There is no doubt that Traxxas is best known for their monster trucks. Their latest is the 1/10th scaled Maxx, which is modeled after the beastly large scale X-Maxx. Designed to be the “king of the hill” for tenth scaled monster trucks, the crew at Traxxas spent months on the Maxx dialing it in. How fast is the new Maxx? How does it like jumping? More importantly, just how tough is it? You animals know the drill, what are you waiting for, start scrolling down for all the good stuff…
Review By: Cubby
Photography By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 4wd
Shaft or Belt: Shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Weight: 9.7 lbs
Motor: Velineon 540XL, 2400kV
Speed Controller: Velineon VXL-4s
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: Traxxas TQi w/ TSM
Differential: 3 hardened steel gear style diffs
Driveshafts: Plastic sliders
Overall Drive Ratio: 11.86 (24/50)
Shocks: Enormous aluminum bodies, plastic caps
Servo Saver: In steering rack
Spur/Pinion Pitch: Mod 1
Tires: Traxxas 2.8″ monster truck tread
Battery: Not included
Part Number: #89076-4
Front wheel travel: 2.7″
Rear wheel travel: 2.6″
Wheelie on demand: Oh heck ya!
Backflip off ramps: Absolutely
Stability Control: Yes, Traxxas TSM
Sound Module: No
Top Speed (measured by BSRC on 2S LiPo): 26 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC, 5 minute run, 2S 5000mAh Traxxas LiPo): 2311mAh used
Street Price: $549
What’s Needed To Complete: To get running with the Traxxas you’ll need 4 AA cells for the transmitter, a 2 to 4S LiPo pack for the truck, and a battery charger.
Build Quality: Out of the box we didn’t find any issues with the Maxx. All the screws were tight, the gear mesh was good, the wheel nuts were tight, etc.
Test Drivers: Our Maxx has seen action across a half dozen states and over a dozen different drivers. Our primary testers were Hawaiian Chris, T-$$$, Brian, 3D Bill, and yours truly.
Test Venues: So ya, we hit a bunch of different venues with the Maxx. Testing on the Maxx started in Chicago, then continued at the Rocky Mountain Hobby Expo in Colorado, and we finished up in good ole’ St. Louis MO.
Set-up Notes: Lots and lots of bone stock. We popped some Traxxas AAs into the transmitter and we ran 2, 3, and 4S packs inside the truck. Charging was handled by a Traxxas EZ Peak Live.
Turning: We felt like the Maxx had good turning manners, but its tires don’t supply a lot of side-bite. Not having a ton of side-bite is good for keeping a truck from traction rolling, which can be a problem on some monster trucks. On high bite surfaces for the Maxx like grass, it had no push or slide, it pretty much went where you told it too. However, the Maxx would traction roll at times when trying to turn at speed. On lower bite surfaces (loose dirt, slick concrete), it had plenty of slide. On slick surfaces, dialing in some TSM worked like magic to make the truck easier to drive. Overall, it had some traction rolling when it had a bunch of traction, but generally turned fine.
Jumping: Jumping? Now that is something the Maxx loves to do. Launching off a jump face the Maxx would generally stay nice and flat, but the brakes come in hard and early when tapping them in the air. This means you have to use an easy finger on the brake to just slightly bring the nose down. The shocks on the Maxx are simply enormous which is great for attempting to soak up roof jumps, landing from a big ramp, or when really G-forcing out at speed (think Gravity Cavity at the Unadilla motocross track). The Maxx jumps great, but we would like to see that brake tamed just a bit below half input to make it easier to bring the nose down more gradually.
Bumps/Whoops: We might have had our most fun when aiming at a set of whoops (on 4S of course) and just sending it. The truck certainly never complained with its big tires and shocks. Of course the Maxx only has so much suspension travel (but it has a LOT), so bigger bumps will upset the chassis or cause the rear to hop a bit to the side.
On-Road: We got in a lot of on-road driving with the Maxx. It has the crazy power that you want for speed runs or for back-flipping off curbs. The Maxx is a blast on pavement, but can and will traction roll when turning at speed on higher bite surfaces. Thankfully the Maxx comes with the Traxxas self-righting system, thus saving you from the dreaded walk of shame.
Grass: The Maxx absolutely loved grass. On lower cell counts, the motor stayed fairly cool, which is relatively rare for a big monster truck. Its tires worked like a charm in grass, while its high ground clearance really helped it when driving in taller grass. If driving in grass “is your thing”, you will have an awesome time with the Maxx.
