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18 Wheels of Steel Pedal to the Metal


Introduction to PttM manual & instructions

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!

Starting a New Game

Image shows start-game dialog 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.

Menu item Action to take
Enter Your Name: Move your mouse to the word 'Player'. Use the Delete key on your keyboard to remove the word 'player', then using the keyboard, enter your own preferred name, handle or callsign.
Choose your face: Click on the face image, then choose a face from the drop-down list, which you would like to represent yourself during the game.
Headquarters: Choose the place where you would like to base your operations from the drop-down list. Alternatively, if you are happy with the current randomly chosen location, skip over this part.
Operational Mode: Choose from Employee, Owner Operator, and Company Boss

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.

Gameplay mode Information
Employee Employee mode takes the hassle of finding new contracts for yourself, and puts it in your bosses hands! Your boss will assign delivery tasks to you, which you should attempt to complete as promptly as possible if you want to keep said boss happy! In this role, you will not be able to pick and choose your cargoes as you wish, nor will you be able to improve or exchange your truck - it belongs to the company - however should you manage to raise $100,000 for yourself, during the course of your deliveries, you will be able to use this cash to become an Owner-Operator.
Owner-Operator Owner-Operator mode puts you firmly in charge of deciding what goods you wish to deliver, and to which destinations. You can take out bank loans; you can buy, sell, upgrade, or even downgrade your truck - it belongs to you. You can even keep track of which cargoes you want to deliver - ahead of time - using the Planning feature of your notebook. It's fun to be your own boss!
Company Boss Take charge of a fleet of trucks and truck-drivers. Only, you'll have to find these people first, and of course, neither they nor their trucks come free of charge. Deliver your own cargoes whilst managing your company and employees. Become the biggest trucking-empire in the States and beyond!

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.

Game Rule Information
Simulate Fatigue Whilst playing with this enabled, your driver can become tired and experience blackouts, until they are rested.
Enable Police If you do not wish to be held up or chased by police in the game, disable this.
Enable Timed Jobs If you do not want to have any penalties for late delivery of cargoes, disable this.
Upgrade Anywhere Allows you to upgrade your truck at any time and any place in the game.

Click Play to get going.

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Controls and Displays

Dashboard HUD

Dashboard HUDYou 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.

Speedometer screenshot The central red needle points to the current speed of the vehicle in miles per hour.
Cruise control screenshot On the inside edge of the speedometer dial, is a small needle which is the cruise control indicator. If you wish to engage the cruise control, first accelerate to the speed you wish to be driving at, then release the accelerator, and press C.
Rev counter screenshot Around the outside of the speedometer, is the rev-counter. This measures engine revolutions in 100 revolutions per minute (100 rpm). For instance, if the needle points to 20, the engine is doing 2000 revolutions per minute.
Fuel indicator screenshot The fuel indicator is on the right of the speedometer. If the needle is pointing to F, then you have a full tank. If it is at 0 then your tank is empty.
This is the parking brake indicator. When this is engaged, the icon is lit red.
This is the motor brake indicator. When the motor brake is in use, this is lit red.
  These are the indicator flashers. Either one or both of these may be flashing depending on the current state of the flashers.
This is the headlight indicator. The head lights have three stages - off, low beam, and full beam. This icon lights up accordingly to the state of the headlights.

You can toggle the HUD on and off using the F3 key. Try pressing the following keys:

Key Action
Spacebar This engages and releases the parking brake. Currently it should be engaged, so press this once and notice how the parking brake indicator on the HUD becomes unlit - the brake is now released. Press again, and the indicator should be lit, and the parking brake re-engaged.
F This switches the four-way flasher lights on and off. Try it, and use the mouse to rotate around your vehicle to see the effect.
L This controls your headlights. Currently they should be off, so press it once to switch on a low beam. The ground in front of you should be lit by your headlights. Now press the key again, and the beam should switch to full-beam mode. This is very important for low-light driving, as in many cases the low beam will not be strong enough. Press L again to switch the lights off.
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Driver HUD

Driver HUD 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.

Wide open eye Wide-ish open eye Half closed eye Closed eye 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.

Driver HUDNext 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.

Prestige Color

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.

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Driving Controls

Key Action
Spacebar Toggles the parking brake on and off - make sure you release your parking brake before you start!
E Starts and stops your truck's engine
Turn steering wheel to left
Turn steering wheel to right
C Engages the truck's cruise control
M Hold to engage the truck's motor brake
A Moves up a gear
Z Drops down a gear
[ Left direction indicators toggle on/off
] Right direction indicators toggle on/off
W Windscren-wipers toggle on/off
H Activates the truck's horn for however long you keep the key depressed

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.

