Trucking Digest

Let me begin with an explanation of my lack of posts since last week’s Digest. I have been investigating a computing mystery. For some reason my screen was not displaying the desktop when I first turned on the pc. Then, after a variable length of time during which the power light would flash, the screen would display normally. Initially this seemed to coincide with the point at which the computer finished booting up and I wondered if this was some new Windows 10 trick to prevent us from trying to log in before the operating system was ready. However, it started getting worse. This had me scratching my head for a while and doing a number of tests to localise the cause of the problem. These involved things like putting the machine in standby mode and even powering it down using the button. I found that going to standby and then powering up again would often cause the screen to display the desktop, but not always. Once the screen started displaying then everything was fine for the rest of the day. The real clue came when I powered down the pc on one occasion and the power light on the screen continued to flash when it should have switched to a solid yellow because there was no signal from the pc. My conclusion was that the signal detection circuitry in the screen was slowly dying. The old screen was an HP 2009v and has given sterling service so I have no complaints 🙂

I have now bought a new screen to replace it and that’s what I’m staring at as I type this post. It’s somewhat larger than its 20″ predecessor, being a 27″ screen. Initial impressions when running Truck Simulator are good and films look good too. My Son has green eyes… you know, the envious ones 😉 Tomorrow morning will be the test of whether my conclusion was correct when we start up after all night-long power down – it might still be an issue with the graphics card – fingers crossed that it’s not!

Between testing I have done a fair bit more driving in and out of Germany to assist with the community event. I set myself a personal target of 1500t and I achieved that on November 5th. To celebrate I made my way over to Bordeaux to buy a third garage for Martin Transport et Logistique. I’m now starting to mix in some jobs in American Truck Sim to add some variety while I still do some deliveries to help the community in Europe. SCS revised the total tonnage to be delivered down to 15million and we’re not far off that now. You may recall that I had been using the 580HP Scania – effectively starting the heavy-haul side of the company. Here are a couple of shots of her on one of the heaviest loads – 51 tons of Concrete beams…
…That trailer is a good example of the new trailer physics in action. it really does push you, trying to continue in a straight line when you’re rounding bends at anything like autobahn speeds so you have to slow down for a lot of corners that you might take at normal speed with a lighter load!

With my employees now bringing in a lot of money I felt that I should indulge my historical interests and get an older truck as a ‘preserved’ vehicle. A recent addition to mods has been the Volvo F88 from XBS so I thought I’d buy one of those. These trucks were in production between 1965 and 1977 – a time when I was in secondary school and at work for the first 5 years of the 45 that lay ahead of me. I can remember seeing them appearing alongside a largely British truck fleet on the North Circular Road. The modelling seems to have been well carried out and certainly recreates the look of these vehicles. I opted for the 260HP engine and the 16 speed gearbox. Here’s my one at work…

…The dash looks sparse compared with a modern truck – there’s no computer to tell you the fuel consumption. The gauges around the circular instrument on the left tell you the state of the fuel, oil and temperatures whilst the central arrow indicates how full the air reservoir is for the brakes. The speedo on the right also contains a clock so at least you know what time it is! The small gauge in the centre is the rev counter – appropriately coloured so you know where you’re supposed to keep the needle 😉 The gearing is interesting as the ideal speed for fuel consumption seems to be 70kph which compares with around 85kph in the MAN TGX and 80kph in the heavy-haul geared Scania Streamline. So jobs typically take a little longer in this truck 🙂 Mostly loads up to 25 tonnes can be hauled but if you choose your route with care to avoid steep inclines then it’s possible to shift anything up to 40 tonnes – that’s 39 tonnes of Bulldozer running through Metz!

I’ll conclude by telling of the latest little surprise from SCS. On November 5th the official Volvo VNL was released as a free update to American Truck Sim. It arrived without any pre-warning and is a direct result of license agreement being reached with Volvo North America. The version delivered is, I believe, the 2014 spec but it’s safe to assume that the 2018 version will soon become available too. And on November 7th came the release of the Special Transport DLC for ATS! I have to say thanks to all the guys and gals at SCS 🙂 Have I missed a month somewhere – is it Christmas already???

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