Trucking Digest

As briefly mentioned in the last issue of Digest, The Oregon map DLC became available last Thursday. I bought it immediately and I have had a drive into the new state during the last few days. However, my progress has been a little hampered. Let me tell you my tale of woe…

The recent v1.32 updates to the main game improved the accuracy of trailer stability. I tested this out in Euro Truck and it definitely works. Even yesterday I was watching my trailer wobbling on corners – so I know it works. In American Truck I didn’t get to do any Beta testing as I felt it best to concentrate on ETS2 where I was planning to use the new Trailer Ownership approach to running a company. After the deployment of v1.32 to live I tweaked the background settings for Brakes and trailer stability to match those in Euro truck. So there I was driving my Mack R 600 – the Dawg – on a variety of jobs and I didn’t seem to be seeing any evidence of trailer instability. I began to wonder if it was working at all. So last Wednesday – the day before Oregon deployed – as I was driving south from Tonopah with a double trailer of Gravel I saw a corner ahead that was a bit sharp for the 50mph I was doing. At this point the little red guy with the tri-pointy stick on my shoulder says.. “Go on.. Test it.. You know you want to!” So I did 😉 I can confirm that trailer stability is working – we gracefully rolled over and came to a stop with a whole heap of damage 🙂

At this point you’re probably expecting a screenshot. Well there isn’t one. As the Officer said – “Move along – Nothing to see here.” We’re on a country road in the middle of the Nevada desert – there’s no lights to show the scene so there’s no point in a screenshot! If it was daylight I would have – honest 🙂 Unlike most computer games, SCS don’t reward you with lots of pyro-technics and gore when you do a catastrophic act. All that happens in ATS is you lose money on the delivery and put up your insurance. In ETS the consequences are more draconian – but you still don’t get the visual rewards of carnage that players of Grand Theft Auto would expect. There was, however, an unseen consequence of my moment of over-enthusiasm. When I went to complete my company logs I found that the figures didn’t add up. No matter how I checked them, they no longer added up. This is an issue – I can be very OCD about the company accounts. In the end I had to take the difficult decision to restart with another clean profile when I’d reached the point of being able to buy a second truck 😦 Another happy day for the little devil on my shoulder 😉

So we restarted as a driver for hire but now I knew I had to move fast to get my own truck for the Oregon Deployment. I got lucky with my very first delivery from Bakersfield – it was to Oxnard. That in turn meant that I could take a job that passed by the Kenworth Dealer in Los Angeles. Just 2 more jobs later and I was in a position to take a $100k loan and the Dawg was born again…

I first ventured into Oregon with a load of meat for Medford. Then I continued up the I5 with a Digger bound for Salem. Oregon welcomed me with some very wet weather which left me wondering if I was actually driving in Euro-Truck! On the I5 we were called into the weigh-station and you can see how bad the rain was……I noted that the weigh-stations are preceded by signs requiring all vehicles over 20000lbs gross weight to stop-by for weighing so I guess we’ll be popping in every time we pass through. This one was located near Booth Ranch but it would perhaps have been more appropriate if it had been located further down the valley at Bear Gulch 😉

The consequences of my earlier actions in Nevada would now come back to haunt me. The Mack, as you recall, has just 237HP. I found the jobs up there in Oregon are usually heavier than 35000lbs – in fact from Medford the Digger 1000 at 34000lbs was the lightest job I could find. Clearly when driving in Oregon, to misquote Roy Scheider in Jaws, you’re gonna need a bigger truck! And, because of my rash accident and restart I’m not at the level to be able to buy a truck with the required engine size! We soldiered on regardless taking loads up to 47000lbs but each hill climb was a struggle. We were down in 4th on this climb and barely making 15mph……If we had stalled we probably would have needed the tow-truck to get going again. On the up side, we did find a good place to stop off in the valley beyond……Egg and Chips for dinner and off to bed 🙂 This is actually McDermitt in Nevada but it’s part of the changes necessitated by the Oregon DLC. In the real world the Café looks like this……Image courtesy of Google Streetview.

I visited Portland very briefly. There’s clearly a lot of ‘photo’ opportunities to be captured around Portland. Here’s a taster as we cross the Marquam Bridge heading south and back to the safety of California……Hawthorn Bridge is there to be seen and I know that somewhere else in the game is the New Youngs Bay Bridge so I’m looking forward to that one 🙂

I’ll leave you with this sunset shot in Oregon somewhere on I5……If you’re local and recognise what looks to be a mining facility I’d appreciate knowing where I am 🙂

I’ve since racked-up some serious jobs in the CA-AZ-NM area and raised my profile’s level to 13 which allows me to buy a more suitable truck. Dawg has been relegated to local duties out of Bakersfield with new recruit Josh and I’ve got myself a Freightliner FLB – you’ll meet her next time 🙂 Drive Safe!


Meeting the Challenge

When I set up a Trucking Company even though it’s not ‘real world’ I apply values to my company. In Europe, Martin Transport et Logistique have a smartly turned out corporate livery that I hope gives our computer generated customers confidence in our ability to deliver. I had a humorous bit of banter from one of my football colleagues on Twitter. He hoped that we ‘deliver more accurately than TeeJay delivers a free kick’ – a reference to one poorly placed delivery into the area from a free kick in a recent game 😉 I can truthfully report that Martin Transport have not missed a delivery time despite undertaking important and urgent deliveries for our customers and we take great pride in that 🙂

In Euro Truck we’re doing Cargo Market jobs and we play those in game-time which gives me the opportunity to select contracts as appropriate for the time I have available between rest requirements. Selecting an Urgent delivery when you’re going to have to rest part way along the route would not be a good idea! So with careful selection we avoid late deliveries 🙂

In the US we’re in a different situation. Republik currently looks like a rag-tag operation – we have no corporate livery yet. We’re taking hauling jobs for other companies that need someone to haul their trailers. These are World of Trucks jobs and they work in real time. If Republik is going to do well then we have to convince our customers that we can deliver on time despite the old machinery we’re driving. Most of the WoT jobs give many real-hours to complete – you could park up on the way and have IRL dinner before continuing your journey on most of them 🙂 Yesterday was different!

