Black Canyon Freeway

On Interstate 17, Nightshade gets to grips with her 40t load on the climb to Camp Verde

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The Eagle Has Landed

Or – more specifically – the Eagle now has room to land! The map rescale for American Truck Simulator dropped in on Monday; one week after Vive la France! went live for Euro Truck. It was almost a stealth operation – the first I knew was the downloading bar in my Steam library page telling me the game was updating. I’ve been – I’ve played – and I can say it’s like a breath of cold, clear, Arizona desert air – assuming such a thing exists IRL. If American Truck sim was different to Europe before, it’s even more so now! Driving in Europe is an often compact experience hemmed in by towns and cities. Driving through eastern California into northern Nevada is an opportunity to experience a screen of open spaces. I hope to share something of this in future posts but tonight I’m just going to give a heads up of my initial gameplay and what I hope to cover in the future for ETS2 and ATS.

I stuck with my decision to start a fresh save when the rescale loaded. So I started out doing hire jobs to earn the money to buy my first truck. In previous posts I had indicated that I wanted to start out with an older truck such as the Freightliner FLB but, sadly, it wasn’t to be. I loaded the mod for that truck into the game and it loads fine without any obvious issues, appearing in hire jobs. The issue came when I took one of those jobs – the mirrors don’t work. I’ve been driving cars for more years than I care to remember and I guess I take mirrors for granted. Driving without mirrors is frightening. You can lean out the window on the driver’s side but you are blind on the near side! Anyone sneaking up there is invisible which is not a good thing. So I had to give up on starting out in Autumn Gal 😦 As a result it was down to a choice between the SCS supplied trucks for my first rig in the new save – Kenworth or Peterbilt?

I won’t drive the Kenworth T680 because I don’t like its looks. The Peterbilt 579 looks nice and neat but I want something a little more traditional. That leaves us with the Kenworth W900 or the Peterbilt 389. I like both but in the end the Peterbilt side won. I took a bank loan when I had $55k in the bank and bought a 389 day cab with a 370hp Cummins ISX 12 engine and a 10 speed box. Unlike in Euro Truck where I am moving through vehicles and passing my previous rides to new employees, I will be keeping this truck and you will see her grow over the weeks. I hope to give a weekly update from both versions of the game so expect to see more European trucks and scenery too. But for this post, let me finish by introducing Nightshade 2 – She’s a dark purple; referencing Aubergines and Belladonna – both members of the Nightshade family along with potatoes, chillies and tomatoes. She doesn’t have a sleeper cab yet so I’m having to park up at motels – any offers of accommodation will be gratefully received 😉

Refuelling in San Rafael

Refuelling in San Rafael

The cab - all basic fit - that steering wheel will get changed!

The cab – all basic fit – that steering wheel will get changed!

Playing 'follow-my-leader' on the road to Elko - I guess 50mph is too slow for some people!

Playing ‘follow-my-leader’ on the road to Elko – I guess 50mph is too slow for some people!