Monster Truck Madness – Ultra Mod Class
Hey all, this week’s MTM is coming to you LIVE from my kitchen table, where I’ve been posted up for about oh, I dunno, 3 weeks now.
Before I go on my normal solid axle tangent, first some love for a bashing monster. The crew over at ARRMA have put together a series on the design and development of the Kraton 8S and it is essential viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in rc monster trucks. So yeah, that means you.
You can check out part one here. Kudos to them. In the YouTube age where there is a big audience for this kind of thing, it sure would be nice to see more companies take the approach to these kinds of videos. Hobbyists eat it up!
Ok, now to the matter at hand.
Today I want to talk about a class of solid axle monster truck that’s starting to gain a lot of popularity. The “Ultra Mod” class, as it’s coming to be known.
This type of truck pushes scale to the absolute limit, hence the name which is shorthand for Ultra Scale Modified. The example truck you are seeing throughout this article is the build of my buddy Matthew Mortillo- a beautiful recreation of the early 90’s Excaliber. Freestyle R/C axles and an RC4WD SCS Gearbox are at the heart of the truck.
The NR/CTPA has officially added Ultra Mod to their rulebook as of this month (FYI – click here for the entire rulebook), here is the class description-
Ultra mod was created to give builders a place to put a scale driveshaft truck. Normally a scale truck with a cage and the extra added weight would not be able to compete in pro mod or sport mod due to its top heavy design. The vision for this class is to have builders design a truck that is scale in appearance”
There are several rules that really give the class its uniqueness versus the standard pro/sport mod rules that a majority of clubs use-
Scale chassis is required – The first is that a full tube or faux tube chassis is required. This means that racier style twin vertical plate trucks are outlawed, because usually scale caged trucks are at a disadvantage to them. (EDIT – vertical plates ARE allowed, but the truck must still have a cage. For any additional clarification, please read the rulebook I linked above and contact the NRCTPA).
Trucks must use two shocks at every axle, and shocks must be in a vertical layout mounted directly to the axle – This is a big one because not only does it mean trailing arm style shock set-ups are outlawed (like standard Axial SMT10s or many mod Clod options), but that trucks must also have two at every corner, which resembles the setup of most full size monsters.
Now, hyper scale monster trucks aren’t exactly new. Folks have been building detailed replicas for years. What IS new is that folks are now building them to actually run, race and bash, with rules put in place to allow them to be competitive.
I can’t wait to see this sub-genre of a sub-genre continue to grow in popularity!