A list of advanced things you may not have known you can do that can save hours of your time if you're looking to complete all maps on Hardcore. Bringing in 150h of experience from original Spintires, and some 4 years of real-life truck driving experience, I present you this guide.
Pack Medium Log Cart
As you are probably aware, you can pack the long log cart from the advanced menu, but there is no such option for the medium cart. But you can still pack it, quite easily too, with the help of the most powerful tool in the game - The crane.
Simply use crane to grab the trailer from the shaft, then detach the trailer, and pull it onto the truck. The leave it there, without releasing the crane grab. It should stay onboard the truck. Just remember the truck is a bit top heavy now. And there is another benefit from this as well: You can now attach another trailer onto the truck, because this trailer isn't officially attached at all.
Quite simple but very useful trick. Just do what we did before, and attach another trailer onto your truck. Works with pretty much all trailers and trucks, with the expection of semi-trailers of course. On Hardcore, fuel is going to be a big problem, so you can use this trick to very efficiently counter it. Do as follows: Pack the medium log cart with the truck that has the crane attachment. Then, attach a utility trailer with it, since it can hold 400 liters of fuel. Refuel it at the nearest fuel station, and make your way to the log station. Refuel at the log station, unpack the cart and attach it, load up, and make your way to the objective with full fuel. Saves you having to have another truck with fuel nearby.
Since you can actually winch pull a cart properly in MudRunner, you can "attach" another trailer to your truck using the winch. As a result, you can create some quite creative vehicle combinations. Here, I have a truck capable of carrying medium logs worth 4 points, utility trailer capable of carrying 600litres of fuel AND a short log cart capable of carrying short logs that are worth 3 points.
However, making any use of this requires a lot of fiddling. First of all, the winch pulled trailer is "dumb", meaning that you can't use it for anything until you have it officially attached. You can't load it with fuel or logs, and you can't use it to repair or refuel your truck. You need to detach the middle trailer first, and officially attach the third one to make use of it.
Then, you can, for example as I am doing here, load it up, and use it as you would normally.
As a result, we have a badass big rig worth a total of 7 points.
Some things to point out though:
Tip Over Shield
The trick is super simple, just use the anchors. Position but don't push. Now the truck is nearly impossible to tip over, and it can still drive quite well. Worth noting that this trick only works with trucks with a crane, but you'll want to use one on Hardcore anyway.
Mobile Log Station
Title says it all. Just fill up your truck with logs without loading up, and use these logs to load up another truck. You can use any logs, for instance load up long logs onto a Cart with crane, and use these logs on another truck with the correct attachments:
Hands down the most powerful trick in the book. You can actually load up a truck, then stack up additional logs on top of that load. For instance, I have short logs load here, worth 3 points, and on top of that a long logs load worth 6 points. And this is just one way, you can make some really creative combinations. I have made a much more in-depth guide about this trick specifically in original Spintires.
Fast Loading / K-700 Loading Tip
The thing that really speeds up the loading here is the simple fact that you can actually spawn multiple logs by hitting the spawn button multiple times:
Works with all logs, the maximum amount you can spawn is the amount of logs required to make a single load:
Saves you from having to do this multiple times...
Works well with the crane as well:
As for loading with the K-700... well the camera is utter♥♥♥ let's be honest. In the night, you can't see♥♥♥ And loading long logs is a nightmare, since they just roll over all over the place. The only real tip I can give here, is to raise the arms as high as they go, and rotate it all the way home. When unloading, first rotate it towards the truck and release the grab, so they should fall in. Use the articulated steering to slightly steer the logs in place if they are a little off.
Super Light Logs
Just load the bloody things up, and they basically weigh nothing. Crane grab should hold them in place.
