You can customize or upgrade trucks both during the purchase and after. If you already own a truck, simply go to the nearest service station on the map (the red background tool icon):
And choose the Truck Configurator option.
Let's dive into the categories in which you can customize.
Most trucks in the game have at least a few available cabin options.
They significantly affect the height and external appearance of the vehicle, but they don't change the driveability or performance.
Chassis doesn't affect the vehicle's top speed.
However, it does influence acceleration, traction, turning, and stability.
Choosing a chassis should depend on the type of cargo you transport. Standard 4x2 chassis are great for regular cargo due to good maneuverability, while larger chassis like 6x4 are well-suited for Heavy Cargo requiring more powerful trucks.
Chassis names appear in the following format:AxB/C Midlift/Taglift
- A - total number of wheels
- B - number of driven wheels
- C - number of steerable wheels (2 by default)
- Midlift - ability to lift middle wheels
- Taglift - ability to lift rear wheels
- 4x2: 4 wheels, 2 of which are driven
- 6x2/4: 6 wheels, 2 of which are driven, 4 are steerable
- 8x4/4: Midlift: 8 wheels, 4 of which are driven, 4 are sterable, middle wheels can be lifted
When to lift and when to lower the wheels?
It's beneficial to lower the additional wheels at high speeds and on straight roads (such as highways). They provide greater stability, and the driven wheels offer better acceleration.
At low speeds (in cities or off-road), it's better to lift the wheels for easier turning while giving up some stability and acceleration
The chassis affects the fuel tank capacity:
The fuel tank capacity decreases not only visually. If you choose a chassis with a smaller fuel tank capacity, you'll need to refuel more often.
To check the fuel tank capacity with a specific chassis, simply customize the truck model at the dealer, press Confirm, and hover over it on the list to see the details.
Usually, when choosing a chassis with more wheels, you might have to compromise on having a smaller fuel tank.
What's the best chassis?
The best chassis choice depends on various factors such as the type of cargo, preferred roads, and even driving style.
If you simply want to transport cargo quickly, the 6x4 is the best choice due to power being delivered to 4 out of the 6 wheels, ensuring strong acceleration.
The most versatile option, however, would be the 6x2/4 Midlift. With the ability to lift the middle wheels, it provides good stability or maneuverability, depending on the setting that you can change while driving.
How to lower/lift extra wheels?
If you have a Midlift or Taglift chassis, you can lower or raise the wheels as needed at any time.
To lower or raise an axle, press the U key (Lift/Drop axle in Keys & Buttons settings). You can do this even with the engine turned off.
Every truck has at least several available engines to choose from. The power ranges from 310 HP to a whopping 750 HP. Check out the list of trucks and engines in ETS2.
The performance of a truck primarily depends on the engine's power. The better it is, the better the vehicle's top speed, acceleration, and its ability to carry heavier cargo.
Also, pay attention to the torque. Higher torque should allow you to reduce the vehicle's fuel consumption.
However, it's important to remember that power and torque aren't the only factors. Different engines can also influence the truck sound.
Furthermore, some engines meet specific emission standards, such as Euro 5 or Euro 6. Engines meeting newer standards should be more environmentally friendly, although this doesn't directly correlate with the ones you'll find in ETS2. Nonetheless, it's a nice feature.
Even if you're using an automatic gearbox, it's worth considering the choice of a specific transmission.
- A gearbox with a lower ratio (e.g. 9.16-0.80) will be better for driving with normal cargo at high speeds on straight roads (such as highways).
- A gearbox with a higher ratio (e.g. 11.32-1.00) will be more suitable for steep inclines or driving with heavy cargo. It will also make city driving easier, where you need more precision.
- A lower differential number (e.g. 3.08) allows for higher RPM, which in turn translates to better acceleration and top speed.
- A higher differential number (e.g. 4.08) is more fuel-efficient.
- In some gearboxes, there's an additional Torque Multiplier that adds extra torque at low RPMs.
- Unlike the engine's torque, this parameter shouldn't significantly impact the vehicle's performance or behavior, so it's worth prioritizing the other parameters first.
- The retarder is an additional brake, mainly used to maintain speed while descending hills (e.g., when using cruise control).
- To increase the retarder power, press ;. To decrease it, press '.
Difference between the number of speeds
- A higher number of gears (e.g., 12 or 16) allows for greater precision. This is more useful in hilly terrains or when carrying heavy cargo.
- A lower number of gears (e.g., 6) should be equally efficient or even more so for normal cargo. An additional benefit is the ease of playing with a manual gearbox for someone who only drives cars and doesn't want to learn how to use an SKRS or struggle with custom binds.
In most cases, having a higher number of speeds should be a better pick.
Some trucks offer multiple available interiors. This allows you to customize things like the color scheme and interior style to your liking.
Additionally, there are UK variants available where the steering wheel is on the right side.
Keep in mind that different interior versions might have varying features. For example, some might include a large GPS screen, while others may not have it at all (if needed, you can install it on the windshield through the Accessories tab for interior accessories).
In this tab, you can change the color of your vehicle.
In addition to standard single-color paints, there are also paint jobs, which are various interesting designs, like ones with national elements or unique artwork.
If you enjoy custom paint jobs and want more of them, there are several DLCs for that. For example, I personally like the ones with dinosaurs.
Here, you can install a whole bunch of visual elements on the exterior of your truck. You'll find things like rims, sideskirts, tires, or even details like door handles. You can customize nearly everything.
In addition to purely visual elements, there are also a few that can be quite practical.
You can install extra lighting that helps improve visibility at night. Additionally, you can mount a beacon on the roof or even horns, which allow you to change the horn sound.
If you want, you can also install a custom driver plate here.
In the interior, you can change several visual details, such as the appearance of the steering wheel.
However, the most important thing is what you can add, and you can add a lot of things:
Curtains in any color, a sun visor, windshield sets, items like glasses or a wallet, and also add useful items like an additional navigation device, which comes in handy if the vehicle doesn't have a built-in one or if it's placed in an inconvenient place.