For Bashers, By Bashers!

Monster Truck Madness – Advice for your first r/c monster truck race

Hey everyone, happy Thursday!

The picture above is a group shot from the kick-off event of the 2024 Trigger King R/C Monster Truck Racing Series that was held last weekend in Waterloo, IL- we had a blast!

It was great seeing a bunch of old hands and newbies alike. Seeing a fresh crop of monster truck racing noobs along with the forthcoming e-mail got me wanting to write a basic advice guide for the prospective solid axle racer-

Hey Doug,

I read most all of your articles on Big Squid RC! I live in Missouri, and my retirement hobby is one from my youth; RC monster trucks. I’m very much interested in running my latest creation at the Team Bigfoot Open House, on June 15th, in Pacific Missouri. My family and I often come to the event anyway, so why not? My truck would be in the Pro Mod class, and that’s okay, because my truck and I… we’re ready 🙂

Any information or advice you would be willing to share would be greatly appreciated. Here’s a few pictures of my angry gorilla; Airborne Ranger, named after my long and storied military career. Let me know what you think sir. Thank you in advance,

Michael R.

Thank you for the e-mail and for your service, Michael! Good looking monster- here’s a pic he sent me.

Coming out to race at the BIGFOOT 4×4 Open House is a fantastic opportunity for a first timer because the day is much lighter and fast paced than a typical stand-alone r/c event day. (For those wondering, BIGFOOT Open House is Saturday June 15th, in Pacific, MO, and I’ll provide more r/c event info for it as the date comes closer.) As someone who’s raced pretty much all types of r/c vehicles and exclusively raced monsters for the last 10 years, here’s some advice for the potential noob-

You WILL be nervous, and that’s ok!

The first time anyone races, they are going to be nervous. In typical r/c racing, race heats are 4 minutes or longer. This means that there is ample time for nerves to be worked through and someone can eventually get into a groove and slowly shake off the butterflies.

Traditional r/c monster truck racing, held in short heads-up mano-a-mano fashion is a razor’s edge, thrilling type of thing. Races are typically VERY short. A long track layout can be 30 seconds, whereas many will be in the 10-15 second range. This means that there is not much time at all to find a rhythm, and your nerves can cause you to short circuit in all kinds of ways, fast. This is normal! It’s why so many love this type of racing- anyone can win at anytime!

If you decide to stick with it, your nerves will calm down and you can concentrate on the job at hand. It’s very tough when starting out though. My advice is focus on taking a few deep breaths when your truck is staged, focus only on your lane, and try to run as smooth as possible (NOT fast as possible). This technique will allow you to mentally settle down and gradually get faster!

Drive your truck to the starting line!

You know how I mentioned the nerves, thing? I’ve seen noobies carry their trucks to the starting line and set them down…only to realize they never turned the switch to “on” when the light turns green. If you can’t drive it to the line, at least give it a couple throttle whacks in the pit area to ensure you have the juice flowing!

Locked differentials are very bad for racing!

I have seen various folks bring their locked diff trucks to a race, and it causes NOTHING but problems. These are usually Axial AR60 based axles that most likely came out of crawlers. Locked differential monster trucks can be fun for bashing, as they can sometimes be better for wild stunts….but they are atrocious for racing, so be warned!

Ask questions, most are happy to talk shop and help a newbie!

This is my last piece of advice- be sure to talk to your fellow monster truck racers. Most racers are happy to share set-up or running tips, as we were all in your spot once. Solid axle monsters can be complicated, unique machines that have A LOT of variables, so ask! Most of us are very proud of our trucks, and love discussing them.

I hope that helps! Solid axle monster truck racing is my favorite part of the hobby and I hope you try it!


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Posted by in Monster Truck Madness on Friday, April 19th, 2024 at 2:14 pm