There is no denying the awesomeness of heavy machinery. We can all remember admiring the sheer size and power of construction equipment in action. Wishing as a kid we could ride in one or even possibly operate one later in life.
Even as adults it can be pretty memorizing watching a excavator make small work of a somewhat challenging task. Reality is, simply jumping in and operating heavy construction equipment is not realistic and requires years of training and certifications.
But not all is lost. You and your kids can operate a excavator or front loader after all! Or even build a full-on construction site in your own backyard. Enter the world of RC Construction Equipment .
“You are going to love operating RC Construction equipment. Possibly even more so than your kids. Don’t say I didn’t warn you”
I got my first RC Excavator form a local hobby shop years ago. It was a spontaneous purchase and I had no expectations. I bought it for the looks and figured it would be good fun in the sand box out back. Little did I know I would forever be hooked on RC Construction vehicles.
When it comes to RC construction equipment, there are many options available today. Whether you need a fantastic little RC loader or a scale replica RC dump truck – chances are you will be able to get your hands on a great kit.
However, not all RC construction equipment is made equal. I developed this article to help you find the best loaders, dumpers, and excavators that I have had the best luck with. Over the years I have tried a lot of different dirt moving RC’s, and to be fair, not many really fulfilled my expectations. After all, who would want to buy something that’s utterly useless out of the box.
So, to make matters simple for you, the following buyers guide will help you discover the best, affordable RC construction vehicles you can buy. But first it’s important to know a little bit about the categories of RC Construction Vehicles and why they very drastically in price.
“There are toy grade RC Construction Kits and Hobby Grade Hydraulic Replica’s costing 10K+”
Many of you will be on the hunt for a fun RC toy to play with in the yard or with the kids. My recommendations are based on realistically affordable, yet good RC Construction choices. If you are a serious enthusiast you may be looking into Hobby grade all metal hydraulic RC’s. These are serious units easily costing $10,000 and beyond. Something of this caliber requires a more in-depth level of research. From my experience the Wedico and Vario are some of the best high end units you can buy.
So what’s the best value RC Construction Equipment? Let dive into the guide below.
Budget friendly RC construction toys & vehicles
Huina RC Excavator
The Hiuna 510 RC Excavator is a beautiful model if you are looking for a budget-friendly version. Sure, it probably doesn’t have as much power as the Vario John Deere excavator, but overall, it provides a lot of fun, and it’s a great thing to add to your backyard RC construction collection.
At first glance, it seems that there’s a lot going on with this model. It comes with eleven functions, which are really easy to implement with the remote control. It can go right and left, backward and forward. You can also change the bucket incline (for dumping), and the arm itself can move in two ways. The lower part goes up and down, and the upper part of the arm can also fold to help you get the machine into the right position.
Just like with other Hiuna products, you cannot expect it to be entirely made of alloy. So, the bucket, the bulldozer, and the cab are all made of alloy, whereas the rest of the machine is made of plastic.
Now, the remote control on this model is what gives it an excellent quality to price ratio. It looks just like regular Hiuna controllers, but this time, it has more buttons. Therefore, you will find a mute and a demo button. It also has the regular sticks used for moving the excavator. The two buttons on the top of the remote control allow you to control the shovel (it goes up or down) and the bucket (up). The button that gets the bucket down is just below it.
In terms of radio frequency, it uses the regular 2.4Ghz, which can range up to 328ft. And, when it comes to the overall design, you won’t be disappointed.
The rubber caterpillar is durable and strong enough to go over almost any type of terrain. It’s also wear-resistant, and it grips well to the ground. Therefore, while you’re playing, it won’t stumble that easily upon small rocks.
The driving cab also has a 360° rotation, and there are also sound effects and LED lights, which will allow you to play even at night. So, even if you’re just buying this for your child, you will be completely dazzled by the quality and the resemblance to the real machine. There is also a 15CH Huina 1550 Version thats worth checking out. Click to see the Huina 1551
- Weight: about 4 lbs
- Remote control (requires two 1.5 AA batteries)
- Excavator battery: 400mAH 6V Ni-Cd
- Charging: USB charging cable (included in the package)
- Durable alloy bucket
- Running time: about 15 minutes
- Charging time: about 3 hours
- 11 channel functions
- Separate controls for the bucket and the digging arm
Huina RC Dumper
Now, this Huina RC Dumper is probably one of the best budget toys on this list. Even though it falls into the “we’re on a budget” category, the quality of it is undeniable – and just wait until you see how it drives.
In the package, the model comes pre-assembled, and you also get the remote control and the USB battery charger. Once everything is set up, and the battery is fully charged, you’re ready to go.
It drives like a tank, which might confuse you at first. However, controlling it is quite simple; the remote control has only a few buttons. It also has headlights in the front and taillights in the back of the dumper, so when you’re going backward, they will turn on, and vice versa.