Tires: How about those tires? The rubber compound is fairly hard to ensure that they last a long time. The relatively hard rubber compound also helps to keep the truck from traction rolling. The included foams are quite soft, which can help to get more traction in the slick stuff. The tires totally sport X-Maxx styling and their large lugs work fantastic in grass and on loamy dirt.
Power: How about that power system? The gearing on the Maxx is conservative, which is a good thing. The relatively low gearing helps to ensure it isn’t gear wayyyy too tall when driving on 4S, which means the motor should have no temp issues on lower cell counts. We shot the motor on our Maxx at 120 F when running in grass on 3S, ambient temp was 55.
As far as raw power goes, it has plenty. On 2S the truck tops at just over 25 mph with stock gearing, so you are looking at right around 50 on 4S. The low end is programmed a bit soft, perfect for new drivers, then the mid-range kicks in with authority. The “OMG” power lays up top, where the Maxx seems to keep pulling forever on a long stretch of pavement.
Radio: The included TQi is programmed with Traxxas TSM electronic stability management, as well as self-righting. Both of those features are fantastic to have when bashing. As far as the ergonomics went, a couple of people just were not big fans, but the majority of people we handed it off to had no issues. Range was insane and we experienced no glitching issues.
Broken Parts: Our Maxx has seen a hard life. From landing to concrete for two days at the Rocky Mountain Hobby Expo, to just pinning it WFO over the gnarliest ground we could find (a broken up concrete pile), our Maxx is still in one piece. However, all those hard hits took their toll on our test truck’s steering servo. After slamming into a railroad tie, the stock servo gave up the ghost. To really boil it down, we RARELY give a truck an “A” for durability, but the Maxx earned it the hard way.
We loved the self-righting on the X-Maxx, so we were stoked to see it on the Maxx. The Maxx doesn’t have nearly the rotating mass of an X-Maxx, so it works on 3S, but works much better on 4 in real world conditions.
To ensure you aren’t burning any pinion or spur gears, the Maxx comes stock with Mod 1 gears. That size is common in 1/8th scale, not so much on a tenth scaler. Very nice!
Our review Maxx came with perhaps the coolest LED light package ever. The LED lighting is insanely bright and comes with properly working brake and reverse lights! Pretty dern trick. You are going to want to pick this light kit up! (High-output Light Kit #8990)
The Maxx uses the same giant servo out of the X-Maxx!!! Yes, it had more than enough torque to easily swing the front tires lock-to-lock on carpet.
We could not find one body clip on the Maxx, Hooray! Can you tell we hate body clips?
The stock wheelie bar works well, no immediate need for an upgrade there.
Best Mod: We are totally going with tires here. Slap on your favorite set of Pro-Line tires to gain loads of grip.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B Pretty standard fare for an RTR- pop in four AA batteries and a LiPo, and you are ready to send it.
Workability: B We found the modular design of the Maxx easy to work on. It has a nice open layout to go along with metric/hex hardware.
Car Show Rating: B With a nicely done wheel/tire combo and sharp graphics on the body, our review crew liked the looks on the Maxx.
Bash-A-Bility: A For a 1/10th scaler, the Traxxas Maxx has some huge parts on it. The shocks are enormous, just like its driveshafts, and we can’t forget it comes with the same servo as its bigger X-Maxx brother. We RARELY award an “A” in this category, but during our test period our Maxx held up like a tank. Props, nicely done Traxxas.
Fun Factor: A Part tank, part monster machine, we don’t know how you can NOT have fun with the Maxx.
Handling: B The handling on the Maxx isn’t perfect, nor is it bad. The Maxx loves big jumps, giant whoops, and going balls out over rough terrain.
Value: B Cutting a check for over $500 for a 1/10th scaler is no joke, but the Maxx comes with the very latest in design tech and electronic goodies.
Parts Availability: N/A As the Maxx has not officially hit the market yet, we will hold off a couple weeks to make a judgement on parts support. However, being a Traxxas, we expect parts support to be top notch once they start hitting stores.
BigSquid Rating: A- If you are looking for a new 10th scale bash machine, the Traxxas Maxx should be at the top of the list. BigSquidRC is all about Bashing and the Maxx is perhaps the best 10th scale monster truck that we have ever reviewed. If you bash hard, the Maxx deserves a place in your rc garage.