The Best Competition Ever. EVER. EVVVVVVERRRRRRR

You may very well think that I have entered the competition myself, but I couldn't possibly comment

Site policy: we don’t run news about competitions in other places.

Today, I must break site policy. Because today there is a videogames competition that has nothing to do with us, but wherein the prize is to become a fully qualified HGV driver.


Euro Truck Simulator 2, I salute you. Granted, the prize is going on a training course rather than simply being presented with a certificate, a checked shirt, a thermos flask and a lorry, but still. Beats winning an iPad any day. Also, the course usually costs about £4000, so you’d definitely be getting a leg up on your change to a 2-4-6-8 Motorway lifestyle.

Better still, entering requires watching 10 videos about HGVs then answering questions based on what you’ve learned. It’s basically a driving theory test. Here’s one of ’em:

Questions include:

Which of the following would be the correct thing to say when testing the two-second rule?

  • Only a complete tool breaks the two-second rule?
  • Only a mule breaks the two-second rule?
  • Only a fool breaks the two-second rule?

Er, mule? No, wait, tool! No, fool! No, fool of a took!

I just love this whole thing so damn much.

Enter (and watch the rest of the videos) here. Please also note how brilliant the URL is. Oh, and you’re not allowed to enter if you live outside Europe and/or are under 18. No trucks for you, young non-EU-member! And stupid people who can’t be bothered to read, please remember that this competition is nothing whatsoever to do with Rock, Paper, Shotgun. I’m just tickled pink by its existence.

Take it away, Tom:

It is also a legal requirement that you read about Adam’s experiences with the videogame this relates to.


  1. Surlywombat says:

    This competion is trucking amazing!

  2. Jams O'Donnell says:

    Great prize, though I’m concerned that it’d lead to excessive Yorkie consumption.

    Nitpickery #1:
    In what way is driving an HGV different from driving a car?

    Nitpickery #2 (less sure about this one but it’s in the Jams Style Guide):

    • trjp says:

      Differences between an HGV (and a car

      Car has 5 or 6 gears – may even be automatic
      HGV has around 27 gears and mostly isn’t

      Car weighs 1-2tonnes
      HGV weighs upto 44tonnes

      You can load-up your car any way you like and it will probably work
      Load an HGV wrongly (or unload it in the wrong order) and it will fall over!

      Car has modern brakes with ABS and stops in around half-to-two-thirds of the Highway Code stopping distances
      HGV has modern brakes and takes about THREE TIMES the Highway Code stopping distances

      On windy days, HGVs can move 3′ sideways without much warning – your car maybe moved 3″ in the same wind…

      Car is around 4m long
      HGV is around 16m long

      London Taxis must turn in 25ft of space – most cars need a little more
      HGV cabs must turn in 25 METRES of space :)

      and the big one

      Going backwards, your car steers normally
      HGVs steer like they have trailers – e.g. you steer in the wrong direction – 99% of drivers just freak-out when they realise that…

      When you add-in that most people with car licences struggle JUST DRIVING A CAR, you realise the need for expensive training :)

      p.s. then there’s the boredom…

      • Llewyn says:

        Check the bolded bits in his comment. (Clue, it’s a grammatical point, not a question.)

      • Ross Angus says:

        I must of dozed off for a second there, and woke up in The Flare Path.

      • corinoco says:

        You forgot some of the most important:

        While cars come in many flavours, HGVs only come in two – mint & gravel.

        Cars are all male, but HGVs are female and all are named ‘Bernice’

    • MiniMatt says:

      Re nitpickery 2 I believe it could go either way dependent on whether one was taught to talk proper :o)

      An eightch-GV or a haych-GV.

      • Lev Astov says:

        Came here to say the same, except with less ambiguity as to which is proper. Haych just hurts me to hear.

      • Tacroy says:

        Turns out a/an is a purely spoken thing. If you’re going to say a vowel sound after a, it becomes an. Doesn’t matter what the actual letter is – if the next sound out of your mouth is a vowel sound, you say an.

        Thus, it doesn’t really matter if you pronounce it haych or eightch – both begin with vowel sounds, even if the former is written with a leading consonant.

        You would, however, pronounce it “a hgv” if you were trying to pronounce the acronym as a single word with no initial vowel sound – like “hgev” or something.

        • MiniMatt says:

          I would contest the assertion that both “eightch” and “haych” are necessarily vowl sounds. Perhaps best demonstrated by pointing to “a haystack” or “an haystack” – the second only sounds right with a severely dropped “h”.

          But definitely concur it’s purely a spoken thing and your mouth kinda automatically knows whether to use “a” or “an” dependent upon how it’s about to pronounce the following word – and both sound perfectly fine unless one consciously forces either “a” or “an” against your natural pronunciation of the following word.

          RPS derails are the best derails :o)

      • Jams O'Donnell says:

        Well, yes, but my actual point was that when writing you should use the written version of the fully-expanded abbreviation when choosing whether to use “a” or “an,” so in this case it would be “a heavy goods vehicle.”

        • Berzee says:

          So…the fact that Nitpickery #1 actually violates Nitpickery #2. Is that a byzantine grammatical irony, or a hilarious gaffe at which we all should hoot and jeer?

          • Jams O'Donnell says:

            I just thought using a separate example for each nitpick would aid clarity, Mr Nitpicky.

