Trucking Digest

Christmas… When I penned my previous post I was feeling a little out of sorts. I went down very quickly over Christmas Day with what I can best describe as Man-Flu – high temperature, aching limbs and sore throat. Plans for Boxing Day went straight out the window because I was in no fit state to cook nor eat anything too rich. So that was my Christmas 😦 I’m feeling a little better today although the chill effect seems to come and go during the day. Fingers crossed I’ll be back to normal come New Year’s Eve.

I want to write a bit about one of the changes that was brought into Euro and American Truck with version 1.33. You may recall that v1.32 brought improved realism to trailer stability with new physics based around cargo weight and centre of gravity. This was a major improvement. In v1.33 SCS Software had a one-liner advertising further Physics improvements (suspension, damping, braking, COGs). I was somewhat surprised when I started driving in the new version to find that my trailers weren’t appearing very unstable any more. Surprised? – Perplexed would be nearer the mark! It took a lot of questions to the development team by long time simulation reviewer Squirrel to get to the bottom of what was going on and he shared his findings in a video on YouTube which SCS also promoted through their social media accounts… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx43bLMZmxU …I have carried out the necessary changes to the stability and suspension in the background config using the games console and it is such an improvement. Now there is a need to ease back on the speed when approaching sharp corners. If you don’t the truck and trailer will develop an outward lean and ultimately roll over. There is an unforeseen positive – before, in v1.32, there was little warning that you’d reached the critical point for the trailer and it would suddenly go over onto its side. Now, because the truck is also unstable, you get plenty of warning and can take suitable action to avoid reaching that critical point 🙂 In American Truck you won’t notice the effect quite as much in the conventional vehicles such as the Peterbilt 389 because these vehicles are more stable than the European trucks. To have a fun rolling ride you really need to get out and about in one of the old-school cabover’s like the Freightliner FLB 😉

The other news was the annual Christmas Event which began on 18th December. We all had to deliver 12 Christmas Loads in ETS and ATS to qualify for the personal rewards and the community had to achieve 1 million deliveries for the community rewards to be released. I finished my last delivery for this on Christmas Day morning and since then I’ve only done one more run because I didn’t feel up to it (that’ll tell you how unwell I’ve been!). I believe the community completed their target later on Christmas Day. The delivery count is still rising though as there are other members trying to complete their personal targets. I’ll probably try and do a few more runs when I’m back up to speed. Some of the community would like to breach the 2 million mark by the time the event closes on 13th January 🙂 Here’s a few shots from my deliveries…

I think that will have to do for this post. Hope you all had a great time over the Christmas period and that you’re getting ready to see in the New Year. Keep on Trucking 🙂

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Trucking Digest

Last week’s Trucking Digest was a milestone for my blog – it was my 1000th post 🙂 Hopefully, I can continue on to post a lot more! Now, lets get on with business…

I promised last week that you’d get to meet Night Train this time around. Night Train draws her name from the Oscar Peterson Trio album. She’s a Peterbilt 389 with a 6×4 chassis. The engine is a Cummins N14 which has been chipped (tuned) to produce 600HP – which has the additional advantage of giving the exhaust sound a very distinctive bark! She’s finished in a special metallic blue and cream paint scheme by modder Klunk. Best cruising speed for this truck is 60mph, though she can go a lot faster. Here she is heading for Roswell with a Tractor……and arriving at the customer in the small hours to make delivery……and here is the dash…

Euro Truck sim grabs most of the headlines again this week. v1.33 released which brought the Krone Boxliner trailer into the game for us to own. This was an important step for my company as it would allow a move into the lucrative chemicals market as well as container shipments of other commodities. I bought one for myself and after a couple of loads bought two more, one for my Bordeaux garage and one for Montpellier where they can be used by my drivers. There were a number of other trailers made available for company ownership but I haven’t assessed their potential yet and ones aimed at the Scandinavian market aren’t really applicable to my French company. Here’s a shot of the faithful MAN heading through northern Germany with a load of Chlorine on the Boxliner…

There were a number of esoteric were changes – the way that raindrops appear on the windshield, tweaks to the physics and some background changes such as the ability to keep your profile on the Steam Cloud. There were also another batch of Random Events which further increases the diversity of each drive. But the other key change was new ports at Travemünde in Germany and Kapellskär in Sweden in preparation for the new ‘Beyond the Baltic Sea’ dlc. With baited breath the community waited all last week until Thursday evening when that long awaited new map section released. I can now visit Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and a small part of western Russia! Initial impressions are good. There many interesting scenes mapped and new features like Border Controls – here we are crossing into Russia…… note the border police on the gantry checking the roof! My papers were ok and I was allowed to pass – I wonder if we’ll ever see jobs turned back at the border for wrong paperwork or maybe even confiscations of contraband? Somehow I reckon a consignment of ammunition might raise a few eyebrows! Here we are leaving Kaliningrad across the Queen Louise bridge over the river Neman – next stop Lithuania border control!..

