The Heat is On

Rocking and rolling with Randall Davis across the Utah desert.

Sean McDevitt
7 min readJul 24


Words Sean McDevitt | Photos Provided

The desert is a harsh mistress.

For those who venture out into the unforgiving wilderness, it takes fortitude, endurance, and courage. Luckily, Randall Davis has all three in spades. As a product developer for Axial and Horizon Hobby, he’s spent plenty of time in the heat desert racing, rock crawling, and trail running, with both cutting-edge radio control rigs and full-scale monster trucks built to take on the challenges of the desert.

Stay cool. Randall Davis is coming in hot.

“The bigger priority.”

Even though he hails from Boring, Oregon, Davis has made it his mission to go in the exact opposite direction. It helps that he moved to a place named Hurricane, Utah. Nothing is boring about cruising down a desert trail at breakneck speeds. Nothing is boring about taking a rig up an incline and navigating the rocks to make it up the side safely. Frankly, nothing is boring about picking up a $600 Axial 1/10-scale desert truck and dropping it on the concrete from various heights. In fact, it’s all pretty fun. Nothing boring here.

“One of the best things I get to do is drop RC cars on their face,” said Davis. “My neighbor came home from work one day, and I’m standing out on my porch holding an Axial RBX10 Ryft above my head and letting it go. It’s smashing right down on the nose, and I’m picking it up and doing it again. He was like, ‘What are you doing?’ I said I’m working. Product testing. He goes, ‘That’s like a $600 RC car! You’re purposely breaking it?’ I’m like, yeah, that’s part of my job. I have to test it.”

His journey to get to the point in his career he was able to drop RC cars from various heights started when he held his first RC vehicle during a cross-country road trip from California to Florida.

His father owned a classic Tamiya Hornet, and he let his son play with it during the trip. At stops along the way, he’d get out of the RV and run the Hornet up and down sidewalks and parking lots. At the end of the trip, his Dad gave it to him as a gift. Over the years, the Hornet was…



Sean McDevitt

Most days I’m a professional copywriter, author, essayist, husband, father, and scrambled eggs maker. Find me at seanmcdevitt.com.