In 18 Wheels of Steel - Pedal to the Metal, the aim of this truck game is to make money by delivering cargoes across America. Compete with other truck drivers for prestigious cargoes; keep you boss happy; upgrade your truck; and eventually, form a trucking company and hire other drivers to do the work for you!
When the game has loaded, click the New Game button (see below). You will be presented with a dialog box (see right for example).
See the table below for instructions on how to get going.
n.b. If this is your first time playing 18 Wheels of Steel - Pedal to the Metal, Owner-Operator and Company Boss modes will be locked. To unlock Owner-Operator mode you must first become an Owner-Operator by playing through the Employee mode. To unlock Company Boss mode you must have first become a Company Boss by playing through the Owner-Operator mode.
Note the additional buttons below the Gameplay mode options, which allow you to change the rules of play before starting a game.
n.b. it is not possible to change any of these rules during the course of gameplay.
You start the game sitting inside your truck. The view is currently set to an exterior 'floating-camera'. Try sliding the mouse left and right to rotate around, and get a good view of your truck. In the bottom-right corner of the screen, you can see your HUD (Heads Up Display). This shows the important aspects of your Dashboard.
You can toggle the HUD on and off using the F3 key. Try pressing the following keys:
The Driver HUD is located in the top-right corner of the screen. You can see it here on the right. This part of the HUD indicates the state that your driver and truck are in.
On the left of the Driver HUD you can see the eye icon. This icon indicates how tired the driver is at any moment. As your driver becomes tired, the eye will begin to blink and close, as a warning for your driver to take a rest.
Next to the eye is the truck health indicator. You can see a icon of a truck here which is light blue. When your truck takes damage, this icon will gradually fill red.
Alongside the truck health indicator, is your prestige rating icon.
n.b. The prestige icon will not be available if you are playing in Employee mode
The prestige icon starts off as a dark blue star with a zero on it, which indicates that your prestige rating is currently zero. As you complete tasks successfully, and buy new or upgrade your old trucks, your prestige rating will increase, and the star will change color.↑ Up ↑
Reversing is easy - if you are moving forwards, simply slow the vehicle to a halt with the brake, release the brake for a second, then press the brake key again. Reverse gear will be selected automatically, and your truck will start to move backwards.↑ Up ↑
You have a selection of camera viewpoints, most of which should come in handy for some situation or other. To select a different viewpoint, use the following keys:
Locating your first cargo
Your first cargo job will be displayed to you some seconds after starting the game - in the top-left corner of the screen you will see a green box showing the job assigned to you. In this box, (see right) you can see the type of cargo, in this case
To aid you in doing this, press M to show your city map - see left for an example. You should see a collection of white roads and company logos. These logos represent company cargo-terminals. The arrow in the center of the map is your truck. Try driving around and watch how the arrow rotates, and the map moves. Now, you need to find the logo on the map that matches the logo of your first delivery - look again in the box in the top-left of the screen. If you cannot see the logo anywhere on the map, you may need to drive around the city for a while, to reveal the extremities of the map - some cargo terminals, such as logging companies, may be just out of town, off the highway.
Having found the cargo-terminal, you need to get your truck there. This is up to you! Drive your truck carefully around the city towards the relevant cargo-terminal, using the map as reference. Locate the entrance, then drive your truck into the cargo-terminal. You should be able to see one or more cargoes sitting by the side of the terminal. Floating above each cargo, in boxes, you will see a brief description of its content, payback, destination, and delivery-deadline. The actual cargo you should be picking up should have a matching green color box. Cargoes which you cannot pickup are displayed in gray. If you are too early (check the pickup time on the job-box), you may need to wait around for some time. See the section on resting if you wish to pass the time faster.↑ Up ↑
Picking up the cargo
You now need to back-up to the trailer and attach it to your truck. Back up your truck until it is as perfectly aligned with the trailer as possible. Press T to attach the trailer. n.b. This may take some practice - if the truck is not aligned properly or you are backed up to the wrong trailer, the attach will not happen. Realign your truck as best you can, and try again.↑ Up ↑
Transporting the cargo and first use of Notebook
Once the truck is attached, you need to deliver it as quickly as possible! Look at the blue box in the top-left corner of your screen. You should see the logo of the company to which you will be delivering, it's location e.g. Indianapolis, the deadline of the delivery, and in case of jobs with "on-time" requirement, time remaining for you to complete that delivery.
Also visible will be the damage level of the trailer. Currently this will be a 100% blue bar. However, if you or your trailer are involved in collisions, this bar will fill up with red. The more red, the more damaged your cargo is, and the heavier your fine will be on its delivery!
To aid you in navigating to the destination city, a floating blue arrow is displayed on your screen. It will automatically show you the shortest route to the destination. Follow its directions - it will rotate to the left or right near junctions to show you which way to turn.
As you leave the city, the city map will switch to a larger scale view of the interstate road-system. If you wish to see the whole road network, press the N key to see your Notebook (don't worry - your game is effectively paused whilst viewing this), and click the
↑ Up ↑
Communicating with Other Drivers
Sometimes other drivers will attempt to communicate you via CB. Often they will need some information, such as the weather, traffic etc. When this occurs, you will see a box pop up with the name of the driver, and their face picture. The message which the driver sends will be displayed at the bottom of the screen.
If you wish to respond, press V. Another box will pop up with a small list of messages you may like to send (see right). Press the corresponding number key, to send your message. Note that some options will pop up another box with more dialog choices.
