Overtaken by Events

I could have called this post bookended by Events but overtaken sounds better and fits with what has happened to my attempts to keep the Build a Trucking Company and the Lone Star Project in sync to the point of buying a second truck.

To set the scene. At the end of August SCS announced that they would be running regular Events with rewards on Steam and Icons in World of Trucks. I mentioned the first of these, ‘Trade Connections – France’, in my ‘WOT Decision Time?’ and ‘Where are the Kenworths?’ posts. The goal was to complete a delivery of any cargo to or from France with at least 10 other countries in Europe on World of Trucks Jobs. Quite a challenge since some of the driving would be over long distances and involving a minimum of 14 trips assuming you started from a country outside France and took advantage of the proximity of Luxembourg and Metz. You could do it in 10 runs by relocating back to a garage in France after each run but I would view that as cheating ;-). I completed it in 6 days using my main account where I was driving my MAN TGA with Megan as company. We transported cargoes to or from France with the following countries: –

(1) Austria, (2) Belgium, (3) Slovakia, (4) Luxembourg, (5) Sweden, (6) Norway,
(7) Germany, (8) Switzerland, (9) Denmark, (10) The Netherlands

Here are some images from my trips…

Passing Melk Abbey, Austria

Bytča Bridge, Slovakia

Waiting for a gap in the traffic, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Crossing into Belgium on the last run back to Lille.

Then immediately after buying the second garage in Bordeaux and upgrading the Flagstaff garage, SCS announced a new World of Trucks challenge set in the US. This one was to utilise the Double Trailers recently introduced to the game. The only issue with that is that there aren’t many different liveries so there was potential for any screenshots to be ‘boring’. The rules were simple – Transport a total of 300.000 lb of cargo using only Double Trailers. Do so with jobs connected to World of Trucks, while playing American Truck Simulator, of course. For every delivery, the destination city must be different. Only deliveries with planned trip distance over 100 miles are eligible. I just decided to take part using my Lone Star Project account so our Kenworth K100 was pressed into service. If she looks slightly different to the last shot you saw of her, I treated her to a chrome sun visor and bumper at €2k to celebrate upgrading the garage 🙂 Here we go…

Heading for Bear on I one-oh… I5-I10 intersection.

Leaving Bushnells Farm, Holbrook.

On the Redwood Highway, near Ukiah.

Now the issue with completing this event in my Lone Star Project profile is that I already have more than enough money for the second truck and I have bought one. But you’re going to have to wait to see what I’ve bought because the Build a Company Project has to play catch-up 😉


Grinding Gears – 2

So, here we are back building our truck companies in Europe and the US. One quick note about differences in the two scenarios. In the US I have opted for distance and ADR as my higher priorities where as in Europe I have gone for a more balanced approach when allocating the skill points. There is already an imbalance in the amount of money earned per job between the American and Euro versions of the game which my choices have exacerbated. Therefore, to balance the two games so that we arrive at the garage upgrade point for both projects at the same time, I usually need to do around 3 trips in Europe for every 1 in the US.

Last post I said we’d be in Scandinavia again having completed a delivery of Pears to Linkoping. So here we are collecting a Digger from an open mine near Linkoping in the middle of the night for a trip across the border to Oslo in Norway. As you can see it’s quite a tight fit between the buildings and the barriers. The low-loader trailer is also a bit wider than the truck and has its wheels set a long way back. This makes it quite a challenge as the trailer tends to really cut the corners at junctions – something that is more of a problem in Euro Truck than in the American version as the barriers at junctions are often set unrealistically close to the edge of the road. That means taking corners from the wrong side of the road to avoid getting stuck. Low-loaders tend to be the most awkward trailers in the game. Even the new ones with steerable axles can catch you out! The rear of one of those trailers swings out as it follows you in the turn and can strike the barriers on the road you’re turning off! And… If you go too far onto the wrong carriageway to make a turn the ai drivers will just drive down the side of the trailer and either collide with you or block your turn 😉

Most of the country borders in Europe have crossing points with offices and parking areas for Customs Officers or the Police to inspect your truck – not that the game includes that functionality. It could do – in American Truck Sim you get asked to pull in to weigh stations so I guess we could find ourselves being called into the parking area for a police check in the future? Anyway, I digress – The Norwegian border is a small crossroads on the E18 with simple sign telling you that you have entered Norway.

We dropped our trailer off at the Norge mining depot and picked up an ongoing load of drilling equipment bound for Stavanger. This is one of the most scenic roads in the game so I’ll share a coupe of early morning shots with you…

Beside Sudhalsvatnet

The mail must get through – the postie makes risky overtake approaching a blind corner

Erfjord bridge

My next job was to carry a brace of Case 70XT mini-diggers from a mine to the north of Stavanger down to Aalborg in Denmark. You might be forgiven for thinking that the only jobs in Scandinavia are hauling mining equipment but that is not the case. There are a wide variety of loads including shifting cattle – which earns you a Steam Achievement the first time you complete one of those deliveries. The commonest load anywhere seems to be empty packaging or empty palettes – a nod to the need to recycle 🙂 So I drove out of Stavanger to the collection point in the small hours of the morning and was gifted the opportunity to capture this nice contre-jour shot…You do get some wonderful light at 02:30 in northern Europe! It’s never pitch black like in California or Arizona.

