You will start the game as an employee of the cargo transportation company of your choice. You will be assigned a truck and you will be given instructions on what to do next. Every time you finish your delivery your employer will automatically plan and assign a new job to you, just like in the real life. Later in the game you may get opportunities to change your employer, which may improve your working terms a little, but generally you will be still following orders.
While the employment certainly has its advantages - paid expenses, no need for burdening yourself with delivery planning, free truck at your disposal - it's only a starting point, so you could earn an initial capital and buy yourself your own truck. After a time you will probably realize that your professional development froze - you will not be getting any more reputation, you will be driving around pretty much the same places and the reward for the work you'll be doing could have been a little higher - and that you could do better working on your own. At that point, once you buy yourself a truck, you will become an independent driver who will be making his own fortune in the trucking world. It will take some courage to stand up on your feet, but it will be well worth it!
Going independent will open up a whole new dimension of possibilities to you. You will be able to buy garages across the country, fill them with trucks and even start up your own transporting company! As you will grow and expand, you will attract more and more logistics companies, which will want to work with you. With time you may build the biggest transporting company in the Germany, or you may go bankrupt. That will be up to you.
You will earn money by transporting cargo. A single delivery is simply called a job. When you decide to take on a job, find a cargo terminal with the Job offer marker, drive over the marker and stop. An offer to negotiate a delivery will then appear.
As an employee you will not be able to choose which job to take. You will be always assigned one automatically.
The cargo terminals may in turn be either a starting point, where you can accept new jobs, or the final destination, to which you will deliver your cargo. Each depot belongs to a single logistics company. Some companies may only receive goods (e.g. Kaarfor, SellPlan), others are both a supplier as well as a receiver of goods. No company is purely a supplier. This means that you will be able to eventually deliver to every cargo terminal in the game, but you will only be able to accept jobs at some of them.
When you become an independent driver, you will be able to select a job from the available offers. Once you reach the negotiation table - the job offer screen - you will need to select a cargo from the list on the right half of the screen. The prices of the offers are fixed, you cannot bargain for them, but they are based on the distance you will have to drive.
Each job has a different urgency condition, which tells how much on time you will need to arrive. The urgency condition determines the duration of the job's delivery window, i.e. the time span for which the destination warehouse will be expecting you. Basically, the longer the window, the more time you will be allowed to spend on the delivery. The urgency is represented by these icons:
- Normal - two hours delivery window
- Challenging - one hour delivery window
- Hard - half an hour delivery window
As an employee, you will face only the jobs with the Normal urgency. As an independent driver, you will get the chance to take on more difficult deliveries. Weigh your abilities carefully though, you might want to upgrade your truck before you'll face harder challenges. Cargo is also classified into several ADR classes (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road). The game uses a simplified system to classify how dangerous the cargo is:
- Non-dangerous goods
- Class 3 - Substances presenting low danger (e.g. diesel, petrol)
- Class 2 - Substances presenting medium danger (e.g. acids, chemicals)
- Class 1 - Substances presenting high danger (e.g. hot chemicals)
The transportation of more dangerous goods calls for a more experienced driver and offers a better payout. However, you will have to first obtain an expensive ADR certificate to be allowed to transport such goods - there is a different certificate for each different ADR class. An icon by each cargo indicates which ADR class it belongs to. If you do not own the proper certificate, you will be able to obtain it by clicking on the restricted goods and confirming the dialogue that appears.
After accepting a job by pressing the "Accept Cargo" button, it will be time to attach the trailer. Usually, it will be placed just in front of you and it will be marked by animated arrow pointing at it from above. To attach it you will need to reverse the back of your truck under the trailer's front. A message should appear with an offer to attach.
By taking the job you will commit to deliver the trailer to its destination in time. Consult the Job info panel to see where you will be supposed to take it to if you forget. For convenience the estination will be also marked with a red circle on your map.
Don't forget to check the Job info panel for how much time will have remained until your deadline, as well. If the progress bar reaches the end, you will be late and you will be penalized by lowering your pay up to 50 % and by major reputation loss.
Once you've reached the unloading depot, you will need to reverse your trailer into the transparent red box. When you have parked successfully a message should appear with an offer to detach your trailer.
Having completed your job you will receive your reward and some reputation points. As an employee, you will be paid only the profit share - a modest percentage of the total amount of money your employer will receive for completing the job. However, your expenses on fuel, damage repairs and emergency calls will be fully covered. As an independent driver, you will get the whole sum, but any costs associated with your journey will need to be paid from your pocket. The reputation increase will be based on the distance you've driven.
Damaging your cargo or coming after deadline will lower your financial and reputation reward. Traffic offences will lower your reputation even further.
If you are an independent driver, you may choose to take a new job before your current job is properly delivered. In this case, you will be considered to have abandoned the current job, which will come at a price - you will be required to pay a compensation and your reputation will be damaged severely.
There's no option to cancel your current job during an employment.
When you become independent, you will be able to buy yourself new trucks and upgrade them. As an employee, you will be driving an assigned company truck, which you will not be allowed to upgrade.
To buy a new truck you will need to go to the Truck dealer and see what he has to offer. However, you will need to discover its location first.
In the beginning of the game you won't know where any of the truck dealers are located, though almost every city will have one. On your travels look for the animated marker with the question mark. If you see it, drive over it and the marker will change to the truck shape. From that moment you will be able to buy trucks at that place, which will be now marked on your map. This way you will be able to discover all the truck dealers in the game.
By activating the marker you will be able to preview the trucks available for purchase. Make sure to come during the opening hours - on working days between 8:00 and 18:00 - otherwise you will not be let in. The offered selection will be rather limited, because different truck dealers in different cities specialize in various truck brands and truck classes, and they will never offer you more than a few vehicles at once. Also, the price of trucks may differ greatly based on the truck class - at first, only the lowest grade C class vehicles will be affordable to you, but later you will probably prefer more powerful, luxurious and much more expensive A class trucks.
Before you start buying, you ought to know that unless you have a garage, you will be able to own only one truck at a time. You may, of course, exchange your current vehicle for a new one if you can afford it; you will even get a trade-in value for your used truck. Later, when you have acquired one or more garages, you will be able to buy additional trucks up to your garage capacity and send them to park there, or better yet, have them make money for you on the road by hiring drivers to operate them.
You may also upgrade your truck on several levels at the Service garage, which you will be able to find in every city. Upgrades include: increasing the power of your engine, tuning the engine to decrease fuel consumption, improving truck handling or even changing the colour of your cabin. Note that you will not be allowed to upgrade the company ruck you will be driving in your employment!