Trucking Digest

As noted in my short post on Thursday, I was at a retirement party and subsequently I’ve had a number of other things to keep me busy including a football match down in Folkestone and Epi taking me out for a meal on Sunday – so it’s a very late Digest this week. In the last Digest I spoke about some of the things expected in Euro Truck and American Truck. That was back on 7th February. We were anticipating version 1.34 to be delivered soon and I speculated that it might include the MAN TGX Euro6 which the community has been awaiting eagerly and which MAN Bus and Truck UK had hinted would soon be with us. On Friday 8th SCS Software released v1.34, breaking one of my unwritten rules about software delivery. ‘You never deploy on a Friday in case there’s a problem – On Friday everyone’s already got their weekend head on!’ In 18 years of software and application work I always delivered our updates on a Tuesday or Thursday ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had expected the Euro6 TGX to appear probably in the 1.35 release but no! Here it is in 1.34 ๐Ÿ™‚

So the driving in the past week has all been in Euro Truck, trying out some different configurations. What do I think of the new version of the TGX? It’s ok – a little bit underwhelming when compared with the latest Scania R and S series trucks that were released last year. It seems to be a generation behind compared to them. I think that is because it’s been ready to go for at least 2 years but has been mired in Licensing issues. That said, the interior is excellent with the dash very nicely reproduced. The engine sounds are definitely better than those in the Euro5 TGX that we’ve had since the start. There’s a very clear difference in sound between the D26 and D38 series engines. However I did note a discrepancy in the D38 engine ratings compared with those in the current MAN range. The current brochure gives a range in logical steps of 540, 580 and 640HP but what we get in game is 520, 560 and 640HP. This is almost certainly a result of the licensing delay as those engine ratings would have been correct back in 2014 when the D38 series was first announced. Looks like a job for an enterprising modder to provide the current options ๐Ÿ˜‰ I initially tried out the 520HP engine before spec’ing the truck in one of the commonest configurations you see in the UK – 6×2/4 midlift chassis with the 440HP D26 engine. Here she is with one of our reefers about to set off from Frankfurt with a load of Smoked Sprats for delivery to Kรธbenhavn……and here is a view from the interior as we cross the Great Belt Fixed Link between Funen and Zealand…

The 440HP spec performed adequately and I think Martin Transport et Logistique will be rolling these out across the fleet to replace the Merc’s and the Euro5 MAN trucks. However, I will also be using Scania R450 series trucks at some depots. When suitable trailers become available I’ll take a look at the MAN 8×4 truck with the 640HP engine as an option for our heavy-haul division alongside the Scania R580 and R730 or S730. But for now it’s normal hauling that is the focus. I’ve played around with the spec of the truck since the 440HP test. I’ve applied a special livery celebrating 100 years of MAN Bus and Truck and added a blue interior light – I find it enhances the visibility of the gauges at night (My Scania Streamline R580 also has blue interior lighting). And she’s back to the 520HP D38 engine. Here’s some shots of the new livery taken during a run from Montpellier to Kรถln…

That’s all for ‘last’ week ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hopefully we’ll be back on time come Thursday for the next edition!


Annual Computer Headset Day

So, it’s February 14th. That day when almost all of us men would like to slink away to a corner and don our headphones to avoid the inevitable burning of the ears for not buying a card, chocolates, flowers, etc… Actually that’s not quite how it is, though we guys like to joke about it between ourselves in the privacy of the pub ๐Ÿ˜‰ The reality is that we actually get our ears burned for things not done as expected / required by our partner throughout the year and poor old Saint Valentine gets the blame for it! Of course, I use the term guys loosely in our modern world – I’m sure that the same situation exists in same-sex relationships too ๐Ÿ™‚ And the reality is that we should be showing our partner how much we love them throughout the year, not just today. But if we did that I guess lots of florists and card companies would go bust!

As an aside – My Wife forgot that I was at a friend’s retirement party today and, when I wasn’t home as expected, called to find out where I was – now that’s what love is really about ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Valentines Day everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

A Photo a Week Challenge: Depth of Field

If you read Nancy’s post you will find the factors involved in limiting depth of field explained. The f-stop description is as Nancy says – counter intuitive. The key to understanding is that f-stops are a ratio with smaller numbers indicating a wider opening to let light in. One of the best ways of understanding this is to view the number as being the number of holes of that size that would fit on your film so 2.8 is, by definition, a much bigger hole than the hole that would fit onto your film 16 times. f-stops have been around a long time and the direct correlation to film / sensor size no longer exists. Nancy mentioned that focal length also plays a part in the depth of field – it’s worth adding that cropped sensors affect your lens focal length compared to full frame sensors and therefore also have an effect on the depth of field in your final image. I hope my additional thoughts help.

Limiting depth of field is a technique used in sports photography to isolate the action from the background. Thus, you will find many sports photographers shooting using aperture priority to keep the depth of field small whilst adjusting the ISO setting to maintain a suitable shutter speed. Some photographers will shoot with the lens wide open – I tend to try and use somewhere between f4 and f5 because sometimes I find that f2.8 is a bit too tight for my subject matter. Of course when it gets dark and I’m photographing under the poor quality floodlights at a non-league football match then I have to resort to shutter priority and adjust the ISO to get reasonable exposures at the widest aperture – such is the life of a football photographer ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here’s a couple of shots from a recent match at Leatherhead – one of action and one of a couple of stewards…