Trucking Digest

I don’t think the digital ink was dry on my last digest when we had yet another SCS Software surprise.  Friday morning and I was planning to have a drive in Oregon.  I was just checking on Twitter for anything regards Saturday’s football match (home to Leatherhead) when in popped a tweet from SCS – All drivers complete your World of Trucks jobs because the servers will be taken down for maintenance in, I think, 30 minutes.  Oh! well – perhaps I’ll have a run out in Oregon this afternoon 😦   I went and played with some household chores for a while 😉

Before that announcement I had been out and about mainly in American Truck Sim quite a bit.   I had been driving the Dawg for, I realised, over a month – that’s a long time in one truck!  I like to have a bit of variety and as I reported at the end of the last Digest I had finally bought a different truck – the Freightliner FLB.  This, like the Dawg, is another workshop mod from Harven and a really fun truck to drive.  After driving that Mack for so long I was amazed at how wibbly-wobbly the cab is on the FLB.  It is something that a couple of fellow drivers have commented on but I hadn’t really noticed it so much before.   Apparently it’s actually quite realistic and I have heard a tale from a trucker on YouTube about the need to strap yourself into the bunk of an FLB when running a crew operation because otherwise you end up on the floor, wedged behind the drivers seat!   I’ve equipped her with a 500HP Detroit Diesel 60 Series engine and a 13 speed Eaton-Fuller gearbox (with a retarder).  This should give enough power for those heavier jobs in Oregon that I was talking about last time.   She’s also painted in a rather fetching metallic – and looks a little ‘evil’ as a result.   I’ve also added a ‘Turbo Wing’ – that’s a first for me as I thought that these were just an in-game fashion accessory but I’ve now found videos of real world FLB’s sporting them and it really does go well with the dark colorscheme.  I’m thinking of a name for her at present but ‘Witchy Woman’ is a possibility.  Here she is running through a nicely wooded area on the road to Newport from Bend…

We’ve done a bit of sightseeing up the coast in Oregon now, visiting Yaquina Point Lighthouse……and crossing the Historic Yaquina Bridge too…
…The rain never seems far away in Oregon compared with California!

Then came the bombshell from SCS – Server update done and here is a new ETS2 Community Challenge! Deliver cargoes to or from Germany using 10 different countries. Then continue delivering with a community goal of 50 Million Tonnes transported. The idea is that we can show our support to the team working hard to bring those wonderful improvements to the older sections of the map starting with Germany. I sometimes wonder what SCS are thinking! A lot of people have just bought the Oregon DLC and like me are exploring its wonderful scenery. We’ve just got trailer ownership and once again, players are exploring how that works and creating their own trailer skins. To throw a Community Challenge into the mix at this time is, not to put too fine a point on it, asking the community to spread itself very thinly! That said, as you will expect from the previous Community challenge, a lot of us are rolling up our sleeves and getting stuck in!

Despite a Saturday’s football I completed the personal aspect of the challenge on Monday. I also decided to change my Euro VI engines only rule during this challenge because I wanted the home comforts of the MAN TGX so we completed in one of those……Now we’re shifting tonnage as best possible. These shots are from a run early this morning – driving across the newly reworked sections of the German map from Hamburg to the Polish border with a load for Bialystok…

…I’ve since done two more runs, back to Nurnberg and then out to Szeged in Hungary. That’s a lot of driving and 85 tonnes shifted – which is a drop in the ocean with 45 million tonnes still to go for the Community Total. Thank the Lord I’m not alone!

Back in America and this left me having a giggle…… Has to be good for a caption competition 😉

“I sure did but I ain’t paying California rates for diesel!”

“No Herbicide being committed here Officer”

“Honest Officer – They told me it was Hay!”

I’ll leave you with a bit of C.W.McCall – though you’ll need to be quick with your ears to keep up…

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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 Düsseldorf 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 😉 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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂

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 😉 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 😉 )……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 🙂

Enjoying the Scenery

After the distress of Thursday morning I really needed some time to myself. Where better than in the semi-real world of Truck simulation? That’s one of the secrets of the game – just the simple joy of driving and watching the scenery drifting by. So I thought I’d share a few recognisable places from within the truck sim games…
Pont de Normandie – Crossing the River Seine at Le Havre
Climbing to Hoover Dam on Route 93
Descending into the Mosel Valley
Descending towards Cajon Pass, south of Victorville
Crossing the Thaya River near Brno with Mikulov Castle on the horizon

Hope you enjoyed these images – There are so many other vistas I could share. I’ll end this post with a quick tale from last night. Around 11:15 my Good Lady stuck her head round the door of my office to tell me she was off to bed. I replied “Ok Love, I’m almost home… Be with you soon.” Almost Home? I was in California just passing the rail yards outside Bakersfield finishing my last delivery of the night. But isn’t it weird that I now see Bakersfield in a game as home – just as much as I see Finchley as home in the real world!