Last time, we joined Motown Dog on a night trip from Santa Fe to Kingman. Today we’re going to join Azyet as she takes a load of Stone Wool from Esbjerg in Denmark to Le Mans in France. It’s quite a long trip and we’ll need a rest stop around the halfway point. Lets do a quick introduction. Azyet is a DAF XF 105 equipped with a 460HP engine and a 12 speed automatic gearbox. In addition to the engine brake, she also has a retarder to help with slowing down. She’s hauling one of our company’s curtainside trailers.

We collected our load from the harbour and set off with a view of the docks…

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Not far along the E20 heading east, we found someone who was not having a good day…

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…A reminder of the importance of securing the load correctly before setting out. At Kolding, we picked up the E45 heading south to make our way into Germany. At the border near Flensberg, the road becomes Autobahn 7 and we continue over the Kiel Canal…

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…It’s quite a climb over that bridge and despite having a relatively light load, we lost some speed. But the guy who was overtaking us lost a lot more and had to try again on the down hill after the apex! I don’t know what his problem is – I’m cruising at the truck speed limit of 80kmh and the retarder is holding my speed to a little over that. He’s risking a fine if the Polizei spot him 🙄 On these roads Azyet is very happy cruising at 80 in top gear and she will put in a pretty economical performance over distance.

Staying on the ‘7’ and we dive under the Elbe River at Hamburg, surfacing in the docks area of the city…

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…Just south of Hamburg we leave Autobahn 7 and take Autobahn 1…

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… which will take us south west past Bremen. There’s some nice rolling countryside around here and we’re enjoying the ride…

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…the ‘1’ will take us most of the way to the Belgian border so we can relax and enjoy the drive. Can’t relax too much though as there are always things going on including other trucks joining the autobahn at slower speeds. This was near Osnabrück…

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…a Bring truck pulling out. With a string of traffic in the fast lane I had no choice but to slow and then grind my way up the hill at his speed.

As we pass the Kamener Kreuz junction we can admire a sculpture by Alex Gockel featuring 8 angels carrying a helicopter painted in the colours of the ADAC – Germany’s rescue helicopter service…

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…Popularly known as the ‘Gelbe Engel’ – Yellow Angels

Not far to go on my first shift now, At Westhofen we diverge onto the 45 and see the first signs indicating Liège…

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…the 45 will connect us to autobahn 4 to pass south of Köln. You can see the famous railway bridge and cathedral in the distance as we cross the Rodenkirchener bridge…

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We’re fast approaching the Belgian Border, but I plan to pull in at the last German services to refuel (it’s cheaper in Germany), and park up for the night. I planned the stop at the start of my journey and here we are on time with a few minutes to spare on our driving hours…

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The fuel cost €766 and early next morning we were off and driving across the border into Belgium. Initially on the E40, we picked up the E42 as we passed Liège and continued past the airport…

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…This is an older un-rebuilt section of the #ETS2 map and some of the bends along the route are unrealistic. I always slow to 70kmh for the section past the junctions to Luxembourg and Reims. Some time ago SCS introduced random events which placed roadworks and accidents at different locations on the road. But on the older maps some roadworks were permanent structures, like this one near Namur…

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…There have been some changes over the years as if the work is gradually nearing completion and I assume this fixed roadworks will disappear when the mapping is rebuilt in this area.

We picked up the E19 near Mons and crossed the border into France…

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…where the E19 becomes France’s A2 autoroute. We’re now into the Peage system and during the rest of the trip we will pay €151 in tolls 😟 The plan is to head west towards Le Havre so we picked up the A29. We cruised along this road maintaining a steady 80kmh. Although the limit for trucks on much of the Autoroute network is 90kmh, it’s more economical to drive at a slightly slower pace. We only drive to the full 90kmh when we’re tight for time.

Not long before we reach Le Havre I spot the name Paluel on the road signs…

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…I’m going to turn off there and take a short cross-country drive to pick up the A28. Coming off the autoroute means we have to pay the first of two tolls on this run…

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…They have security guys at every peage – probably there to deter acts of vandalism.- Nous Français détester donner de l’argent au gouvernement 😅

The short trip on the D490 has its benefits because we get to cross the River Seine via the Pont de Brotonne…

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…and nothing says ‘Bienvenue en France’ better than a field of Tournesol…

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…Sunflowers 😎👍

Off the D490 we picked up the A28 heading southwest. There are some lovely forested areas here…

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…and long open viaducts carrying us far above deep valleys…

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…That speedo is still sitting resolutely on 80kmh😅 Then, almost before we know it, we’re there…

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We dropped off our load at Wilnet…

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…watched leaving by the security guard. Then it was off to get Azyet maintained (another €494) and find a hotel for the night. Another job completed and 1452 more kilometres on the odometer. Fuel consumption worked out at 24.2l/100km or 11.67mpg in UK measures. 👍

Here’s the in-game map of where we’ve been. Northern section – Esbjerg to near Dortmund…

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…and the southwestern section from near Dortmund to Le Mans…

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I hope you have enjoyed our trip 😎👍

Ok – This will be the last in this mini-series aimed at new players starting out in Euro Truck and American Truck Simulator. Today I’m going to talk about one of the big changes since the last time I did a beginners series – Trailers you can own. But before I do that I have to talk about types of jobs because owning your own truck has changed what is available to you.