There are four ways to get jobs now in the Truck Sim games – Job Market when you’re a driver for hire; Freight Market to haul other companies trailers; World of Trucks where you also haul other companies trailers and finally, Cargo Market where you get loads for your own trailer. In case you’ve forgotten all, except World of Trucks jobs, operate in game clock time. One thing I’ve found is that the roads in the new ‘Baltic’ area are lumbered with many speed restrictions and the afore mentioned border checks. Every job I’ve done so far in the area has been very tight for time – even the standard jobs! The upshot is that you have to really get a move on with your deliveries if you aren’t going to bust your drivers hours or arrive late at your destination. And the downside of that is you can’t spend time sightseeing 😦 I think I might send my trailer home and do some IRL timed World of Trucks jobs so I can enjoy the mapping! I’ll leave you with this tail shot as I cross into Leningradskaya Oblast on my way to Saint Petersburg…

American Truck Sim has its own v1.33 waiting in the wings and will have another innovation – diversions… Can’t wait for that! Report to follow when it’s been deployed. And I can report that both games are now in sync regards IRL time played – Euro truck has finally caught up! So I shall now be alternating between Europe and the US to keep them in close alignment. Best wishes to all my readers – Keep on Trucking 🙂

Trucking Digest

In the last Digest I said I’d be writing about the New SCS Volvo VNL in this post, so without more ado that’s what I’m going to do 😉 That the Volvo VNL has been a long wanted addition to American Truck Sim was clearly evidenced by the plethora of tweeted shots within hours of SCS announcing the truck’s presence in the release. There has long been a mod of the 670 variant of this truck by Aradeth – one that I have tried and did a video of me diving some time back. But not every player wants to download mods, especially when they are from 3rd party sites, because of the risks involved. So an officially licensed version was greeted as a blessing from heaven – especially as SCS added it for free to everyone who owns the base game! As an aside, if any of you are thinking of giving American Truck Sim a go on your PC, now is a good time because the game is available in the Steam autumn sale for £3-74p or just under $5, as is Euro Truck Sim 2 should you prefer that option.

SCS have clearly had this truck waiting in the wings until they got License from Volvo North America and it’s probably best seen as a place marker for the future release of the 2018 model of the truck. They’ve stayed away from duplicating Aradeth’s version and released the 300 (day-cab), 730 and 780 (Sleeper) versions of the truck. The first immediate difference that owners of the Aradeth version will note is the lack of animation of the steering wheel and Satnav when starting the truck – if you’ve never owned that version then it’s an irrelevance. The texturing of the truck interior is relatively coarse compared with some private mods out there which means that if you get in really close to some of the cab fittings there is a degree of jaggedness but in normal driving you won’t notice and the good news is that lower textures help with frame-rates 🙂

I normally do a shakedown run in any new truck in case I’ve missed something when going through the purchase process – a short job with a moderate load. On this occasion though one of the new Special Transport jobs was there to take and I decided to give that a go. At least the run around San Francisco Bay to get to the collection point gave me a chance to get a basic feel of the truck. So here she is on that Special Transport run complete with the Police escort keeping the following traffic back…

The mod comes with a number of official paint colors and some of the special paint job options such as the Halloween or Operation Big Sur ones. I liked the Thunderbird scheme based on Native American art which I think works well on this truck……Though in the long term she will be painted in one of the stock Volvo colors because there doesn’t seem to be the same tradition of special paint jobs on US Volvos that there is on Peterbilt’s or Kenworth’s.

There were / are a couple of little niggles with this truck which SCS will no doubt rectify over the next couple of game releases. The first was a glare issue with the wind screen – something which was there in the Peterbilt 579 and Kenworth 680 trucks when the game first released in 2016. Perhaps that is an indication that this Volvo was originally intended to be available from the first if Licensing had not been an issue. SCS have already fixed that bug and the glare is gone. The other issue that I’m aware of is with the in-cab indication that the bears want you to pop-in and see them at the next weigh-station. This has red and green led lights that are usually off but light up to tell you to either come in or pass as you approach. Currently these are permanently on. Some people are finding the engine sounds and the way the automatic gearbox works a bit odd. To me, driving a European Volvo from time to time, the automatic gearbox seems to be behaving much as I would expect. The engine does seem a little loud compared with its European counterparts but I believe noise legislation differences may be a part of that – I do know that a number of people are waiting for prolific sounds modder Kreichbaum to produce a pack of engine sounds for this truck.

All in all I think this is a great addition to stock for the game. The truck drives well and the cab instruments are well presented making them very easy to read…

I’ll leave you with a shot of her climbing the grades south of Pendleton in Oregon with a load of Wood Shavings bound for Jackpot, Nevada……and one of her driving through hometown Bakersfield in the early morning, after she was repainted in metallic ‘Carolina Green’, with a mobile barrier…

I’m now going to pass her on to one of my fellow ‘Republik Trucking’ drivers and dig out the Peterbilt 389 ‘Night Train’ that I mentioned in a previous post before the major v1.32 game update. You’ve never met her so I’ll share some shots next time and also some more from Europe. Happy Trucking everyone 🙂