For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week I’m thinking outside of the clearly defined Diagonal lines to what the brain see’s in a pattern or as a result of learnt expectations.

Diagonal lines in the Mind’s Eye…

Implied Diagonal of the rules of Chess…

A selection of Flutterby’s or is that Blubberflies? 😉 All shots taken at Long Lane Pasture.

Common Blue…

Large Skipper…

Comma…

Meadow Brown…

Ringlet…

There are other species present at the pasture but they’re not posing for the camera 😉 Maybe they’ll appear in another post.

Last week I promised some views of my Peterbilt 567 going about her duties and also some shots from Euro Truck. If a week is a long time in politics it’s an age in Truck Simulator. On Friday Cal Republic Transport had earnt enough money to buy another truck and hire a second employee. As I intimated at the end of the last post it was going to be decision time for me – choosing to buy a sleeper 579 for myself, or a classic Peterbilt 389, or to go for a 567 sleeper cab. It wasn’t an easy decision. I love the 389 and the 579 is such a smoothy in the aerodynamic sense. Then there was the new kid on the block with its own style – part classic / part aero. If I only had to choose between a 579 and a 389 I’d probably have flipped a coin to make the choice at this early stage of the company because I have good experience of both and they’re nice trucks. But the recent experience I have had with the 567 made the decision for me. It has been a very nice truck in the 450HP Cummins engine variant that I was driving. Aesthetically it’s very much the 579 cab and sleeper both inside and out with a distinctive hood to give it that touch of character. I bought the sleeper cab version and cascaded the duty-cab 567 to Etienne, my current employee. Then I hired new employee Cory to drive the original 579 duty-cab. Here’s a shot of the 567 doing a delivery to roadworks in Carlsbad (CA)…

When buying a new truck you get to spec a lot of things but the key items are engine and gearbox. I felt that the Cummins ISX15 450HP engine was using a bit too much fuel – certainly when compared with the ISX12 425HP. It looks like the increased swept volume of the engine would be better used at a higher horse power such as 525 or even 600 to balance the high fuel use against better hauling capability. This time I thought I’d try the PACCAR MX13 series and as this is a sleeper cab truck with haulage of higher weights over longer distances I went with the dealer recommended spec of 510HP. This was coupled to a PACCAR 12 speed automatic gearbox. Now that’s the world turned on its head – in France I’m driving a manual Renault and in the US I’m driving an automatic! I had enough money in the bank due to Etienne’s hard work to afford the top of the range ‘Heritage’ interior and I decided to stick with the supplied leather steering wheel. Stainless steel rims and Goodyear boots completed the package. She’s been named ‘Purple Rain II’ and here she is setting out on her first run with a load of fertilizer from Bakersfield to Winnemucca…

On Monday any intention to do some driving this week in Europe was overtaken by events or should I say Event. SCS have delivered a new American Truck event for us to take part in. My US readers will be aware of the Big Sur Landslide that closed California Route 1. The real world clear-up after that is ongoing. SCS decided that we should ‘help’ by driving supplies to the site and removing the excavated soil. Called the Operation Big Sur Event, there would be a World of Trucks achievement for completing 15 deliveries. Additionally, they have made this a community event with a target of 500000 deliveries for the ATS drivers to complete as a team effort. Needless to say, I have been doing my communal duty and completed my first 15 deliveries by lunchtime today. At the time of writing the community have completed 115000 deliveries which is excellent progress! It gives some idea of how many of us closet truckers there are out there 😉

Here are some shots of ‘Purple Rain II’ at work amid the scenery of Route 1. Here we’re skirting the clearance site on a temporary road..

Driving north towards Santa Cruz in the very early morning…

It’s quite a steep down grade on the way to Santa Cruz and it looks like one driver overcooked it. CHiP’s in attendance 🙂

Heading towards Santa Maria with the Bixby Bridge as a backdrop…

Climbing up from Santa Cruz in the late evening with rain expected…

Arriving at the delivery point with the last load (an excavator) – I’ve superimposed my completion certificate which was awarded after I’d parked the trailer…

Keep on Trucking! 🙂