Technology can be a wonderful thing when you consider all of the possibilities it affords us. Take the Off-Road Big Rig Truck Simulator 3D Driving School available for iOS devices including iPhone and iPad. This app lets you theoretically work on your truck driving skills without having to pay to go to truck driving school. But is it worth your time? Check out this review of the driving school app to see if you should play or pass.
When you go to download the truck driving app you will see that it is free. However, there are in-app purchases, which is often where app developers get you. Fortunately, the only in-app purchase for the Off-Road Big Rig Truck Simulator is a $2.99 purchase to remove all ads. According to the reviewers, apps are a major distraction and it looks like this purchase would be worth the money if you want to play the simulator in earnest.
Another key consideration for anyone trying to download a driving simulator app is space requirements. This app takes up 114. 9 MB, which is considered a large file size. In fact, you will want to use wireless internet to download this and avoid downloading it using your cellular data. Even phones with unlimited data are blocked from downloading more than 100 MB at a time, so you’ll have some trouble there.
Once you get this free app downloaded you are ready to roll. The simulator describes itself with the following details: “Drive monster heavy trucks to test off-road driving skills in latest truck driver simulator game.” Based on the screenshots these heavy trucks are your typical Class 8 big rigs that pull a variety of trailers including dry van trailers and flatbeds pulling logs. However, there are also military trucks in the game so you get a little of the noncommercial driving feel. A total list of the trucks included follows:
As for off-road the game is not exactly taking you off-road like you think. Actually, you are operating these big rigs on curvy, mountain roads that drive over rough terrain. Not exactly what an off-roading experience is, but this is even better for the average truck driver. It gives you the feel of driving over mountain passes and steep inclines. You get a feel for what it would look like if you were operating a truck with a heavy trailer, but it’s not exactly a realistic simulator.
The actual graphics of the app are decent. You aren’t looking at a realistic image that will trick you into thinking this is the real world. It’s more of a computer generated world builder like you would see in Sims or some similar computer game. But the trucks look great. You get rust and shadowing and fine lines that really lend a realistic feel to the simulator. It’s just the landscaping that’s sketchy, but since you are playing the game for the heavy trucks that is not that big of a deal.
This simulator is more of a game than an actual training experience. You are not able to see from inside the cab, just on the outside of the vehicle. So you have no knowledge of what the gauges and in-cab operations, which limits your real-world training. Also, you do not know how much your freight weighs or have any feel for the weather outdoors, both of which are important factors in freight hauling.
Should you play or pass? You shouldn’t expect this simulator to teach you how to drive a big rig or to help you hone your driving skills. The behind-the-wheel experience will need to come from real-world training and hours spent in the truck, rather than playing a game. On the other hand, if you want something to do to keep you occupied while you sit around waiting for your truck to get loaded or unloaded, this game offers a great fun factor. It’s a pleasant enough experience, as long as you pay for the in-app purchase to remove the ads. Plus, the game itself is free so you aren’t investing anything in the actual app. Don’t like it? Just delete it and move on with your day.
If you want to get actual truck driver training that uses state-of-the-art driver simulators, there are plenty of trucking schools out there that offer this opportunity to get your CDL. From community colleges to trucking schools sponsored by carriers, you can find a school near you for training programs. This is the best way to get that behind the wheel experience you are looking for in a safe manner that benefits your trucking career.