Trucking Digest

I had considered doing a story around the current situation regards Martin Transport et Logistique and our base in Montpellier. It would have covered a major restructuring of the company after the Father retired to reel in losses and replace an ageing fleet of trucks and trailers. I tend to build stories around my play in the Truck Sim games as witnessed by my last ‘day on the road’ style post – It’s all part of my ‘immersion’ 🙂 However, we all know that the current small size of the company in Montpellier is due entirely to me starting from scratch after the last game upgrade – so in the end, this will be a more normal report.

Hot on the heels of the Goodyear Tyres event that I reported on 8th August, SCS suddenly produced a Tuning Pack for the Mercedes Actros. It was advertised on social media and their blog just 2 days before it became available to buy. Then, with it available, we were challenged to show our tuned Actros trucks! There was no reward for showing your special Actros – just the fun of taking part. If this was a loot box, it would justifiably draw criticism but for the vast majority of the Truck Sim community it represents an opportunity to customize your Merc if you own one or want one for your fleet. Those Truckers that don’t like Merc’s won’t buy it – and I doubt that younger players will feel the same pressure to buy in order to keep up with school friends that evidence suggests is the case in a number of high profile mainstream titles – they’re more likely to be arguing the case for their preferred manufacturer 😉

I have had a difficult relationship with the Mercedes Actros over time. I have tried it out a couple of times in the past and always came away with the ‘not sure’ feeling. With the new pack available, I thought I’d give the Actros another look. After all, the DAF challenge that I took part in earlier in the year really changed my opinion on that truck – to the point that our current fleet has two of them with 6×2 chassis and 460HP Euro 6 engine. The Renault Magnum remains in the fleet. I was driving a 4×2 version of the MAN TGX Euro 6 480HP. The DAF XF105 purchased for the Goodyear event had been sold as not meeting our emissions compliance requirements after the event.

I decided that I would buy the new Actros Tuning DLC (which was on an early-bird offer) and make my way to a Merc Dealer to buy an Actros. This presented a difficulty though – cash flow! I had to make a choice – trade in the MAN or shift a lot of freight before I could afford another truck. As a 4×2, the MAN TGX was an anomaly within the main fleet where 6×2 is the preferred chassis arrangement. I’ve also mentioned in the past that I think the Euro 6 MAN needs some tweaks to overcome a number of minor issues – the gearboxes behaving the same despite different ratios for example. So, I bit the bullet and traded in the MAN against a Merc Actros that has a number of customisations whilst retaining the company’s dark blue metallic paint. She is equipped with a 12 speed automatic box and a 476HP Euro 6 engine.Here she is in all her glory on a night run across Germany…

During the first few days I ruined her fuel economy figures by taking her on a tour of Norway – Heavy loads and tricksy roads is not a good combination…

…but at the end of it all I probably had a far clearer idea of how I felt about driving the truck than I would have touring the German Autobahns. I was impressed with the way she handled and the auto gearbox was much more attuned to our normal cargos than the MAN. The 6×2 is also a lot more stable when hauling heavier loads than the 4×2 chassis. Truth be told, I’m now a lot happier with this truck than I was when I tried the marque before – so much so that I’ve bought another un-customised one for the fleet to help expand the company.

On to other things and I’m trying out a set of trailer modifications from SiSL that are available through the Steam Workshop. These give the choice of using a real world company livery on any trailer when doing Freight Market jobs. I’ve been trying them in both ETS2 and ATS and the mods seem good. Here’s a couple of screenshots to illustrate…

So you can expect to see a number of recognisible companies in future posts. As for the up-coming map DLC’s for ETS2 and ATS, there have been some more background updates to the game which may presage their release but nothing has been announced yet. We wait with bated breath!

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