be in perfect working order.
Test Drivers: Iron Mike, Sam The Noob, Hawaiian Chris, T-Mohr, Wrench Bill, Editor Brian, Don Juan, Adam The Intern, and yours truly.
Test Venues: Pro-Line testing location in California, iHobby Expo hall in Schaumburg Illinois, St Louis Dirtbuners 8th scale off-road track, RC Outlaws in Collinsville Illinois, Belleville IL city park, Minnie Ha Ha park in Fenton Missouri, St Joe State Park in Farmington Missouri, Let’s Go Nutz off road park in Foley Missouri, several backyards, and of course a CostCo parking lot.
Set-up Notes: The PRO-MT is intended to be a high-end basher so we set it up with high-end gear. For batteries we used a MaxAmps 2S 6500 and a 3S 5250. Charging was handled exclusively by a TrakPower VR-1. For loads of steering torque we went with a Savox SV-1270TG. For a power system, a Castle Max Pro SCT speedo was used along with one of their 1410 3800kV motors. We used a Robinson 20 tooth pinion and had our buddy Mike over at Blaze RC hooked us up with a sweet basher-style paint job. To control the beast we used perhaps the best radio available, the Futaba 4PX.
Turning: A monster truck shouldn’t corner very well, but I don’t think the guys at Pro-Line got the memo, the PRO-MT rails hard. On most surfaces the PRO-MT has a slight push when entering corners, but is easy to drive and carries excellent speed through the apex and exit. The uber PL chassis helps keep the weight down low while its shocks and geometry do an excellent job of letting it lean into a corner, without it rolling too much and flipping.
Jumping: 2wd 10th scale MTs are generally good jumpers but the PRO-MT proved exceptional. The PRO-MT makes superb mid-air corrections- a slight tap of the brake brings the nose down a little, full brake slams the nose down hard, while going WFO on the throttle could pull it out of pretty much any endo. The chassis/suspension on the PRO-MT makes take-offs and landings better than anything else in its class. Deep rain ruts that would totally get other trucks in its class squirrelly are relatively ignored by the PRO-MT. Upon landing, not only do the Powerstroke shocks soak up big hits better than its competition, but it can also be landed quite sideways without high-siding. Jumping, in every aspect, is absolutely top notch with the Pro-Line.
Bumps/Whoops: Big tires, long wheelbase, and those wonderful Powerstroke shocks make short work of some pretty gnarly terrain. When comparing the PRO-MT to every other 2wd 10th scale, it is a beast in the rough. At one of our favorite bash spots we found a field that was freshly churned over by a Bobcat. The PRO-MT flew through/over huge dirt clods that would have sent other trucks in its category flipping end-over-end.
On-Road: Hey, it’s a monster truck, you wouldn’t expect it to handle well on pavement would you? Contrary to what you might think, the PRO-MT drives quite well and is a lot of fun when driven on-road. It will traction roll occasionally when turned at high speed, but otherwise it is a blast to drive on-road. It ignores small rocks and road joints, and while it might push a bit when entering corners, it generally handles much better than a monster truck should.
Grass: Thanks to its decent ground clearance and Trencher tires, the PRO-MT rocks in grass. It rarely traction rolls and easily plows through moderately tall green stuff.
Tires: The PRO-MT comes with Pro-Line Trenchers, perhaps the best basher tires that money can buy. Trenchers are a great tire on just about every bashing terrain. They love grass and loamy dirt, while providing good mechanical grip and lasting forever on pavement. They might not offer loads of side-bite, but overall, basher tires just don’t get any better than these.
Broken Parts: We got in more time with the PRO-MT than any other vehicle we’ve ever tested, so needless to say we really put it through the ringer. Not only did we have weeks to drive it, but we also got to drive it in tons of different venues. Also of note, while most vehicles we take it easy for the first few packs, it was just the nature of the PRO-MT to make drivers say “The heck with it!” and just go straight to banzai mode. We drove the PRO-MT like stole it from the first pack on.
