The trucking industry has been a fast adopter of new technology as of late. With changes in regulations and legislation, fleets are keen to utilize advanced equipment, such as the SmartRide device to ensure they remain compliant and efficient. A combination of plug-ins and apps are helping to make the automotive Internet of Things (IoT) a significant advantage for truckers.
Technology isn’t only useful for improving driver safety, or monitoring diagnostics to make sure the best vehicle battery is on board. It is also starting to become present in training scenarios. The rise of affordable Virtual Reality (VR) equipment is making fully-immersive truck simulation training practical, with commercial driving fleets embracing the ability to introduce new drivers to stressful and dangerous scenarios in a safe environment.
This doesn’t mean to say that you need to have technologically advanced equipment in order to get a taste of the trucking life. Developers have produced a swathe of challenging and fun simulators you can download onto your smartphone. Here are a few of the best options available today.
Heavy Truck Simulator (iOS and Android)
One for the connoisseurs of trucking, this simulator boasts the ability to drive in different types of vehicle throughout the history of haulage. The developers of Heavy Truck Simulator, Dynamic Games Entretenimento, have paid close attention to mimicking the nuanced physics of truck driving, with even small bumps in the road affecting the load you’re transporting.
This simulator provides players with realistic assignments and requires visits to fuelling stations as they travel through various Brazillian cities. It also includes aspects of legislation, with drivers receiving tickets for transgressions.
Truck Simulator USA (iOS and Android)
Despite the title, drivers aren’t limited to driving across the US states, they can also venture into Mexico and Canada. This is a simulator which is dedicated to providing a realistic representation of the working life of truckers in North America. Players travel inside popular US brands of trucks, featuring realistic interiors, and can choose from a variety of goods to transport — food, vehicles, even gravel.
Players get to experience the challenges truckers face transporting goods across difficult terrain; deserts, mountains, heavy snow. There is also the option to enter into a multiplayer mode to also simulate interactions with other truckers. Amidst the trucking life realism, at least players are spare dealing with paperwork and arranging auto-insurance.
Truck Simulator Offroad (iOS and Android)
If you find yourself becoming disinterested in the day-to-day travails of the long-distance trucker, Truck Simulator Offroad offers opportunities for slightly more unusual experiences. While it includes aspects shared with most truck simulators — realistic physics, well-rendered environments — there is a clear intention to push players to the extremes.
Drivers will find themselves tasked with familiar haulage missions but then subjected to harsh weather and difficult obstacles in order to get their load to the destination. Players must work to release their truck from thick mud traps, overcome steep mountain roads, traverse deep snow. If this isn’t challenging enough, there are optional night modes and seasonal changes.
USA Truck Driver: 18 Wheeler (Android)
This simulator is ideal for those with a penchant for the big rigs. Players embark upon long intercontinental journeys, hauling loads which range from simple packages to valuable livestock. Virtual drivers can even transport dangerous items such as gasoline without having to go through the real-world rigmarole of undertaking CDL hazmat practice!
The developer, Fun Blocky Games, has committed to providing realistic experiences, even down to the V8 engine noises and manual transmission. Players jump inside accurate recreations of popular rig brands, travel across realistic depictions of US highways, navigate construction sites, and face harsh weather conditions.
Euro Truck Evolution (iOS and Android)
We’ve covered a couple of US-specific simulators, but there area few on the market which allow players to take long-distance trips across Europe. This offering from Ovidiu Pop takes virtual drivers on assignments through realistic recreations of the continent, including beautiful major cities such as Berlin, Prague, Madrid, Rome and Paris.
This simulator places emphasis on building a career, encouraging the driver to make money from completing assignments, and then spending it on improving their rig. Players can choose from 12 truck brands specific to the European marketplace, and drive across various terrain — country roads, motorways, and offroad. There’s also an option to compete with other drivers in a multiplayer mode.