Vidal Junction


The middle of nowhere

Ninety-Five and Sixty-Two

Cross at Vidal Junction

Trucks pass beneath big skies

A gas station where no one stops

In a feeling of deserted emptiness

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Trucking Digest

Another week driving in the Beta Test environment for Euro Truck. There have been lots of new code drops over the past week and sometimes it’s very difficult to see what change was made. The game now seems to be very stable so that’s good. In the circumstances I have been concentrating on trying out the playability of the new truck and trailer company owning role.

A further week down the road of testing this and I have a clearer idea of the impact of this change on the game. Everything takes much longer despite the fact that you earn a little more using your own trailers. This is because your have to buy both truck and trailer to benefit. So an initial expenditure of around €130k becomes closer to €170k if you go for a basic curtainside trailer. Don’t take this as a negative – this is much closer to reality and therefore to be welcomed. Growing a company becomes much more of a slog despite the relatively well paying jobs in the game. Now you need to look closely at when you buy the second truck and when you get another trailer. Your drivers can still take other work without using an owned trailer as can you, but it’s better (more realistic?)if you can each use your own trailer to handle the majority of jobs.

This raises an interesting dilemma – what is the ideal trailer type and what should your ratio of trailers to trucks/drivers be. So far it looks like there should ideally be 4 trailers to 3 trucks/drivers to allow flexibility in operations. Even then some of the work that your drivers do will be freight market using other peoples trailers rather than your own. The best general trailer is the Curtainside – handling a wide range of general dry goods. For a small garage with three drivers I’d recommend having 2 of these. Then the trailer compliment should be completed by 1 flatbed for things like pressure tanks, etc. And a cool-box on wheels – a reefer or an insulated box van. This seems to give the drivers the necessary options to use your own trailers most of the time. From a personal driving point of view, don’t spend too long with a flatbed trailer in tow. There are very few cargoes so you’ll soon get fed up with the lack of choice. Fortunately, your ai drivers don’t give in to boredom 😉

In the last Digest I showed a shot of our new trailer skin. That was while driving the Mercedes-Benz New Actros. Very pleased with that truck and I’ll be looking to buy a couple more for the staff and myself in future. When looking to employ my 3rd new driver I passed the Merc onto Danny and set out to buy a new truck in the MAN TGX with the 400HP engine. This time I had intended to part exchange the MAN for a new truck but I decided instead that it was time to expand the company. I paid off the original €100k loan and took out a new €400k loan. This allowed me to buy myself a new truck – a Scania R with a 500HP engine – and pass the TGX on to new employee Izabella. She promptly nicked the refrigerated trailer and I haven’t seen any sign of her since – except for the money she’s making me 😉

My new Scania R has a lot of extra’s and set me back €280k but she’s a lovely truck that I will enjoy driving for a long time. Then it was time to pursue buying the second garage. I had decided that Clermont Ferrand was the right choice for the amount of different cargo opportunities around that city. So that garage was purchased. Subsequently I’ve moved 2 older trailers there in readiness for use and added 2 more to our Montpellier fleet. Now I just need to buy a new truck… So much planned spending to do 😉 Here’s a couple of shots from this week’s action…

Before passing the Merc on to Danny – Here I was minding my own business, driving within the speed limit with a sneaky Gendarme hiding in my blind-spot. They’ll do anything to get an arrest!

I took this shot as I blasted through Belgium with an urgent job in the new Scania R while using the flatbed for yet another Ventilation Shaft delivery. It has been modified using tonemapping for effect…

Now we can own our trailers it makes sense to have our own skins. You’ve seen my Martin Transport et Logistique skin. I thought I’d do a special skin for my local football club. I shared it on Twitter and it seems to be popular with the supporters and club chairman :-)…

I have a skin for a refrigerated trailer in the design stage and I will probably do a special one for Remembrance Day and Christmas too. Watch this space 😉

Trucking Digest

SCS Software’s Truck Sim’s are about to undergo the biggest change in a very long time. Finally we will be able to own our own trailers as well as trucks. This is a fundamental change that will allow us to operate as a real trucking company does rather than as some form of owner operator collaboration which is how our companies currently function. The updated game will still need to cater for the driver for hire period that beginners go through and it will also still need to provide the current owner-operator option. So, the economy of the game will see a huge change. All the background screens where we select what we want to do in the game will have to be altered to accommodate the new options including, for example, access to a trailer dealer.

Not content with those changes, SCS are also delivering new map content to both games as well as updated physics for the trailers. American Truck Sim will see some new roads in Arizona including the missing section of Route 95 from Yuma to Blythe. There will also be the preparatory work for the coming map DLC of Oregon that is expected to release in the autumn. Meanwhile, Euro Truck will see the upgrade of northern Germany with all the roads brought up to the standard of the France and Italy DLC’s. The work to achieve that has resulted in several German cities being completely rebuilt. Again, there will also be preparatory work for the next map expansion, Beyond the Baltic Sea.

All of those changes require a lot of testing. The testing is being handled in a way that is almost unique to SCS – The whole community have been offered the chance to do Beta Testing in both games. It’s totally voluntary but quite a lot of the community will give it a go because that’s how the Truck Sim community is! We join together to do community events and what bigger community event is there than testing the future version of the game we love? 🙂

So, for the past 10 days I’ve been driving around in Europe trying out the new features and experiencing some of the ongoing bugs and game crashes. And I’ve seen the improvements as each fix is dropped into the Beta. I think they finally nailed the game crashes when moving to drive from a selections screen on Wednesday. Today they lost my trailer for me though I eventually worked out how to get it back 😉

I mentioned in the last Digest about the changes that had been made to the trailer physics which I tested by rolling a DAF 🙂 Subsequent to that early testing I’ve started a company from scratch on two occasions and built up to trailer ownership. I’m now pushing on to expand my garage and get a second truck and trailer for an employee to drive. In my first company I based myself in Brussels – close enough to Germany to be able to drive into the new map section and see what it looks like. I did that testing with a Scania. Subsequently, in order to get rid of any residual mod code that might be loitering in the background I reinstalled the Beta and started out again with a slightly different plan of action based on what I had learned from the first experiments. This time I was back in my favourite MAN TGX and based in my preferred home of Montpellier. Here are some screenshots taken during testing…

Hamburg is one of the cities that have changed out of all recognition and this view from the autobahn is much closer to real life…

My first trailer – a curtainside suited to general dry cargoes. I also tried out a flatbed while driving this Scania Streamline…

This is how Berlin looks now from the ring road which skirts the industrial area…

And the power station at Rostock is no longer a blurry blob on a hill above the road…

My MAN TGX sitting at the loading dock with my current curtainside trailer. This time I’ve used one of the special paint schemes to give a bit of individuality…

It looks like the range of random events is increasing too. This is a new one with fire fighters attending a burnt out truck in France…

Not all random events are big. Bin bags dumped at the side of the road – one of those things from the dark side of real life (in Switzerland of all places!)…

I haven’t done much in American Truck but I will have a tale to tell from there in another post, probably on Sunday 😉