You can send messages at any time in the game, you do not have to be engaged in a dialog already. If you want to make contacts though, you should send a question such as
Making contacts is important later in the game, because when playing as a Company Boss, you will only be able to hire drivers you have previously made contact with.↑ Up ↑
Look on the maps for the Gas icon shown here. This indicates the whereabouts of a gas station. Keeping your fuel tank topped up is critical to your success in this game. Check your fuel tank often - it may empty faster than you expect, and try to remember to begin any journey on a full tank. Once you find the gas station, drive in, and stop your truck over the floating fuel dispenser icon. Press and hold F5 to fill your tank, release F5 when it is full, or when you have as much as you need or can afford.↑ Up ↑
Some gas stations also offer repair services, indicated by the floating service icon. Using this service is just as simple. Simply drive over to the icon, stop the vehicle, and use the F5 key to repair as much or as little damage as you like. n.b. it is not possible to repair your cargo! The truck icon on the top-right of your HUD shows the truck damage level. As damage to your truck increases, the blue truck icon will slowly fill with red.↑ Up ↑
Emergency Services / 911
If you find yourself stuck, damaged beyond repair, or out of fuel on the open road - you will need the aid of the emergency services. Press F9 to call 911 for assistance. But it will cost you $5,000 for the convenience!↑ Up ↑
Delivering the cargo
On arrival to your destination city, you need to drive to the destination cargo-terminal and drop off your delivery. Drive carefully into the cargo-terminal, and look for the floating, spinning blue logo. Slow to a stop with the logo touching your truck, and press D to detach the trailer. It should vanish immediately, and your account will be credited with the job-payment funds! Good work! Your boss may even decide to award your efforts by upgrading the truck you are driving.↑ Up ↑
Notice that your next job has been assigned - the box in the top-left corner of the screen. Have a look at its pickup time - it's likely it does not start for several hours at least. It's probably time you got some rest - if your journey was long you may have noticed your driver experiencing strong signs of tiredness - yawning and blackouts.
All resting areas are designated by their floating Bed icon. To use these, you need to position your truck over the icon, bring the truck to a halt, and press F5 to show the
You can adjust your rest duration by moving the slider on the dialog-box. Not enough sleep will leave you prone to more blackouts, but too much might see you miss your next delivery deadline. You can sleep a maximum of 6 hours at a time, but if you wish, you may press F5 when this is complete, to sleep again.↑ Up ↑
Upgrading to Owner-Operator mode
Once you have raised $100,000 you may start your own trucking company. Do the following to promote yourself to Owner-Operator:
Open the notebook (N), and click the
You will now see the economy screen. Click the
$100,000 will be deducted from your balance, but you will now own your own truck which you can customize however you like, and be able to choose from cargoes instead of having assignments from your boss!↑ Up ↑
Use the economy screen to keep track of your accounts and loans, and to view other statistics about your performance. On the left of the screen, a light blue box shows information about your income (see left for example).
Displayed on the right of the screen (see right) is a summary of your total income, and your account balance and loan debt.
If you wish to borrow some money in the game, you may do so in $10,000 lumps. To do this, click the
The trucks screen gives you the opportunity to manage and upgrade your truck - or trucks if you are a Company Boss. On the right of the screen are two buttons to help you upgrade your truck:
Here you have the opportunity to buy new or trade old parts for your truck. On the right is an example list of parts, e.g. Carter 300kW etc.
Notice that some truck parts are displayed with green text - these are the truck parts you currently own! Parts you do not own are displayed with white text.
Above the parts list are six icon buttons; these allow you to display only the truck parts you want to see. For example, to show only engine parts in the list, click the engine icon-button (far left). Note how the engine icon lights up. Click it again if you wish to switch this off. With all buttons switched off, you will see a list of all parts.
If you wish to purchase a new part for your truck, click on it, then click on either
Truck shops are used to purchase one or more new trucks. If you are in Owner-Operator mode, and you have enough money, you may trade your current truck for a new one. If you are in Company Boss mode, you may buy as many trucks as you can afford! Look for Truck Shops along the road-side as you drive; they will not be marked on your map until you find them. To use a Truck Shop, drive in, park your truck near the floating Truck Stop symbol, and press N to access your notebook.
To buy a truck, click the
On the right of the screen, click the
Select the truck which you would like to purchase, and click
Managing your Trucks
Note the scrollable trucks column on the left of the screen (see left for example). At the top of this column, is your truck, i.e. the truck you are currently driving. Below this, if you are in Company Boss mode, you will see the other trucks which you own (if any). To view each truck individually, you may click on its icon in this column. You will see a display similar to the following, which shows information about the truck's current driver, and its Power, Handling, Prestige and Maintenance statistics.↑ Up ↑
Hiring and Firing New Drivers
In Company Boss mode, you have the ability to hire other drivers. You may only hire a driver whom you have met on the road, and only if his or her prestige is lower than that of your own. Before you can hire any new driver, however, you must have first purchased a new truck.
Click on this new truck's icon, in your list of trucks (see Managing your Trucks). Now click on the
If you need to fire one of your drivers, simply click on his truck - on your list of trucks - and then click on the
Owner-Operator mode opens up a whole new set of possibilities for gameplay. Foremost here, is the new uses that your notebook takes on. The most important of these is the planning section.
Start or load a game in Owner-Operator mode, press N to open your notebook, then click
On the right of the planning screen is a list of current and upcoming jobs, all of which have their pick up point in the currently selected city (see right for an example). If you wish to see jobs for a different city, you may click on its blue box, on the map which covers most of the left hand side of the screen.
If you are interested in taking a particular job, click on it. When you do this, an arrow appears on the map (see left), showing the destination of the job. This job is now assigned to you. This means that it is not possible for any rival truckers to pickup this cargo. If you wish, you can change your mind, and click on a different job.
Note the buttons above the jobs list (see right). These allow you to sort the list of jobs however you wish. Left-most is
The buttons below the jobs list (see left for example) allow you to customize which companys' job pick-ups you would like to be displayed in the list. If, for example, you want to see only
At the bottom of the screen are two sections marked