TruckSim by Mechanical Simulation

Mechanical Simulation provides CarSim, TruckSim and BikeSim software to accurately simulate the dynamic behavior of cars, light and heavy trucks, and motorcycles. 58 OEM's and many Tier 1 suppliers have validated our simulation results to real proving ground test data. Our products include example vehicles, roads and test procedures for immediate use. Real-time versions work on the most common HIL systems used worldwide. Models can be easily extended with Simulink, in-house models (tires, brakes, etc.) and any other CAE or optimization tools. Encrypted datasets are exchanged with OEM's and their partners for faster product development. Over 220 engineering driving simulators use CarSim or TruckSim for accurate testing of future chassis systems or new ADAS products in realistic traffic scenarios.

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Enabled Solution: TruckSim
Category: Vehicle Dynamics

What is TruckSim?

TruckSim is a software tool for simulating and analyzing the dynamic behavior of medium to heavy trucks, buses and articulated vehicles. It operates just like CarSim with a few important differences. Trucks and buses use a different steering system than cars. TruckSimvehicles can have dual tires at all axle locations, lead units can have from 2 to 5 axles, and 1 or 2 trailers are supported by the graphical user interface (GUI). Custom configurations can include a wide range of tractor-trailer combinations. TruckSim includes 16 of the most common Truck and Bus examples with rigid sprung masses. An optional module includes the 16 examples with suspended cabs and frame torsional flexibility that can provide more realistic predictions when the associated frame data are available. Custom truck configurations can be obtained at a reasonable price, and work in the same TruckSim environment.

TruckSim can animate simulated tests and output over 1,200 calculated variables to plot and analyze in TruckSim, or export to other software such as MATLAB, Excel, and optimization tools like HyperStudy. TruckSim runs faster than real-time using ordinary PC's. The basic TruckSim packages require no other software, although full compatibility with other simulation environments is included for MATLAB/Simulink, LabVIEW, ETAS ASCET, and programming languages such as Visual Basic and C.

Key Features & Benefits

TruckSim is used by OEM’s, suppliers, universities and R&D organizations to design, develop, and test medium to heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Integration of TruckSim into a vehicle development program can help engineers at all levels make better decisions regarding potential vehicle changes ranging from the sprung mass CG location to a tire design change, to the effectiveness of a new electronic stability controller. In this way, engineering organizations have been able to eliminate prototype vehicles and testing by performing proof-of-concept tests in TruckSim, reducing development time and cost.

TruckSim is easy to use. With TruckSim’s modern graphical user interface, you can run a simulated test, see an animation, or view engineering plots of results with just one mouse click. With the TruckSim Quick Start Guide you will be making new runs and analyzing the results in about 2 hours. The TruckSim math models are parametric, involving measurable properties that are commonly used by OEM’s and supplies. TruckSim comes with many example vehicles representing various types of on-road tractors, trailers, small and medium utility trucks, buses, and military vehicles. Lead units can have 2 to 5 axles, dual tires on all axles, and every axle can be driven. The TruckSim Graphical User Interface (GUI) supports up to 2 trailers, but custom models have been built with more. Many example roads and test procedures are also included.

There are many example test procedures, and vehicle shape files for high quality animations. TruckSim simulations are very accurate, OEM and Tier 1 suppliers consistently find close agreement between TruckSim results and actual vehicle test results.

The TruckSim math models cover the complete vehicle system and its inputs from the driver, ground, and aerodynamics. Engineers can test trucks on one of the many test roads included with the software. For those organizations with a need to test a specific road design and/or road roughness profile, TruckSim allows the flexibility to design your own road. Effects due to aerodynamics/wind, driver inputs to throttle, brakes, shifting, and steering can all be set by the user within TruckSim to represent either a general test such as a constant speed/straight line run, or a complicated test such as a city drive cycle consisting of multiple acceleration and braking applications on a road with changes in road elevation and direction.

The models are extensible using built-in VehicleSim commands, MATLAB/Simulink, LabVIEW, or custom programs written in Visual Basic, C, MATLAB, and other languages. Engineers can use these tools in conjunction with TruckSim to design and test advanced electronic controllers or replace entire vehicle subsystems such as tires, brakes, or the powertrain.


OEM’s, suppliers, universities, and R&D organizations use TruckSim for research, testing, and evaluation of experimental and existing products. Applications can include: chassis system design comparisons; acceleration, braking, and handling tests; electronic controls development (i.e. ABS, ESC, active suspensions); tire model evaluations; government regulations, including Performance Based Standards; highway road design; and other what-if scenarios.


Modules available
  • TruckSim Base
  • Frame Twist: TruckSim vehicle math models support a Frame Torsional Flexibility option, represented by a single torsional spring and damper in the vehicle sprung mass. This option is used to represent the distribution of the chassis torsional compliance. The Frame Torsional Flexibility applies to both lead units and trailers as well as enables a suspended cab.
  • Sensors: The Sensors option provides up to 20 range and detection sensors, providing 13 output variables for each detected object (range, range rate of change, bearing angles, elevation, magnitude, etc.). The detection variables are typically exported to Simulink for use in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) controllers. Sensor Targets can each have their own defined motion and can be rectangular or cylindrical in shape. Occlusion (blocking of view) is supported to simulate conditions where some objects block others, or when part of a large object (building, parked car, etc.) is partly outside the range of the sensor field.
Modules not currently available through the APA
  • TruckSim Real-Time
  • TruckSim Windows Driving Simulator
  • TruckSim Performance Based Standards (PBS)


TruckSim is currently available for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8 & 8.1.