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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ The other truck to benefit from a Super Stripes repaint was my Euro6 MAN TGX …

…She’s been named too – Maria de MontpelhiΓ¨r or Maria for short. I was looking for some context and found a historical one! Maria de MontpelhiΓ¨r 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! πŸ™‚

Here we are with another week of purely American Truck Simulator driving. Currently, my ATS hours trail those of Euro Truck by around 100, so the catch-up is well underway. Next week I intend to blend in some driving from both games to share with you.

This week saw my money and experience in the new post v1.35 profile cross the point where I could upgrade the garage in Bakersfield, buy a second truck and hire a driver. This would have happened sooner but, as you will have seen from the last couple of posts, I have been experimenting with a couple of owned trailer types and trailers don’t come cheap! It does set Republik Trucking up well for the company to grow – two general purpose trailers for drivers to use.

The big question for me was what truck I should buy. The choice seemed to be the between the Peterbilt 389 or the Kenworth W900L. Both very fine beasts. I looked long and hard at both of these and a variety of paint jobs. Rolled Gold – my old W900L – came close to being ressurected and she probably still will be. I also had a couple of ideas for a 389 but for some reason I couldn’t settle on which to buy. The good news is that the post v1.35 dust has now settled on the mod’s in the workshop and all of them are now compliant with the new game version. So I took a look there. First, let me note that Harven has added a new truck to the collection – the Kenworth W990. I will certainly take a look at that one soon. Back on line are the Freightliner FLB and the Mack R600 too – both favourites of mine. GTM have also updated their Kenworth T800, T610 and W900B along with the Peterbilt 567. So, a plethora of trucks to choose from.

As I have been driving the current Peterbilt 579, I decided that an older truck would be nice and I’ve gone with that old fave, the Freightliner FLB. I’ve fitted her with a Cummins N14 460E engine and the 13sp Eaton-Fuller box. It’s quite interesting comparing this older engine with the current MX13 455HP engine fitted to the Pete 579. With a heavy load I find that I need to use the splitter more when changing up than on the more modern MX13 – it just seems that the engine is less flexible than the current type. However, I have found that being proactive in keeping the revs in the sweet spot results in good fuel economy (even if it does mean not enjoying the sounds from the engine at higher revs!).

The FLB is finished in an old-school brown and white paint scheme. I took the decision to run without my own trailers for a while to carry a wider variety of loads. The 579 has been passed to a new driver with 12834 miles on the clock. We can swap back in the future should I wish as my logging of truck distance is based around each truck’s odometer and I should be able to maintain a record of how many mile I’ve personally driven in each truck. Anyway, here are some shots of our FLB…

Arriving at home base after a shakedown run – time to pop over the road for coffee and donuts with the local bears πŸ˜‰

Delivering a tractor to a farm outside Tacoma – fields full of pumpkins had me thinking of Pecan and Pumpkin Pie πŸ™‚

Climbing out of the Port of Tacoma with a tanker of Propane – lovely sunset…

Interior of the cab shot while southbound on I-5 in Oregon – looks like we’ve got us a convoy!..

More of my adventures next week – Drive safe everyone πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰ I can confirm that trailer stability is working – we gracefully rolled over and came to a stop with a whole heap of damage πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚ This is actually McDermitt in Nevada but it’s part of the changes necessitated by the Oregon DLC. In the real world the CafΓ© 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ Drive Safe!