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The objective of 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker is to make it to the finish line with your cargo within a given time.

There are special vehicles that you can ram into that will add three seconds to your time. They look like purple Chevy Astro Vans. After Stage 1, the game gives the player a choice of trailer. One trailer is harder to haul, but provides a bigger payoff while the other choice is easier to haul but provides a smaller payoff. Money is deducted from the total when the trailer is hit.

Power-ups and the Lizard Tail[edit]

On your cross-country trek, you also have to compete with Lizard Tail, an arrogant trucker who will try to distract you by shouting various insults over his CB radio. If you beat Lizard Tail, you'll go to the bonus stage, in which you'll try to get the following Power-ups:

Stage Power-up Description
1 Horn To get this Power-Up, you have to take a sharp right turn into a green parking space. Start out moving forward, but don't go too fast, especially when going into the turn. Start braking as soon as the view pans up. If you position your truck into the green space (no part of the truck can go outside the designated green line), you win the horn. You'll need this to warn other drivers of your presence as traffic gets more congested in the later stages.
2 Muffler This Bonus Stage is the same as Stage 1, but with two sharp turns this time, one to the left, and the other to the right. Maneuver carefully through these turns, and be prepared to brake when the green space comes up. The muffler will help you build up your speed even more.
3 Engine You have to back in a straight line into the green space. Use extreme caution so your truck won't drift too far away from the green space. If you succeed into putting your truck inside the green space, you'll win the engine power-up. This will help you attain your top speed more quickly.