Best RC Semi-Trucks

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Semi-trucks are an unofficial American icon. They are what folks envisage when they think of heavy haulage on the great, straight routes of the US continent. There are none of these humongous trucks that the RC world can’t replicate.

In this guide, we take a look at the best RC semi-trucks that you can buy.

Budget
Best-budget-RC-Semi-Truck
Continental Semi Truck
4.5/5.0
2.25 lbs.
Model type RTR
Has semi cab & flatbed trailer. Includes a full load of cars.
Check Amazon
Best Value
Best-value-RC-Semi-Truck
Benz RC Tow Semi Truck
4.7/5.0
5.85 lbs.
Model type RTR
Good range, decent running time, and realistic sound effects.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
Top-value-RC-Semi-Truck
King Hauler Semi Truck
4.8/5.0
7.7 lbs.
Model type assembly kit
Solid axle suspension, 3-speed gearbox, incredible sound effects.
Check Amazon

Something is fascinating about big and mean-looking tractor trailers. Find any kid where an 18-wheeler beast doesn’t captivate their imagination. There are models in my lineup of RC semi-trucks to suit everyone at any age, and at all budgets.






The table below shows the order of my RC semi-trucks as they appear in this guide. The first three are the best budget, best value, and the top pick. The remaining models are in price order with the least expensive first. Enjoy the reviews.

Best RC Semi Trucks Comparison Table

Make and ModelScaleTypePrice
Continental Powerful Semi Truck Carrier1/24 ScaleReady-to-RunCheck Price
DOUBLE E Mercedes-Benz RC Tow Semi Truck1/20 ScaleReady-to-RunCheck Price
Tamiya King Hauler Semi Truck (Kit)1/14 ScaleAssembly KitCheck Price
2.4Ghz RC Blue Semi Truck with TrailerNot SpecifiedReady-to-RunCheck Price
Camel Jungle Express 12 Wheel Semi-Trailer1/36 ScaleReady-to-RunCheck Price
Earthquake 3.5cc 2-Speed Nitro Semi Truck1/8 ScaleAlmost RTRCheck Price
Tamiya R/C Freightliner Cascadia (Kit)1/14 ScaleAssembly KitCheck Price

1. Continental Semi Truck Carrier

Continental Semi Truck CarrierView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

This is a brilliant low-budget RC semi-truck carrier. It offers plenty for young minds to enjoy.

  • Best feature 1: Fully- maneuverable model
  • Best feature 2: Includes a full load
  • Plus points: Includes 27 MHz remote-controlled (RC), semi cab w/ flatbed trailer
  • Minus points: No batteries included, easy to break

There’s not much to write about this toy RC model other than it does exactly what it says on the box. It’s a fully functional toy that moves forward/backward, turns left and right, and stops on demand. The vehicle comes fully equipped with a cargo of cars ready to deliver.

It’s nifty for a toy semi-truck. Quick moving vehicles are always a fascination with kids. There aren’t many Continental Semi Truck Carriers around at this price. This puppy is about as good as it gets.

The Not So Good

The model is easy to break if jostled. That rules most toddlers out who tend to be a bit rough with toys. Or at least supervise kids under-8. You also need to buy six AA batteries in advance.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: RTR
Scale: 1:24
Dimensions: 27.9 x 8.1 x 3.3″
Product Weight: 2.25 lbs.
Range: Not specified
Radio band: 27 MHz
Battery: 6 x AA; four for the truck and two for the RC
Running time: Not specified
The Pros
Fully-maneuverable model
Affordable price
Includes a full load of cars
Includes 27 MHz remote-controlled (RC)
Has semi cab & flatbed trailer
The Cons
Batteries not included
Easy to break

2. Mercedes-Benz RC Tow Semi Truck

Mercedes-Benz RC Tow Semi TruckView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

My ‘best value’ pick is a huge step up from the best budget. It’s a 1/20 scale model with plenty of details that add to a more realistic experience. The makers recommend it for 8-years and older.

  • Best feature 1: Realisticreplica
  • Best feature 2: Premium quality materials
  • Plus points: Detachable tractor/trailer board, front/rear lights, sound effects, cargo
  • Minus points: Annoyingly loud to play with indoors

This RC Benz truck is heaps of fun and guaranteed to light up the eyes of any youngster who unboxes it. It’s a good-sized vehicle, and bigger is always better when it comes to semi-trucks right. The makers have taken care to use premium quality, non-toxic ABS plastics that are safe for kids. The ample trailer board houses construction vehicles like dump trucks, forklifts, excavators, and bulldozers.

