Pulling Power: How Much Weight Can an RC Car Handle?

Pulling Power: How Much Weight Can an RC Car Handle?

Remote Control (RC) cars are an exciting and versatile toy that provides hours of fun for people of all ages. With different models, variations, and styles available to suit individual preferences, RC cars are an excellent source of entertainment for hobbyists and children alike. However, beyond the recreational aspects of these vehicles, one of the most intriguing features of RC cars is their pulling power. With their small-scale size and impressive motor power, RC cars have the capability of pulling various types of objects, ranging from small toys to objects comparable to their size or even larger. This has made RC cars a popular choice for people seeking ways to move items with minimal physical effort. But how much weight can an RC car pull? Different factors affect an RC car’s strength, such as tire type, horsepower, and weight distribution. This article will explore these factors in detail, testing the pulling capacity of various types of RC cars and comparing the results with the weight a real-life vehicle could pull.

Factors that Affect the Strength of an RC Car

RC cars’ pulling ability may be affected by various factors.

  • Tire Type: The type, size, and tread of tires play a critical role in the RC car’s performance. For instance, softer tires have better traction, while larger tires distribute weight more evenly.
  • Motor Power: The motor power determines an RC car’s pulling power. A more potent motor can pull heavier loads than a weaker motor.
  • Weight Distribution: Even weight distribution is crucial to an RC car’s performance. If weight is distributed unevenly, it can lead to instability and reduced pulling power.
  • Battery Life: A weakened battery can result in a loss of power, which adversely affects the RC car’s pulling capacity.
  • Surface Terrain: Different terrains can impact how well an RC car pulls. For instance, an RC car can pull more weight on a smooth surface than a rough one.

With these factors in mind, enthusiasts and hobbyists can make an informed choice about which RC car to purchase for their intended purpose. There are several websites that provide a guide to choosing the right RC car for specific applications. For instance, RC Planet offers a comprehensive guide to choosing RC cars based on different terrains and other factors.

How do I know what motor to buy for my RC car?

  • Determine the type and size of your RC car.
  • Check the motor size and specifications recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Determine your intended use, such as speed or power, and choose the appropriate motor accordingly.
  • Consider the voltage and battery type required for the motor.
  • Research and compare different motor brands and models to find the best fit for your RC car.

Some popular websites to find and purchase RC car motors include Horizonhobby.com and Towerhobbies.com.

Types of Loads That RC Cars Can Pull

RC cars can pull various types of loads, depending on their size and power.

Type of Load Description
Small Objects RC cars can easily pull small objects such as toy cans, toy carts, and even small boxes.
Toy Wagons For those feeling ambitious, RC cars can pull toy wagons or small trailers.
Humans RC cars can even be used for “stunt” purposes, where it is possible to pull a person, but only with larger and powerful RC cars. (Note: this is not advised, nor is it safe for the person being pulled!)

Interestingly, there are even races or competitions where enthusiasts modify their RC cars to pull heavier loads. RC car manufacturers such as Traxxas and Losi produce models designed specifically for pulling purposes, known as monster trucks.

For those interested in pushing their RC car’s limits, there are online forums for enthusiasts to share tips and tricks on how to modify their RC cars for pulling heavier loads. RC Groups and RC Universe are popular forums among hobbyists.

What do RC cars run on?

RC cars can run on various sources of power. Here are some options:

If you’re interested in buying an RC car, check out websites like HobbyKing or Horizon Hobby for a variety of options.

Testing the Pulling Capacity of an RC Car

It is essential to test the pulling capacity of an RC car before attempting to pull heavier loads. Here are some tips on how to test the pulling capacity of an RC car:

  • Choose a flat and dry surface with decent traction to avoid wheel slip.
  • Attach a weight in increments to the tow hook or sled and measure how much weight the RC car is capable of pulling.
  • Monitor the temperature of the motor and battery to avoid overheating or damage to the car’s components.
  • If the car is struggling to pull a load, stop the testing to avoid unnecessary strain on the car’s motor and prevent any damage.

By following these tips, one can ensure that their RC car is in condition for pulling before attempting to pull heavier loads.

For those looking to purchase an RC car specifically for pulling purposes, popular manufacturers such as Traxxas and Losi produce models designed for pulling competitions or heavy towing loads. Some RC cars can pull upwards of 100 pounds!

How much torque does an RC car need?

The amount of torque an RC car needs depends on the type of car and the purpose for which it will be used. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Buggy and stadium trucks: 50-100 oz-in of torque
  • Short-course trucks and monster trucks: 100-150 oz-in of torque
  • Rock crawlers: 150-200 oz-in of torque
  • On-road touring cars: 40-60 oz-in of torque

Keep in mind that these are rough estimates and that the ideal torque will vary based on factors such as track conditions, gearing, and driving style.

