This week Epi got a message from the NHS telling her that she must not go outside for 12 weeks as she is considered as ‘high risk’ because of her underlying health condition. So, she has to stay home for at least 3 months and I’m gonna have to do all the outdoor things while trying to minimise the risk of bringing in the virus from shopping, etc. For many of us – that’s being caught in a trap with no out. I’m sure you’re going to get bored. So here’s a thought if you’re struggling to keep yourself busy at home… Computer Games!

We’re having to spend time indoors and watch box-sets or, heaven-forbid, read books or possibly even talk to each other! Of Course, those ought to be enough – the read books and talk to each other was all there was when I was a kid! But the world has moved on by quantum steps since then 🙂 In our current ‘lockdown’ circumstances, computer games provide an almost unlimited opportunity to entertain or educate. They’ve been there to do that for quite a while now and maybe it’s the right time to take full advantge of the resource they offer.

You’re probably wondering if you’ve come to the right post – it’s about trucks and simulation isn’t it.. right?? Yes, this is Trucking Digest and we’re going to talk about driving in a major global crisis!

On 30th of March SCS Software announced a new event for us regulars to take part in. Set to run until the 6th of April it was all about showing our support for the real world truckers, out there delivering in the face of Coronavirus, whilst underlining the need for non-essential workers to stay at home. Called #TruckAtHome on twitter, it drew an immediate response from the community. It’s fair to say that we drove our hearts out over that 7 day period, consistently tweeting images with the #TruckAtHome tag to highlight the need for people to #StayHomeSaveLives. I personally drove over 34000 Kilometers in-game and was frankly very tired come monday night when I did my last run in American Truck Simulator from Los Angeles to Pendleton. The community achieved over 584 Million Kilometers! I hope we got our message across to the wider populace! Simultaneously, tied to our community effort, SCS donated money to charities working in the fight against the virus in their area and their mobile team went out delivering to local hospitals. I saw one person ask the question – why am I doing this for people in the Czech Republic. He’s a kid and so can be forgiven – the explanation is simple – help in any location helps us all globally because we are all in this together.

The driving campaign resulted in me finally resurrecting Rolled Gold in American Truck……and giving her a personal trailer. I also, as a result of something else that I was doing (remember those Frac Tanks for the final achievement in the last post?) decided to get a Freightliner Argosy – I’d like you to meet Monster……and she growls like a monster with the Cummins Signature 600HP engine 🙂

In Europe, most of the driving was handled by a new MAN TGX – no names or pack-drill in my European company. Here she is wearing the company blue with the special logo for the event…

One of my younger trucking colleagues from Serbia has been asking me to get a Renault Premium – apparently that’s his favourite because they’re rare in his country… Np, Happy to oblige – here’s a Renault Premium in the standard blue of the special paint job released for the event by SCS.

I hope you’re all keeping well, keeping safe, staying inside (as much as going for essential items allows). Keep the shiny side up!

I don’t think the digital ink was dry on my last digest when we had yet another SCS Software surprise.  Friday morning and I was planning to have a drive in Oregon.  I was just checking on Twitter for anything regards Saturday’s football match (home to Leatherhead) when in popped a tweet from SCS – All drivers complete your World of Trucks jobs because the servers will be taken down for maintenance in, I think, 30 minutes.  Oh! well – perhaps I’ll have a run out in Oregon this afternoon 😦   I went and played with some household chores for a while 😉

Before that announcement I had been out and about mainly in American Truck Sim quite a bit.   I had been driving the Dawg for, I realised, over a month – that’s a long time in one truck!  I like to have a bit of variety and as I reported at the end of the last Digest I had finally bought a different truck – the Freightliner FLB.  This, like the Dawg, is another workshop mod from Harven and a really fun truck to drive.  After driving that Mack for so long I was amazed at how wibbly-wobbly the cab is on the FLB.  It is something that a couple of fellow drivers have commented on but I hadn’t really noticed it so much before.   Apparently it’s actually quite realistic and I have heard a tale from a trucker on YouTube about the need to strap yourself into the bunk of an FLB when running a crew operation because otherwise you end up on the floor, wedged behind the drivers seat!   I’ve equipped her with a 500HP Detroit Diesel 60 Series engine and a 13 speed Eaton-Fuller gearbox (with a retarder).  This should give enough power for those heavier jobs in Oregon that I was talking about last time.   She’s also painted in a rather fetching metallic – and looks a little ‘evil’ as a result.   I’ve also added a ‘Turbo Wing’ – that’s a first for me as I thought that these were just an in-game fashion accessory but I’ve now found videos of real world FLB’s sporting them and it really does go well with the dark colorscheme.  I’m thinking of a name for her at present but ‘Witchy Woman’ is a possibility.  Here she is running through a nicely wooded area on the road to Newport from Bend…

We’ve done a bit of sightseeing up the coast in Oregon now, visiting Yaquina Point Lighthouse……and crossing the Historic Yaquina Bridge too…
…The rain never seems far away in Oregon compared with California!

Then came the bombshell from SCS – Server update done and here is a new ETS2 Community Challenge! Deliver cargoes to or from Germany using 10 different countries. Then continue delivering with a community goal of 50 Million Tonnes transported. The idea is that we can show our support to the team working hard to bring those wonderful improvements to the older sections of the map starting with Germany. I sometimes wonder what SCS are thinking! A lot of people have just bought the Oregon DLC and like me are exploring its wonderful scenery. We’ve just got trailer ownership and once again, players are exploring how that works and creating their own trailer skins. To throw a Community Challenge into the mix at this time is, not to put too fine a point on it, asking the community to spread itself very thinly! That said, as you will expect from the previous Community challenge, a lot of us are rolling up our sleeves and getting stuck in!

Despite a Saturday’s football I completed the personal aspect of the challenge on Monday. I also decided to change my Euro VI engines only rule during this challenge because I wanted the home comforts of the MAN TGX so we completed in one of those……Now we’re shifting tonnage as best possible. These shots are from a run early this morning – driving across the newly reworked sections of the German map from Hamburg to the Polish border with a load for Bialystok…

…I’ve since done two more runs, back to Nurnberg and then out to Szeged in Hungary. That’s a lot of driving and 85 tonnes shifted – which is a drop in the ocean with 45 million tonnes still to go for the Community Total. Thank the Lord I’m not alone!

Back in America and this left me having a giggle…… Has to be good for a caption competition 😉

“I sure did but I ain’t paying California rates for diesel!”

“No Herbicide being committed here Officer”

“Honest Officer – They told me it was Hay!”

I’ll leave you with a bit of C.W.McCall – though you’ll need to be quick with your ears to keep up…