Overtaken by Events

I could have called this post bookended by Events but overtaken sounds better and fits with what has happened to my attempts to keep the Build a Trucking Company and the Lone Star Project in sync to the point of buying a second truck.

To set the scene. At the end of August SCS announced that they would be running regular Events with rewards on Steam and Icons in World of Trucks. I mentioned the first of these, ‘Trade Connections – France’, in my ‘WOT Decision Time?’ and ‘Where are the Kenworths?’ posts. The goal was to complete a delivery of any cargo to or from France with at least 10 other countries in Europe on World of Trucks Jobs. Quite a challenge since some of the driving would be over long distances and involving a minimum of 14 trips assuming you started from a country outside France and took advantage of the proximity of Luxembourg and Metz. You could do it in 10 runs by relocating back to a garage in France after each run but I would view that as cheating ;-). I completed it in 6 days using my main account where I was driving my MAN TGA with Megan as company. We transported cargoes to or from France with the following countries: –

(1) Austria, (2) Belgium, (3) Slovakia, (4) Luxembourg, (5) Sweden, (6) Norway,
(7) Germany, (8) Switzerland, (9) Denmark, (10) The Netherlands

Here are some images from my trips…

Passing Melk Abbey, Austria

Bytča Bridge, Slovakia

Waiting for a gap in the traffic, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Crossing into Belgium on the last run back to Lille.

Then immediately after buying the second garage in Bordeaux and upgrading the Flagstaff garage, SCS announced a new World of Trucks challenge set in the US. This one was to utilise the Double Trailers recently introduced to the game. The only issue with that is that there aren’t many different liveries so there was potential for any screenshots to be ‘boring’. The rules were simple – Transport a total of 300.000 lb of cargo using only Double Trailers. Do so with jobs connected to World of Trucks, while playing American Truck Simulator, of course. For every delivery, the destination city must be different. Only deliveries with planned trip distance over 100 miles are eligible. I just decided to take part using my Lone Star Project account so our Kenworth K100 was pressed into service. If she looks slightly different to the last shot you saw of her, I treated her to a chrome sun visor and bumper at €2k to celebrate upgrading the garage 🙂 Here we go…

Heading for Bear on I one-oh… I5-I10 intersection.

Leaving Bushnells Farm, Holbrook.

On the Redwood Highway, near Ukiah.

Now the issue with completing this event in my Lone Star Project profile is that I already have more than enough money for the second truck and I have bought one. But you’re going to have to wait to see what I’ve bought because the Build a Company Project has to play catch-up 😉

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Garage Dilema

In both our projects it is time to make a decision about garages and employing staff. At this point there is a dilemma for the company operator – ie You! Do you upgrade your existing headquarters or do you buy a second garage elsewhere? To my mind there are two ways of looking at this and I’ll explain my thinking along with the thoughts from the Trucker community.

Upgrading your garage will cost 180K in Euros or Dollars – you do it by clicking on the upgrade button hiding in the image of the garage on the top left of the screen. What this will do is unlock two more garage slots allowing you to have another two vehicles based there. So where’s the dilemma? Well, if you choose instead to buy a new garage elsewhere instead of upgrading your existing one you get three slots at the new garage which still only costs you 180K. So you either have a total of three or four garage slots depending on which option you take. Many members of the community feel that getting that extra slot for the same money is always the way you should go. I think it depends on how realistic you are trying to play the game. Companies usually expand in their home area first before buying additional premises elsewhere, not least because of the logistical and communication complexities that multi-location operations introduce. So, in my own profiles I’ve always gone for the upgrade option and that is what we’re going to do in our Lone Star Project over at Flagstaff. But first we’ve got to drive there.

After the last job I parked up in a motel near Bakersfield rail depot for a good night’s sleep. In the morning I found a load of Construction Offices going to Flagstaff but to collect them I had to run light into Bakersfield itself. Then we were off along Route 58 passing a large trailer park along the way…
Now I’ve been slightly misleading you largely because I want to keep the two games in sync for this stage of our play-through journey. You actually don’t need to drive to your garage to upgrade it. You can access the details screen for any garage you own at any time and upgrade it. The drive to Flagstaff is only to mirror a drive that we are going to do in France. And the reason we need to do a drive in France is that I am going to follow the community logic in our Build a Company project and buy a second garage elsewhere. And, to buy a garage you have to visit its location 🙂

Our headquarters garage is in Lyon so I think we need a new garage in a different area of France. Lille or Reims might be a good choice being close to the northern border. However, I really fancy one of the cities along the Atlantic coast. In my main profile I have a garage in Nantes and it is one of my favourites for visiting (when available loads and time permit). Alternatives I considered back then were La Rochelle and Bordeaux. This time I think we’ll go with Bordeaux. So – decision taken I picked up a load of Schweppes beverages and off we went…
…picking up the A89 on the outskirts of Clermont Ferrand. You can read a lot of fascinating information about the A89 here and see images of its service stations and structures – some of which are reproduced in game. I will try to share them with you over time but not on this run because it’s late afternoon and it will be night by the time we reach Bordeaux.