I’m pushing on in ATS to get the money for that garage upgrade. I took a nice little job from Flagstaff to Show Low in the morning. When you drop off a load at a customer, since the latest game update, you can see if there are any jobs available from the same customer. So I took a look at what was on offer work wise from the Walmart where I’d delivered. I found a juicy job available among the normal dross. Show Low to Oxnard – that’s across the width of Arizona and California. The real world time to complete in? 1Hr 13 mins! My experience of ATS tells me that’s a really tight schedule. I’d expect this to take close on an hour in a modern 475HP-500HP truck hauling 25000lbs. This load was 39000lbs and we have 237HP – which carries the risk of stalling on a steep grade somewhere! Republik Trucking is always up for a challenge and will deliver (we hope!). Here we are ready for the off with one of the new trailers – it’s a big one!, well compared to Ol’ Dawg anyway 😉

The route is already there for you when you couple up to the trailer. I took a look and immediately decided to change it. The shortest route from Show Low to Interstate 40 is on AZ route 77 down into Salt River Canyon and then back up to Phoenix. That’s a bad idea for a number of reasons – I don’t know how this new trailer type handles, the corners are sharp with low speed limits on a lot of that route and the climb out of the canyon is brutal. I reprogrammed the GPS – we’d route round via Flagstaff and Camp Verde, picking up the original route at Phoenix. It’s longer but I believe it to be faster with a low powered truck.

Sometimes it seems that the game knows when you’re tight for time 😉 I hit 4 major disruptions as we made our way along the route. The first on the I17 could have killed the job in its infancy – a police incident on a steep upgrade just south of Camp Verde requiring a change of lanes that fortunately saw a gap in traffic. If I’d have had to stop I probably wouldn’t have been able to get going again without a tow truck! Picking up the I10 from Phoenix I twice met roadworks requiring a change of lanes and adjustment of speed to filter in with other traffic with each event burning off valuable momentum and costing time. Then, just after Quartzsite there was a car on fire closing the right lane and once again we had to swap to the fast lane. This time a van in front decided to slow down to rubberneck which meant some serious braking for me and dropping down to 20mph. From there it’s a very long drag up the climb to Chiriaco with a heavy load trying to get back up to speed and losing valuable minutes all the time – I hate VW Transporter drivers!! That delay put me dangerously close to being late but we pushed on. The GPS wanted to route us through Barranca Street but we stayed on the I10 to connect directly with the I5. Then we picked up route 118 to take us into the north side of Oxnard and to the Fed Ex depot to deliver our consignment with 4 minutes to spare 🙂 Republik Delivers – Anytime, Anywhere but Always On Time! 🙂 And all done without exceeding the speed limit, so no Bear Bites either 😉

Footnote – if some of the map references in our run don’t seem right remember that this is SCS’s 1:20 scale map which sometimes distorts the real world to achieve a good driving experience for the players

Trucking Digest

Hot off the press this week – Oregon goes live in American Truck Simulator on Thursday next week! Here’s SCS Software’s video of the new DLC on YouTube… …It goes without saying that I am very much looking forward to this new state 🙂

Back in the current and both my companies are making progress. Since last week’s digest in which I had just bought a Mack in ATS and a Merc with trailer in ETS2, I have worked hard to make enough money to pay off the loans. This has been achieved. Now we’re working towards upgrading our home garages. I achieved that in Euro Truck this lunchtime and I’m in touching distance in American Truck. The road forwards from that point will differ in the two companies. Martin Transport et Logistique will add a new truck and trailer combo and employ a driver. I have added a number of updates to my current Mercedes New Actros but she will probably be handed to our new employee and I will get another New Actros but this time it will have the top of the range interior with the wood trimmings. It’s going to take a while to get the money together for that though 😉 Here’s a screenshot of the maintenance page where you can see that she’s acquired some lights and Monsieur Bibendum’s……and I quite liked this shot of us catching the last rays of the sun at an intersection near Dusseldorf…

Republik Trucking will also be saving for a second truck and it will be another old school vehicle – an FLB. They don’t come cheap so that will also take a while. I haven’t decided for certain yet but I may employ a driver to keep whichever truck I’m not using busy. I have no trailer ownership intentions for Republik at this moment in time – it’s a owner-driver set up for now. Here’s a cab view in Ol’ Dawg. We’re due to drop off a digger to the roadworks ahead. Not sure what the Bear in front is thinking – he’s not on a shout so I’m sure that red light applies to him even if it’s stopping him getting to the donut shop 😉 …And here we are arriving at a quarry with another digger…

I mentioned in the last digest that any new versions of ATS and ETS2 include some changes that are not mentioned in the release notes – they do like to surprise us 😉 One that I noted a couple of releases back was a change in the routing of one of the slip roads at the Flagstaff intersection. This time we’re counting the cost……Diesel prices have been hiked – up from $2.90c in Arizona to $3.10c. And they’re an eye-watering $3.94c in California! All of us eating at Tom’s Roadhouse want to know what the President is doing to help us beleaguered truckers!

Finally, despite all the Beta Testing before release something will always find a way through. There’s a missing bridge deck and floating trees in Northern Germany near Magdeburg……It will no doubt be already on the developer’s radar for a fix over the next couple of weeks 🙂

That’s all for this time – Keep on Trucking 🙂