Trucking Digest

Hot off the press this week – Oregon goes live in American Truck Simulator on Thursday next week! Here’s SCS Software’s video of the new DLC on YouTube… https://youtu.be/wilAbkIhZcE …It goes without saying that I am very much looking forward to this new state πŸ™‚

Back in the current and both my companies are making progress. Since last week’s digest in which I had just bought a Mack in ATS and a Merc with trailer in ETS2, I have worked hard to make enough money to pay off the loans. This has been achieved. Now we’re working towards upgrading our home garages. I achieved that in Euro Truck this lunchtime and I’m in touching distance in American Truck. The road forwards from that point will differ in the two companies. Martin Transport et Logistique will add a new truck and trailer combo and employ a driver. I have added a number of updates to my current Mercedes New Actros but she will probably be handed to our new employee and I will get another New Actros but this time it will have the top of the range interior with the wood trimmings. It’s going to take a while to get the money together for that though πŸ˜‰ Here’s a screenshot of the maintenance page where you can see that she’s acquired some lights and Monsieur Bibendum’s……and I quite liked this shot of us catching the last rays of the sun at an intersection near Dusseldorf…

Republik Trucking will also be saving for a second truck and it will be another old school vehicle – an FLB. They don’t come cheap so that will also take a while. I haven’t decided for certain yet but I may employ a driver to keep whichever truck I’m not using busy. I have no trailer ownership intentions for Republik at this moment in time – it’s a owner-driver set up for now. Here’s a cab view in Ol’ Dawg. We’re due to drop off a digger to the roadworks ahead. Not sure what the Bear in front is thinking – he’s not on a shout so I’m sure that red light applies to him even if it’s stopping him getting to the donut shop πŸ˜‰ …And here we are arriving at a quarry with another digger…

I mentioned in the last digest that any new versions of ATS and ETS2 include some changes that are not mentioned in the release notes – they do like to surprise us πŸ˜‰ One that I noted a couple of releases back was a change in the routing of one of the slip roads at the Flagstaff intersection. This time we’re counting the cost……Diesel prices have been hiked – up from $2.90c in Arizona to $3.10c. And they’re an eye-watering $3.94c in California! All of us eating at Tom’s Roadhouse want to know what the President is doing to help us beleaguered truckers!

Finally, despite all the Beta Testing before release something will always find a way through. There’s a missing bridge deck and floating trees in Northern Germany near Magdeburg……It will no doubt be already on the developer’s radar for a fix over the next couple of weeks πŸ™‚

That’s all for this time – Keep on Trucking πŸ™‚

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Trucking Digest

Monday was the big day – V1.32 of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator went live. With such a huge change to the possible ways to ‘play’ the game it was also year zero for my trucking companies in both Europe and the US. I thought that I was alone in this draconian approach which means deleting my profiles and starting out again, but I’m not! One of the longest standing players, during a twitter conversation, told me he’s starting from scratch too πŸ™‚

As discussed in a previous post this gives me the opportunity to set up differently in Europe and the US. In Europe I will be building a company based in Montpellier. The company, ‘Martin Transport et Logistique’, will own a fleet of trucks and trailers. Experience gained from beta testing tells me this will be a long haul. We will see a lot more improvements from SCS in the coming period including some more trailer varieties. They have already released a new DLC of Krone Trailers to increase the range of purchase options when expanding the fleet, so you may well see one of them gracing the fleet in Krone colours at some time.

One thing that I think will be forced upon those seeking to build a realistic company is specialisation. I have already decided to be a logistics company initially. So we’ll start with curtainside trailers for moving dry goods. I won’t be getting into the building materials game, so no flatbeds. Future company growth will see a move into the refrigerated goods area – there is some crossover with some foodstuffs coming in fresh, tinned and frozen. As an aside I’ve noticed one cargo anomaly – medical equipment can be refrigerated as well as dry. I’m scratching my head on that one. If you can think of a type of medical equipment that could be shipped frozen other than Vaccines (which are a specific cargo in game) then I’d be interested to know. In the very long term we may expand into heavy haulage.

