Trucking Digest

It’s been a very busy week. Following on from the last post, I have started that new profile in Euro Truck v1.35 Beta. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t as the profiles will remain available for use in the deployed version of the game and at this stage I’m not using any unofficial mods. So lets go through the start of the new ‘Martin Transport et Logistique’ – though not in too much depth as my ‘Build a Truck Company’ series covers how to start your career in Euro Truck to a good level of detail and the sebsequent changes such as trailer ownership have been mentioned in subsequent ‘Trucking Digest’ posts.

One thing I did differently this time was to get into my first hire job with a clear goal in mind regards my first truck. Instead of aiming to buy a truck at the first opportunity, I was going to work as a driver for hire until I could afford to get the actual truck I wanted which in this case was a DAF XF Euro6 with a 6×2/4 chassis, 460HP engine and a 12 speed gearbox with retarder. I also wanted one of the ‘exclusive’ interiors – That’s quite a high spec truck! And that in turn requires getting to level 12 in the profile to allow access to everything I wanted in my first truck.

The other different ‘policy’ I pursued was in the way that I allocated the skill points as they became available. Initially I added 2 each to Long Distance, High Value Cargo and Fragile Cargo. The next 4 levels went on High Value and Fragile. The effect of not adding to the Long Distance was to limit my jobs to tasks that could be completed in a single driving shift, whilst the other categories added to the available rewards when at cities where machinery or tech equipment loads were available. So here we are descending the Lahn valley near Koblenz with a wind turbine nascelle……and hauling a helicopter out of Turin……and a load of potted flowers from Bourges to Rennes……Yes, plant pots are fragile 😉

It took me 28 loads to reach the magical level 12, by which time I also had the money I needed to buy the truck I had spec’d out mentally at the start. It’s quite interesting to look at the map of the cities visited as a driver for hire, bearing in mind that each job was taken from the place where the last one ended. They’re marked on the map in yellow (ignoring Bordeaux which gets marked as the closest DAF dealer to Montpellier). Only Lille, Cologne and Montpellier were visited more than once…

The total cost of my new DAF was €221320. I didn’t have to take out a loan although buying the truck outright did carry an element of risk as it left me with only €6k in the bank – which a major collision could totally wipe out! Anyway, here is the interior of our 1st truck for the new iteration of the company……and here she is in daylight showing off the company’s revised Royal Blue metallic paint scheme……I hope you like it 🙂 The only special items not supplied as standard when you buy a truck are the more expensive Michelin X-Line boots and a Monsieur Bibendum hanging in the cab – Pretty’ing up will have to wait!

I’ll update you on the state of the testing in another post. Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

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Trucking Digest

Here we are in the middle of testing Euro truck v1.35 Beta when SCS and DAF announce a joint ‘competition’ called #IDriveDAF. There is a link to a DAF promotional video in the post and we are exhorted to look at it closely and “Take an in-game screenshot of your DAF truck (XF 105 or XF Euro 6) at a location similar to that in the video.” I’m always up for a challenge, even when I’m cash-strapped by being in the middle of testing with a new profile! That same morning I was heading up to the suspension bridge in the early part of the video and got this shot as I crossed it in horrible weather…… I decided to splash some cash on an upgrade of the DAF I was driving and subsequently got this shot on the return leg as I crossed the Storstrømmen once more…

Twitter has been awash with lots of images from my fellow truckers showing many of the different suspension bridges in the game and also some of the industrial type environments from the video. I don’t think DAF realised just what level of response they were going to get – though I’m sure SCS trusted their community to come up with the goods 🙂 The screenshots have expanded from suspension bridges to just about anywhere on the map (as long as there is a DAF in the shot) and there have been some lovely scenic views. Here is one I took on the road in to Nuremberg while testing the new Container Trailer. This is one of the latest roads to be updated to the new standard in central/southern Germany and it looks really good in the moody lighting of late afternoon…… I spotted one new addition along the roadside between Nuremberg and Stuttgart – signs banning trucks from using the fast lane. I quipped in a tweet – “Does this mean the Autobahnpolizei will be issuing fines for being in the wrong lane SCS software? I know… be careful what you wish for!”