Overall, if you are looking for a decent and fun dumper, this model is one of the best choices. It’s agile enough to drive relatively fast, and the bucket itself functions beautifully. It has a good incline, which means that you will easily dump anything out of it. Furthermore, the button that you will use for the dumping out doesn’t allow for gear grinding. So, even if you hold the button for a long time, the bucket will just go up and down, without any damage done to the dumper itself.
The tires on this little dumper are made of high-quality rubber, and they feature a great pattern. Because of that, you can rest assured that this dumper will go smoothly over almost any kind of terrain and obstacles.
Lastly, you ought to know something about the quality. Don’t let the price fool you – this dumper is worth every penny. Not only does it work exceptionally, but it’s also well-designed and realistic-looking. Plus, if you get any other RC construction toys, you will surely have a lot of fun digging and dumping.
- 6 channel controls: backward, forward, left, right, bucket rise and bucket decline.
- 2.4Ghz radio system (the transmitter requires two 1.5V AA batteries – not included)
- Real-life design
- Made of metal and ABS plastic (non-toxic materials)
- Gross weight: about 1.6kg
- Charging time: about 2 hours
- Running time: about 25 minutes
- Battery: 4.8V 400mAh (comes with the dumper)
- Transmitter batteries: two 1.5V AA (not included)
- Dimensions: length: 280mm, width: 155mm, height: 150mm.
Huina RC Alloy Shovel Loader
Now, if you’re not really into spending a lot of money on a collector’s piece, and you just want to play in the backyard, then this Huina RC Alloy Shovel Loader is a good choice.
It might not be as high-quality as the Wedico one, but it works just as well. However, there are few things you should take into consideration.
First of all, only the bucket and the top of this model are made of alloy. The rest is made of plastic, so you cannot count on its durability. Nevertheless, the alloy parts seem to be reliable, and they should prove to be useful while playing, considering that they have meticulous details on them.
Second, the tires on this model are really good-looking. They have the classic pattern, which is necessary for driving the truck over dirt and rough terrain. However, because it’s a bit lightweight (since it’s mostly plastic), it can seem a bit wobbly sometimes. It weighs just over 3 lbs.
In the package, you will also get the transmitter, which uses two AA batteries. The transmitter works quite well with the model, and it has the basic functions you will need. Furthermore, the model also comes with a USB charger.
The loader comes pre-assembled, and that’s a big plus if you’re not that versed in building or modifying RC.
One of the downsides might be the fact that the model seems a bit small. So, if you have a Huina dumper, the bucket might not go as far up as you would like it. But, if you still want to use it, just place the dumper a bit lower to the ground. It will work wonderfully then.
- 2.4GHZ frequency.
- Multiplayer support.
- Can be used both indoor and outdoor.
- Battery: 4.8V 400mAh
- Transmitter battery: two 1.5V AA batteries
- Battery life: about 15 minutes. You have to charge it as soon as you get the truck.
- 6-channel loader functions: the digging arm can go up and down, and the bucket tilts up and down. Regular left, right, forward and backward movements are also present.
- Black and yellow design which resembles the original loaders.
- On/Off switch in the back.
- Dimensions: length: 16.2”, width: 7.9”, height: 6.5”
Fistone Tower Crane
A budget-friendly tower crane is not that difficult to find, but this Huina model has both the best price and the excellent quality.
At first glance, the design looks a bit simple. Yet, the features are up to standard. The tower crane has all the basic movement functions – it can go left, right, backward and forward. Furthermore, the crane has a 360° rotation, and the crane arm goes up and down rather smoothly.
The sound effects are also magnificent. Once you turn them on, it sounds like a mighty tower crane, which is what you definitely want. And, there are colorful lights too! But, if you find these features a bit annoying, don’t worry – you can safely turn them off.
It’s made entirely out of non-toxic materials, so if your child wants to play too, there’s no reason to worry about it. It has an alloy hook, which is as strong as it can be when it comes to budget-friendly products. However, the rest of the model is made of ABS plastic and premium rubber.
Overall, this tower crane is a versatile model that will surely take your backyard construction company to a whole new level. And, given the fact that the hook can lift up to 11 lbs, it will definitely be a great addition to your collection. The tower crane itself weighs only about 4.5 lbs, and it’s not that big, so you will easily find storage for it too.
If you are an RC enthusiast, you will undoubtedly enjoy this toy. However, the kids will love it too. It’s easy to use, and it works well on almost any sort of terrain. Furthermore, the remote control has a frequency range of up to 328ft, and there won’t be any interferences if you play with other RC toys at the same time.
- Die-cast alloy hook
- Rubber caterpillar with 680-degree workbench rotation
- A 22-inch foldable lifting arm
- 2.4Ghz radio frequency with anti-jamming support
- Great resemblance to a real tower crane
- Working time: about 20 minutes
- Charging time: about 2 to 3 hours
- USB rechargeable battery set (includes a 7.2V 400mAh Ni-CD battery)
- Colorful lights and fantastic sound effects
- Remote control (two 1.5V AA batteries not included)
- Dimensions: height: 23.6”, length: 11”, width: 6.6”.
If you’ve noticed the “tower crane” in the subtitle, then you’ve probably guessed it. This machine is actually a 2-in-1 product that will certainly give you endless enjoyment while playing.