And here we are pulling in to Geodis…

I like sprawling nature of Bordeaux as depicted in ETS2. There are several industries offering a variety of cargoes. It also adds a degree of urgency to things when you arrive with very little ‘driving’ time left and you’re nowhere near a rest point. The map below illustrates the point. The blue triangle near the bottom is our truck at the Geodis depot and the red line is the route I need to take to get to the garage that I want to buy……and I’m going to have to be quick because I’m almost out of hours and I could soon start incurring Sleep Avoidance fines! Fortunately, the traffic was light in the middle of the night and I made it before the Gendarmerie started fining me 🙂 And this is our new three slot garage in Bordeaux…

Our next task in both projects is to earn the money to buy our next truck and in France we’ll then be looking to hire our first employee. I was intending to keep both games in line until we could buy those vehicles but… well I’ll tell you about that in the next post 🙂

Home Run

Sitting in the cab at Kraków and reviewing the company log, I can see that it’s time to head home to France. The log tells me that by the time I get there I will have the €180k that I need for the garage upgrade and around a €30k buffer to protect against accidents. You’ll notice that I’ve reduced the amount of buffer from what I’ve advised earlier. I’ve been writing this series as a play through for the totally inexperienced player starting out in Euro Truck and I hope that by now the reader will have built up the necessary skills and knowledge of the game’s foibles to avoid a disaster.

Checking out the available loads one hauling 12t of beans south to Banska Bystrica catches my eye. That’s sort of the way I need to go to pick up the routes across Austria / Southern Germany. It’s not a long trip but it can be a challenging one as it crosses the Carpathian Mountains to the west of the High Tatras. I think I’ve only ever driven this road northwards in my main profile so it will be interesting to see if it is easier going south. So, full of beans 😉 we head off onto the winding ups and downs of the E77 through the Carpathians to Ružomberok and on to Banska Bystrica. There’s a lot of climbing in low gear while watching for vehicles going the other way on tight turns. To make up for the high fuel use up the grades there’s a lot of coasting in lower gear with the retarder activated on the other side and the fuel consumption at 30.7l/100km was surprisingly good for such a tricky road. Job done, I was quite glad to roll into Banska and park the trailer in the DHL depot.

There was a sting in the tail – I found I had a €357 cargo damage fine! Now the reason for that was a total mystery to me. I can categorically state that I didn’t hit anything and nothing hit me! The trailer itself was showing 0% damage so God only knows where this came from. This is one of those little foibles that occasionally happens on runs and I wonder if SCS have put in a little piece of rng coding that occasionally gives you cargo damage to simulate cargo shifting in the trailer. Reading about this on the forums leaves me none the wiser as it seems that the community are not entirely sure of the cause either. Perhaps we had mice chewing the beans or something? Now if I catch them Rats!!! 😉 The best advice I can give is put it behind you and get on with the next delivery 🙂

From Banska Bystrica I picked up a load of Mason Jars (you know, those clear jars you store dried pasta in) bound for Klagenfurt. At 7t it was a nice light load and the relatively flat dual carriageway roads made for a very smooth run and an amazing fuel economy figure of 22.7l/100km. It’s going to be interesting to calculate the average fuel economy figure for the runs we have been doing once we get back to France.

At Klagenfurt I selected a job delivering Liver Paste to Verona – for a change we’re going to route back to France via northern Italy. The run from Klagenfurt takes us across the Austro-Italian border on the Alpe-Adria Autostrada (A23) which follows the course of the Slizza river – in the image we’re just south of the border at a location that can easily be identified on google maps. The in-game Slizza seems a little too full for the ‘summer’ time of year as it is a Torrent which means that it has much more flow in the autumn and spring. Take a look on google maps and see what you think – the location is just to the north of the Sant’ Antonio Tunnel 🙂

In Italy we started hitting the toll roads and at the first of these a truck decided to change lane into me as we were pulling away. I get a €400 fine for that despite it obviously being the ai’s fault. It’s a known issue in the game and I’ve seen other people in videos on YouTube suffer the same. The only way to avoid this is to drive through the open toll gate furthest to the right so that all the ai are to your left – for some reason they can’t see you when you’re to their left 😦 I forgot on this occasion (senior moment) and paid the price. And, despite the truck hitting my trailer – no cargo damage was incurred which further deepens the mystery discussed earlier!

From Verona I was able to pick up a load of Yoghurt that was going all the way across northern Italy into France and through Lyon (our home base) to Clermont Ferrand. Now that was a very nice 800km drive through farmland in Italy before crossing the Alps and descending into Lyon. From there it was the A89 across to Clermont and our delivery point. Both trucks in ETS2 and ATS are now placed just one trip away from upgrading garages which is the next step in the game. I will be talking about that next step in the next trucking post. In the meantime – here is a shot of us passing through northern Italy with the Alps as a backdrop…