Testing itself has been going well. I tried out the experimental DirectX11 upgrade and found that it ran well. That upgrade is not due for deployment in v1.35 as there SCS still have a lot of work to do on it, so we’ll soldier on in the ancient DirectX9 for the time being. It’s great to see the game being brought up to more modern standards. I have been trying out the new ownable trailers and these are working well. What isn’t working well is my company trailer skin, which is a shame. I have also tried out the demo skin that I used for tuition when making my own skins and that is broken too. I guess that I’m going to have to investigate why when I get the time. However, that means issues with my existing profile when v1.35 releases – lots of trailers that will crash the game! I think I may find myself starting the company from scratch yet again… sigh! That may not be a bad thing (actually it won’t) because I’ve suddenly found my DAF mojo and maybe it will be a DAF / MAN / Scania company. We could run using a mix of the Krone-liveried curtainsiders and other in-house ownable trailers – perhaps specialising more in containerised loads. Anyway – on with the testing for now! To close, here are screenshots of my current DAF in an ‘industrial’ setting – departing a farm with a load of Apples……and crossing one of my favourite suspension bridges, Pont de Brotonne over the Seine…

Roads Less Travelled

This is very much a trucking post. With the Open Beta testing of v1.35 in full swing I have been doing my bit to identify any problems with the changes being delivered. Testing has meant starting from scratch and working up to owning a first truck and trailer. For this I have been doing almost all my testing in Euro Truck as one of the key changes this time is in the World of Trucks arena. We are going to be able to use our own trailers for WoT jobs and Martin transport et Logistique will be in a position to take advantage of that. I’m not looking to test this in American Truck because Republik is a Bakersfield based truckers Cooperative offering haulage power to anyone who needs it. “Truckers Cooperative? – Sounds downright Communis’ to me” – Senator McCarthy will be spinning in his grave! 😉 So that’s why I’m concentrating on Euro truck for this testing.

Because I’m testing, I have started from scratch in a clean test profile. I’ve built up to the level where I can afford to buy a truck with a loan and then pushed on to buy a trailer to go with that truck. Again, because I’m testing this is not part of the Martin company but just a solo build, so you won’t be seeing our normal colours in this post. I decided to buy a basic level DAF XF with no additional features. The only concession was a slightly higher powered engine (410HP). Everything else is stock and that includes no GPS – of which more later.

Another change that I was eager to try was the ownership of Schwarzmüller trailers. I believe this was one of the first trailer manufacturers to come on board with SCS and allow their trailers to be accurately portrayed in the game so it’s good to be able to buy them for our companies. Yesterday I reached the point where I had the money to buy their curtainside trailer for my testing. Here is the DAF XF and Schwarzmüller trailer combo sitting outside my basic garage in Montpellier……I think that’s a good looking combo 🙂

One thing that always surprises me is the way that our choices influence the way that things pan out in the SCS truck sims. I’ve been driving all over Europe to the point where I’ve achieved close on 1500 hours in the game. Yet, possibly because I drive in a company orientated manner, there are some roads that I rarely travel. In fact this first example is a road that I don’t think I have ever travelled! The delivery was from Montpellier to Torino and we routed via Rousset. There’s no way I would have forgotten crossing that dam (not least because I’ve seen it when watching the Tour de France!), so I guess I’ve never driven this road before…

Then it was north from Torino to Zurich and another road that I don’t think I have used more than once routing through the Alps to Bern…
…and that’s one of the joys of Beta Testing – it gets you out of any rut you may be running in 🙂 But it also got me thinking. Here I am doing lots of driving without a GPS. It adds a level of challenge assuming I don’t turn on the game’s own HUD for the route I should follow. I’ve really enjoyed the additional burden of checking the map before leaving, and if unsure of position, pulling over somewhere safe to recheck where I’m going. There may have been some missed turns and moments of being lost along the way but that adds to the fun 🙂 I think this may become a sub series of Trucking Digest – ‘Travels with my Aunt’ comes to mind as a title with the truck being Auntie Daph. Of course in ATS it could be travels with Uncle Mack 😉 We’ll see!