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Short Course R/C Trucks Buyer's Guide

RC Trucks > Short Course SCT

Photos, videos and reviews to choosing the best short course truck from Traxxas, Losi, Associated, HPI, Kyosho and more. Price, speed and model comparison makes it easy for you to buy. Data analyzed from forums, manufacturer websites and online hobby shops.

Contents

Buyer's Guide

Best 1/10 Short Course Truck

Short Course RC Truck Racing

Best Bodies

Tires

Wheels

550 Brushless Motors

Buy Online

RC Trucks Short Course Guide
Photo: Associated SC10 4x4 vs. Losi TEN-SCTE.

Which RC Short Course Truck Should You Get

Decide first whether you want electric, nitro or gasoline powered. Then whether 2wd or 4wd. And finally what scale size you prefer. Below matrix helps narrow down your choices.

Short Course RC Truck Associated SC10 FT 2wd

Photo: Popular is the Team Associated SC10 Factory Team 1:10 scale electric 2wd off road race truck kit with sale price of around $259.

Engine 2wd 4WD
Electric  
1/10

Traxxas Slash
Traxxas Slash 2wd Chad Hord edition
Traxxas Slash 2wd Kyle Busch edition
HPI Blitz
HPI Waterproof Blitz RTR
HPI Blitz ESE Pro Flux SC kit
Associated SC10 Factory Team
Losi XXX-SCT
Losi XXX-SCT rolling chassis
Losi XXX-SCT Rockstar & Stronghold RTRs
Losi Strike
Losi Desert Truck
Durango DESC210R
Kyosho Ultima SC
Kyosho Ultima SC-R SP Edition
Team C TS2
DuraTrax Evader Desert Truck
ECX Torment
Racers Edge Pro 2 RTR
Robitronic Smasher
TQ Racing SX10 SC RTR
Venom Gambler

1/5
HPI Super 5SC Flux RTR

Mini
1/16 Losi Mini SCT
1/16 Losi Mini Stronghold
1/16 Losi Rockstar Mini
 
1/10
Traxxas Slash 4X4
Associated SC10 4x4
Associated SC10 4×4 RTR
Associated SC10 4×4 factory team
Losi Ten-SCTE 4wd
Losi Ten-SCTE RTR 4WD
LRP S10 Blast SC
Durango DESC410R
Jammin SCRT-10
OFNA Hyper 10sc
OFNA Nexx10sc 4wd SC

1/8
1/8 Associated SC8e
1/8 HPI Apache SC
1/8 HPI Apache SC Flux

Mini
1/16 Traxxas Slash
1/18 Associated SC18
1/18 Associated SC18 Brushless 4x4
1/18 DuraTrax Vendetta SC
1/24 Losi Micro SCT
Nitro 1/10
Associated SC10GT RTR
 
1/10

Traxxas Slayer
Traxxas Slayer Pro 4x4
Slayer 3.3
Hong Nor SCRT10 Nitro RTR
Kyosho DRT

1/8
1/8 Associated SC8
1/8 Robitronics BR50
 
Gasoline  
1/5

HPI Baja 5SC SS
HPI Baja 5SC SS29
MCD W5
 
1/5
Losi 5ive-T
Matrix5-SC

Short Course RC Truck Losi XXX SCT 2wd

Photo: The 1/10 scale ready to run Losi XXX-SCT short course truck can be bought for around $199 inclusive of a radio system. Needs only batteries to complete.

Electric - This is the most popular. Easy to maintain. Simply charge the batteries and run. For 2-wheel drive, typical motors are the 540 size (brushed and brushless). For 4-wheel drive, bigger 550 sized brushless electric motors are the standard. 

Short Course RC Truck HPI Blitz RTR 2wd

Photo: The 1/10 HPI Blitz RTR 2wd comes complete with 2.4GHz radio system, waterproof electronics, 15T brushed motor and 7.2v battery pack at a sale price of around $249.

Below are 2wd short course trucks racing inside a mall.

Nitro - For those who love nitro. Very realistic but requires more maintenance and engine tuning skills. These use special nitromethane/methanol rc car fuel designed for nitro engines. Run times of 5 - 8 minutes on a single tank of fuel. 

Short Course Nitro RC Trucks Associated SC10GT 2wd

Photo: Associated SC10GT is a 1:10 scale ready to run 2wd nitro powered off road race truck. Sale price is around $369 inclusive of .18X pull start engine, tuned exhaust and 2.4GHz radio controller.

Below is video of the 1/10 Associated SC10GT.

Gasoline - Typically the larger 1/5 scale short course trucks. Uses regular gasoline mixed with 2T oil. Run times of 30 minutes on a single tank are common. Below is the popular HPI 5SC.

1/5 Gas Powered Short Course Truck - HPI 5SC

Short Course RC Truck HPI 5SC Super Sport

Photo above: The 1/5th scale HPI Baja 5SC 2wd comes with a 26cc or 29cc gasoline engine. Speeds up to 40+mph. Kit sells for around $1,199USD.

