Trucking Digest

After the recent hiatus I had some difficulty deciding what game periodical I should write first. In the end, Trucking gets the nod for being easiest to pick up the thread despite there being a lot going on.

You will recall that at the time of the last Digest I was delivering cargoes for the SCS Software Breast Cancer Charity event. Needless to say, the community completed the target 1m deliveries on 14th October with 6 days of the event to go. Since then SCS have been able to make initial donations to the chosen Czech and US charities and to add in a 3rd recipient in Germany! Here’s the story on SCS Software’s Blog. Apart from the pink ribbon dlc’s for my trucks I also treated myself to one of the pink t-shirts marking the event. I expect there will be more charity events for us in the future 🙂

Halloween brought some light-hearted fun for the community with many drivers repainting their trucks in appropriate themes. I opted for buying another Peterbilt 389 and passing ‘Ribbons’ on to an employee. Finished in metallic black with white wheels, I call her ‘The Undertaker’……In cab she has appropriate decor in the form of a special steering wheel and hanging Terminator skull……Ideal for Halloween. Subsequently, for Remembrance Day, I replaced the skull with a pair of dogtags as a mark of respect.

The pace of change remains rapid. Game update v1.36 was deployed on November 5th to American truck Simulator. This was a key enabler for the release of the next state – Utah, which released on November 7th. It also brings full DirectX 11 support but means that the game will no longer run on DirectX 9. The v1.36 for Euro Truck should arrive in late November as a precursor to the delivery of the next map dlc in that game – Road to the Black Sea. And then it’ll be time for the annual Christmas event.

Utah has been an eagerly awaited addition to the American Truck map and it didn’t disappoint. There’s some very nice scenery and some tricksy roads. To lend some perspective to the latter – if I’m driving I10 or I5 through New Mexico, Arizona and California, I can expect to achieve 550-600 miles in a shift. Even using the I15 in Utah is slower and once you’re on the 191 or the 89, well – I reckon I’ve done well to get 475 miles in a shift! One of the big attractions is the Kennecott Mine near Salt Lake City. That is one big mud-pie – here’s The Undertaker climbing out of it with, of all things, a tree stumper……I wonder if they’ve uncovered a petrified forest down there or something? 😉

We also got some new trailers as a result of the v1.36 update. One of those is the Frac Tank – an absolute pig to haul because of its wheels being right at the back! Here we are climbing up the grade from the power plant at Price River on the 191 just north of Martin……you can see how it wants to be on the wrong side of the road! You can also gauge the quality of the work SCS have put into this new map from that image – I had no problem finding the location on google maps. Also in this image is my current truck – The Undertaker has been passed to another employee as I try out one of the more recent vehicles to have become available as a workshop mod.

This is the Kenworth W990 and in real life it’s basically the T680 with a more ‘classic’ styling aimed at the owner-driver who wants something that stands out from the crowd but has a more modern style than the traditional W900. This is Kenworth’s take on the market option that the Peterbuilt 567 addresses with its heritage appearance on the 579 running units (I have shown the 567 before in Digest). I think Peterbilt nailed it but I’m not sure that Kenworth have. However, this is a nice truck to drive and I’m taking time to enjoy her. I initially applied a suitable Heritage paint Job……But with all that chrome (which is standard by the way!) I decided that a plain metallic was going to look better. So she got repainted into the gold scheme you see here……and ‘Rolled Gold II’ was born.

I always mention that a particular truck has been passed to an employee. My personal fleet built up since I restarted my profile when v1.35 was released is as follows: Peterbilt 579, 567 and 2x 389, Freightliner FLB, Mack R600 and this Kenworth W990. There are also 4 other Pete’ 579’s in service with the company. One interesting inclusion to the changes in v1.36 was the ability to see where each of our drivers is on the map. So, this evening I see that our longest serving driver Mille is heading home to Bakersfield from Grand Coulee with a load of Silica in my personal Peterbilt 579……and Simone is hauling a mobile barrier back to her home base at Flagstaff with my Peterbilt 567……She’ll have fun parking that when she gets there 😉 And me? I’m that cockney sparrow up in Sacramento where I’ve just bought a new garage, two Peterbilt 579’s and hired two new drivers. It’s time we tapped into the freight market in that area 🙂

Frac Tanks got a mention in this post. When I prepare to write about my trucking experiences in game I spend some time doing research – usually to check the accuracy of trucks and trailers or to find out some more about new areas that I’m driving to. In looking up Frac Tanks and their uses I found this article about fracking and the impact on Vernal, Utah (where I picked up my Frac Tank load) – I think it’s worth a read. Fracking has certainly caused some controversy in the UK and our Government has just withdrawn its support for Fracking – though the cynic in me say’s that’s a pre-election ploy to gain some votes. Anyway, that’s about as close to politics as Trucking Digest should go 😦

Ok – that’s all for now – keep the shiny side up folks 🙂

Comments

  1. What an article, Martin. Fracking is such a great concern and as well a polarizing topic. I worry about fracking in California because of all of seismic activity. Health concerns, especially as outlined in this article here, takes my concern to an entirely new level. Very troubling.

    • Awww Shucks Debra – I thought you meant my Digest LoL 🙂 I thought you would find that article interesting. The predicament of the lady central to the story reminded me of Erin Brockovich. It’s ironic that European governments use legislation to force corporations to act in a more environmentally considerate manner whilst US corporations seem to be controlling the behaviour of the US government in setting similar legislation. The other thing that struck me was the reaction of the community – it seems that the corporations also hold their workers under such a threat of losing their jobs that they will react very negatively to anyone who rocks the boat.

      The truck pollution issue is an interesting dilema too. The US has to rely very much on its trucking community because many areas no longer have rail access or the route a container load of goods would have to take is too convoluted to make it a realistic option – I realise that’s a generalisation as some areas do see very good road-rail integration. In Europe, the use of rail for long distance cargo shifting to trucks for local distribution is a widely used option. Vehicle pollution is a very hot political potato in Europe – so legislation is driving European manufacturers down the road of reduced emissions and ultimately towards electric trucks. The good news is that in the modern global corporate world many US truck manufacturers are part of the same corporate structure as, for example, MAN, DAF and Volvo. So polution reducing technology is making its way onto the likes of the Freightliner Cascadia for example and Volvo trucks, using that pollution reducing technology, are seeing a growing market share in the US with large fleet owners. The US owner-driver however is likely to stay with older, simpler, dirtier vehicles purely because of reliability concerns (whether real or imagined). Much of my thoughts on this subject are a result of watching videos by truckers in the US expressing their thoughts and so very much from ‘the horses mouth’!

      Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the article even if enjoyed is the wrong word for the subject matter.

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