John Deere Radio Control: Monster Treads

Monster Treads Gator looks at long range radio control vehicle from Ertl and Tomy International, Inc.

When you hear the name John Deere, you immediately think of quality, and this new John Deere radio control gator certainly lives up to that reputation. First of all, a John Deere gator is a small utility vehicle that is nearly unstoppable on most every imaginable terrain, and the “Monster Treads Gator” is a perfect replica of the real thing. It measures 8″L x 8″W x 6″H, and is suggested for ages 6 years old and up. Of course, any radio control vehicle will require some batteries for power, and the “Monster Treads Gator” is no exception, as six AA batteries are needed for the gator and one 9 volt for the transmitter.The vehicle features 4 huge rubber tires that do need to be inflated to get the most out of the experience. An inflating needle and tire gauge are included, but the buyer will have to provide a hand pump to get the gator ready for fun.

Monster Treads Gator 2Once the tires are inflated and the batteries in place, the gator is ready to go. There are 3 frequencies available, which are referenced A, B or C on both the vehicle and the transmitter. We tried each of the 3 frequencies and all worked just fine. It was good to have the frequency options in case we encountered interference from something else nearby. The frequency choice must be set the same for both the vehicle and the transmitter. There are two stick controllers on the transmitter that control direction and turning. By pushing the correct controller or combination of the two controllers, the gator was fully functional in all directions.

We put the gator through its paces in a large flat parking lot, and it moved at what seemed to be a very high speed, which caught us by surprise. It reacted well to our commands, and easily had a range of over 40 feet. We were impressed for sure. Then we read the instructions a bit closer and found that the “Monster Treads Gator” had a couple of tricks up its sleeve; it was not your typical radio control vehicle. In fact, it could perform an amazing wheelie and spin all by carefully choosing the right combination of commands from the controller. Additionally, the gator could also do a complete rollover landing fully upright with the included roll bar in place. We were impressed a second time.

Monster Treads Gator 3Next, we tested the battery life, and we got between 35 and 50 minutes with our alkaline batteries before it gave out. It might be worth using rechargeable batteries in a vehicle of this type and having a second set on hand as well. Overall, we were surprised by the performance and features offered in a radio control vehicle in this price change. This would make a great gift for youngsters of any age. The “Monster Treads Gator” is generally available at a price between $50.00-$55.00. Check it out at your local John Deere dealer or buy it directly from

–RJ Cullen


Posted in Remote Control, Vehicles