RC Beginner Series – Steering Trim and Dual Rate

Team Associated

Setting steering trim and dual rate can often be overlooked by even the most experienced drivers. A simple knob or switch adjustment on your radio can help to keep your driving experience perfect and give you that edge against the competition. Read on and check out the video below:

Steering Trim

Steering trim is the way the radio helps the car track perfectly straight and is crucial especially on straightaways or even speed runs. Every radio these days has a trim knob/switch to adjust the way your RC vehicle is tracking. A simple check of the trim before every run will keep your RC experience great and help you avoid breaking your RC by veering off unexpectedly.


To set your steering trim, it’s easiest to be behind the vehicle and have the vehicle drive away from you. If your vehicle veers to the left, dial the steering trim knob to the right. If it veers to the right, give it that twist to the left. Pretty easy! Just keep repeating until you have your vehicle tracking perfectly straight.

Analog vs. Digital Servos

The steering servo in your RC vehicle is that small motor that controls your steering.  Many RTR vehicles come with analog servos – in other words, they find a mechanical center point each time. My Team Associated ProRally came with a digital servo, which tracks center more precisely after each turn of the radio wheel and holds that center point. If you upgrade your stock analog servo to a digital version, you will see a huge improvement when setting your steering trim.


Steering Dual Rate

Steering dual rate can also be thought of as turning ratio (think 1:1 vehicles).  Most RTR radios have a knob titled “Steering Dual Rate” which gives you the ability to control the amount of travel both left and right on the steering servo. This gives RTR radios a way to control the end point adjustment of the servo equally on both sides. Most upgraded radios have a separate menu for end point adjustment on both sides of the servo travel (left and right). Steering dual rate also helps to adjust your vehicle when the track dictates.

Dialing the dual rate knob down (counter-clockwise) will help when doing higher speed straight-aways limiting the amount of steering travel so small steering input will not result in hard turns. Dialing the dual rate knob up (clockwise) will help in tight and technical tracks where speeds are lower.


Now that you have a good understanding of setting steering trim and dual rate to get that steering perfect, get out there, charge up that battery and take your RC for a spin!

Each month The RCNetwork will be featuring a new topic for those starting out in the RC hobby and lend a few tips to seasoned hobbyists.  Be sure to check out all the posts in our RC Beginner Series.

RC Beginner Series Topics

Jan. –  Tools needed for your new RTR/Using your Owners Manual
Feb. – Battery Safety/Lipo rules/Battery Choices
Mar. – Ride Height Adjustment/Shock Collars
Apr. – Trims and Dual Rate on your Radio
MayClean Your RC – Compressed Air
Jun. – Changing your Pinion/Gear Mesh
JulyAdjusting Body Height
Aug. – Adjusting Turnbuckles – Camber/Toe
Sept. – Inspecting Bearings/Free Driveline
Oct. – Adjusting Slipper Clutch
Nov. – Inspecting Suspension/Free Suspension
Dec. – Shock positions


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