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…

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!