In the end we did break several parts. We broke a rear camber rod, we blew a couple spurs after hard rear landings managed to slide the motor, cracked a rear tower, and we even managed to break a rear toe block. However, based on the amount of abuse we put the PRO-MT through, it held up extremely well. We found the PRO-MT to be at least as tough, if not tougher, than the other trucks in its class. You can beat/slam/huck the PRO-MT like a lunatic and 9 times out of 10 it will roll away without breakage.
The Sentinel body kicks ass. It has a tough basher look, is extra thick to last forever, and is beveled in the right spots to keep crash damage to a minimum.
When was the last time anyone raced monster trucks? It’s been while for sure. While we aren’t stoked to race, I can see local racers picking up the PRO-MT as a great “fun” class racer this winter. It drives so well, plus it shares so many parts with the PRO-2 SCT.
We like the partially built kit concept of the PRO-MT. The parts we hate building the most in a “normal” kit, the shocks and tranny, are already done on the PL.
The new driveshafts are the real deal. PL calls them Pro-Spline and we found them to work smoothly while taking an insane amount of abuse without breakage. We chained our PRO-MT to a post and held it WFO on 3S to try and break a driveline part. The result? The power wires going to the Traxxas battery connector came unsoldered about 2 minutes in, with zero breakage on the PRO-MT.
We have taco’ed out a PL chassis or two in the past, but our PRO-MT is still straight and true.
We are big fans of the servo saver. It actually works properly, not the case with many of its design.
The suspension was exceptionally smooth with a nice progressive feel.
We found that both bumpers can take a lick and keep on ticking, good designing there.
While the earlier model Pro-Line PRO-2 SCT had plastic that was too soft in certain areas, the plastic quality on our PRO-MT seemed better.
A couple of our reviewers would have preferred the truck come completely RTR. These are the types of people that put convenience above all else. However, both of the people who wanted the PRO-MT to come RTR had a change of heart once they got to pull trigger. They suddenly appreciated how much performance can be had by installing premium electronics over low-end RTR gear.
The tall plastic chassis side guards not only help keep a lot of dirt/grass out of the truck, but also help give it a proper appearance. There are other trucks in the 2wd MT class that look ridiculous with a huge gap between the chassis and body.
We found the electronics that we selected performed exceptionally well in the PRO-MT. The Castle system on MaxAmps batteries provided wayyyy more power than we could use, while the Savox servo and Futaba 4PX were buttery smooth and always kept the truck pointed in the right direction.
Best Mod: Ya know, it’s hard to come up with a best mod when the entire truck is made from hop-up parts. Truth is, your best time/money is spent fine tuning the stock parts, not breaking the bank on hop-ups it does not need.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: A With several of its larger components already assembled, the PRO-MT takes less than half the time of a normal kit to build.
Workability: A The well laid out chassis and high quality hex hardware make the PRO-MT a pleasure to spin wrenches on.
Car Show Rating: A Combine the new Sentinel body with the murdered out F-11 wheels and the genuine Trencher tires, and they just don’t come any better looking than the PRO-MT.
Bash-A-Bility: B The PRO-MT is one tough customer. Yes, we managed to break a few parts, but only after some heavy duty bashing.
Fun Factor: A Simply put, we had more fun with the PRO-MT than any 2wd we’ve ever tested. The 2wd MT platform is a great one for bashing and it was perfectly executed by Pro-Line.
Handling: A The PRO-MT is hands down the best handling truck in its class. It turns better, it jumps better, it simply handles everything better.
Value: A Various staff members fought over the value score of the PRO-MT, but in the end we determined that the overall package is a bargain at $389.
Parts Availability: C Nope, you will not find Pro-Line truck parts on the pegs at many local hobby shops. Thankfully you won’t need them very often and when you do they are readily available on-line.
BigSquid Rating: A- The Pro-Line PRO-MT is the best truck in its class and the best 2wd we’ve ever tested. That’s a big statement for sure, but we simply have not tested another 2wd that handles as well, is as tough, or was more fun to drive than the PRO-MT. The PRO-MT delivers an unprecedented amount of both durability and driveability, setting a brand new bar for “King of the 2WD Bashing Hill”. If you are a hardcore basher who appreciates quality and performance, the PRO-MT is a must buy.