Well I restarted and as mentioned in the previous post got myself up to skill-level 10 doing ‘Driver for Hire’ jobs. Normally I’d be thinking about taking out a bank loan at level 6 to buy my first truck but the vehicle I was aiming for only gets unlocked for purchase at level 10. I did find one useful benefit of doing it this way – by the time I got to level 10 I had enough money to buy my first truck without taking out a loan. Additionally, as there isn’t a repayment of around €3000 going out each day, I can afford to take a rest stop at the end of each job – no more running scared of tired driver fines – Result!
I had based myself in Dortmund for this restart in the knowledge that there is a MAN dealer there. This is because the truck I had decided I wanted to buy as my first was the MAN F90 –in production 1986-94. This is a mod that is really well detailed inside and out capturing the appearance of the truck very well. One of the more interesting items is the electronic display on the dash. These were very much in vogue in the 1980’s. As you pass under street lights and if you catch the sunlight from the wrong angle the speedometer and rev counter become almost unreadable through the plastic surface – a real life problem faithfully reproduced in game. Initially I could only see one real issue with the F90 – the builder has chosen to use the Renault Premium truck sounds from the base game for the engine sounds. I suspect it’s quite difficult tracking down the real McCoy to obtain the right sounds.
I opted for a standard white colour scheme as the vehicle is supposed to be second-hand ex-lease. I chose the 4x2B chassis and the 330hp engine and 16-speed gearbox with retarder. The truck handled well on the way to the first job and I was really looking forward to the trip. However, something didn’t seem right with the couple-up to the trailer and the truck behaved strangely as I took the tight turn out of the yard. Out on the road everything seemed good again and it was a great trip until I came to park at the other end. Again, the truck behaved really strangely – like it was being pushed down into the tarmac, and it was! The trailer was actually in contact with the cab when making tight turns. Damage done to trailer and truck plus no fun in parking 😦
I’m not sure what caused this issue – possibly it doesn’t work properly with advanced coupling turned on or maybe there is an issue with the particular chassis I chose? Anyway – the issues I experienced forced me to discount the F90 from my plans for the time being and I disabled the mod. I reset the game back to the start of the last delivery that took me to Dortmund to buy the truck and completed the journey once more. I did have a fallback option in my mod bin – the MAN TGA. This truck was the forerunner of the Current TGX and was produced from 2000 until the TGX was introduced in 2007. When it first appeared it was a class leader in terms of cab ergonomics and space – there’s almost as much room in there as the FLB cab!
So, I can still do my ‘second-hand ex-lease’ thing. The game actually charges brand-new prices on these trucks which is a bit of a pain – In the real world trucks depreciate very quickly so I could buy a 2007 TGA for just over £42000 in the UK whilst I found a 2004 version advertised in France for less that €7000. Anyway, we’re back to the standard Crystal White, a 360HP engine and Man Tipmatic transmission. The standard dashboard is a dark charcoal-grey with proper gauges – no 1980’s fads here. They’re well laid out and easy to read day or night. On the road the truck handles very nicely – I suspect it just uses the same mechanics as supplied by the game for the TGX. I did track down a video of a TGA 18.360 in action and the engine sounds are about right. Perhaps a later version of the mod will include the ability to add in realistic gearbox options – there is a mod out that does this for the stock trucks but I haven’t tried it out yet. In the next post I’ll talk about some of our early journeys together – now I need to think up a name for her 🙂
As a footnote, I will probably try out the F90 again with a different chassis option once I have enough money coming in through employee’s earnings to cover the expenses of experimentation. And I also have a couple of other older trucks in mind to try out too.