Users get to connect and detach the trailer and tractor board, work the lights, and deliver their cargo. There’s even a realistic sounding horn to add to the experience among other sounds.

The Not So Good

The only real gripe is with the noise this thing makes. Its sounds great, but it’s loud with no option to turn down the volume. That’s fine for playing outdoors, but it’s going to create a few headaches inside.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: RTR
Scale: 1:20
Dimensions: 29.2 x 11 x 7.4″
Product Weight: 5.85 lbs.
Range: 98 ft. (30m)
Radio band: 2.4 GHz
Battery: NIMH battery pack (included).
Remote: 2x 1.5V AA (not included)
Running time: 30 minutes
The Pros
Large scale RC model
Safe, premium quality materials
Detachable tractor/trailer board
Front/rear lights
Realistic sound effects (including horn)
Good range
Decent running time
The Cons
Loud for indoors, no volume control

3. Tamiya King Hauler Semi Truck (Kit)

Tamiya King Hauler Semi Truck (Kit)View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

My top choice is in a class of its own. It bears no similarities with the first two picks other than it’s an RC model. This beast is a US semi-truck in every sense of the word.

  • Best feature 1: Quality aluminum front and rear wheels
  • Best feature 2: Aluminum chassis
  • Plus points: Solid axle suspension, 3-speed gearbox, tractor truck oil shocks, semi-trailer lights set, motorized support legs, incredible sound effects,
  • Minus points: Radio control unit not included, high price tag

Meet the Mighty King Hauler. This is what people envisage when they think of the classic American tractor truck. It’s also a kit. That means it’s for the serious hobbyist—someone who loves to build their own. It’s not cheap either, but it’s excellent value for those who take their hobby seriously. It takes patience to construct and is thus not a model for the inexperienced user.

Those who invest in the King Hauler say it’s the best—or one of the best—projects they’ve ever done. It can take between 20-45 hours depending on skill level.

What to Expect with the King Hauler

You can expect a fantastic semi-truck that exceeds all expectations. You’re sure to experience tremendous satisfaction once you’ve built this incredible truck and got it moving. Everything about it is high-quality. There’s the solid axle suspension, 3-speed gearbox, and tractor truck oil shocks. There’s also a semi-trailer light set, motorized support legs, and much, much more besides.

The range of realistic sounds that can accompany this RC semi-truck is unbelievable. Each noise is a digital recording from the real-world vehicle. Every single truck function has its sound. You can control each one—including the volume—using a 4-channel transmitter (not included).

The truck sounds include (in no set order):

  • Engine starter
  • Engine idle
  • Air dryer
  • Revving
  • Air release (two kinds)
  • Backing alarm
  • Brake
  • Engine stop
  • Exhaust brake
  • Hazard signals
  • Parking brake
  • Running sounds (based on whether the trailer’s connected)
  • Shifting (up/down shifting)
  • Horn sounds (short & long)
  • Turn signals (2 sounds)
  • Alarms
  • Coupler sounds

There’s too much going on with this King Hauler Semi Truck Kit to cover in this mini-review. Just know that it’s all good if high-end kits are your thing.

The Not So Good

The only disadvantage here is that the kit doesn’t include a radio control setup. You need to buy 7.2 battery & charger, 4-channel radio gear, and an Electronic Speed Control (ESC) as extras. Be sure to factor these into the end cost. Note that the kit is hobby-grade with a hobby-grade price tag. It’s out of reach for an average RC user but worth every cent for those who are heavily into the hobby.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: Assembly Kit
Scale: 1:14
Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 5″
Product Weight: 7.7 lbs.without extras
Range: Depends on RC setup
Radio band: 4-channel radio gear (not included)
Battery: 7.2 battery & charger (not included)
Running time: Depends on RC setup
The Pros
Realistic, high-quality model
Aluminum front & rear wheels
Strong aluminum chassis
Solid axle suspension
3-speed gearbox
Tractor truck oil shocks
Semi-trailer light set
Motorized support legs
Incredible sound effects
The Cons
Controller setup and various electronics not included.
High price tag

4. RC Blue Semi Truck with Trailer

RC Blue Semi Truck with TrailerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Okay, we’re back to a toy-grade RC semi-truck now. This one is the affordable RC Blue Semi Truck complete with Trailer. You can move it forward, backward, turn left and turn right.

