GPTOYS MCGRUFF 926 1:12 Scale RTR 4×4 RC Truck

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It’s not every day that I get a message from manufacturers asking if I’d like to review a product, so when the opportunity presents itself, I jump on it. This was the case with GPToys, asking if I’d be interested in their new MCGRUFF 926 1:12 scale 4×4 Ready To Run RC truck with a 2.4 gHz radio system. When the manufacturer told me the truck was shipping via Amazon.com, I was kind of surprised. No other distributorship involved, and the truck was delivered within a few days of me confirming my address. It was pretty cool! So, let’s dig into this review, and see what’s in the box!

Specifications

Item No:    MCGRUFF S926 Pickup Truck

Available at:   Amazon.com

Price:   $88.99 USD (Free shipping with Prime Membership)
Scale:    1/12
Controller:    2.4G 2CH
Drive system:    4WD
Motor:    390 Brushed
Wheelbase:    240mm (9.44 in)
Wheel Dia:    74mm (2.91 in)
Wheel width:    27mm (1.06 in)
Ground clearance:    35mm (1.37 in)
Speed:    32 kph (20mph)
Control distance:    About 60 meters (196 feet)
Functions:    Forward, backward, turn left, turn right,
Battery for car:    2pcs 3.7V 1500mAh Li-ion battery (included)
Action time:    About 12 minutes
Charging time:    About 4 hours
Battery for transmitter:    2 x 1.5V AA battery (not included)

First Look

The truck arrived in a full color box, with lots of images and specifications. After removing the top of the box, all I saw was the truck itself.

I pulled the four body clips and removed the body – secured underneath was the transmitter, which was wrapped in bubble wrap for protection. The transmitter was removed and set aside for now.

Cutting the Zip Ties at the front and rear of the truck’s frame allowed me to remove the vehicle from the box. A note printed on the inside of the box indicated that there were more parts located under the cardboard frame stand.

I cut the tape strips on one end of the box, and pulled the flaps apart. The green cardboard insert then lifted up, revealing the manual and a bag of parts!

 

That bag of parts included four spare body clips, a small Philips screwdriver, a USB charging cable, and a two-cell battery charger. Wait a minute – I haven’t seen the batteries yet!

The batteries are already in the truck (with a plastic insulator tab stuck in one end to prevent contact)! Removing the snap-on covers revealed the Lithium-ion battery cells – there’s one on each side of the frame, which gives the truck an operating voltage of roughly 7.4 Volts, or the equivalent of a 2S LiPo pack. Amazon has many different Li-Ion battery cells available, and some of them have a much larger capacity, so finding extra batteries should be easy and inexpensive!

The brushed 390 motor has a heatsink installed to help with cooling, and will push the MCGRUFF 926 to a top speed of about 20 MPH. The ESC/Receiver looks like a good unit, and should do the trick for powering and controlling the truck. A 5-wire servo provided the steering control, and there is a servo saver attached to help in preventing stripped gears in the servo.

The truck appears to be assembled well, and includes four-wheel independent suspension. The steering links incorporate ball joints throughout for easy steering on all terrain.

The drivetrain consists of a metal pinion gear driving a plastic gear attached to the aluminum drivshaft. The front and rear differentials are all metal-geared, and the wheels are really nice – they are soft enough to grip the road or off-road surface, but feel sturdy enough to last a long time.

The pistol-grip transmitter fits nicely in hand, and is easy to use. Along with steering trim and reversal, there’s two speed modes – Slow and Normal. Slow limits the top speed of the truck to approximately half while using the full range of the throttle trigger. This option is great for smaller spaces and new drivers. Normal lets the driver run full speed, which is about 20 MPH. The proportional steering allows for smooth, gradual steering rather than full left or full right operation. The one drawback to this transmitter is that it will not stand upright with it’s small base. It must be laid on its side, but this is a very minor inconvenience.

