Dromida Brushless Monster Truck Review
While brushed ready to runs have good speed, if you want to really up the adrenaline factor it is all about brushless power. Hence the reason that Dromida has released the Brushless version of their popular 1/18th scale Monster Truck. The Dromida comes with a beefy 5300kV brushless system, realistic chevron monster truck tires, and it was designed to be bashed hard. Is it a winner that deserves your cash? Read on to find out…
Review By: Cubby
Photography By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 4wd
Shaft or Belt: Plastic shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Motor: Brushless, 5300kV
Speed Controller: BE 18, 25 amp
Radio: Dromida D100, 2.4GHz
Differential: Front & rear gear diffs
Driveshafts: Plastic bones
Gear Ratio: 10.4:1
Shocks: Plastic bodies and caps, big bore
Servo Saver: On servo output
Tires: Dromida, chevron design
Battery: 6 cell, 1300mAh NiMH
Part Number: #DIDC0058
Warranty: 90 days limited from the date of purchase
Front wheel travel: 1.2″
Rear wheel travel: 1.25″
Wheelie on demand: No
Backflip off ramps: Yes
Stability Control: No
Sound Module: No
Top Speed (measured by BSRC): 30 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC): 10 minutes
Street Price: $149
Primary Competition: There are loads of 18th scalers out there like those from Associated and Helion.
What’s Needed To Complete: Zip, nada, nothing. Everything you need to drive comes right in the box.
Build Quality: After a close inspection, the only build issue that we found was the pinion/spur mesh, which was slightly tight on our test unit.
Test Drivers: Robbie G., Iron Mikeee, T-$$$, and yours truly.
Test Venues: After copious amounts of rain, our normal test venues were mostly under water. Still, we were able to test the Dromida at a pair of local parks as well as the giant parking lot at our local Costco.
Set-up Notes: We tested the truck bone stock. We used the stock battery, stock suspension settings, etc. The only change we made was to skip using the included USB charger in favor of a Duratrax Onyx 260.
Turning: Like most 1/18th scalers, the MT has a lot of steering. On slick surfaces the rear likes to slide around a lot, which can make corning difficult. When you get on a surface with more traction, the truck corners much better. The front tires plant hard at corner entry and stay that way the entire way through the corner. The rear will still sometimes want to slide around, but typically will stay right in line behind the fronts if you are on a high enough traction surface.
Jumping: With loads of power on tap and decent suspension, we found the Dromida to be more than a capable air machine. Corrections are easily made via inputs to the trigger on the transmitter. The suspension is slightly on the soft side, so huge air landings result in hard bottoming, but generally we found the truck to be very well behaved in the air.
Bumps/Whoops: For its size, the Dromida did a solid job in the whoop-de-doos. While a bit softly damped (and sprung), the MT’s big tires and general geometry got it through some nasty terrain better than expected. With all that BL power on tap, we kept on hitting gnarly sections at break neck speed. Typically the truck would make it through fine, but when the going got really rough the rear would step out from time to time after bottoming out.
On-Road: Absolutely, if all you to drive on is pavement, the Dromida will have no problem putting a smile on your face. Our test crew had a blast while on-road bashing the Brushless Monster Truck. It has good power, it turns quite well on higher grip concrete, and it mostly ignored the smaller bumps we encountered.
Grass: 18th scalers are not known for their prowess when driven in grass, but the Dromida did better than expected. Those big chevron tires and hard squirts of brushless power helped it get through shorter grass with ease. Once the grass gets about 3 inches tall the truck begins to have a harder time, so if all you plan on doing is bashing in your backyard, you might want to look at 1/10th scale or larger vehicles.
Tires: We loved the look of the Dromida’s tires, they have a nice old school monster truck appearance and provided loads of forward bite on loamy dirt. They didn’t work so well on pavement or on hard packed dirt, but they showed very little wear, even after loads of driving.
