Back on August 5th I gave a vaguely dystopian view of my gaming world but, in some ways, it was an accurate view – the game takes precedence over other things including normal life. But there is a wholesome side. The joy of taking part, of supporting your fellow gamers and enjoying the challenge. And, if something bad is happening IRL, then obviously, that would take precedence!

I hit the ground running on that first Friday morning and I knocked out 8 of the required deliveries in my first day. On the Saturday I completed the last 4 to meet the requirement for the personal goal in the community event. All of this work was done by Motown Dog, my Mack R…


…That came at an unexpected price – Motown Dog, being underpowered and having a manual gearbox, requires a lot of work and all that double-declutching caused me to suffer swelling and a lot of pain in my left foot. It only became apparent after the damage was done as I walked out for a family meal on the Sunday. It meant I had to withdraw from doing the Wingate & Finchley team photo the following Thursday too as I was still in pain when walking. It’s still tweaky even now! That’s an eSports injury right there 😟👍

To progress with the driving I had to buy a new truck – a modern one that has an automatic gearbox and a retarder to make driving less foot heavy. If you recall, this is still a new profile so some options were out of my available choices due to my game level. I would probably have liked to have gone down the Mack road with an Anthem but I hadn’t found a Mack dealer to buy one (Motown Dog is effectively second hand and bought via the mod dealer). I looked around a number of other options – International (We already have an LT in service with the company at our Ontario base), Kenworth, Western Star and Freightliner. It wasn’t easy making a choice as there are so many trucks by those manufacturers that I can like. Having said that though, I was looking at something that would fit with our company profile of hauling Plant and Supplies for farming and industry. Motown Dog has great all round visibility and being able to look over your shoulder while reverse parking is a big benefit. What she doesn’t have is somewhere to sleep. That hasn’t been a big problem as I have tailored my rest stops to places in town or with hotels. Most of these trucks lose the rear view when you add sleeping accommodation!

Step up the Kenworth W990. I was surprised to find this truck had a 40″ sleeper option. It has been created as a ‘classic’ design on a modern chassis and that small sleeper is a throwback to the days of 36″ ‘coffins’. An additional benefit is the fact that the sleeper has windows in the back! For the sort of loads that we intend to carry normally, that is a huge bonus – seeing where the rear end of a lowboy trailer is ranks high on the desirable list! The only real issue was the provenance – the truck is based on the Kenworth T680. I dislike the T680 mainly because of its appearance. When I have driven one it has been an ok modern truck that performs similarly to the Peterbilt 579. I looked long and hard because, my intention this time around is to do stints of 100,000 miles in each truck before changing to another. We’re going to be companions for a long time!

I decided that this truck (another mod by Harven) was the way for me to go. I selected the mid-length chassis with the 260 gallon tanks. Initially that felt a bit of a mistake because the turning circle was huge compared to Motown Dog, but it is the right one. I opted for the 455HP Paccar engine and their 12 speed automatic box. There was an issue with the available choices of paint scheme. I now remember that this was an issue when I first tried this mod. This time around I tried out our White with the Orange and some Red lining…


…I wasn’t totally happy but we headed out to do our first job. Note that in keeping with tradition, new truck = rain! 😅 Since then I have tracked down another mod that provides a good modern paint scheme option and using our Company Red and White, I think I now have a very good looking truck…


…And she now has a name – ‘Miss Lola’. A play on words from the Missoula garage where she is based. Inside, she is equipped in the manner of one of the classic big rigs like the Kenworth W900 or the Peterbilt 389. Lots of gauges and some nice wood and leather trim…


…The second shot was taken as I went to the bank 😎 A fellow driver recommended popping into Uncle Viktor’s down the block for lunch – Excellent Blini’s apparently 😅 There’s always a bit of good natured banter to go around in our trucking community, even if it is virtual!

A lot of work has been done over the last week. We’ve helped the community towards the 100 million miles total for the Cruising Montana event – there are only around 4 million miles outstanding as I write this post and we’ll be done tomorrow! I’ve also cleared off 4 of the 5 new achievements in the week – several of those rely on random generation of the required cargo so many have had to be done as hire jobs rather than company work – but we’ve had to keep the clock ticking over and Miss Lola already has 15000mi on the odometer!

I will try to share some scenery shots from Montana in the future but, for now, here’s Miss Lola enjoying the flowers at a garden centre!..


…And here’s what she looks like when she’s ‘Comin’ at You’…


…very ZZ Top 😂