For players of my experience it takes little time to reach the point at which it becomes possible to buy our own truck. In my case just 14 jobs saw a total of €80K in the bank which allowed me to take out a bank loan and buy a truck and trailer – one IRL day of graft! On Tuesday evening I bought our first truck and trailer with our company name proudly emblazoned on the side. One of the policy decisions that I did take was to only buy Euro VI engine trucks initially. This really limits us to the Mercedes-Benz New Actros and some Scania models including the new R and S trucks. The other in-game trucks haven’t caught up with their real-world versions yet 😦 In cost terms the Scania’s are currently too expensive for my budget so we went for the New Actros with the Streamspace cab. She has a 12 speed automatic transmission and a 449HP engine. Here she is earlier today heading north from Genova with a load of Smoked Sprats bound for Lyon…

In the US I set up my company in Bakersfield – it almost feels like a second home to me (as does Montpellier) πŸ™‚ This time the company is named RepubliK Trucking. Initially I intend to run it as an owner-driver operation with just myself and a single truck taking other peoples trailers and loads. This will allow me to carry on doing World of Trucks jobs and adding to my kilometres total for ‘The Longest Journey’ achievement. To get started I had to do the usual driver for hire jobs first – only needing 6 of these to reach a viable $35k in the bank. During those jobs I came across a new addition to the traffic from SCS……pootling along at 45mph on the interstate and causing traffic mayhem! I was on my way to El Centro at the time which meant passing through Calipatria where you may recall the ai usually gets itself in a tis-was. Today I passed through there twice and no issues with the ai, so I think SCS may have fixed that one πŸ™‚

With a bank loan to make my money up to $135K I was in a position to buy my first truck. You don’t get much choice when you’re only up to Level 4 as many vehicles only become available from level 6 upwards. The most basic Peterbilt 579 and Kenworth T680 are available from the start but not a lot else. However, one of the joys of mods is that some of them are available straight away too. The good old Freightliner FLB needs Level 6 but I’m pleased to say the Mack R Series 600 is one that is there to be bought. So I’ve renewed our partnership. Ol’ Dawg is finished in the same paint scheme as before but this time I opted for the square tanks and a heavy-duty bumper. Still running the 237HP engine and Eaton-Fuller 10 speed as before. Here she is parked outside the maintenance shop in Gallup after her first run from Bakersfield with a load of cars……In updating this mod for v1.32, I notice that Harven has tweaked the indicators so they don’t light up the whole cab interior any more πŸ™‚

There are new roads to discover in Arizona and New Mexico as well as in Germany. There are probably some other things to be found like the buggy on the interstate earlier today – SCS often include changes that they don’t mention in the release notes. It should be a fun couple of weeks finding what’s out there! Keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down – until next time πŸ™‚

Now Where Was I…?

…Oh Yes – planning on buying another garage in Montpellier. The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley. I had the money in the bank and was sitting in Bourges after a pleasant trip across country from DΓΌsseldorf with a load of Beverages. Pleasant run it might have been but being mostly on back roads it was bad for the fuel economy as was the previous run with a load of Vodka. The company accountant will be spitting feathers πŸ˜‰ So I’m looking to go and get that next garage before he notices and pretends that we can’t afford it! The trouble is that I can’t find a load from Bourges going to Montpellier nor are there any going to Marseilles or Toulouse.

What I can get is a load of boots going north to Paris. That’s Rubber Boots of the Michelin Tyre variety πŸ™‚ OK – looks like we’re going to be buying our next garage in Paris. We set off from Bourges in the early morning light……It’s lovely driving at that time of day πŸ™‚ The delivery went smoothly and I didn’t have far to drive from Geodis to the garage I was going to buy – it’s right next door πŸ™‚

Now we need to put together the money for another truck and to hire a driver. I picked a job to deliver a Digger 1000 from Paris down to Limoges. It was all the way round on the other side of town so a long deadhead run to the job. Then down to Limoges where we delivered to Hellmann opposite the local Volvo dealer. I wrote about the way that some low-loaders cut the corner behind you previously and maybe this shot illustrates the point……That’s why trucks have to go onto the wrong side of the road to make a turn! Something us ordinary motorists / cyclists need to bear in mind.

I camped out in the Volvo Dealer – slightly cheeky as I was in the MAN but I am a customer so no complaints πŸ˜‰ I still needed to get the money for a new truck for Paris so it was off to Le Havre the same evening with a load of transmissions. That was a long run and I probably should have taken a break part way but I decided to press on and get it done. As a result I picked up a couple of sleep avoidance fines. While I don’t view them as ‘driving errors’ in the same way as I would a collision or off-road excursion, I think I need to be a little harder on myself about these in future for the sake of realism.

From Le Havre it was a long cross-country with a load of Boric Acid into Germany – destination Stuttgart (I’m a sucker for Sunflowers πŸ˜‰ )……before heading back to Luxembourg with a Digger 500. With the help of Freja and Marcel’s work we had quickly amassed the necessary money to get the next Volvo for the fleet. Into the dealer at Luxembourg – Truck bought and delivered to Paris. I looked through the available drivers and a young lady called Marianne with an ADR qualification and distance skills caught my eye so I hired her.

Time to get back on the road and work towards that Montpellier garage. I’ll leave you with a shot of us running through the outskirts of Paris with our load of Michelin Tyres πŸ™‚