Losi 5ive-T Gas Powered Truck

Above: The 1/5 Losi 5ive-T is 4WD and powered by a 26cc gasoline engine. Does not include a radio controller. Street price of around $1,599USD.

2wd - These are the original short course trucks. Advantage is easy maintenance and less complicated drivetrain. On high grip track these are fun and easy to drive. But on slippery surface they can easily spin out.

Short Course RC Truck Traxxas Slash Chad Hord Edition

Photo: The originator of the short course class. The 1/10 Traxxas Slash Chad Hord Edition is fully assembled and ready-to-race with a street price of around $274USD.

4WD - Fast becoming popular. Four wheel drive have more grip and are easier to drive. Generally faster than 2wd models.

Short Course RC Truck Traxxas Slash 4x4

Photo: 1/10 Traxxas Slash 4x4 Mike Jenkins Edition is RTR with a TQi 2.4GHz radio, waterproof VXL esc and brushless Velineon 3500 motor for only $369USD.

Below is a video of 4wd SCT racing in a big off-road track.

Scale Size - By far the most popular are 1:10th scale.

What is the Best 1/10 RC Short Course Truck?

The class originally started with the 1/10 Traxxas Slash 2wd back in 2009. If you are looking to bash around and need high ground clearance, then Traxxas is very good for that. 

Traxxas Slash RC Truck

Photo: What started it all. The 1/10 Traxxas Slash.

But if you are looking to race then the Associated SC10, Losi Strike, HPI Blitz, Kyosho Ultima SCR, Team C TS2, and Durango DESC210R would be a better choice. Comparison of 2wd short course trucks.

Here are the poll results from RCShortcourse.com on the question "What 2WD Short Course Truck do you race?"

  1. HPI Blitz (43.65%)
  2. Associated SC10 (41.99%)
  3. Traxxas Slash (25.41%)
  4. Losi Strike (5.52%)
  5. Kyosho Ultima SC (2.76)
Team Associated SC10 Race Spec

Kyosho Ultima SC 2wd Readyset

Photo: The Kyosho Ultima SC is a 1:10 scale radio controlled electric powered 2wd short course truck which can be bought for around $174USD inclusive of a Perfex radio system, esc and brushed motor. You only need to buy a 7.2v battery pack and 8-AA batteries to complete.

2WD Short Course RC Trucks Price and Speed Comparison

Table above: Estimated price and speeds of 1/10 electric 2WD short course trucks.

And if you are looking for more speed, try the 4wd short course trucks. Best choices are the Associated SC10 4x4, Durango DESC410R, Kyosho DRT, Losi TEN-SCTE, OFNA NEXX 10SC, Jammin SCRT10 and Traxxas Slash 4x4.

1/10 Lost TEN-SCTE RTR 4WD

Photo: The 1/10 Losi TEN-SCTE 4WD RTR comes with a Spektrum DX3E radio and 550-sized four-pole 2800kv brushless motor. Estimated sale price of $519USD.

4wd Short Course RC Trucks Comparison

Table above: Comparison of popular 1/10th electric 4-wheel drive SCT. Price and speed are estimated.

Short Course R/C Truck Racing

Here are exciting photos and videos of racing events held inside malls and on big outdoor dirt r/c tracks. Plus tips on what bodies, tires and motors to use to help you win races.

4WD RC Trucks Short Course Racing

Photo: 4x4 short course rc trucks take the grid at the start of a race.

If you are on a budget, start racing with 2wd. If you are looking into 4wd SCT racing, things to consider are that the motor/esc combo are usually expensive and lipo batteries prone to bloating due to huge power consumption.

Associated SC10 vs. Losi TEN-SCTE - 4wd short course radio control truck racing held in Circulo Verde off-road track with guest racer Scotty Ernst.

4x4 RC Trucks Short Course - Photos and video of 4 wheel drive SCTs racing in a big outdoor dirt track.

Short Course 2wd - Racing inside Tiendesitas Mall on a temporary carpet track with jumps. Traxxas Slash, Associated SC10 and HPI Blitz battling it out.

Short Course RC Bodies

The main concern is the "parachute" effect. This is when a short course truck takes a big jump and air trapped underneath the body causes instability. Makes landing inconsistent and often leading to a crash.

Best Short Course RC Body - ProLine Flow Tek Chevy 1500

Above: The Proline Flow-Tek Chevy 1500 was voted as the best short course truck body on RCTech.net.

To minimize the parachute effect, companies now sell better bodies for racing. Here are Top 5 results of the most durable and best handling short course body on RCTech.net.

