As reported in my previous post, after the new 1.29 version of American Truck simulator dropped I did have some issues. Those are now largely resolved as I have identified the mods causing issues and either updated or removed them. Two trucks are still awaiting updates (Mack Ultraliner and Freightliner Cascadia) but others like the K100 and FLB are now fully functional which is great for the Lone Star Project as our existing K100 will drive ok and when I’m ready, a Freightliner FLB will once again grace the fleet 🙂 The only ongoing issue (until today) was the bloom on HDR settings. I turned off the HDR setting and after finding things were a little dark I decided to download Piva’s weather mod which I have used before in ATS to good effect.

I’ll digress at this point because internet security is an issue we should all be aware of and I want to give some basic advice. Many mods are too large for Steam’s Workshop. Also, some mod makers don’t like to entrust their stuff to Steam for whatever reason. So we sometimes have to go get those mods from one of a number of game specific mod sites. These use upload sites to store the files and those sites rely on advertising revenue to fund their existence. So each time you attempt a download a pop-up will open to one of the advert sites… Except it sometimes isn’t. It is very good practice to be conversant with how to deal with browser hacks – I had one of these when getting the download of Piva’s Weather mod. Not the fault of Piva but some blame should attach to the storage server owners who should really police their advertisers more carefully. But be aware that there are worse. While I was trying to get the latest version of the Kenworth K100 I found that on certain storage sites the file was not as expected. I ducked out before downloading. Key advice – Always confirm that the name of the file and its size are as expected before you download and check the file type! Be especially wary of .exe files because normally the files you are going to download shouldn’t be executables. And always install good Anti-Virus software on your PC!

With that out of the way it’s time for me to show some shots from the 1.29 update of ATS and also the FLB that has joined our Lone Star fleet. But the first images belong to Nightshade from our main profile. She bore the brunt of testing out the game after the new changes…
…She’s seen here drifting past one of the new Random Events on I15 on the way to San Diego from Las Vegas with a load of transmissions. Two Customs Cars and an Audi – gotta be a drugs bust?! We continued down the I15 and found that the intersection with the I10 has suddenly grown because I15 now goes all the way down to San Diego……That wasn’t there before!!! And a bit further down the road at the junction with I8 we passed the Qualcomm Stadium – home of the San Diego Chargers until this season. I understand they’ve moved up the road to Los Angeles. Such things are frowned upon in the UK where, with a couple of exceptions, a football club is seen part of the community rather than a franchise to move where you will! Don’t worry – we have our own ways of creating football scandals 😉

Nightshade had the honour of the first run into New Mexico as reported in the previous post but in our Lone Star project Midnight Cruiser took the first run for the team. The cargo was Car Parts from Flagstaff to Albuquerque. We received the traditional welcome to a new state – called into the weigh station by the New Mexico police……Coming back with a load from Vista print bound for Phoenix. we passed a police car with a pulled over car – officer rendering assistance or a speeder?……Then we passed a nasty multi vehicle accident with police, ambulance and fire brigade in attendance……These are examples of the new Random Events now in-game since v1.29 was released 🙂

Phoenix offered the chance to buy our third truck for the Lone Star project. Once again this is a slightly older truck unlike my main profile where I will be driving current vehicles. We’ve replicated a 1995 Freightliner FLB with a Detroit Diesel Series 60 500HP engine. She’s got a 13 speed Eaton-Fuller gearbox and a retarder. The paint job is one produced by Lucasi while the truck is the work of Harven and represents the latest iteration in a long history of this mod by a variety of authors over the years. Here she is climbing out of Phoenix with a load of Dried Milk for Alamogordo… I see we have a Krusty Clown truck on our tail 😉 My nickname for CRST trucks in-game as they tend to be quite aggressive – Though I recall being carved up by a Knight’s truck recently 😦 I’m sure the real life drivers are ok – though some of my US readers may wish to comment otherwise 😉

I closed off last time joking about ‘back in France’. I have got some material to relate from there so we will be looking at what my MAN and I have been up to soon 🙂

