The Trucking side-mission is located at the RS Haul depot in Flint County, just west of Los Santos and north of Helena Wankstein's Farm in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The missions are activated by standing inside the red mission marker. The business generates $2,000 per day after completing all eight trucking missions. They become available after completing Catalina's mission, Tanker Commander, which features one of the depot's employees, Mr. Whittaker.
The missions consist of either delivering cargo within a time limit, delivering an illegal cargo whilst being pursued by the police with a three or four star rating, or delivering a fragile cargo without damaging it. The successive missions are increasingly difficult, with tighter time limits, stronger police attention or more easily damaged cargo, while also covering a larger area of land to reach the destination. Leaving the cab or detaching the trailer for too long will result in mission failure. After San Fierro locations are completed, cargo heading for Las Venturas will be a combination of fragile and timed objects, or any of the three, or all at the same time.
Goods must be delivered quickly. The player starts with a maximum of $1,000. A timer will tell you when the player has to be at the destination. If the goods are late, cash will be cut in half. If it's more late, cash will be cut in half again. Even more late and the mission will be failed. The destination of the first mission will always be located in Red County, usually with the player taking the road nearby the depot heading north towards Blueberry, which is within east or central San Andreas.
Goods must be delivered without damage. The player starts with a maximum of $1,500. A damage bar will record the amount of damage your cab and your cargo receives. The more damage your cargo receives, the less cash will be given to the player. Because the player is just beginning, the decrease of money will not be as drastic as the future missions. On this mission, the cargo is usually sent to Montgomery, east San Andreas.
Illegal goods must be delivered. The player starts with $2,000. The player will receive a minimum wanted level of three stars once the player leaves the compound. The wanted level cannot be decreased even with police bribes or, if the player manages to get in, spray shops. The player can decrease it only with a never wanted cheat (PC: AEZAKMI ~ PS2: Circle, Right, Circle, Right, Left, Square, Triangle, Up). If the player fails the mission, the wanted level will stay with the player but they can now use police bribes and spray shops, while passing the mission will automatically remove their wanted level. Locations can include destinations within the southern parts of Los Santos, which include Willowfield located near Emmet's training ground and CJ's safehouse, El Corona near CJ's and Cesar's house, and to the National Guard Depot in Ocean Docks, where the mission Robbing Uncle Sam took place.
Similar to mission 1, goods must be delivered quickly but there is a shorter delivery time, a farther destination, and a reward of $3,000. Destinations include Whetstone and Angel Pine in southwest San Andreas.
The goods are extremely fragile, more fragile than the second mission. The player starts with a maximum of $4,000. Destinations include places around San Fierro, specifically Easter Bay Airport and Battery Point, next to Jizzy's Pleasure Domes.
Similar to mission 3, illegal goods must be delivered and the player receives a three stars wanted level. The player starts with a maximum of $5,000. Requires access to Las Venturas. Destinations include:
- El Quebrados, northwest San Andreas
- Bayside Marina, northwest San Andreas
- Tierra Robada, northwest San Andreas
Goods must be delivered quickly and without damage, a combination of missions 1 and 2. The player starts with a maximum of $7,000. Requires access to Las Venturas. Destinations include:
- Green Palms, north San Andreas
- Bone County, north San Andreas (2)
- The Sherman Dam, north San Andreas
- Verdant Meadows, north San Andreas
Similar to mission 3 but with highly illegal goods. The player will receive a minimum wanted level of four stars once the player leaves the compound. Requires access to Las Venturas. The player starts with $10,000. Destinations include:
- Redsands West, Las Venturas (2)
- Whitewood Estates, Las Venturas (2)
- Las Venturas Airport Depot, Las Venturas
- Starfish Casino, Las Venturas
- Creek, Las Venturas
- Spinybed, Las Venturas
- Pilgrim, Las Venturas
- Rockshore East, Las Venturas (2)
- Randolph Ind. Est., Las Venturas
- LVA Freight depot, Las Venturas
- Las Venturas Airport, Las Venturas
After completing the Trucking side mission, the player can return to start the Trucking mission with all future missions randomly ordered.
- Plan a route on the map before a start of motion. Use the most straight path over paved roads with minimum amount of turns.
- In missions with illegal goods delivery make a way partially on rails, tunnels and dedicated bridges effectively isolate you from prosecution by police. But in open places (desert, countryside) you better quickly return to paved road because on rails your speed will be limited, making you an easy mark for the police helicopters.
- Avoid sharp turns, the trailer can come off.
- Look in the direction where you'll be heading next to minimize the chance of traffic or police vehicles from spawning there.
- Do not allow law enforcement vehicles or traffic cars enter between cab and the trailer, you immediately will lose cargo.
- Expect to make several attempts at Mission 8 as it's not uncommon for the trailer to be dislodged by police the moment it leaves the compound, rendering completion of the mission impossible as the trailer often disappears, or rolls away.
- If possible, stay off the Strip when reaching Las Venturas and plan your route around it; the police will set up several roadblocks there and can quickly destroy your tanker with their MP5s.
- Successful completion of illegal goods missions automatically negates any wanted level attained during the mission. However, if you fail a mission, while you can return to the compound to try it again, the wanted level is not removed, leaving you to your own devices (or a reload).
- Maintain high speed during missions with a wanted level. The outcome of them is often the product of luck, depending on whether you are forced to stop or not.
- Try to complete all the pre-Las Venturas missions before completing the mission Yay Ka-Boom-Boom. This is because, due to a glitch, computer-controlled vehicles will not cross the bridges linking Los Santos and Red County with Flint County, making crossing these bridges easier with the truck. After the Desert and Las Venturas areas open, traffic uses all bridges normally, creating additional hazards for the player in avoiding damage, making time, or avoiding police.
- If you didn't work on the trucking missions until after you beat the game, it is advised to recruit a GSF gang member to help with the police chasing after you (Tec-9 armed gang members prefered). A Desert Eagle is not recommended because the trailer can be easily destroyed with it, as the GSF member will ignore the trailer.
- Truck cabs and most trailers are too tall to fit through the underpass in Verdant Bluffs, Los Santos, even though it is in the direct route to a few destinations. Either go around the underpass, driving along the outside of the cliff, or choose another route.
- On some occasions, when the trailer is removed from the truck, and is tilted upside-down, it explodes like a normal car, but does not appear to be damaged. This also causes the mission to fail.
- Due to a glitch, the trailer can randomly detach even on smooth roads at moderate speeds. The trailer catches fire and explodes afterwards. It's unknown what causes this.
- In the beta, this mission would be unlocked after Highjack and not after Tanker Commander.