Power: The biggest question we were asked while out testing the Dromida was “How much power does that little thing have???”. The answer is plenty, but driving it is a lot like riding a CBR1000RR. The speedo is programmed for exceptionally soft low end power. From a dead stop you can’t pull a wheelie or even do a lot of roosting. Then the mid-range shows up. The mid-range kicks in like a Missouri mule and it doesn’t stop pulling until the truck runs out of gearing. To boil it down, the Dromida is soft off the bottom, thus making it easy for first time drivers to use, then totally rips through the rest of the rev range. It has more than enough power to make massive jumps or to give you big thrills when making speed runs across a parking lot.
Radio: The Dromida comes with the standard Hobbico 2.4GHz transmitter. The unit has great range and we never experienced a glitch while using it. It comes with a nice foam wheel grip and serrated throttle trigger, but fits larger hands better than smaller ones.
Broken Parts: Oh yes, perhaps the most read part of any of our reviews, the broken parts category. We bounced, jumped, and bashed the Dromida fairly hard. We ended up breaking a couple of the dog-bones that go out the wheels.
We found that our truck was slow to go into reverse at times. Not all the time, just sometimes. Once in reverse there was a slight pause before allowing forward, which is a good thing on the drivetrain.
Not that a lot of people care now days, but the switch on our truck was mounted backwards. What that means is that the truck was “on” when the switch was pushed towards the front of the truck. The downside to this is that when you scrape against something at speed that it might just turn the truck off.
The “manual” is super short and is essentially a quick start guide. When you break something you’ll have to head on-line to find the part number for the part you need to replace.
We experienced nothing but moderate temps on the Dromida’s brushless motor. The highest temp that we shot with our temp gun was 145°F. That was after a full length run on an 85°F day.
The Dromida comes with separate electronics, something that not all 18th scalers have. This is a good thing for when you go to upgrade the radio, servo, or brushless system.
While both bumpers are extremely flexible, they seemed to do a great job of soaking up impacts.
Adjustable camber rods come standard front and rear. Changing camber on the front and rear wheels is a great tuning aid, we were glad to see adjustable links instead of just solid rods. By the way, solid plastic rods are used to go from the steering rack to the front knuckles, but then most noobies won’t be adjusting toe-in/out as much as camber.
There are some 18th scalers on the market that are nearly impossible to drive in a straight line because they have an obscene amount of over-steer. The Brushless Monster Truck is not one of those vehicles. While it does have a lot of steering, you can drive it straight as long as you are soft on the wheel inputs.
Best Mod: This one is easy, as well as inexpensive. We would firm up the front suspension via heavier springs and thicker oil. This will help the truck in corners, over bumps, and on-road.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B The Dromida comes with everything you need to get rock’n right in the box. It didn’t take much time at all to go from the box to the backyard.
Workability: B We liked the layout of the Dromida and found it easy to wrench on. Phillips hardware is standard, we would rather have seen hex, but still, even a noobie will have an easy time wrenching on it.
Car Show Rating: B Our testers loved the stock wheel/tire combo and the body graphics were on point.
Bash-A-Bility: C We ended up breaking a couple of driveshafts on the Dromida, no doubt thanks to all that brushless power sitting under the hood.
Fun Factor: A Yes, the Dromida rips hard, at least once you get past the bottom end. It has more than enough yank on tap for even experienced hobbyists and that is what makes it such a blast to drive.
Handling: B Smaller scale vehicles like the Dromida can have a hard time getting around rougher areas but the Dromida did a solid job for handling.
Value: A The Dromida gives you a big bang-for-the-buck at its $149 price point. It has serious power that does a great job of putting smiles on faces.
Parts Availability: C Many of the parts on the Dromida have been out for quite some time so finding parts on-line is easy. The only downside is that many shops still don’t have parts for the Dromida line on their wall.
BigSquid Rating: B The power-plant in the Dromida Brushless Monster Truck does a great job of upping the truck’s fun factor. Perhaps better still, it has some nice scale inspired looks and is very easy on the wallet.