Trucking Digest

As mentioned in the previous post, SCS Software released the Washington DLC for American Truck Simulator on Tuesday. The immediate impact of that was to push ATS to the top of the ‘best sellers’ list on the Steam store as the community mobilised to buy the latest map addition. It means that ATS for a couple of days outsold games like Witcher 3 and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, which is quite an achievement for a niche game and that earned ATS a news piece in the media – including The Independent; a UK national newspaper! SCS were quick to once again thank their community 🙂 Washington brings a sixth state to ATS and SCS have hinted that work is already underway on the seventh although, as usual, they’re not about to tell us which it will be! There are also new trucks on the way and the hope is that two of these will be released before the end of the year 🙂

With all the driving in Europe, I haven’t really done a lot in ATS since the Oregon DLC was added, so lets do some sightseeing in Oregon and Washington 🙂

Climbing away from the Vantage Bridge after crossing the Colombia River east of Yakima…

Night time and a drive past the Convention Centre in Spokane…

Crossing the Pioneer Memorial Bridge in Kennewick…

Running along I-84 in Oregon beside the Colombia River near Willow lake…

Northbound on Highway 97, passing Ken’s Sporting Goods in Crescent…

Climbing away from the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge after crossing the Colombia River at Biggs…

Running alongside Peshastin Creek on our way down into Wenatchee…

Crossing the Wenatchee River on Highway 2. Some artistic license here – the mountains are correctly portrayed for this crossing but there is no Cafe here, only a small parking area…

More artistic license on Hwy 2 – Crossing the South Fork Skykomish River in Stevens Pass above the town of Skykomish – the railway doesn’t actually cross the river at this point but it has a similar bridge further down the pass below Skykomish…

That’s a few shots from these two northern-most American Truck Sim states and I’m sure I will have more to follow 🙂 Keep the shiny side up – drive safe everyone!

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Trucking Digest

This week took on importance in the SCS community because Saturday marked the 3rd anniversary of the release of American Truck Simulator. The release represented a major milestone in that the developers made a mistake in opting for a smaller scale map than the one used in Euro Truck. Why was that so? It resulted in a prompt decision to rescale the entire released map to match the Euro truck maps and saw the start of a number of innovations that not only impacted on the ongoing expansion of American Truck Sim but also introduced new elements to Euro truck that might not have happened had American Truck been released at the 1:20 scale initially. Now we see ongoing re-mapping of existing maps alongside new development and I wonder if that would have happened without the advent of American Truck Simulator?

That SCS intend to move forwards in both simulators is very apparent from their communications with community. We’ve been shown the next truck to appear in ATS – the International Lonestar……seen in early development courtesy of Carthoo. That’s gonna be one divisive truck – you’ll either love or hate it – I’m tending towards dislike 😉

With the ATS anniversary I thought I’d get into the spirit of things. Three trucks formed the basis of available fleets when the game launched – which was one more than the states delivered back in February 2016. In fact, the Kenworth W900 only made it by the skin of its teeth otherwise we’d have only had the Kenworth T680 and the Peterbilt 579 to choose from at the start. Back then the Peterbilt was my weapon of choice and I chose to fit one of those out in celebration. Here’s a couple of shots from a run between Bakersfield and Elko crossing the only two states in the game when it released, California and Nevada……running through a quiet downtown Stockton in the night before crossing donner pass in the dark and passing Reno’s lights. Here we are clearing Carlin tunnel in dawn’s light after cresting the summit of I80 between Winnemucca and Elko……and finally we parked up next to a Kenworth T680 in a reunion of the first trucks…

I’m aware that one of my followers, Cee, lives in Oregon – a state that was added to American Truck Sim just before Christmas. Here’s some shots from a short drive earlier today carrying a load of butter from The Dalles to Eugene via Portland…

I will finish by adding that I’ve had to add new hardware to my set-up. It was precipitated by having a wheel and pedal for Truck Simulator and the effect that has on other computing wishes and requirements. I think that deserves a post in itself for a full description – maybe next week’s trucking Digest will be a ‘Hardware’ issue? 😉 Rock on everyone 🙂

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…