The Auld Alliance?

As CEO of Transportes Martin based in Montpellier I would like to wish everyone a Happy Bastille Day with a few shots of the company’s Renault Magnum in a special paint-job. Vive la France!

Eastbound from Montpellier and about to pick up the autoroute towards Lyon and on to Dijon…

…risking the wrath of Les Gendarmes for having my main-beam lights on for the photo shoot…

From Dijon we took a tractor north-west to Le Havre…

…enjoying a glorious sunset as we crossed the Seine to complete a wonderful Bastille Day’s driving…

ps – as my regular readers know, I’m half Scot’s hence the reference to the Auld Alliance πŸ™‚

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Now Where Was I…?

…Oh Yes – planning on buying another garage in Montpellier. The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley. I had the money in the bank and was sitting in Bourges after a pleasant trip across country from DΓΌsseldorf with a load of Beverages. Pleasant run it might have been but being mostly on back roads it was bad for the fuel economy as was the previous run with a load of Vodka. The company accountant will be spitting feathers πŸ˜‰ So I’m looking to go and get that next garage before he notices and pretends that we can’t afford it! The trouble is that I can’t find a load from Bourges going to Montpellier nor are there any going to Marseilles or Toulouse.

What I can get is a load of boots going north to Paris. That’s Rubber Boots of the Michelin Tyre variety πŸ™‚ OK – looks like we’re going to be buying our next garage in Paris. We set off from Bourges in the early morning light……It’s lovely driving at that time of day πŸ™‚ The delivery went smoothly and I didn’t have far to drive from Geodis to the garage I was going to buy – it’s right next door πŸ™‚

Now we need to put together the money for another truck and to hire a driver. I picked a job to deliver a Digger 1000 from Paris down to Limoges. It was all the way round on the other side of town so a long deadhead run to the job. Then down to Limoges where we delivered to Hellmann opposite the local Volvo dealer. I wrote about the way that some low-loaders cut the corner behind you previously and maybe this shot illustrates the point……That’s why trucks have to go onto the wrong side of the road to make a turn! Something us ordinary motorists / cyclists need to bear in mind.

I camped out in the Volvo Dealer – slightly cheeky as I was in the MAN but I am a customer so no complaints πŸ˜‰ I still needed to get the money for a new truck for Paris so it was off to Le Havre the same evening with a load of transmissions. That was a long run and I probably should have taken a break part way but I decided to press on and get it done. As a result I picked up a couple of sleep avoidance fines. While I don’t view them as ‘driving errors’ in the same way as I would a collision or off-road excursion, I think I need to be a little harder on myself about these in future for the sake of realism.

From Le Havre it was a long cross-country with a load of Boric Acid into Germany – destination Stuttgart (I’m a sucker for Sunflowers πŸ˜‰ )……before heading back to Luxembourg with a Digger 500. With the help of Freja and Marcel’s work we had quickly amassed the necessary money to get the next Volvo for the fleet. Into the dealer at Luxembourg – Truck bought and delivered to Paris. I looked through the available drivers and a young lady called Marianne with an ADR qualification and distance skills caught my eye so I hired her.

Time to get back on the road and work towards that Montpellier garage. I’ll leave you with a shot of us running through the outskirts of Paris with our load of Michelin Tyres πŸ™‚

Criss-crossing France

Since buying the second garage in Bordeaux I’ve been driving around France building the funds and I’m now getting close to the amount needed to get our second truck for our company. This post is going to be less reading and more images because you hopefully know all you need to take jobs and deliver them πŸ˜‰

In the Garage Dilema post I mentioned the A89 and linked to an external website about the ‘autoroute of the presidents’ or the ‘Transeuropean’ as it is known. At the time I promised we’d revisit in daylight to show some of the structures on the A89. Ironically my first job out of Bordeaux was delivering a tanker of LPG to Lyon which put us straight back out on the A89 going east and presented the opportunity to catch the Viaduc du Chavanon in the evening light…The A89 is such an important east-west connection that we’ll be visiting this bridge again! From close to Lyon we picked up an item of drilling equipment from a quarry. A little tip – climbing out of a quarry can be very difficult with a heavy load. You have to take things very slowly in first gear to make it out! Fortunately this driller is a light load so no issues on this occasion…The load was going to Poissy on the outskirts of Paris affording a view of Chateauneuf near Dijon as we passed along the A6 ‘AutoRoute du Soliel’…Now for a long run south! A quick drive round Paris to Charles De Gaulle airport to pick up the load of Medical Vaccines. Then we were off on our way to Montpellier. Quite early in the journey we cross the Loire on the outskirts of OrlΓ©ans…The saving grace of this trip is that only two tolls impede our run the second of which guards access to le Viaduc de Millau. This is a truly magnificent bridge even in the confines of a computer game. I recommend a quick trip to Wikipedia to read about it. After an overnight rest stop we crossed it in the early morning with the sun just creeping over the horizon…Our next delivery was a short trip across to Marseille because I wanted to check out the truck dealer there. This time it was a load of medical equipment and I couldn’t resist tonemapping the screenshot of us arriving at the old port area to make the delivery…Then, after checking out the dealer – confirmed as a MAN dealer – we were off north again with 22t of Aubergines which should come in handy for anyone in Dijon planning on making Ratatouille πŸ˜‰ It was a day of sunshine and showers……which made that red coach behind us look really bright! ‘Whose is that?’ I was thinking……Ah! Bayern Munich team bus – must be one of Jazzycat’s offerings πŸ™‚ I picked up a speeding fine on the outskirts of Lyon – caught out by the 22t load after two loads of 5t. I should have started slowing for the 50kmh limit a bit earlier 😦 From Dijon it was another load of vegetables going south to Toulouse – Carrots this time. We set out in the middle of the night with the rain still falling…The fuel price on the left will horrify my US readers – that’s €1.44 per litre which roughly equates to $6.40 per US Gallon for diesel! The current real world price in France is €1.244 – still horrific – and it’s worse in the UK! The route initially took us south on the A6 towards MΓ’con (which is not represented in the game) before cutting across country and through some wooded terrain……and on to Vichy and a rest stop before picking up the A89 west to connect with the A20 south to Toulouse. Which meant crossing the Viaduc du Chavanon once more as the sun went down……and that’s where we came in! Next time I hope to be in a position to buy that second truck which will probably be a MAN TGX. Hope you enjoyed the screenshots from my trips.