Monday was the big day – V1.32 of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator went live. With such a huge change to the possible ways to ‘play’ the game it was also year zero for my trucking companies in both Europe and the US. I thought that I was alone in this draconian approach which means deleting my profiles and starting out again, but I’m not! One of the longest standing players, during a twitter conversation, told me he’s starting from scratch too 🙂

As discussed in a previous post this gives me the opportunity to set up differently in Europe and the US. In Europe I will be building a company based in Montpellier. The company, ‘Martin Transport et Logistique’, will own a fleet of trucks and trailers. Experience gained from beta testing tells me this will be a long haul. We will see a lot more improvements from SCS in the coming period including some more trailer varieties. They have already released a new DLC of Krone Trailers to increase the range of purchase options when expanding the fleet, so you may well see one of them gracing the fleet in Krone colours at some time.

One thing that I think will be forced upon those seeking to build a realistic company is specialisation. I have already decided to be a logistics company initially. So we’ll start with curtainside trailers for moving dry goods. I won’t be getting into the building materials game, so no flatbeds. Future company growth will see a move into the refrigerated goods area – there is some crossover with some foodstuffs coming in fresh, tinned and frozen. As an aside I’ve noticed one cargo anomaly – medical equipment can be refrigerated as well as dry. I’m scratching my head on that one. If you can think of a type of medical equipment that could be shipped frozen other than Vaccines (which are a specific cargo in game) then I’d be interested to know. In the very long term we may expand into heavy haulage.

For players of my experience it takes little time to reach the point at which it becomes possible to buy our own truck. In my case just 14 jobs saw a total of €80K in the bank which allowed me to take out a bank loan and buy a truck and trailer – one IRL day of graft! On Tuesday evening I bought our first truck and trailer with our company name proudly emblazoned on the side. One of the policy decisions that I did take was to only buy Euro VI engine trucks initially. This really limits us to the Mercedes-Benz New Actros and some Scania models including the new R and S trucks. The other in-game trucks haven’t caught up with their real-world versions yet 😦 In cost terms the Scania’s are currently too expensive for my budget so we went for the New Actros with the Streamspace cab. She has a 12 speed automatic transmission and a 449HP engine. Here she is earlier today heading north from Genova with a load of Smoked Sprats bound for Lyon…

In the US I set up my company in Bakersfield – it almost feels like a second home to me (as does Montpellier) 🙂 This time the company is named RepubliK Trucking. Initially I intend to run it as an owner-driver operation with just myself and a single truck taking other peoples trailers and loads. This will allow me to carry on doing World of Trucks jobs and adding to my kilometres total for ‘The Longest Journey’ achievement. To get started I had to do the usual driver for hire jobs first – only needing 6 of these to reach a viable $35k in the bank. During those jobs I came across a new addition to the traffic from SCS……pootling along at 45mph on the interstate and causing traffic mayhem! I was on my way to El Centro at the time which meant passing through Calipatria where you may recall the ai usually gets itself in a tis-was. Today I passed through there twice and no issues with the ai, so I think SCS may have fixed that one 🙂

With a bank loan to make my money up to $135K I was in a position to buy my first truck. You don’t get much choice when you’re only up to Level 4 as many vehicles only become available from level 6 upwards. The most basic Peterbilt 579 and Kenworth T680 are available from the start but not a lot else. However, one of the joys of mods is that some of them are available straight away too. The good old Freightliner FLB needs Level 6 but I’m pleased to say the Mack R Series 600 is one that is there to be bought. So I’ve renewed our partnership. Ol’ Dawg is finished in the same paint scheme as before but this time I opted for the square tanks and a heavy-duty bumper. Still running the 237HP engine and Eaton-Fuller 10 speed as before. Here she is parked outside the maintenance shop in Gallup after her first run from Bakersfield with a load of cars……In updating this mod for v1.32, I notice that Harven has tweaked the indicators so they don’t light up the whole cab interior any more 🙂

There are new roads to discover in Arizona and New Mexico as well as in Germany. There are probably some other things to be found like the buggy on the interstate earlier today – SCS often include changes that they don’t mention in the release notes. It should be a fun couple of weeks finding what’s out there! Keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down – until next time 🙂