Unlike some other cheaper forklift models, this Huina forklift has many alloy parts. For starters, the whole frame is made of alloy, as well as the forks, the hook and the cage/cab. The forks look almost exactly like the real thing, and they are incredibly strong as well.
Given the fact that this model is somewhat big, it’s no wonder it can lift a lot in one go. However, make sure that you are stabilizing the objects you’re transporting. The pallet may wobble a bit if there isn’t enough weight on both sides of it.
Nevertheless, you can simply ignore that small downside and focus on the engineering behind this forklift. It’s well-made, and the material that the manufacturer used feels and looks quite durable. Also, the forklift comes in a yellow and black design, so it’s not going to stick out among your other machines. Don’t worry – your collection will remain exquisite!
Because this model is a 2-in-1, it was necessary to make a comprehensive controller for it. And, you won’t be disappointed with it. In case you ever forget how to use the controller, keep the box somewhere. It has all the instructions you may need.
The controller itself is similar to other Huina controllers, but it has additional functions. It comes with four main buttons and two control sticks. For going forward and backward, and left and right, you’re going to use the sticks.
However, if you want an auto demonstration, there’s a special button for that. The four buttons form a circle, so the controller is quite easy to use. The buttons on the left and right are for auto demonstration and sound. Meanwhile, you will use the up and down buttons for bringing the fork, or the hook, up or down. Furthermore, the 2.4Ghz controller has a long-distance range (30 meters), and even if you have additional RC’s operating at the same time, the frequency will stay stable.
Bear in mind, though, that you will probably have some trouble getting the forks in the right position. It’s quite easy to do, but it takes a bit of adjusting. However, the good news is that you can adjust them arbitrarily to accommodate the weight and the size of the objects you’re transporting.
In the end, when you properly test the forklift, you’ll see how efficient it is. It can even lift some of your other RC toys, so when you’re in the backyard, you won’t have to get your toy manually. Just use the forklift and watch the magic happen!
Overall, this forklift features a great design and exceptional details. And, given the fact that its battery life is a bit longer than usual, it is a winner for most RC construction lovers.
- 2.4Ghz well-labeled controller (requires four 1.5V AA batteries)
- 8-channel operation
- Strong transmitter frequency
- Battery: 7.2V (included in the package)
- Controller: four 1.5V AA (not included)
- USB cable for battery charging
- Durable alloy parts
- A pallet for lifting almost any suitable object you can think of
- Playing time: about 30 minutes
- Charging time: 3 to 4 hours
- Possible add-on: a flat cart
- Dimensions: length: about 57cm, width: about 20cm, height: about 33cm
Key Points to consider before buying any RC construction equipment or vehicles
As you have seen, RC construction equipment is no laughing matter. Well, except if you use it for household chores and scaring your dog. However, even though it provides you with multiple ways of having fun, finding the best quality products can sometimes be tricky.
Here are some factors you should take into consideration when purchasing RC construction vehicles:
- Be aware of the shipping time. Just like you’ve seen with the high-end models, most of them have long shipping times. Therefore, if you don’t have time to spare, it might be a good idea to opt for budget-friendly versions instead. However, if you are more than willing to pay extra for top-notch quality, even the long shipping time won’t burst your bubble of happiness.
- Check the materials. Even if you are just buying these products for yourself, it’s always wise to make sure that the manufacturer doesn’t use any toxic materials. These models often have small parts that can end up on the floor or somewhere in your backyard. Thus, your children and your pets can easily scoop them up and try to eat them. Furthermore, try to pick models that are made of durable materials. They can contain plastic, but if everything is made of plastic, there’s a slim chance the machines will do exactly what they should.
- Make sure the instruction manual is detailed. Not only will this make your life easier, but you will also finish the construction fast – that means more play time for you. The instructions should be detailed and to the point. Also, preferably in English as well, unless you know Chinese or German.
- Be aware that the more they cost, the more details they’ll have. Therefore, if you decide to purchase a cheaper model, don’t be surprised if it’s not an exact replica of an original. If they are well-built, they will still function the same way – they just won’t look as good as the original. However, if you have pennies to spare, don’t be afraid to invest in high-end models. They are exceptional collector’s items, and even if you never use them for digging, dumping and transporting, the sole engineering invested in the design is worth the price tag.
- Don’t forget to have fun. When purchasing RC construction toys or vehicles, you might get carried away and decide that it’s best not to let your kids play with the trucks. However, these toys are meant to bring you joy, whether you are a collector or just an enthusiast. Therefore, don’t forget to try them out and really let your imagination flow.
You can go with high-end or budget-friendly. However, both versions will give you the right amount of fun and the enjoyment you seek. The versatility of these machines is uncanny, and the more machines you have, the more fun you’ll secure for yourself. Plus, there’s always something that needs digging!
Having an RC construction company in your backyard is a blast! – and if you cannot have a real one in real life, who’s stopping you from playing with almost exact replicas in the comfort of your own home?