The truck’s body is pre-painted, and arrives with a protective covering on it. The covering should be removed before operating the truck. There are also clear spots for the headlights, as the MCGRUFF 926 includes working headlights. There was one small problem with this, though, in that the headlight openings on this body were not in the proper place…

Though it wasn’t necessary, I opted to raise the headlight housings about 1/4 – 5/16 of an inch, so that the lights could shine through the openings in the body. This was done with a small piece of plastic pushrod guide tube (a coffee stirring straw would most likely work as well, and two #4 x 1″ screws. I used a small drillbit to open the holes in the bottom of the headlight housings to accept the larger #4 screws and installed the lights with the plastic straw risers in place. The bright white LEDs add a cool look to the truck!

Getting Ready to Run

First, we need to charge the Li-Ion batteries. To do so, first connect the cord to a suitable USB power source. A good phone charging brick works well for this application! The two batteries were then inserted into the charger, and the cord was then connected to the charger. the LEDs are red when the batteries are charging, and turn to green when they are fully charged!

A pair of AA batteries were then inserted into the base of the transmitter, and it was ready to use.

Once charged, the batteries were inserted into their holders on the truck’s frame, and the covers were snapped in place.

The transmitter was then powered on – a red LED began flashing in the antenna mast, as it was searching for the truck. I flipped the truck’s power switch to on, and we were ready to run!

 

The plastic protective covering was then removed from the body, and the body was put back on the truck. Though not shown, the body clips were also reinstalled…

Photo Shoot

Driver’s Report

I got this truck just a few days before Christmas, and we had very little snow left on the ground. Some unusually warm weather had nearly melted what snow we had received, so we had some good ground for running the MCGRUFF 926 4×4 Truck!

We started in my back yard, doing some ‘trail’ type driving. The ground clearance of the 926 is pretty good, and the 1:12 scale size is perfect for some fun in a back yard! The truck went through the leaves easily, and even scaled some small branches that had fallen from my trees. The patchy snow and ice made the driving even more fun. For this driving test, we put the transmitter into the slow mode.

Though the truck did get stuck on some of the larger branches that were in the back yard, I was very pleased with the over all performance at slower speeds utilizing the four wheel drive for navigating obstacles. It was quite fun to crawl over objects and drive through the back yard. We have two dogs at my house, so you can image what other ‘obstacles’ we tried to avoid…

Moving out to the from of our house, we switched the transmitter into the normal speed mode and had some fun in my grave driveway and the asphalt street!

Though the MCGRUFF 926 goes just 20 MPH, this is plenty fast for beginners – and it’s an enjoyable speed for bashing around! There was some better icy spots in the street, and the gravel drive was a lot of fun to do donuts and spin the tires!

The ice and snow gave us some natural ‘jumps’ and let us get the truck into the air! It was nice to have the four wheel drive, and some decent speed to really have some enjoyable laughs and good fun!

The truck was a lot of fun to drive, and even though it didn’t always land with the wheels down, it was a pretty tough little truck! In the last photo, you can see that the front wheels were turned very tight. They actually went past their steering limits, and got stuck, but the servo saver kept the servo gears from getting stripped – so the wheels were straightened, and the truck was able to keep going! We drove it pretty hard, and the 926 just kept going, taking every bit of punishment we could give it!

Check out the video below for some driving action, as well as a video overview of the truck!

Summary

Well, here we are again. The truck has been inspected, the batteries have been charged, and the truck has been run. Not only did we run it, but we ran it in pretty harsh conditions. The truck performed well, despite us driving it hard! I’m happy with its performance, and it looks pretty good as well. Other than the headlight concern, I have not one thing I can say against this vehicle, and even that was a pretty easy fix! For the video, my 17 year old son did all the driving for the video and photos. When we finished shooting, he asked me if he could have the truck. To me, that’s a pretty big compliment for any RC vehicle! I would definitely recommend the GPToys MCGRUFF 926 for any beginner to intermediate RC driver looking for a good vehicle at a decent price!

From my shop you yours – we’ll see ya next time…  -GB

 

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