  • Best feature 1: Fully-functional operations
  • Best feature 2: High-quality, colored plastics
  • Plus points: LED lights, detachable trailer, smart graphics
  • Minus points: No sound effects, batteries not included

This is a big remote-controlled semi-truck with detachable trailer and the perfect toy for youngsters. It has a striking high-gloss blue paint finish with a few eye-catching graphics. Other appealing characteristics include the LED lights and the accented wheels fitted with rubber tires. It’s an easy to operate RC truck and an excellent introduction into the world of remote control.

The Not So Good

The main disappointment with this semi-truck is that there aren’t any realistic sound effects. That’s not unusual at the budget end, but something would have been nice no matter how tinny. Batteries are extras so make sure you have six AAs ready for when the truck arrives. You need four for the model and two for its transmitter.

amazon

Tech Specs
Model Type: RTR
Scale: Not specified
Dimensions: 4.5 x 3 x 22″
Product Weight: 2.4 lbs.
Range: Not specified
Radio band: 2.4Ghz
Battery: 6 x AA; four for the truck, two for the remote control
Running time: Depends on batteries
The Pros
Affordable fun for 3-years up
Fully-functional operations
High-quality, colored plastic
Smart graphics
LED lights
Detachable trailer
The Cons
No sound effects
Batteries not included for the truck or remote controller

5. Camel Jungle Express 12 Wheel Semi-Trailer

Camel Jungle Express 12 Wheel Semi-TrailerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 3.9/5

This model is the Camel Jungle Express. It’s an affordable 12-wheel semi-trailer truck with fully-functional steering. It comes with all batteries (truck & controller), which is unusual for toy models.

  • Best feature 1: Fully functional semi-truck
  • Best feature 2: Includes all batteries
  • Plus points: Nice attention to detail, LED lights, choice of colors, suitable for 3-years up
  • Minus points: Trailer doesn’t detach, limited steering, one speed

This RC 12-wheeler is an ideal gift for toddlers and pre-teens, especially the former. The truck battery (included) is rechargeable, so that makes it even more economical. The running time is nothing to get excited about so consider a spare set of batteries to extend the fun.

The attention to detail is nice, but it’s still a plastic toy. It seems that some folks thought it was an all-metal construction before they bought it, but it’s not. It’s good value, but it’s not a metal build.

The Not so Good

One of the things you expect with a 12-wheel semi-trailer is to be able to detach the trailer part. You can’t do that with this model. Another minus is the limited steering that locks at 15-degrees. That’s going to be more of a frustration with preteens than it is with toddlers.

The final downside is the one-speed function that’s a tad on the fast side. That’s a good thing driving forward. But a slow speed option would be better for toddlers, especially for backing up maneuvers.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: RTR
Scale: 1:36
Dimensions: 21 x 10.4 x 4″
Product Weight: 2lbs.
Range: Not specified
Radio band: 2.4 GHz
Battery: 6 x AAA, four for the truck (rechargeable included), two for the controller (included)
Running time: Not specified
The Pros
Affordable 12-wheeler RC model
Fully functional semi-truck
Includes all batteries
Nice attention to detail
Bright LED lights
Choice of colors
Suitable for 3-years up
The Cons
The trailer doesn’t detach
Limited steering control
Only one speed (too fast for reverse maneuvers)

6. Earthquake 3.5cc 2-Speed Nitro Semi Truck

Earthquake 3.5cc 2-Speed Nitro Semi TruckView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.1/5

Redcat’s Racing Earthquake is a 3.5cc two-speed nitro 4X4 semi-truck. The powerful model runs on nitro fuel so it’s not a toy. Nor is it recommended for beginners.

  • Best feature 1: 3.5cc .21 SH Big Block Engine
  • Best feature 2: Amazing acceleration and fast top speed
  • Plus points: Huge tires, aluminum chassis, front/rear sealed differential, oil filled shocks
  • Minus points: Some parts break easily, learning curve

Redcat promotes their nitro truck as the BIG BLOCK performer at an affordable price. The 3.5cc. 21-SH engine certainly has plenty of oomph. It boasts incredible acceleration and a top speed of 50mph. The Earthquake 3.5 is a ready-to-run (RTR) model so the fun can start soon after delivery.

Driving the Beast

The Beast is an apt description for this nitro-fueled model. The massive block tread off-road tires have a soft compound that grips like a leech clinging to flesh. And you can rely on the effective composite disc brakes when you need to bring the beast to a sudden stop. The 2-speed auto transmission shift point is another significant feature. It lets skilled users fine tune the truck to their liking.

