18 Wheels of Steel Across America - manual & help

Main Menu
How To Play
What You Can Run Into
18 Wheels of Steel Across America  

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The aim of the game in 18 Wheels of Steel Across America is to deliver cargoes around the United States, to earn money, to gather prestige, and to beat your opponents at the same game. The game has several modes of operation, which are described in the following sections.

1. Main Menu

Main Menu

New Game

  • Enter your name
    Enter your name here, and select your face.

  • Scenario
    - Become a Millionaire
    To beat your opponents in this mode, be the first person to earn one million dollars.

    - The Devil of the Western Coast
    You'll have to pull out all the stops to deliver this one on time! Pick up the special cargo from Seattle and take it to Los Angeles, as fast as possible!

    - Free Mode
    This mode is the only one not restricted by any limits. You can play it as long as you like, and the object of the game is to carry the most effective cargoes, hire people and win over your opponents.

    - New York Cargo Madness
    In this scenario, you have a limited amount of time to deliver a trailer with a special cargo to New York. This cargo can only be found in one loading dock, in one of three cities - Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. If you deliver it to the correct state on time, you may just make it to the Hall of Fame!

    - The Longest Journey
    The longest route is from Miami to Seattle. If you choose this scenario, you will take this road. Pick up the special cargo from the loading dock, and go as fast as you can to Seattle! If you make it on time, the Hall of Fame is waiting for you!

  • Scenarios

  • Headquarters
    You can base your headquarters in one of twenty American cites. In the “New York Cargo Madness” scenario, you can choose from only three cities - Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. In “The Longest Journey”, you can only select Miami, and in "Devil of the Western Coast", only Seattle is available.

  • Company Color
    Choose a color which your company will carry on its flags and information graphs.

  • Difficulty
    There are three classic modes of difficulty - easy, medium, and hard to test your abilities.

The 'Back' button will return you to the main menu, and the 'Play' button will start your game.

Load Game

Load Game

Save Game

Only available in the menu during game play (press Escape).


There are three main options here:
Graphics - adjust screen resolution and other graphics settings here
Controls - configure the game controls
Sound - adjust sound options on this screen

Back to Game

Only available in the menu during game play (press Escape).



2. How to Play

When you start a new game, you will begin in the city in which you chose to base your business headquarters. You should be able to see your rear-view mirror. Pressing "F2" will cycle through your mirror-display options. The first press will show your wing-mirrors instead. Pressing it again will display both your rear-view and wing-mirrors. One more press will remove all mirrors from your view.

You should also be able to see an information panel showing time, the funds in your account, your prestige rating, the condition of your truck, and your trucks dashboard-dials.

Information panel

Pressing the "M" key will display the map. If you are in a city you will see a map of the cities, and pressing again will display the streets of the USA. Otherwise you will only see a map of the USA. Your position is shown as a blinking arrow. On the map you should find a loading dock, then make your way there in your truck, and load up a cargo. CargoCargoes with a destination which is far from the loading dock pay better than those whose destination is nearby. Special cargoes always pay better than the others (there are only special cargoes in the scenarios “New York Cargo Madness” and”The Longest Journey”). You will recognize special cargoes by the red cargo information panel, and the high delivery payout. During the game, a warning message will appear telling you that the special cargo is supposed to be delivered from one city to another, and that you must load up this cargo with in a certain time limit.

When you load up a cargo "T", information about the cargo will appear in the upper left corner of your display.

Special Cargo

Beside the information which you can read before loading up, you should also be able to read information about the condition of your trailer, the dock in the city to which you must deliver it, and sometimes a weight symbol. If you see this weight symbol it means your truck is above the legal weight limit for the roads, and should you decide to deliver this cargo, you should avoid the weigh-stations along the highway. You would risk paying a large fine for damaging the road surface. After loading up, a red dot appears on your map, which represents your destination city.

3. What you can run into



Policemen are always ready to punish those who break the highway regulations. If you are driving too fast, crashing into other cars, driving on the wrong side of the road, or ignoring highway weigh stations, they will most probably catch you and fine you. Usually the fine will be $1000, but getting caught driving along the highway with an illegally heavy load will probably cost you more.

Weigh Stations

Weigh Station

All the trucks which use the highways of the United States must stop on the highway weigh stations. Drive in, and wait for the weight information to appear. You may then drive off. If you are above the legal limit, you will be fined according to your weight excess.

Truck Stops

Here you can refuel and repair your truck.

