Trials, Tribulations and a TGX

Approaching the German Border in the Czech Republic.
Approaching the German Border in the Czech Republic.

When I last left you I’d bought a new garage in Kraków and was running scared of having a potentially company ending crash. I set off for Wien with a load of pet food – can’t have been Budgie seed; it weighed 15t… Which reminds me of Mike Harding and the Budgie called Attila – but let’s not go there 😉 Suffice to say that the run and a couple of subsequent runs went well with no issues other than the horrendous price of fuel in Germany! Even Swiss fuel is cheaper (though the same can’t be said of the Scandinavian countries). I hinted that the plan was to build up enough funds to buy another truck and hire my first employee. Easier said than done! I spent an age wandering the wilds of Germany and its near neighbours before I was finally able to get back to Katowice and finally pick up a short haul into Kraków. All these runs were fun and accident free apart from being clipped by a car on the motorway whilst travelling down to Chur. That run was great in the latter stages as I missed my motorway turn off just after being clipped and wound up taking the mountain passes from Bregenz and enjoying some difficult climbs and spectacular views 🙂

Grinding through the Alps to Chur
Grinding through the Alps to Chur

Stepping back from the actual driving and my company for a minute. SCS announced a new set of ‘challenges’ on World of Trucks (WOTR) last week while I was trying to get back to Kraków and these were of interest to me. The original challenges centred mainly around sign-in’s to WOTR website, viewing / liking other people’s images from the game and having your images liked. Not really my cup of tea. The new challenges are more like it… 10 WOTR jobs completed successfully in Euro and American Truck gets you the ‘International Driver’ award. There are awards for loads hauled, distances travelled and some that challenge you to shift certain amounts in very strict timescales. These are more like it – I decided to sign up my Euro Truck account to WOTR alongside my already signed in American Truck account. I’ve already confirmed my International Driver status and I’m very close to achieving the 1m Kg’s hauled award 🙂 This is the sort of thing that adds impetus to my game-play.

I pushed on with the TGA as mentioned above and finally found myself back in my garage. Decision time – Keep the TGA and give a new truck to my 1st employee or pass the TGA on and have a new TGX myself? It wasn’t an easy choice, I really like the TGA and think of her as a milestone vehicle – Truck of the Year in 2000 with a class leading cab design. But in the end ‘die Nachtschicht’ passed to my new Polish employee, Jan. She’s still in the company and I can grab her back from time to time. Jan will get a new truck in the future.

New MAN TGX in the glow of Autumn.
New MAN TGX in the glow of Autumn.

The new TGX is gold – now there’s a shock 😉 But she’s paler than my Kenworth W900, ‘Rolled Gold’ in American Truck – more the sort of gold that some European cars are painted. Even so, in the autumn sun she still looks warm and reassuring. I chose a 440hp MAN engine and the MAN 16sp gearbox with retarder. You may recall that I mentioned the mod that provides the correct engines and gearboxes for the MAN TGX in the review of the TGA. The engine sounds more realistic than the stock engine and the provision of a 16sp box is correct for a manual TGX. The 12sp Tipmatic box standard in game is really an automatic – the MAN automatic boxes are 12sp. The cab is very much the descendent of the TGA; a little tidy here and there, a new dash shelf and slightly less height to the windscreen (or that’s how it feels to me). The key instruments are ‘right where I left them’ which is great! A proper review will follow.

Back to wotr and the new challenges… It was while doing my first job in my new TGX that I hit a problem. I got to the ferry at Gdynia with a load bound for Orebrö only to find that on seeking to embark, WOTR couldn’t synchronise my progress. WOTR jobs within mainland Europe worked fine but trying to go to Scandinavia via the ferry resulted in this loss of sync issue. Then I tried a WOTR job that crossed into Sweden via the land route – that immediately crashed the game. The culprit, which works fine with normal in-game jobs, is the MHAPro Maps mod. This is split into two maps with Scandinavia handled separately from the rest of Europe. Disabling the mod cures the issue. The fact that I could not find any reference to the problem on the web suggests that the majority of Euro Truck drivers either don’t do wotr jobs or they don’t use MHAPro maps (possibly both). It’s a shame because MHAPro Maps do add a lot to the game by filling in some of the gaps that SCS have left. The MHAPro Maps in American Truck seem to work fine with wotr jobs so hopefully whatever is causing the issue in Euro Truck can be resolved. If you aren’t doing wotr jobs, the maps are fine in both versions of the game.

Katie's new Actros in the dealers - I qute like the shade :-)
Katie’s new Actros in the dealers – I qute like the shade 🙂

So – the early days in the TGX were frustrating through no fault of the truck herself. Fortunately, Jan was up to speed and earning lots of money very quickly – he carried the company during the period of in-game issues (you lose money when you’re having to abandon jobs due to game issues) and by the time I took a job to Stuttgart we had enough money in the bank for tweaks to The TGA – side fairings to comply with safety law – and to hire another driver and buy another truck. I happened to be bedding down at the local Merc dealer and decided to take a look. The result was a cocoa coloured Mercedes-Benz Actros with 360hp engine delivered to my Dortmund Garage. I hired a young lady called Katie despite there being slightly better qualified drivers available. She had skills in High Value Cargo – which pays well – and an ADR cert for Explosives (Handy with Diwali and Guy Fawkes coming up!). Why not another MAN? Just keeping the suppliers on their toes – diversity is a good thing in both humans and vehicles 🙂

So that’s the update – Hope to have the 1m Kg’s sewn up by tomorrow night. Then I must do a review of the TGX. I’ll also try to update you on my American Truck driving and review the Freightliner Cascadia!

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