Where to start – it’s been a while and ironically I’ve done a lot of driving in the past three weeks as a direct result of the troubles with Windows 10 that I wrote about in the previous post. Test driving you might say 😉

I think we’ll talk American truck Simulator to start with. SCS Software had a big surprise planned for late September – a new truck. So new, in fact, that at the time of the first hints from SCS the real truck wasn’t available to buy yet! It was to be the NEXT Western Star – so a new manufacturer for the game. The real world truck was to be released on September 29th with a synchronised release of the virtual truck by SCS on the 30th – The first time this has happened! So, on the September 30th many of us were making our way to new Western Star dealerships in ATS to buy our first 49X as the truck is branded. You can read about the new truck and its release on SCS’s blog.

To synchronise the release must have taken a lot of planning and making the virtual truck ready on time required some compromise. The initial options are limited to a day cab version with just 6×2 and 6×4 chassis options. There are a few gearbox options – none of which have retarders. As the truck is marketed as ‘Vocational’, the day cab option makes sense – this truck will be ideally suited to heavy work in the forestry and plant hire sectors. I think we will be getting the sleeper cab and other chassis options as part of general game releases over the coming months. I spec’d my day cab with the 600HP Detroit Diesel engine and the Detroit auto 12speed box. Initially, I’ve tried the truck on a mix of jobs but In the long term I expect to use her solely on the types of work mentioned above, so there is a headache rack fitted too. I’ve named her Altair…

…She becomes only the second day cab in the current fleet. So lets have a quick mention of the other one, Ol’Dawg. The Dawg has had a makeover and now looks resplendent in an old-school Mack scheme…

…Posing outside our Elko depot.

Coming soon to ATS, we are expecting our second new state for the year – Colorado. In v1.39 release, currently in open beta, we’re getting lowboy trailers that we can own. I expect to attach one of those to Altair and get moving some plant soon after!

The Lowboy trailers will also be coming to Euro Truck Simulator 2. v1.39 for that game went into open beta testing yesterday, so it won’t be long. We’re also getting a rebuild of the area around Calais to bring that up to the latest mapping standards 🙂 SCS have been giving a lot of sneak previews of the planned Iberia map dlc that is due to release although they’ve been rather coy about a possible date.

As a make-weight for a new truck in ATS, we got a new paint jobs pack in ETS2 called Super Stripes. I’ve used it to give my DAF XF105 a face lift…

…I’ve also finally given her a name – Madeleine – bringing her into line with my two Euro6 XF’s Lady Galadriel and Renzo. Until recently I’ve always struggled to give names to my European Trucks but I’m now on a bit of a roll 🙂 The other truck to benefit from a Super Stripes repaint was my Euro6 MAN TGX …

…She’s been named too – Maria de Montpelhièr or Maria for short. I was looking for some context and found a historical one! Maria de Montpelhièr was the 12th century heiress to the Lordship of Montpellier and married the King of Aragon. So this name symbolises our planned expansion into northern Spain when the Iberia dlc releases.

I hope to share some more trucking with you next week – Keep the shiny side up! 🙂

Another trip out in SCS Software’s Euro Truck Simulator 2. On this run I’m driving my Renault Premium named ‘Isobella’ – she has a 430HP engine and a 12sp automatic gearbox – and I have an 18t load of film rolls bound for Rennes. Here is a screenshot of Isobella in action on a different run so you can see what she looks like on the outside…

Departing Lille at the start of the run may seem a little tentative. The roads in this area of the map have recently been upgraded to the current standard and I’m still finding my way around the autoroutes in that area (very much like visiting somewhere new in real life!). About 10 mins into the journey an ai coach cuts in front of me and brakes sharply – One advantage of the ‘silent trucking’ format is you won’t hear the choice words expressed about the coach driver at that point 😉 After that it’s a straight forward run across northern France, crossing the River Seine on the Pont de Brotonne (17:30). It had been a nice sunny day but we ran into a thunderstorm a little further down the road (22:00) so I had to slow for the road and traffic conditions. The weather gradually improved as I travelled further west. The ai traffic were still playing games on the Rennes ring-road causing me to come to a stop on one of the slip roads (32:00). Finally arrived at our destination (37:30) for a medium difficulty park 🙂 Hope you enjoyed this run – I will try to do a video of a run on more rural roads in the future.

Today we’re going to take a trip from Mannheim to Amsterdam in our white DAF XF named ‘Lady Galadriel’. In terms of the route within Euro Truck Simulator 2, this entails driving mostly on the older map builds although there is a section within Germany where we encounter the updated map with improved quality and realism. I have recently re-enabled a mod to improve the traffic realism, so you will see more ai vehicles. If you watch closely, quite early on, there has been an accident on the opposite carriageway and later there is a car that has clearly spun!

Lets talk interiors. In my US trucks the ostentation is most commonly chrome and paint although I often have a dreamcatcher or something else as a hanging ornament. In Europe it’s more likely that there will be interior hangings. For my in-game trucks, they can be a reminder of the past activities. So, the right-hand pennant on the windscreen in ‘Lady Galadriel’ is a Turkish Tourist Board advert whilst on the dash itself you can see a Turkish flag. This is a reminder that she was the truck that did the ‘Orient Express’ achievement, driving from Paris to Istanbul along the route of the famous train. Other trucks in my fleet also have reminders of their achievements. The Home Trucker hanging is a reminder that we’re still following Covid-19 guidelines and should act appropriately – several of my trucks in Europe and the US carry that one.

This video is 38 minutes in length. If you can stay with it until I make a fuel-stop roughly midway, you will see the improved maps and be able to compare with the earlier version (most noticable at intersections). You’ll also experience some unpleasant weather. A bit later on we’ll cross the Rhine on the Rodenkirchener Brücke with a glimpse of Köln to the north. If you have the extreme fortitude to stay with me until we arrive in Amsterdam you’ll be rewarded with a very nice sunset 🙂

If you’re out on the roads, drive safe. If you’re in the US braving either Fire or Flood – again, stay safe!