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Camera Viewpoints

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:

Key Camera Viewpoint Description
1 Inside Camera Gives you a view from the inside of your cabin.
2 Tail Camera Shows a view from directly behind your truck, from the end of the trailer, if one is attached.
3 Top Camera Gives you a top-down view from directly over your vehicle. This is very useful for backing up to a trailer.
4 Cabin Camera Gives you a forwards view of the road from just above your cabin-roof.
5 Free Rotate Camera This is the camera-viewpoint you start any new game with. An external view, it allows you to pan around your truck by sliding the mouse left and right.
6 Back Camera Great for reversing, this view is just like the Tail Camera (2) but it spins around to in front of your vehicle when you are reversing.
7 Bumper Camera This puts the viewpoint on the front bumper, and is the closest viewpoint to the road of all.
8 Drive-by Camera Shows a view of your truck from a would-be road-side onlooker. Great for showing off your new paint job!

Playing the Game

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Locating your first cargo

First job assignment 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 Tableware. Underneath, there is the company logo of the company from which you will pick up the cargo. Next to the logo, is the city in which the cargo will be e.g. Seattle, and the time from which the cargo will be available for pickup. If the cargo is ready for pickup, you will see the words Awaiting pickup on the box. It is now up to you to locate and pick-up your first cargo.

City mapTo 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.

Screenshot of first cargo 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.

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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.

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Transporting the cargo and first use of Notebook

First job assignment picked up 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 Route Map button. Here you also have options to show or hide certain map features - try clicking the checkboxes located to the right of the map.

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Communicating with Other Drivers

Communication options screenshotSometimes 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 How's the weather.

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.

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Gas Station iconGas Station floating symbolLook 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.

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Service iconService Station floating symbol 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.

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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!

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Delivering the cargo

Cargo-Terminal floating symbol 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.

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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.

Hotel floating symbolAll 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 rest dialog-box.

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.

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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 Economy button.

You will now see the economy screen. Click the Switch to Owner Operator Mode button.

$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!

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Notebook - Economy section

Economy Screen accounts sectionUse 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).

Economy Screen loans sectionDisplayed 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 Loan $10,000 button.

Economy Screen last week summaryThe Last Week Summary section shows an at-a-glance view of your income, costs, and loan costs.

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Notebook - Trucks section

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: Part Shop and Truck Shop. The availability of these buttons depends on where you are currently parked, and what gameplay mode you are playing in:

Button Available at Location Available in Gameplay mode
Truck Shop Parked at a Truck Shop Owner-Operator / Company Boss
Part Shop Parked at a Cargo-Terminal or Truck Shop Owner-Operator / Company Boss
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Part Shop

Shows notepad trucks optionsHere 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 Buy or Trade. Trade is used when the part you have clicked on is similar to one you already have - it is equivalent to selling the old part, then buying the new one.

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Truck Shop

Truck-Dealer iconTruck-Dealer floating modelTruck 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.

List of trucks for saleTo buy a truck, click the Trucks button at the top of your notebook-screen.

On the right of the screen, click the Truck Shop button. You should now see a scrollable list of trucks which are for sale.

Select the truck which you would like to purchase, and click Buy to buy the truck.

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Managing your Trucks

Selection of 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.

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Hiring and Firing New Drivers

List of drivers to hireIn 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 Hire button at the bottom of the screen. You will see a list of drivers, their required weekly salaries, and their prestige levels (see right for an example). Select the driver you would prefer to drive your new truck, and click Hire.

If you need to fire one of your drivers, simply click on his truck - on your list of trucks - and then click on the Fire button at the bottom of the screen.

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Notebook - Planning section

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 Planning to display the Planning screen.

Cargo Planning screenshotOn 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.

Route-Planning screenshotIf 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.

Planning-sorting screenshotNote the buttons above the jobs list (see right). These allow you to sort the list of jobs however you wish. Left-most is Sort by pick-up time, followed by Sort by delivery time, then Sort by job payment, and right-most is Sort by prestige required for jobs.

Cargo Planning logos sorting screenshotThe 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 Eddy's job pick-ups, click the Eddy's button.

At the bottom of the screen are two sections marked Hauling Job and Planned Job. Hauling Job shows the job that you are currently transporting. Planned Job shows the job that you have selected to take, via the jobs list.

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