It sucks here, since for some reason you can't really jack-knife the cart's front axle at all without it hitting an invisible obstacle. As for semis, it works as well as one might expect:
Just to clarify, this is how a jack-knife turn should look like:
Differential Lock and All-Wheel Drive
There has been some controversy about the effect of All Wheel Drive. Some say it only affects your ability to steer in the mud, and that it has little to no effect on your ability to move in the mud. However, this is utter bullcrap. Having All Wheel Drive has a massive effect on your ability to move in the mud, and of course, dramatically increases your ability to steer. In casual mode, having Diff Lock on however, impairs your ability to steer, because it forces all of your wheels to rotate at the same speed, which makes it problematic for the truck to turn correctly. Sometimes it's worth disengaging it to make a tight turn, unless you are in very deep mud. On Hardcore, front-wheel diff lock is always off, so it's effect on steering is minute at best.
It's also worth mentioning that All Wheel Drive consumes more fuel. A LOT more fuel. But you should always have an ample supply of fuel available anyways, so it's much easier and smarter to keep the All Wheel Drive on. It saves you a lot of gray hair, and more importantly, time. Feel free to disengage it on hard surfaces when you don't need it.
Advanced Gearbox Usage
Near crucial skill to master on Hardcore, since you can't use Diff lock on automatic. The manual 1st gear and 1+ will be your best friends. I noticed that some people use the gearbox by clicking on the gear lever with mouse, but it's quite inefficient and cumbersome to do. Easiest way to shift, is to hit R button, and simply move your mouse towards the gear you wish to select. It's important to shift quickly enough to not lose too much speed.
Cart vs. Semi
There are few cases where you can choose between cart and a semi. I will cover the core differences with cart and semi before going into detail.
A cart, or full-trailer, is a trailer with a front axle, and is attached to the puller truck via shaft. Semi-trailer is, as the name implies, a half-trailer, meaning it has no front axle, because the puller-truck's rear axles act as it's front axle. Now, a breakdown with the core differences:
Now for the more specialized choices.
Semi carries enough points to unlock a garage on a single run alone, and it drives well enough, so it's the superior choice here.
Now this takes a little more thought. Either pick a Cistern Semitrailer, with insane 3200 litre capacity, or pick Fuel cistern (There are two options: the orange, inferior one has a capacity of 900l, and the better, green one has 1400l capacity) with Utility cart (600l) totaling 1500-2000 litre capacity. Well, the capacity for the semitrailer is insane, literally. Because it's unusual you would ever need that much fuel, unless you're burning it by the gallons with Type E or D truck. There a few advantages with cart as well. First of all, the utility trailer carries 600 repair points. That is a lot, and it can save your♥♥♥ if you make an error. Second of all, after consuming all the fuel in the trailer, you can just ditch it and continue with the puller truck alone, making things all the much simpler. So my advice, go with the cart again, unless you need tons of fuel for some reason.
I've never needed either of these particular vehicles myself, but they have more interesting options than the rest. Utility semitrailer carries 900l of fuel and 1200 repair points. Going with the Utility attachment and Utility cart you can carry whopping 1400 repair points and 600l of fuel. Again, going with cart makes it easier to make it to your destination, but 1400 repair points is a overkill unless you need to bring a whole convoy back to life. Recommendation, utility semitrailer.
Carriage with Carriage trailer is super overpowered. It carries the same amount of points (6) as the conventional LONG log cart combination, but it's literally impossible to tip over, and it drives like a tank in mud. It has one major flaw though: You can't load it unless you have another truck with crane. Therefore, here my recommendation is mixed. If you a possibility to load up a short log combination, always go for it. Otherwise, Medium logs combination with a crane is the best choice.
Summing up, cart is almost always the superior choice. Feel free to experiment, find out what suits you the best.
For clarification, a quick tip on how to attach carts. It works quite well and realistically in my opinion, but some people have had problems with it.
Simply reverse the back of your truck, you can see the towing hook with the white dot, onto the shaft of the trailer (the black dot).
Since you can also winch pull the cart, you can use it to force the truck in the right position.
Same as above. However, a bit more tricky to explain if you're not familiar with semi-trucks. You need to actually drive the back of your truck under the semi-trailer:
Doesn't have to be straight.
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