It hardly seems like a month ago since we last looked at desktops courtesy of Clare’s challenge. Mine changed back on Jan 28th.

A couple of years back I made a ‘skin’ for trailers in Euro Truck Simulator. This allowed me to have owned trailers painted in our company colours. For those new to my involvement in Truck Simulation, my European company is Martin Transport et Logistique based in Montpellier, France. At the time, I made them in a hands on manner. They worked fine for a year or so and then an update broke them – mods in games often stop working after updates to the main game code. I made a number of attempts to get them working again but couldn’t and, quite often, found myself diverted from that task by wishing to get on with driving – especially when there was an event on that required helping the in-game community.

SCS Software – makers of Euro Truck Simulator 2, and its companion game American Truck Simulator, claim to have the best community ever. It’s fair to say that we often help each other out either with encouragement in events or helping new players with advice (even on things way outside of the games we play!). There is a newer method of adding skins into the game called Mods Studio (created by another member of the playing community) and I had hoped that this would resolve my issue. But I couldn’t get it to work on the pc I use for doing artwork and photography. I mentioned this in passing to one of my fellow drivers and he offered to help. Actually, he said they’d take a look – meaning he was going to get his Good Lady to take a look as she has got Mods Studio working on her pc. All I had to do was send my original artwork. A day or so later and.. Voila!..

…That’s an example of the Best Community Ever at work. This is one of my general haulage fleet, ‘Lady Galadriel’, parked up in my yard at Limoges with one of my company’s curtainside trailers. Come the dawn it will be time to head out on a new day’s work. With the trailer’s now back to displaying the company identity, I’m going to have to review the liveries of all my trucks… But, there’s lots of hauling to be done too 🙂

I thought, as it has been a while, that I should do a ‘Meet the Team’ type post. The last time I did one of these was in 2017 and a lot has changed since then. I restarted my profiles in both Euro Truck and American Truck Simulator back in May 2019, so my current fleets have been built up in the past 20 months. Looking back and seeing when I restarted, I’m amazed how far I’ve come in both games over such a short period of time. In Euro Truck I’ve reached the Level 114 with the title of ‘Divine Champion’ – quite how that would go down as an epithet in a trucker cafe I’m not sure 😉 In American Truck I’m only a ‘Legend’, but divinity calls and I’ll soon cross the threshold of level 100 there too! During the building of my companies in each game some trucks become favourites and others fall by the wayside – left in the hands of employees (I rarely sell a truck). So, the trucks I’m going to talk about in these Meet the Team posts are the ones that have survived the sifting process to become permanent members of my personal fleet.

In this post I think we’ll deal with the Euro Truck heavy-haul team. That is fairly straight forward but defining what counts as heavy-haul requires a brief discussion. So lets start with the first of the team – ‘Renzo’…

…a Euro6 DAF XF with a 530HP engine. Renzo was bought specifically for hauling construction plant during the rebuilding of the Genova Bridge and got named after its architect Renzo Piano. Although part of the heavy-haul team, with a 530HP engine Renzo is also at home on heavier general cargoes like the tanker of diesel fuel on delivery in the image. And that’s where the lines become blurred. I have another DAF called Lady Galadriel, who you will meet in another post. She shares the same engine but is a member of the general cargo fleet. The difference? – Gearbox and differential ratios and chassis arrangement – 6×4 for Renzo vs 6×2.

Actually I have 3 other DAF’s that all fall in the general cargo category. Some of my longer suffering readers will remember a time when I wouldn’t have a DAF in the fleet. A special event set up by SCS Software with DAF changed that – now they stand alongside MAN as my personal favourite truck types. Anyway, on with our heavy-haul team 🙂

Speaking of MAN, meet Charlie…

…Charlie has a 540HP engine – which again means general cargoes can also be taken when necessary. Charlie was bought during the recent Christmas Event at a time when I was doing my bit to clear off jobs in Italy. I tweeted that we were busy doing the Italian Job and thus this truck took its name from the character Charlie Croker, played by Michael Caine in the movie.

A note on pronounciation at this point – My company is French, so Charlie should be pronounced in a French manner – Shar-lee. Next up is Vincent, so repeat after me… Van-Son-te

Vincent takes the name of the character played by Jean Reno in the film Ronin and is the only Volvo in the fleet…

…This truck was a rush of blood to the head – I was debating a 640HP MAN but thought “I haven’t driven a Volvo for ages!” Company lore is that Vincent was a secondhand truck loaned from the Limoges Volvo dealer in an effort to gain our custom. I was so pleased with the truck that I decided to keep it. Who knows, maybe we’ll get a new one too in the future? Vincent has a 700HP engine, making hauling of the largest loads easy, but fuel efficiency is relatively poor so definitely not for use on general cargoes unless there is no choice!

Next time I’ll cover our American Truck heavy-haul team… Keep the shiny side up! 🙂

In response to Clare’s Challenge I’m sharing my desktop again. We’re once more back in a virtual reality, a fact that is given away by the oversized gifts on the trailer of the truck. My MAN TGX (named Charlie) has just coupled up to the trailer in Bonifacio on a sunny evening on the island of Corsica…

…ready to deliver the gifts to L’Ile Rousse on the north of the island. This screenshot was taken during the annual Euro Truck and American Truck Simulator Christmas Event run by SCS Software. Each year there is a target for the community to achieve and this year it was achieved in 10 days, which was something of a record 🙂 You can read about the event here.