After the fun of Halloween it was back to driving in a professional manner for our Lone Star project in Midnight Cruiser. A run from Camp Verde with a load of vegetables on October 30th left us parked up in Elko. A while back I reported that I was trying to clear a couple of Heavy Haul achievements in American Truck Sim that were reliant on getting a transformer as cargo. Just before starting this project Rolled Gold had finally picked one up from Elko going to Santa Maria. That should have cleared both the achievements as the Transformer was the last Heavy Cargo type that I needed for the full set and if I was called into a weigh station the I would be over the required weight for the ‘How Heavy Am I’ achievement. Well, we were called into a weigh station but for reasons that I can’t explain the achievement remained locked although I did clear the ‘I thought this was supposed to be heavy’ achievement for hauling all the cargo types. Frustrating…

So here we are in Elko again but now we’re in Midnight Cruiser with 475 rather than 625 horses and sure enough there’s a Transformer in the available loads! It’s going down to Kingman which means climbing up to the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge over Black Canyon just downstream from the Hoover Dam. But there’s also quite a few sharp climbs on the Nevada sections of Route 93 even before we get there! I pondered long about taking the load but with an 18 speed gearbox I should have the flexibility to get us over the climbs so I signed up for the challenge 🙂

The climbs started with the crawl up the slip road onto Interstate 80 – 3rd gear with the engine waking up the neighbors. We had just about wound her up to 50mph when we were called into the weigh station. Bingo! – this time the achievement unlocked 🙂 From there we got going again but one of the steeper sections on I80 dragged us down to just over 20mph with our hazards on to warn following traffic that we were going slow – goddamn place needs a crawler lane!

We picked up Route 93 from Wells and headed south. I don’t think we ever succeeded in getting above 40mph as we tackled the hills and were very careful round the tighter corners. I had hoped to get to Pioche before taking my drivers break but had to park up in Ely instead. We left Ely on Route 50 through the hills beside Taylor Peak before picking up Route 93 again at Majors Place. Now we were able to make better speed pushing up to 55mph on the long straight stretches before easing back for the Pioche bypass and again to pass through Caliente. We also passed an antenna array along the way which I can’t find on the real world map – I wonder if the map dev’s have mistaken Coyote Springs for the VLA which should be in the New Mexico expansion when that comes out? Does anyone among my readers know of a radio telescope or similar array alongside the Route 93 in Nevada? If you do, please tell me what it’s called in the comments 🙂

Finally there was the slow crawl through Las Vegas before tackling the climb up to the Hoover Dam which was actually quite easy compared with some that had gone before. We dropped down towards Kingman only to get called into the weigh station by the Arizona Police. The truck must have been considerably lighter by this time because we were almost running on fumes 😉 Overall we barely scraped 4mpg on the run and I had to refuel after delivering the load – putting 268 gallons into ‘Cruiser’s 300gal tank. Then I was off to bed with my driving hours spent.
Here’s a shot of Midnight Cruiser on the Pioche Bypass – those cars are going to have to wait for a straight stretch to overtake me…

Meet Midnight Cruiser – our new truck in American Truck Sim for our Lone Star project. In Europe we’re playing the corporate game but here in Arizona we’re a solo trucker and we can be a bit flamboyant!

Unlike in France where we’re building a modern fleet and choosing trucks, engines and gear ratios aimed at recreating current practice, here we’re looking for a different kind of realism – recreating a genuine older truck by checking out configurations of real trucks on the internet. Midnight Cruiser is a Peterbilt 379 finished in the dark navy blue paint scheme of a truck that appears in the Smart Trucking videos on YouTube. But the running gear has come from a couple of advertised 379’s which have gifted her a Caterpillar 3406E 475HP engine attached to an 18 speed gearbox with retarder. The cab has the older style 379 dash……somewhat different to Nightshade’s modern 389 dash! You can see I’ve fitted a Steering Creations wheel which picks up the truck color and we have a gps and my ‘good luck’ dreamcatcher. You get a clearer idea of the external appearance of the truck in this shot……complete with 63 inch sleeper. The additional trimmings are me being exuberant 🙂

Hell! She even looks good in Black & White……Now that’s a truck with Presence!