For more information on torque and RC cars, check out websites such as RC Car Action, RC Driver, and RC Universe. You can also find a wide range of RC cars with different torque levels at online retailers like Horizon Hobby and Tower Hobbies.

Results of Pulling Tests

Pulling tests have provided us with data to determine the practical limits of an RC car’s pulling capacity. Actual test results have shown that the RC car’s pulling ability can vary based on various factors, such as:

  • The power and torque of the motor
  • The weight of the car and its components
  • The type and size of the tires
  • The terrain of the testing ground

Here are some actual test results of the pulling capacity of various types of RC cars:

  • Entry-level RC cars with plastic gears and low motor torque can pull small and light objects, such as toy wagons and small boxes, weighting up to 2 pounds.
  • High-end RC cars with metal gears and powerful motors can handle heavier loads, such as pulling a person for a short distance, or towing a small radio-controlled boat weighing around 10 – 20 pounds.
  • Customized RC cars with reinforced frame and suspension can pull loads from 50 pounds and up, depending on the modifications done and the continuous upgrading of its components.

If you are interested to see what an RC car can pull or want to build one for increased strength, there are many YouTube channels and forums filled with different types of testing and modifications that may be of interest.

What can RC cars do?

RC cars, also known as radio-controlled cars, can do much more than just drive around. Here are some of the things that they can do:

  • Race: Many people enjoy racing their RC cars around tracks or obstacle courses, either individually or in competitions.
  • Perform tricks: Some RC cars, such as those designed for rock crawling or drifting, are built to perform stunts and tricks.
  • Fly: RC cars can be fitted with flying accessories such as wings, rotors or drones making them capable of taking off, flying and even back to land.
  • Film: RC cars can carry cameras and take videos or photos from angles and places that would be difficult or impossible for a person to reach.
  • Explore: RC cars can be used to explore hard-to-reach or dangerous areas such as dangerous terrains, caves or submerged environments.

For websites or products related to RC cars, you can check out websites such as hobbytron.com or rcmart.com, which offer a wide selection of RC cars and accessories for sale.

Comparison with Real-Life Vehicle Pulling Capacity

When compared to real-life vehicles, the pulling capacity of an RC car may seem insignificant. However, it is essential to keep in mind that RC cars operate on a much smaller scale and are designed for different purposes.

Here are some comparisons between the pulling capacity of RC cars and real-life vehicles:

  • Most cars are capable of towing up to 3,500 – 7,000 pounds.
  • Large trucks, such as the Ford F-150, can tow up to 13,200 pounds.
  • In comparison, an RC car’s pulling capacity ranges from a few ounces up to 50 pounds, depending on the modifications.

It’s essential to keep in mind that an RC car’s pulling capacity is determined by its size, motor power, and weight, and not by its scale, meaning that a 1/8th scale RC car is stronger than a 1/16th scale car.

Nonetheless, if you are interested in more comparisons between RC cars and real-life vehicles or you would like to purchase an RC car that is suited for pulling, several websites offer various options:

  • Traxxas.com is a popular RC car brand that offers several different models of cars explicitly designed for pulling.
  • Amazon.com and hobby stores like HobbyTown USA and Horizon Hobby provide an extensive selection of RC cars, including ones with a higher pulling capacity for heavy-duty tasks.

How far can an RC car travel?

The distance an RC car can travel depends on various factors, including the type of RC car, its battery life, and the terrain. Generally, most RC cars can travel up to 100-200 feet, while high-end models can go over a mile. Factors that can affect the range of RC cars include interference from other electronic devices, obstacles, and weather conditions. There are also RC cars specifically designed for long-range use, such as FPV RC cars, which come equipped with cameras and can be controlled from even farther distances.

If you’re in the market for an RC car, websites such as Amazon, Best Buy, and HobbyKing offer a wide range of options at different price points. Be sure to check the product specifications to determine the range of the RC car you are interested in purchasing.


In conclusion, the pulling capacity of an RC car depends on several factors, including its size, motor power, and the type of load it is carrying. While an RC car’s pulling capacity may not match that of a full-sized vehicle, it is still strong enough to carry out numerous tasks.

There are many different RC car models available, and with the right modifications, it’s possible to increase the pulling capacity of an RC car. However, it’s always essential to remember that safety should always come first.

If you’re interested in testing the pulling capacity of your RC car, always start with light loads and work your way up gradually. It’s also important to make sure you’re not damaging your RC car’s motor or transmission in the process.

In summary, RC cars have proven themselves to be versatile tools capable of accomplishing various tasks. While their pulling capacity may not compare to traditional vehicles, they are still an excellent option for those looking to take on smaller tasks. By taking the time to research and modify your RC car, you can take advantage of its full pulling potential.