USTE is the Ultimate Scale Truck Expo. One thing USTE is not is a competition-based gathering. Instead it prides itself on the gathering of likeminded hobbyists who build radio control models for ultimate realism. Many of the RCs at USTE have the most detailed, realistic looking, scale features in mind.
The event organizer, Rob Mathew’s mission statement is clear and states: “The Ultimate Scale Truck Expo’s mission is to connect manufacturers, artisans and enthusiasts by using meaningful, person-to-person interactions for the betterment of scale modelers, the hobby, and all who experience it.”
Having been in the hobby for the greater part of my life, I have traveled to many events all over the country. From monster truck racing, to “comp” crawling, the one thing I have always wanted was more runtime and less standing around. After all, isn’t the purpose of RC trucks and cars is to drive them? Well that is exactly what you will do at USTE! With 12 trails consisting of 1000s of gates, netting almost 15 miles, you will be on the trails with your friends and family for many hours.
The trails at USTE are nothing short of pure awesomeness. Located in Williston, Florida at the Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens, there is such a great variety of terrain ranging from water view over looks to coral rock, to mud, to some root systems and everything in between. Be sure to have your “comp stance” going from time to time as you carefully navigate your truck through some very realistic trails.
One of the best parts of USTE is that you don’t have to have a “doll house” truck to enjoy the trails. Whether it’s a full custom scale detailed build or a RTR truck, you will enjoy all that the trail systems have to offer. Keep in mind USTE is tailored to “doll house” or tiny tire trucks and as such, the trails aren’t like what you might be accustomed to at your local competition.
Are you the type that likes to lay on the ground to get an epic shot of your scale rig? Well USTE has got the trail system for you. You’ll find plenty of diorama (working water mills and all) to pose your truck with for the ultimate scale shot…no pun intended.
I know what you’re thinking…wasn’t I just stating earlier how this event is not competition based? Well I was…because there isn’t any tire height measuring, wheelbase checks, or “scale points” here. However, there is a Show and Shine Gallery sponsored by GCM Racing that recognizes the talents of the event participants with trophy rewards for:
Best Engine Bay, Best Interior, Best Metal Work, Best Scale Accessory, Best Paint, Best New Truck Look, and Best Old Truck Look. This gallery encourages modelers from the event to show up with the utmost realistic looking vehicles possible and rewards them for doing so. For USTE 2022 there will be a “street class” which will encompass: drag cars, drift cars, rally or any other hyper scale street machine.
VINTAGE BUGGY ACTION
Yes that is right… aside from the epic trail system there is also a dirt track set up for vintage RC buggy and monster truck racing. The requirements for the buggy class are simple, it has to be a “vintage” pre 1989 model and the classes are divided up amongst 2WD and 4WD buggies. As awesome as the crawler trails are, this is a huge hit amongst the participants as 30 year old plus RC cars with antiquated suspension and newer brushless systems, often too powerful for them, race the track.
At this point you may be asking yourself what you win for winning the buggy class or monster truck class races. The answer is simple…bragging rights! That’s right, no trophy. Once you’re done racing its back to the trails.
Have you even been reading through your favorite RCCA magazine and seen a new product from your favorite manufacturer and thought to yourself “Man, wish I could talk these guys into making this part” or “I would love to thank these guys for finally releasing this!” Well at USTE, this is possible with over 50 sponsoring vendors and 29 vendors on site you can walk right up too JConcepts, for example, and talk about their latest body releases.
With realism being the epitome of the event for the vehicles at USTE, you are bound to see some epic “Doll House” vehicles. It’s not uncommon to see vehicles that meet every aspect of realism with opening hoods featuring fully detailed engine bays that include brake and fuel lines to interiors with lighted gauge clusters.
USTE encourages all makes of scale RC to attend and it’s not limited to just trucks. Whether it’s an 1986 Corolla AE86 drift car with a 4AGE engine under the hood, a 10-wheel dump truck with working hydraulic dump bed, or some other super scale vehicle, you should bring it to USTE.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
USTE not only offers the best terrain for your scale vehicles, but also offers classes to teach you how to build a better “Doll House” vehicle as well. With classes in paint and weathering, styrene scratch building, electronics waterproofing and soldering, and more, by the industry’s leading experts, you are bound to walk away a better modeler.
USTE 2021 was one for record books, with over 600 registrants, 52 sponsors, 29 vendors on site and 100-plus spectators, and thousands of the most scale vehicles on site, it is the place to be to get your fill of all things scale RC. USTE returns for its sixth consecutive time at the Cedar Lake Woods and Gardens on February 18, 19, and 20 in 2022.
For more event information and details, visit UltimateScaleTruckExpo.com
See you on the trails!