Trucking Digest

The past few weeks have seen me deeply immersed in sport. I’ve been listening to the Cricket World Cup on Test Match Special while driving my truck. Then this week has seen the annual Tour de France cycle race which I really enjoy watching on my computer. Additionally, Tuesday saw the first pre-season friendly game for Wingate & Finchley so I’m back at work photographing the team in action.

In my last Trucking Digest I said I’d be getting back into Europe and with the Tour de France in full flow I decided to get out and about in the Renault Magnum and give it a suitable French paint scheme. With the Tour on during the day, my driving has to be early morning or late evening – not that this affects the time of day in the game πŸ˜‰ On Wednesday evening I enjoyed a long run from Dresden to my Montpellier base with a load of carrots. This included a run along the re-mapped A4 autobahn which has several punishing climbs and this rather intriguing piece of engineering near Chemnitz……This is the BahrebachmΓΌhlen Viaduct which was built circa 1870. The A4 Autobahn was built in the 1930’s. It became necessary to widen the road in the 1990’s but the viaduct’s piers were too close together so a rebuild was required. The rather unique engineering solution seen in the screenshot, was built between 1999 and 2003.

The last part of that 3-shift journey saw me making a brisk run down the eastern side of France from near Dijon on the A6 to Lyon…
…and continuing south on the A7 before picking up the A9 at Orange to park up at home just in time to turn out the lights and close up for the night πŸ™‚

This morning, before the start of the cycling, I did a rather nice ‘afternoon’ cross country run from Munich to Klagenfurt. This is a wonderful switch-back route through the Austrian Alps…


…That scenery is a great way to start the IRL day πŸ™‚ And here we are parked up in the maintenance facility at Klagenfurt…

Keep the shiny side up everyone πŸ™‚

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Trucking Digest

With major changes happening in both SCS Software titles, it’s hardly surprising that I’m not finding time to post about anything else 😦 The good news is that v1.35 of Euro Truck Simulator was deployed to live yesterday afternoon. I expect that American Truck Simulator will follow late this afternoon or tomorrow because we’ve been promised that the new state, Washington, will become available to buy on Tuesday next week. Of course, just because I used to prefer to deploy new code on a Thursday, doesn’t mean that SCS will πŸ˜‰

There have been a huge number of changes and some unexpected upgrades included in both titles. We were gifted a surprise addition at the 11th hour – our Satnav’s will have a voice option. This dropped in to test on 1st June and was an immediate like for most people. Forget the satnav voice in your car – there’s definitely a bit of tongue in cheek from each of the voice actors. Notable actors are Doug Cockle – famous for voicing the lead character in the Witcher series of games – and Skye Bennett – of the Xenoblade series, both providing English audio. I believe some of the other language voices may have been provided by members of the development team. I prefer Skye in ETS2 – I love it when she has a mini hissy-fit because you chose to alter your route and the satnav has to recompute πŸ˜‰ I don’t have a preference in ATS yet because I haven’t done a lot of testing there.

I’ve shown you some screen shots from the new French roads and upgraded German roads in ETS2 in the previous post. I’d love to have been showing lots of shots from the US too. New road signage has been spreading west from New Mexico where it first started into Arizona and other areas of the map. I’ll try to show some of this over the next week or so as I have now started back in ATS. Because the changes have totally broken my current profile (there are some mods in there that won’t even let it load), I’ve decided to start from scratch just like in ETS2 and I will be looking to reach a level where I can purchase a truck that I actually want rather than getting a compromise. Initial estimates show I will need Level 20 in the skills area (they are different to the ones in ETS2 and probably equivalent to level 12 in that game). I will need around $200k for the truck I would like. But there is the issue because I’ll need to make a final decision on the day between the Peterbilt 579, the 389 or the Volvo VNL730 – it’s actually not a simple as Euro Truck despite there being more truck choices in that title! We’ll see what I choose when the time comes πŸ˜‰

In the meantime… I could have called this post ‘Wheels of Confusion’. Apart from the brief visit to ATS for the suspension test that I posted about 3 weeks back and a couple of other one-off drives, I haven’t driven consistently in the US for close on two and a half months. I have to admit to being more than a little out of touch when I set out on the first couple of runs as a driver for hire! This run in a Kenworth T680 from Oxnard to El Centro was a classic case of trying to understand what was going on…… I felt like I was behind the truck all the way along the route and I even missed my initial turn-off at the destination and had to come back. There’s definitely a different mindset required for ATS compared with ETS2 and being current in both is a good thing. I felt rusty and driving the T680 didn’t help (I don’t like them at all). I had a more enjoyable time in a Volvo VNL on another run heading up to Santa Cruz. It’s a European truck under the skin, so we were probably speaking the same language. I wound up driving a narrow road through the the trees on that one and thinking that I was lucky that I am an experienced driver with proper wheel and pedals – I’d hate to drive this as a noob on a keyboard and mouse set-up! …
…and that descent to the bridge is much more steep than it looks from the cab – the engine brake alone couldn’t keep the speed under control and there wasn’t a retarder so I had to use the air brakes 😦 I think the bridge is a new from the addition of roads in the 1.34 update as I’m sure I have driven this track before and it wasn’t there then! Good old SCS adding new roads and other things for Free (Unlike certain other game publishers) and scaring the hell out of little me when I come to try them out!!! πŸ™‚

I’m enjoying my return to the US states and looking forward to sharing some more shots from the recent state of Oregon and the soon to arrive state of Washington. I’ve missed my freeways and interstates. For the record, since both games were almost in parity with each other after christmas, the combination of special events, a competition and my decision to do most of my v1.35 beta testing in ETS2 have resulted in me doing 200 additional hours in Euro Truck. My hours in that game currently stand at 1550 whilst ATS is a lowly 1345. Between them that’s 120 days of my life – sobering thought isn’t it! And blogging about my experiences – I don’t know how many hours that has taken each year. But if I look at the benefits against the time, I think it weighs out as a positive. I’ve learned so much about other countries and their histories from researching things initially discovered from the Truck Simulator games! I’m looking forward to many more miles across states and countries over the next few years πŸ™‚

New Roads

Some views from our new road in France – the D660…


And some views from the revamped roads in Germany – route 7 and Kassel…