The low-end gear is perfect for leaping, wheelies, and other creative moves across challenging terrain. The Earthquake’s second gear provides a quick getaway and fast top speed. The torque, speed, high-quality build, and flexibility make this RC semi-truck a surefire winner.

Here are a few other key features worth noting:

  • Tough 2.5mm aluminum chassis
  • Front & rear sealed differential
  • Oil-filled big bore shocks
  • Adjustable suspension

The Not So Good

Some of the Racing Earthquake’s stock parts can break easily. It’s frustrating but not unusual for RC models that take a battering. Most enthusiasts improve their truck with upgrades that are readily available. The second con relate to the model’s learning curve.

Most people who complain about this—or any nitro-powered truck—try to do too much too fast. That’s why they get frustrated and lose focus. Experienced users know you must take time to become acquainted with the vehicle. There is a definite learning curve here. My advice is to watch the video tutorials and read the instructions carefully. A little patience and persistence always prevail.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: RTR
Scale: 1:8
Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 10″
Product Weight: 12.55 lbs.
Range: Not specified
Radio band: 2.4GHz
Battery: 12 x AAs (not included)
Running time: AVG, 12-minutes but depends on driving and conditions
The Pros
Great looking nitro-powered semi-truck
Powerful 3.5cc .21 SH Big Block engine (pull start)
Fast acceleration &top speed
Massive block tread, soft compound RC off-road tires
Robust aluminum chassis
Front/rear sealed differential
Oil-filled big bore shocks
Adjustable suspension
The Cons
Some stock parts break easily
Learning curve; take your time

7. Tamiya R/C Freightliner Cascadia (Kit)

Tamiya R/C Freightliner Cascadia (Kit)View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The Tamiya R/C Freightliner Cascadia tractor truck is an incredible 1/14th scale assembly kit. It’s not cheap and therefore aimed at those who are into the hobby in a major way.

  • Best feature 1: Shaft driven, front-mounted motor
  • Best feature 2: Chrome plated plastic finish
  • Plus points: Tilt forward cabin, removable fenders, 3-speed servo-controlled transmission
  • Minus points: Needs extras including full RC system, price

Tamiya’s RC Freightliner Cascadia is a realistic electric-powered radio-controlled tractor truck. It’s an aerodynamically advanced replica of the North American Freightliner. Tamiya has paid close attention to the interior details too like seats and dashboard. Even the cabin tilts forward, just like the real thing. The eye-catching, high-gloss and matte, metal-plated parts add further to the trucks realism.

Who Is this RC Tractor Truck For?

Being a kit means it’s not ready-to-run (RTR), and it needs a few extras too. Constructing a model like this is half the fun for enthusiasts. Put this tractor truck on your short list if you love to build and tinker. Skip the rest of this review if you just want to run your model as it arrives.

Here are just a few of the Freightliner Cascadia’s main features:

  • Powerful shaft-driven front mounted motor
  • Plenty of parts available for further customization
  • Tough aluminum chassis
  • Removeable fenders
  • 3-speed servo controlled transmission
  • Float mounted suspension system
  • Quality ABS plastic cab and other parts
  • Chrome plated wheels
  • 10 x treaded rubber construction tires

A lot of details have gone into this kit, and the above are just some of the main highlights.

The Not So Good

You need to buy a radio control system and a few other bits before you can drive this beast. Some of these include a 4-channel radio/receiver, servos, and an Electronic Speed Control or ESC. You also need a 6-cell battery stick, charger for the above, and a few other bits based on your needs.

The cost of this vehicle is too high for a lot of folks. It’s certainly high compared to a lot of RTR models. For enthusiasts who know what they’re getting, though, this truck is a bargain and a dream come true.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: Assembly Kit
Scale: 1:14
Dimensions: 25 x 9 x 11.5″
Product Weight: 8.3 lbs. without extras
Range: Depends on the setup
Radio band: 4-channel transmitter & receiver (not included)
Battery: 7.2V battery pack & charger (not included)
Running time: Depends on setup
The Pros
Stunning replica Freightliner tractor truck with high detail
Shaft-driven, front-mounted motor
3-speed servo-controlled transmission
Chrome plated parts
Tilt forward cabin
Removable fenders
Quality ABS plastics
Aluminum chassis
Float mounted suspension system
10 x treaded rubber construction tires
Many parts available for customization
The Cons
RC system and other parts extra cost
Hight price tag