Truck Dealers

When you find a truck-dealer, you can buy a new truck and or spare parts from him; the trucks and parts he is offering will be added to the list of available parts and truck in the Notebook. These dealers are not automatically displayed on the map - you must go find them, and when you do, they will appear on the map.

Loading Dock

Cargo Terminals / Loading Docks

In each city there are several loading docks. Some of them only take deliveries, and do not hold cargoes for export, so don't be surprised if you find an empty dock.

4. Notes


Prestige flags

During the existence of your company, your prestige is continuously changing. This depends on the condition of your delivered loads, how you behave on the road, and how many cities you master by becoming the prefered courier of the city. Higher prestige means you will have better chance of delivering more cargoes, and of receiving higher bank loans. Conflicts with the police or collisions with other truck drivers can cost you significant loss of prestige!

Damaged truck

With each collision the condition of your truck gets worse. You can see the level of damage on the icon placed in the upper right corner in the information panel. If the icon starts to blink red, you are in trouble, and you should call 911, or stop in the nearest service station. Either your truck is too badly damaged to safely continue driving, or one of its wheels fell off. Note that when your truck is damaged, it's performance on the road gets worse, it consumes more fuel, it has harder time climbing up hills and its handling when taking turns is worsened.

Meeting a driver


Before you can hire drivers, you must get in touch with them - talk to them over CB. Often he or she will make contact first using the CB radio whilst you are on the road, and you should answer their queries helpfully. It's also worth it being active and trying to check who is listening from time to time - the earlier you find the best qualily drivers, the higher the chance you will be able to employ them before the competitors do. Drivers with better prestige will be able to get better job assignments and make your company more money.


If you are having some problem, you should consider dialing this number by pressing the "F9" key. Your truck will be moved to a safe place, fueled, and partly repaired. Of course, this service does not come free of charge. If your truck was badly damaged, consider going to the nearest Service Station, because the 911 technician will not repair 100% of the damage.

5. Notebook

The notebook is an important source of information on each driver. You should keep it handy at all times.


Cargo Types

Here you can find the information about goods of all kinds. There are eight buttons along the left side of the screen, with them you can switch between your trucks/drivers. There is also a map with individual cities. After clicking on a city, trade routes leading from the city appear (if Show cargo production is pressed) or the trade roads leading to the city (if Show cargo delivery is pressed). You can hide the arrows by clicking the button 'hide cargo arrows'. You can also display the roads for specific types of goods, when you click the type of goods on the right side of the window - then you see where from and where to the load is delivered.

You plan the excursions for hired drivers on this screen. If you want your drivers to carry the goods only between two or three cities, you should choose the cities by right clicking of the mouse. (City will highlight in green). If there are trade routes between the chosen cities Routes, the driver will be going there only. You can specify the goods for transportation for the drivers by clicking on a specific type of goods with right mouse-button. The goods will highlight in green and the drivers will prefer to transport the chosen goods. The red arrow indicates the route on which your driver is currently travelling.

When you will reach the highest turnover in certain city, a flag in your company colors will appear next to the city symbol. This flag is automatically placed in the city where your company is resident.

You can compare yourself with your opponents thanks to color graphs which show each company's prosperity.

Truck color


This screen is displayed when you have driven into a truck-store. To buy a new truck click on the button with your truck and then on the 'Buy new truck' button. To upgrade the truck click on a button representing a spare part and then choose Truck fleet and buy the one you want. Use the same process when you want to buy or upgrade trucks for hired drivers. You can also choose the colour for your truck. Just click on the spray-can button in right bottom corner and select a new color.

Hiring of the drivers

The driver will be automatically hired after the purchase of the new truck. You can hire only drivers with worse or the same prestige as you. In case you don't like the automatically chosen driver, you can change him. Click the 'Hire' button and then choose a different driver. You can also swap the drivers between your vehicles using the 'Swap drivers' button.


With this screen you can see an overview of how you and your drivers are working. You can also see your debt, and using the Loan 10.000 or Repay 10.000 buttons you can change the state of your debt and account balances. Plus, each week an economic overview is released and you may see it in the bottom left part of the screen.


Here you can see how you are doing comparing to your rivals. You can see their prestige, the state of their accounts, the number of hired drivers, distances travelled, number of realized deals, and you can also view their trucks.


On this screen you can see the entire map with all road that you can encounter in this truck game. You can add or remove detail by clicking on the map key buttons.

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