Over Memorial Day weekend, we lent out our demo TRX-4 to Matt Bedtelyon of RC4X4, a manufacturer of crawler links here in Mid-Michigan. As we don't have anyone on staff that is into crawling, getting Matt's perspective was crucial to understanding Traxxas' new platform well enough to sell it. What follows are Matt's thoughts and words after his extended weekend with Traxxas' new TRX-4 crawler (which he refers to as the "Defender", given its Land Rover body):
I was fortunate to acquire the all new Traxxas TRX4 platform for a demo run this weekend. I was honestly excited to try out features that were new to the crawler world. There is and was a lot of hype about features on the TRX4, pros and cons. There are some obvious conclusions to be made, but let me start with the “first time out.”
For the first drive I decided to let my father-in-law drive it, it was his first r/c adventure. A quick run down of the transmitter and we were off. The lockers in the differentials are operated by a toggle on the radio, very strait forward (sic). There are three diff selections: open diffs, front locked, and both locked. We went out on the trails, which had a variety of obstacles such as rocks, dirt, logs and roots. The two speed transmission shifts smoothly, even while moving. The grippy tires performed well on the various surfaces. My father-in-law took to the Defender quickly and was an impressive first timer. The portal axles were probably the most impressive part of the TRX4. The ground clearance makes a big difference compared to a standard crawler axle. The Defender made it in normally high centered situations that my highly modded crawler would not. The steering turns at 45 degrees (if you have ever had less, you know that 45 degrees of steering is very nice.)
This truck really shines bright as a trail rig, it is a good platform for the first timer and a good fit for the veteran crawler looking for a new option. The TRX4 was passed around, and I have to say we were all impressed with the abilities of this RTR. Is it the perfect crawler? Of course not. Is it the perfect scaler? Nope, but it is the best of both worlds. The detailed body was noticeably top heavy in some situations and the back of the Defender did get hung up a few times, but that is the trade off. The body is scale and looks great. Its (sic) hard not to appreciate all the scale items that would normally be optional. Features such as a two speed transmission would cost extra in other brands.
This rig is loaded with options that the new and old crawler crowd will appreciate. I can’t wait to see what the crawler world will do with this rig. It has great potential and I’m sure we will see many new upgrades and new bodies to come from Traxxas—if it’s anything like what we have seen from them in the past. The price came in at $449.99, which with all the things you get in this RTR, such as metal gear steering servo, 2-speed transmission, and waterproof 3s capable electronics......it is a great value!
Thanks to Matt, we have a much better understanding of where this truck fits within the crowded market that is the crawling ecosystem. We've already sold-out of our first shipment of trucks, but more are on the way, so before long we'll have more of this popular crawler on the shelf.
Thanks, Matt, for your time and assistance!
If you're in need of some new links for your Axial crawler, stop by and check out RC4X4's high-quality, stainless steel links. They look great, and better yet, work great. They won't look terrible after a day on the rocks, and hold up to tremendous punishment. We carry a handful ofsets on the shelf, and if we don't have a set for your truck, we'll be happy to get some from Matt quickly!