Talking of Arizona – we were at Phoenix following our last trip. Just a short run this time as I picked up a load of Solvents bound for Primm (NV). I chose the load as an opportunity to test out a new trailer mod I’d imported to the game from the Steam Workshop. It seems to work and look ok 🙂

From Denmark my next European trip takes me across to Poland, which is a story for another post. In ATS I haven’t driven the next job yet so I can’t forewarn you of my destination! I’ll leave you with a shot of sunrise over the Hoover Dam…

Grinding Gears

Anyone who plays computer games knows about the grind – it’s that period where you have to make money or some other attribute by doing repetitious tasks. In our Euro Truck simulator company build we’ve entered that period with the purchase of our Volvo. We don’t have the variety of different trucks that we had doing ‘hire jobs’. The goal of upgrading to a multi slot garage can seem a long way off. After a hiatus while I worked on rearranging the real life office and a three day lay-off with a bad cold, we’re back posting about our adventures as we grind our way towards the necessary money in the bank.

We set out to escape France – the land of Trolls… sorry typo – that should read Tolls though it feels like the game is trolling you when you meet them barriers so often! We made our way up to Calais. I think there must have been a fashion week in London because at Calais we picked up a load of Mens Clothing in a Jack Jones trailer. The shortest route from the collection point was via the ferry so we took that and headed up the M2 to London crossing the River Medway near Rochester with the high speed rail link on our left and the sun going down ahead.

Driving in England means using the wrong side of the road and I’m glad that the Volvo mirrors give good visibility of the traffic to the right of me! Night had fallen when we arrived in London but we still had plenty of driving hours in hand so I looked for another job and was lucky enough to find a Leibherr LTM1030 mobile crane that needed shifting to Esbjerg in Denmark. So we picked that up and drove north up the M1 before heading across to Hull and crossing the Humber bridge to catch the ferry from Grimsby. This was a 24t load and a bit heavier than I would normally pick but fortunately the route didn’t have any mountains to climb!

In the US we’re also grinding for that garage upgrade. I took a rather nice JCB Fastrac from Santa Cruz to Barstow which earned me another Long Distance point and over $14k. Moving on from Barstow I took a load of Silica over to Holbrook rail depot. Quite why they aren’t shipping from the extensive rail depot in Barstow is beyond me – perhaps it works out a little quicker this way?

Back in Denmark and we shipped a 23t load of Pears from Danish Agro in Esbjerg across to Sweden and Linkoping, home of SAAB. That’s another heavy load but the route was thankfully, once again, relatively flat apart from the climb out of the port area at Goteborg. It was also our first tandem trailer of the build a company series.

Paraphrasing C.W.McCall, ‘Was dark of the moon on the 6th of June in a Kenworth pullin’ … Machine Parts. Doesn’t flow quite the same as ‘Logs’ does it 😉 We picked up this load from Holbrook rail depot and set off on the first genuinely long distance run for our Lone Star Project. We were taking the load up to San Rafael – a distance of over 900 miles. I fitted in a rest stop at our garage in Flagstaff. I actually parked the trailer in the local FedEx depot for the night. That’s a trick you should remember for trailers that won’t fit in the regular parking places at service stations. You can always drop the trailer somewhere else then drive your tractor unit into the sleeping area. This job was paying an amazing $42k and the game decided that it wanted some of that money back! The ai organised an accident on I40 but I successfully avoided hitting the stationary traffic. Our Kenny doesn’t have a retarder so when faced with danger ahead it’s Jake Brake on, stab at the air brakes and keep changing down! Not to be outdone, the ai decided on a sneakier ploy. The trap was set at the Barstow intersection where the I40 merges with the I15. There’s always the potential for trouble here. As I moved along one lane, an impatient ai driver in a queue of traffic on my right decided to pull out into my lane. I had already passed his car but somehow he managed to hit the rear of my trailer. The in-game Pigs decided I should be fined $1250 for the collision! Now that’s definitely a case of the game trolling me!

The delivery in San Rafael was down in the docks area – way out of the main town, so I was pleased to pick up a load of Propane from the Texaco depot which is just across the other side of the highway. This tanker load was bound for Phoenix. Being an ADR Flammable Gases load it also paid well – $49k. But – to illustrate the point that you need eyes in the back of your head, look who is tailgating me on I10! That’s one Smokey risking becoming a bug on my bumper. He stayed there for a good few miles then, after I was forced to brake by a car pulling out from a slip road, breezed past. Frustrated at being unable to give me a speeding ticket, he must have radio’d his buddies up ahead because I was called into the next weigh-station. As I approached I found a queue of stationary traffic which was not an issue as I was already slowing but it was quite amusing seeing a GMC van driving back onto the interstate from the desert – goodness knows what the ai drivers had been getting up to!

Did I call this period in the game a grind? Actually it isn’t because, as you can see there’s never a dull moment! And, even when the ai isn’t trying to ruin your day, there’s always the wonderful scenery to enjoy. Next post we’ll be back in Scandinavia. I’ll leave you with a shot of the K100 passing through a rare Californian thunderstorm on the I5…