RC DRIVING BASICS
TEX T & PHO TOS BY PETER VIEIRA
The controls of an RC car are deceptively simple: You steer with the steering wheel,
squeeze the trigger to apply throttle, and push the trigger up for the brake. Actually
controlling the car with precision takes a little practice—and restraint. We know
you’re dying to mash the trigger and shoot for that 50mph top speed you saw on the
box, but if you take the time to learn the essentials of driving an RC car, you’ll have a
lot more fun (and break a lot less stuff).
USING PROPORTIONAL CONTROL
Many toy-grade RC cars have non-proportional controls; the car steers full right, straight, or full left, and the
throttle is on/o; or has a very narrow range of control between stopped and full throttle. Hobby-grade RC
vehicles have fully proportional control, meaning the steering and throttle respond in proportion to the amount
that you turn the steering wheel or pull the throttle trigger. Move the wheel slightly and the car will respond by
turning gently; turn the wheel farther and the car turns more sharply. Likewise, you can move the throttle trigger
slightly to make the car creep along or pull the trigger farther to increase speed. Many first-time drivers go
straight for full throttle and turn the wheel full left and full right, quickly (if not instantly) losing all sense of what
control is making the car do what it’s doing (usually crashing into a curb). Don’t be that guy! Give yourself plenty
of room for your first drive, and make gentle steering and throttle inputs as you get used to the controls.
TRY TRAINING MODE
If you have a Traxxas electric
model, use the speed control’s
Training mode as you learn to drive
your new machine (the details are
in the manual). Training mode will
reduce speed and power by about
half, giving you more time to react
as you train yourself to respond to
the car and reducing the chances
of damaging parts when you crash.
If you’ve got one of the faster
Traxxas models, such as any of the
brushless VXL editions, Training
mode is highly recommended.
Traxxas speed controls can be set for
Training mode via the EZ-Set button.
Turn the wheel farther and the car steers more
sharply. ;e steering system operates in proportion
to the amount the steering wheel moves.
Moving the steering wheel slightly results in the
car’s wheels steering slightly.