The immediate impact of buying your own truck is that Freight Market jobs become available. These are exactly the same as Quick Jobs, except you drive to the pick-up location and hook up to the trailer belonging to the in game company whose job you’ve accepted. Just because you now own a truck, doesn’t stop you from choosing to do a Quick Job (in fact there are certain achievements that will still require you do do Quick Jobs to earn them). But, if you look at the Job Market, you’ll find that there is another class of job that is greyed out. This is the External Market – jobs from World of Trucks. It may have the same initials and is often referred to as WoT, but the External Market is operated by SCS Software and has nothing whatsoever to do with World of Tanks. Once you own your own truck and if you are going to be a committed community member, you should create a World of Trucks account and link it to your Truck Simulator profile.

WoT jobs offer an additional aspect to gameplay as SCS often run community events through the External Contract Jobs. They also give access to a number of additional game achievements. Whilst very similar to Freight Market jobs, WoT jobs are real time rather than game time and they don’t have tiers of difficulty like Important and Urgent. That doesn’t mean that you won’t get jobs that require you to drive with a degree of urgency – whilst many jobs will allow you nearly 24 hours of real time to complete them, you will find some that you need to complete in much less time than that. Azyet and I had one of those earlier in the week – here’s my Tweet on the subject…

…You’ll guess that when dealing with real world time jobs, experience is an important part of knowing what can be done! You’ll notice that Azyet is hauling one of my own trailers and I’ve jumped the gun slightly here, but this is where we came in so lets talk about those.

So – Owned Trailers. You can buy these from the trailer dealer and unlike the trucks you don’t need to have discovered a dealer. Here’s a shot of the trailer purchase screen – in this case it’s showing Schwarzmüller trailers…

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…which is a dlc that you can purchase, but there are standard trailers available that are part of the base game. Here’s the customize screen for a standard Curtainside Trailer…

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..You’ll notice that, like the trucks, modification options become available at levels that you reach. Additionally, some options may not be available depending on where you are based or where you intend to use the trailer…

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When you own a trailer, your possible job choices increase once more – you can now do Cargo Market and External Market jobs in addition to the previously mentioned options – Azyet, in my tweet above, was tackling an External Market job.

Trailers open up the opportunity to operate your company realistically – you can read about how my European company operates differently to my US company in a previous post. There are some benefits to ownership, having your own trailers gives a more relaxing experience most of the time and you get paid a fair bit more for doing the same job. However, you will need to maintain them and they limit the type of job you will be offered. My curtainsider is a good general haulage option and will take a wide range of cargoes but it won’t take petrol or heavy machinery. If you’re going to own your own trailers you should be buying trailers that will allow you to haul what you wish. I have my companies profiled out – you might want to do the same before you go down the trailer owner road 😎

I think I’ve covered most of the things that a new player of the Truck Simulator series from SCS Software might find confusing and I hope that what I’ve said will be beneficial. If anyone has some gameplay questions (other than “Why do you waste time playing this”) please ask below 😎👍

I’ve shown you the trucks that I bought in the previous Trucking Digest and I bet you’re asking – “When can I actually buy a Truck?” If some of the previous posts have seemed a bit non-committal at times, this one is going to ace non-committal🤣

There’s nothing to stop the eager new trucker from buying a truck after 4 or 5 quick jobs. By that point the bank will be offering you a loan and you can get out on the road in your own truck. Remember you’ll be repaying that loan out of your job earnings which will still be quite low. There is another issue with buying that early – All the trucks have a scale of improvements based on your level; take a look at this DAF for example…

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…You’ll notice that the biggest cab option is locked until you reach level 12. Throughout all the in-game truck range, the most useful engines, gearboxes and paint schemes only start appearing around levels 10 and 11. If you really want that top of the range 750hp eight by four then you’re going to have to wait a lot longer!

To confuse things further, there is a key difference between Euro Truck and American Truck. In American truck Simulator all trucks you buy are covered by a maintenance insurance. It starts at $601 and decreases down to $200 as you complete your deliveries without having an accident. Unless you are deliberately driving into other vehicles at every opportunity, your maintenance bill is never going to be more than $200 over several trips. So you could buy a nice basic truck with the aid of a bank loan very early on and know that having an accident isn’t going to wipe out your bank balance. Euro truck, on the other hand, has no accident insurance. You hit another vehicle or a building hard enough and you can get bills of over €30k. Buying a truck and leaving yourself with just €10k in the bank is a huge risk. Therefore, before buying at any experience level, I’d recommend checking out the cost of the truck you are hoping to buy and workout how much cash you will have in the bank after you buy it. In Euro Truck, because of the risk of massive repair bills, I’d recommend holding off on your purchase until you know you will have a post purchase balance of at least €30k in the bank.

A final thought around gameplay – There’s nothing in game to prevent you buying a base level truck with a 340HP engine and then upgrading it as the parts you want unlock. Whether you choose to do this will come down to your approach to realism. In Europe and the US, the cab a truck is built with stays with it throughout its working life – A day-cab doesn’t become a sleeper. In Europe it’s very unlikely that a truck will get a different engine fitted – it’ll keep what it was manufactured with. In America, trucks in private hands do sometimes change engines. Also, in the past the truck manufacturers used to supply glider kits so that the owner could fit whatever engine and gearbox combination they wanted. That practise is now banned. So if you want to play realistically, you should buy the truck with the engine, gearbox and cab that you want. Of course, cosmetic items get added all the time once a truck hits the road – after all, you can never have too many lights!😂