          • Berzee says:


          • Lamb Chop says:

            with regards to number 2, you’re going to want to select the url that people intuitively remember, unless you’re purchasing both and redirecting from one to the other, which might be excessive to make a grammatical point. If it’s at all like my experience in communications, they have an editorial team that said, this is incorrect but the better option because it’s used more commonly in colloquial speech. We often intentionally break AP style when it improves flow or looks more natural to the average reader.

    • delrio says:

      it uses an rather than a because, whilst h is a consonant, it’s pronounced as ‘aitch’ which starts with a vowel sound. therefore necessitating the an.

      obviously this is slightly dependent on accent and pronunciation, but it’s a fairly standard usage of an.

      edit – for some reason i couldn’t see the replies already telling you this, until after i’d written the reply. facepalm

  3. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    Very Articulate Alec, well done.

  4. trjp says:

    Before the Tories came to power you could get this “for free” if you’d been unemployed for 6 months – ah the good old days…

    • MiniMatt says:

      I was just wondering if this meant playing computer games all day could count as a legitimate “things I have done in the last 7 days to find work” statement with the job centre.

      • solidsquid says:

        Of course, comes under the same heading as “job training”

  5. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    The exam has nothing on the three second rule, then?

  6. djriverside says:

    Americans everywhere release a collective sigh of mourning.

  7. JimboDeany says:

    If you want to win this you’d better get trucking! Beats murdering prostitutes any day…..

    To all the better puns, I doff my cab………………………

  8. BAshment says:

    Dose the course include dogging etiquette?

  9. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    ETS2 seems to have the best physics modelling of any of these vehicle sims, but it’s still sadly lacking. The modelling of weight transfer is extremely limited, and the tyres seem to be racing slicks – there’s no sense of the immense amount of give and damping in the whole system.

    I know it’s got to be playable if you don’t have a wheel, but I’d much prefer they’d developed a proper physics engine and then developed assists for it rather than stopping at a point which is convincing only for digital controllers.

    It’s a huge shame that Rigs of Rods seems likely to remain as a niche, perma-broken toy – it’s the physics engine that sims like ETS2 should be aiming for.

    • Faldrath says:

      There’s a realistic physics mod that mitigates some of these issues. It makes the game fairly harder to play.

      • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

        Looks like the demo works with mods (good show!) so I’ll try it out – thanks!

  10. Berzee says:

    Is this competition only open to RPS subscribers, or can any of the readership enter your competition, Alec?

    • P7uen says:

      Only open to subs who have already won at least 1 RPS badge from their previous competitions, according to the RPS newsletter.

      • DellyWelly says:

        Damn, I already used my badge to get in to Seton Sands for free in February..

  11. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Sadly my last attempt at learning to drive was immortalised in fiction as “The Wind in the Willows”, or as Colonials might know it, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”.

    • Harlander says:

      Were your adventures also the inspiration for the less-likely-to-be-made-into-a-Disney-ride bit in Wind in the Willows where the protagonists suppress a peasant uprising?

      • Llewyn says:

        Really, it’s surprising we’ve not had a contemporary reboot of the Wind in the Willows franchise in game form. American McGee’s Wind, perhaps.

  12. yabonn says:

    This lack of Vision makes me sad.

    It’s *trucks*. They haul *things*. That you can *exchange*. For *other stuff*.

    Now make it online, add a currency and truckable, craftable stuff that matter to players, specialize regions, and watch them truck.

  13. wonderingmonster says:

    I liked this bit:

    Do you play computer games?


    If ‘YES’, what genres?

    Truck Driving Simulations
    Train Driving Simulations
    Bus Driving Simulations
    Management Simulations

    • solidsquid says:

      I love to think that someone could end up managing a lorry driving company because of this contest and entering “management simulators” for this question

  14. killbilly says:

    Site policy: we don’t run news about competitions in other places.

    What about horns blowin’ that sound?

  15. Zeewolf says:

    Re. the song: I’ll just leave this here:

    link to

    No, I have no idea either.

  16. Lev Astov says:

    This is actually really awesome. I’d like to see a flight sim do this.

  17. rustybroomhandle says:

    SCSSoft is awesome and so is Euro Truck Sim 2. I approve!

  18. strangeloup says:

    I want to bean HGV driver.

    Is bean a verb? It sounds a bit like a tabloid headline.

    • SF Legend says:

      To hit deliberately with a projectile, especially in the head.

  19. Tidz says:

    I’ve got to admit i totally forgot to actually read the news and thought that i would win a copy of the game (if i won at all).

    Now i’m a bit worried that i am going to have to change careers.

  20. Bishop says:

    Wait I thought you guys announced Intel’s Level Up last year? Or is that a new policy?

  21. lofaszjoska says:

    Square Enix should totally announce a Tomb Raider contest where the grand prize is them funding your dream excavation.

  22. sinister agent says:

    That’s a pretty neat idea, if a bit weird. But blimey, four grand? I had no idea it was so expensive. I’m trying to imagine why, too. Seems bloody steep.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Going to guess insurance is a pretty big chunk of that. Learner driver in a HGV a somewhat scarier proposal than one in a fiesta.

      Dunno, running costs per mile are going to be a bit chunky too, add in an opportunity cost of the loss of income the truck could be making were it delivering widgets to Grimsby and instructor costs of (complete guess) – 40 quid an hour?

  23. Brun says:

    So uh, what exactly does “HGV” stand for? In the US we call things like that “semis”, “tractor trailers”, “18-wheelers”, or just “trucks”.