  1. Proline Flow-Tek Body/Chevy 1500 Flow-Tek Body (25.68%)
  2. JCONCEPTS Ford Raptor SVT-R/X-Flow (16.39%)
  3. JCONCEPTS Illuzion High Flow SCT Body (13.94%)
  4. AE SC10 09' Champ/SC10 Contendor Body (19.71%)
  5. Proline Ford F-150 Raptor SVT Body (10.06%)

New Releases:

Associated SC10 Contender
Associated Slick Mist SC body
HPI Skorpion SC body shell
JConcepts 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 SCT body
JConcepts Illuzion Hi-Flow
JConcepts Ford Raptor SVT X-Flow
JConcepts OSFM Manta V2
JConcepts Truth V2
Method RC Hellcat Type R SC body
Pro-Line Chevy Silverado 1500 Pro-2
Pro-Line VW Baja Bug
Pro-Line Flo-Tek SC
Pro-Line Flo-Tek Ford F-150 Raptor SVT
Pro-Line Toyota Tundra body
TLR Hi-Performance SCT body

RC Short Course Tires

When 2wd short course first started, racing was with the kit tires. These were usually very hard. Lasted a long time but grip was bad. It was only a matter of time before companies started selling softer compound tires with various tread patterns for low grip (e.g. dusty) and high grip (e.g. blue groove) surfaces. Temperature is also a factor in tire selection.

AKA Short Course Tire Application Chart
Chart: AKA short course tire grip chart to help you choose the right tires for your track surface and temperature.

Pro-Line Tire Compound Colored Dot Chart

Chart: Pro-Line tire compound colored chart. They have short course tires for racing, all terrain, sand and street surface.

New Releases:

AKA SC10 4×4 pre-mounts
AKA Rebar SC tyre
AKA R-Line SC pre-mount series
AKA R-Line SC tires with red insert
dBoots Nanobyte tyre
Duratrax performance Short Course tyres
Fastrax BullsEye
JConcepts Double Dees SC in Gold compound
JConcepts Pressure Points SC tires
JConcepts SCT Bar Codes tires
JConcepts pre-mounts on +3mm Hazard wheels
Pro-Line Badlands SC & Blockade SC tires
Pro-Line Blockade SC
Pro-Line Caliber 2.0 SC M2
Pro-Line Gladiator SC 2.2″/3.0″
Pro-Line Hole Shot SC 2.0 & pre mount
PL Hole Shot 2.0 & Blockade tires pre-mounted on Renegade Black wheels
Pro-Line Tazer SC 2.2/3.0″ tires
Schumacher Mini Spike & Mini Pin SC tires

Wheels

When buying wheels consider the width, depth and offset. Basic recommendation is to buy a wheel designed for your specific short course truck. There are also bead lock wheels that help secure tires more firmly on the rim but are heavier than regular wheels.

Also make sure the wheel is designed for the tire you will be mounting. There are many differences in tire and wheel design making some combinations incompatible.

New releases:

AKA Cyclone SC wheels
Avid 12mm hex Sabertooth SC wheel
DE Racing DESC410R Trinidad wheels
DE Racing wide track Trinidad wheel
DE Racing Trinidad fluorescent yellow SC Wheels
DE Racing Trinidad wheels for SC10 4×4
DE Racing silver & white Ten SCTE Trinidad wheels
Durango DESC410R SC wheels in white
HPI Baja SC TR-10 chrome wheels
HPI V2 short course wheels
JConcepts +3mm Hazard 12mm hex wheel
JConcepts Rulux wheels for Losi SCT-E
JConcepts Rulux wheel for SC10 & XXX-SCT
JConcepts Tense wheels for Slash 2wd
Pro-Line ProTrac Bead-Loc wheels
Pro-Line F-11 SC wheels
Pro-Line ProTrac Renegade 2.2”/3.0” Bead-Loc wheels
RPM Revolver SC wheels

550-sized Brushless Electric Motors

For 1/10 electric 4x4 short course trucks, more powerful and bigger motors are used. These trucks weigh over 6 lbs and need strong motors, batteries and electronic speed controllers for racing.

Mamba Max Pro SCT Combo

Photo: The Mamba Max Pro SCT with Neu Castle brushless motor sells for around $229USD.

New releases:

LRP Vector X12L SC 550 5.0T motor ($149)
Mamba Max Pro SCT edition
Novak Ballistic 550 Hi-Torque 4.5T
Orion Vortex VST SC 550
Reedy 550-SL brushless motors
Reedy Sonic 550 BL
Tekin Pro4 brushless motors ($134)
Trinity 550 Short Course 6.5t Brushless Motor, 3500kv ($59)
Viper VST XL 550

Hope this guide has helped give you an overview of the world of short course r/c trucks.

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Where to Buy Short Course RC Cars and Trucks

At your local hobby shop or try the rc store page.

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Additional Resources

Short Course Radio Control Trucks - Table comparing kits by brand, power, scale, drive, speed and price. If you are looking to buy this would be a good reference.

 

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