Short Course Trucks vs. Trophy Trucks (What’s The Difference?)

by Hobby Source | Last Updated: August 16, 2021

Over the years, off-road racing has gained massive popularity and has attracted substantial motorsports enthusiasts.

Today we will focus on two types of trucks that are renowned in the off-road racing field. These two trucks are the short course RC trucks and the trophy trucks.

While the short course trucks are designed to offer optimal performance and durability, trophy trucks are designed for high-speed off-road racing and are commonly referred to as the Baja trucks.

There are quite a number of differences between these two trucks and some notable similarities. Their comparisons are mainly based on their design and components.

Differences

Ride height

Short course trucks usually race through laid-out courses that feature various jumps, while trophy trucks tend to race through different terrains, boulders, and rough surfaces.

The courses these trucks race on can change with time, but that of the short course trucks is prepared to a specified condition for racing.

On the other hand, the trophy truck’s course will depend primarily on weather conditions.

These course features make the trophy truck ride much higher than its counterpart, mainly focused on weight and handling.

Engine position

The engine of a trophy truck is positioned so that a significant part of it sits in the front of the cab.

This is referred to as a front mid-engine which ensures that its weight stays at the center of the chassis while leaving room for the navigator.

With short-course trucks, the engine is positioned to the cab’s right side.

Suspension arms

Trophy trucks race through unpredictable trails where they can come across stationary objects. 

For this reason, their suspension arms are a bit bigger and beefier.

Short course trucks have smaller arms because the only obstacles they encounter are other trucks and maybe walls.

Suspension travel

Short course trucks get exposed to far much air, which makes them have less up travel. It is for this reason that they can get more droop for handling bigger jumps.

Trophy trucks are designed to experience much up travel in their suspensions as they race over rocks and rough terrain.

This is mainly because they are never exposed to much air.

Coilers/Bypass

The suspensions of trophy trucks are always in a continuous motion, which makes the inside fluid increase in temperature at a much faster rate compared to short course trucks.

This prompts the trophy truck to have massive bypass shocks while the short course truck has much smaller bypass shocks which are not even run at times.

Similarities

Both of these trucks are designed for off-road racing and are built to tame dirt.

Both short course trucks and trophy trucks can run comfortably on a two-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive.

Both of these trucks have a high horsepower to enhance their performance and race with a top speed in their native environments.

It may prove difficult for you to decide the best RC truck for your off-road racing adventures.

There are a variety of trucks and manufacturers who have specialized in designing these trucks.

You should probably consider how easy it can be to drive the truck you have chosen before going for it.

Additionally, the racing experience you want will help you in deciding the truck use.