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For those of you who pay attention to such things, Trigger King RC has some really impressive, old-school monster truck racing going on. Virtually all the classes are made up of trucks based on only two chassis, the venerable Tamiya Clod Buster and the shafty Axial SMT10. One truck has been fairly absent, the Tamiya TXT series. Many of the classes have trucks that seem to prize realism in their builds and to me, the TXT2 is the most recent, most realistic modern monster truck in RC (not to mention the earlier TXT1 and Juggernaut trucks). Why didn't the TXT2 take off in this area? While Clods do emulate older trucks in stockish form they grow more unrealistic as they move into pro-mod territory (in which they still seem to be the dominant truck).

The SMT10 is a descent shaft driven truck on the surface but seems littered with smaller flaws that gradually add up. The chassis looks great, but the wheelbase is entirely too long. The tires are too small for most taste, but the AR60 axles aren't quite suited to the Clod tires everyone seems to install on them. The axles seem to need a variety of add-ons to make them hold up and even so, are still stuck with less-realistic offset pumpkins. 

The TXT2 has a realistic chassis and realistic axles built to handle Clod sized rubber from the get-go. I realize Tamiya blew it with the stock tires and wheels but overall the truck makes a convincing Bigfoot 18. While they might not suited to doing some of the amazing things I've seen pro-mod Clods do, I always felt they'd well suited to some of the lower classes and look very realistic doing it.

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Yup love me some trigger king. I made copies of the ramps in lockdown but went back to work before I could get them tested properly. 

As for the txt I’ve the same feeling but the truck is rarer and less robust than the clod when you start modding it from what I understand. The upper 4link mounts are a week spot I think and the C bracket on the axles are prone to needing reinforcements too if ya go hard. 
 

Ive not driven a txt or jugg yet despite having two jugs to put together and I’m in the process of getting parts for a txt together too for the scale appearance.

I’m not a fan of the smt10 as it seems it’s as big a money pit as a clod with more to go wrong but I’ve never had one so can’t really vouch for that.

 

Clod is simple and cheap(to repair). I expect that’ll be why. Despite being expensive to do, by the time you do a SMT10 right, ya may as well have bought a mod clod, I’d bet it’d be cheaper. 

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I've never broken mine on 14.4v twin 550 power or 8.4v twin 15T 540 power aside from stripping a few rod ends. My main issue has been wear in axle gears. Others have broken the stat shaft in the diff at times too. They do have some weight behind them so I can see them being more breakage prone over a Clod based truck particularly in the areas you mentioned. I could see them in the Sport Mod class if they'd taken off and Tamiya kept parts supply flowing. A Juggernaut is practically made for the Outlaw Retro class.

I want to like the SMT10. I'm glad they reintroduced an improved version along with a kit, but like you said, they are a money pit. Even with the kit, by the time you add beef tubes, better gears, shafts, hubs, etc, plus fix the wheelbase, plus buy wheels and tires, plus a body, plus electronics, the bill get pretty big.

There's a bunch of other shaft trucks that don't seem to get recognition too. CEN has the HL150. MST has the MTX-1. I think HPI still makes the Wheelie King, which was once pretty popular. Probably the less said about the Redcat Ground Pounder, the better.

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The pounder has a cool looking chassis but that’s about it. I fancied the mtx and the cen but they don’t really exist in the uk so I just went with readily available Tamiya and saved a fortune by making my own chassis. Didn’t fancy an import charge on a us chassis. 
 

I was really expecting the SMT to be a better rig but you basically upgrade everything except the chassis plates and then it’s more expense to repair if you do break(or bend) the metal upgraded parts. The clods a funny one with the reverse motor which goes in the SMT10s favour as well.
 

Hopefully the updated SMT10 will be a lot better but like you I’m not optimistic. Axial need to design axles for the purpose of giant wheels. They could do it easily. 
 

The other one I’d really like to try would be a kyosho mad/twin force/crusher fo-xx or whatever-it’s-called-this-week based truck. I’d try that over an smt10 every day. 

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Also from what I've seen the TXT does not have much aftermarket support which is a huge downfall whrm compared to the clod and SMT10 which have an almost infinite aftermarket.

3 hours ago, ad456 said:

Hopefully the updated SMT10 will be a lot better but like you I’m not optimistic. Axial need to design axles for the purpose of giant wheels. They could do it easily. 

The only new parts are chubs and knuckles if I remember correctly. So you still have all the other weaknesses of the SMT10.  

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True. There were aftermarket parts for the original TXT-1 but a lot of that seemed to have dried up by the time the TXT-2 came out. I remember the TXT-1 being fairly popular but not so much the TXT-2. Axial did put some decent improvements into the RTR at a lower price. The electronics have all been upgraded and it actually has some speed with a 12T motor on board. They also gave transmission metal gears which the kit also got. Unfortunately, for me, it all comes back to the axles. Just adding beef tubes to strengthen the housings and good machined axle gears (as opposed to the stock cast zinc pieces) tacks $130 onto the the trucks price. The one I've seen wheelbase shortening kit run $135 (it does look to be of great quality though). The 2.2 tries/wheels are throwaways for most that want Clod sized tires.

I guess, in the end, the trick would be for a manufacturer to come out with a durable, brushless-ready truck that could be used right out of the box. Honestly, the manufacturer I'm looking sharply at here is Traxxas. Love them or hate them, they could do it.

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To me the TXT-2 was a failure due to the wheels. Great as it may handle with them it screamed out for clod sized wheels. It’s what everyone buying a solid axle truck that size wants I think. It’s a solid truck as far as I’ve seen but those wheels!
 

Traxxas are indeed the ones without a hat in the ring at the moment. They have a terrible habit of creating their own standards but definitely have the skills and coverage to make a huge success of it regardless. I’ve used tons of their parts on my modified clods because they cope with it easily.
Traxxas would have a big price tag too I’d bet.  

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With the txt-1 wheels discontinued I think it'll just get scarcer. After feedback by others in the forum, I picked up some adapters from rc_loverr on eBay to mount clod wheels.

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I imagine Jconcepts Tribute wheels would fit as well, which also give you the choice of 3 different offsets. Not as affordable as TXT wheels used to be though. The adapter route is probably more cost-effective.

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