Euro Truck Simulator 2 – Trucks Technical Statistics Explained

After a very long experience of almost 900 hours in ETS2 I decided to explain stats that concern engines, axles, transmission etc… Since the game doesn’t do it perfectly.

Trucks Technical Statistics

Introduction

When buying a truck, in addition to the livery, interior decor and cabin options, the game offers you various technical options from the number of axles and traction to the engine power and transmission, on the right side of the screen is a list that shows the overall performance of the truck in various fields such as maneuverability and the truck ability to climb hills.

Since I am an engineering student, I’ll explain all of these features in detail and in the simplest possible way, including their pros and cons so you can choose the best truck configuration of your dreams.

So let’s start!

Torque

The Torque (or moment) is the rotational force that an engine creates. When going uphills (or when the weight is higher), the engine uses more torque (or turns faster) while the truck speed is lower, in a highway (or the lighter the truck is) the engine uses less torque while the vehicle speed is higher, so bear in mind that if you wanna take heavy loads with your trucks, a more powerful engine is the way to go.

Engine Power

In Internal Combustion Engines the power output they deliver per a unit of time is measured by horsepower, for electrical appliances it’s measured by watts, they’re the same, that’s why the game includes both units. The higher the power, the faster the truck can go.

Gears

When I talked about the torque, I said that while going uphill the torque is higher and the speed is lower, and vice versa in highways, the thing that allows to dynamically change speed and torque is the transmission, cars have generally 5 or 6 gears (in case of manual transmission), trucks have up to 16, in simple terms, the lower the gear, the lower the speed and the higher the torque (or rpm) and bigger the gear in size and number of teeth, the opposite is true, thus trucks need lower gear to go uphill, the more gears the more precision the engine can deliver the rpm to the wheels depending on any road situation, its also more fuel efficient if you ever activate the realistic fuel consumption. Always go for higher number of gears.

In my photo above, the first gear is 13.28 times bigger than the engine crankshaft, the last one is obviously smaller, with a ratio of 0.8.

Gear ratio helps determine how much torque is reduced (for last gear) and increased (for first gear), higher first gear ratio allows to go faster uphill and to accelerate faster from speed 0, for the last gear the lower it is the faster your truck can go at high speeds.

Differential Ratio

This one is similar to the gear ratio, except that in this case, it’s the ratio between the driveshaft and the wheels, as shown in the diagram. The transmission delivers the rotation to a long tube called the driveshaft, which in turn transfers it to the wheels where the traction is (generally the rear wheels for lorries).

A higher differential ratio means the driveshaft will rotate more times compared to the wheels. This provides greater torque or pulling power to the wheels, making it easier for the truck to accelerate or tow heavy loads. However, the trade-off is that the engine will have to work harder to maintain higher speeds, thus consuming more fuel if you like to play realistically.

Conversely, a lower differential ratio means the driveshaft will rotate fewer times compared to the wheels. This results in less torque but allows the engine to operate at lower RPM for a given speed.

In other words, the differential ratio is kind of like a second transmission between the transmission and the wheels, the only difference is that it cannot be changed unless you modify your truck.

Effective Wheelbase

This is the distance between the center of front and rear wheels, the bigger the distance, the more stable your truck is and more suitable for heavy loads, but the turning radius will be large, not suitable for small roads. The smaller distance between the wheelbases however will result in a smaller turning radius which allows your truck to make sharper turns, but the adherence on the road and stability will be weaker, best suited for lighter loads. This can be increased or reduced by command if you have liftable rear axles, I will explain axles below.

Retarder

A Retarder is used to slow down or control the speed of your truck, especially when descending steep slopes or during extended periods of braking. It provides additional braking power and helps to maintain control over the truck when navigating downhill slopes or when additional braking force is required. This is very recommended to get as soon as possible, it comes with transmissions that have an R next to their name.

Axles

Axles are the shafts that hold two facing wheels, they are either rotational (allow for wheels to turn) or not, and either support traction (connected to the engine through transmission) or not, the game offers wide possibilities ranging from 1 to 4 axles, the more axles you have, the more grip the truck has on the road, the more stable it is, the more load it can carry, and the less maneuverable it becomes, since adding more axles will add more Effective Wheelbase thus increasing the turning radius. In general, the primary purpose of additional axles is load distribution.

You generally find the number of wheels written like this AxB, A means number of wheels (counting double wheels as one), B means the number of wheels that can have traction, this is important for heavy loads and uneven terrain by the way.

I will explain various axles options I have for my current truck, which is The New MAN TG3 TGX recently added by SCS, accompanied by pictures to visualize and get the idea.

Chassis 4×2:

  • This is basically 2 axles, 4 wheels, 2 of them have traction (the ones on the rear).

Chassis 6×2-2 Taglift:

  • Six wheels, 2 wheels with traction and 2 liftable wheels (the last axle), this is interesting since raising the liftable axle will do as a 4×2 configuration, and since this is a taglift, the turning radius of the truck can be increased or decreased thus allowing great maneuverability in tight areas, some brands use the dash ‘-‘, others use the asterisk ‘*’ to refer to the same thing.

Chassis 6×2/2 Midlift:

  • 3 Axles, 1 powered, 1 that can turn (the front obviously), the slash ‘/’ indicates that the middle axle can be raised.

Chassis 6×2/4 Midlift:

  • Same as above but the number behind the slash ‘/’ indicates that 2 axles or 4 wheels can turn, which are the 2 front axles.

Chassis 6×4:

  • 3 axles, while 2 have power (the two axles at the back), no liftable axles.

Chassis 8×4/4 Midlift:

  • 4 axles, 2 that have power (rear) and 2 that can turn (front) while the second axle can be lifted.

As a general rule. The asterisk ‘*’ or the dash ‘-‘ mean that the last axle can be raised (taglift). The slash ‘/’ means that an axle in the middle can be raised (midlift), the third number means the number of wheels that support steering (always the front most).

For configurations that allow liftable axles, to do so, you need to press U button to raise/lower them according to the load you carrying.

For midlift, the liftable axles don’t affect turning radius, however in taglift, they so since the wheelbase is increased/decreased in this case.

To demonstrate, notice how the mid axle is raised and lowered in this configuration

Conclusion

I hope I made everything clear and that you found everything you’ve been looking for in this important part of the game that many tend to ignore due to unclear informations here and there.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 6927 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

2 Comments

  1. I just start playing two days ago and I just bought the cheapest truck I found since I don’t know which of the stats do.
    when I buying next truck I will come back to read this again, thank you so much.

  2. thanks i just bought the game and i just needed to know what a retarder and effective wheelbase were

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