With the new era of toy vehicles for kids and adults alike
RC trucks use a specialized transmitter to control it from a distance. The operator holds a hand-held controller which is wireless and can send radio signals to the vehicle through the air. Common operations are go, stop, turn, and other maneuvers.
These trucks are powered by different sources.
Electric models. Powered with small electric motors and rechargeable cells made by nickel-cadmium, or lithium polymer. These models use electronic or mechanical speed control to adjust the power delivered to the electric motor. The power delivered is always proportional to the throttle needed by the transmitter which means that pulling the trigger more makes the RC trucks go faster. This is categorized further by brushed or brushless electric motors. Difference of both is in the assembly of the motor. A brushed electric motor, wire windings are spun around stationary assembly of brushes and magnets. The windings of wire for a brushless electric motor are stationary and the magnets are placed and spin around the rotor.
'Nitro' models. Those which make use of glow plug engines. These engines are small internal combustion engines which are powered by oil and nitromethane mixture, with methanol. The oil is often a blend of castor and synthetic oil. Nitro-powered vehicles are easier to refuel and can return to action within a few seconds unlike electric powered vehicles which need to remove the shell to change batteries. Properly tuned nitro vehicles are cooled by air and the oil mixed with the fuel though this coats the chassis because of unburned oil in the exhaust.
Gasoline powered models. Using string trimmer motors, which use gasoline and oil mixtures, exceptionally larger models of RC trucks, is made to work recently. Also known as 'gassers' or 'fuelies', they cost more than nitro or electric vehicles. As they are bigger, they require wider space to operate, have more power, and use less fuel to run though is relatively slower. Over time this model will cost less than nitro vehicles because of the high cost of nitro fuel and nitro engine parts.
Availability of RC trucks comes in both off-road and on-road. Off-road models have wide tire selections and are built with off road suspensions which are fully functional. On-road models are strictly for smooth and paved surfaces as they come with less robust suspension. Recent innovations made adjustable suspensions for 'on-road' trucks just like many full scale race cars today.
Moreover, there is RC trucks that are optical controlled. Instead of the radio frequency, these trucks are controlled by infrared rays. While radio controlled vehicles operate through radio links hence called RC, opti-control vehicles are operated similar to the TV or DVD player remote control.