Trucking Digest

Well – I had hoped to be fitting in a post or two about other games or with some photography but…

Hot on the heels of the Renault T being released into Euro Truck Simulator – and this post will have to serve as the promised review of that truck – On Tuesday SCS announced on social media that the World of Trucks servers were coming down for maintenance. Experience tells us that this signals a community event. They happen a few times each year, sometimes specific to ETS2 or American Truck and sometimes both games. Sure enough, when the servers came back up, we had a new event to take part in. However, this was an event with a difference. We were going to drive for a charitable cause 🙂 The chosen cause was Breast Cancer and full details of the charity bodies to initially receive donations can be found on SCS Software’s Blog. All I can say is Wow SCS – What a great idea!

Needless to say, the community responded very positively and got stuck in straight away. By the time SCS hosted a twitch-stream that afternoon, over 5000 copies of the dlc’s giving the special paint jobs for the event had already been sold and over 130k deliveries had been completed towards the 1 million total target. Bearing in mind that this is mid-week, I would expect activity to peak from Friday to Monday when our fellow virtual truckers who can’t drive during the week are active. So hopefully there will be many more DLC’s sold then and lots of money made for the charities.

We’ve been encouraged to also highlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month on social media using our trucking screenshots from this event, in the hope that it will also bring this cause to a wider audience. So, here’s some shots from my participation. Firstly the Renault T in Europe…

…and now, the Peterbilt 389 in America…

I completed my personal goal of 12 deliveries last night – 6 each in ETS2 and ATS. As usual, I will now continue to deliver the special cargoes to help the community complete its delivery target – as will a lot of fellow drivers I know on Twitter. That’s why SCS often refer to us as the Best Community 🙂

My Peterbilt 389 will retain her Maroon metallic Ribbon paint job…

The Renault T has reverted to our company metallic Blue but retains the Breast Cancer Ribbon of Hearts and gets the hanging boxing gloves as a souvenir of her involvement…

What about the Renault T? This is a beautifully modelled truck with a very distinctive engine sound. One of my twitter colleagues has driven the type IRL and reckons the sounds are accurate. The gear ratios combined with the 480HP engine I selected seem well suited to the mix of european roads for normal cargoes. I’m really enjoying driving it – and it will be one of the mainstays of my fleet 🙂

At the time of posting the community had achieved over 250k deliveries 🙂 Keep the shiny side up!

Trucking Digest

Since the last Digest there have been a couple of events – in game and irl…

When I write about my experiences in SCS Software’s Truck Simulator games I never know if I have encouraged anyone who reads my tales to give the games a try. The posts do get a fair number of hits outside my immediate community of friendly bloggers. But I don’t think I have ever seen a comment from someone saying they decided to give the games a try. I hope some of those who have passed through did go on to take a closer look and possibly buy into the trucking dream. One thing I have found out, and it post-dates my starting out in the game, is that you can now download a demo to try it out. The demo is available from the Euro Truck Simulator 2 website and also on Steam. There’s also a demo for American Truck Simulator but that appears to only be on Steam. So, if you want to give either title a try there’s now no excuse! 🙂

A couple of weeks back Euro Truck Simulator 2 was on sale – it happens for both titles 3 or 4 times each year and you can then get the games for £3.74p each. Anyway, I decided to flag up the sale to my Twitter community – which mainly comprises friends from football. Over the last couple of years chatting with the fans I’d found some who were at least vaguely interested in the games after seeing my tweeted screenshots. I’m pleased to report that my tweet advertising the sale resulted in two of our teenage fans trying the demo (which is how I learnt of it’s existence) and then purchasing the game. I did have a minor concern that their parents might not be happy with me introducing them to another computer game when they’re coming up to their GCSE’s. Last Saturday when they were dropped off to catch the coach to our away match I took the opportunity to approach their Mother and apologise. She was having none of it – she thanked me for getting them involved as it’s a relaxing game and just what they needed at a stressful time! In fact, she reckons that she’s going to have a go at the game too! Result!!! 🙂

It seems that everything is happening in Euro Truck currently. Last Digest I was reporting on the new Mercedes-Benz Actros Tuning Pack and showing shots of that truck. Now, with a lot of hype on Twitter, SCS finally released the Renault T. It has been a long wait for the community as negotiations for the rights to publish the truck have been very difficult. But finally Renault Trucks, and the other holders of rights to the famous diamond badge, are all on board. 🙂 Reading between the lines of the pre-release media, there has been a concerted effort between Renault Trucks and SCS Software to bring the modelling of the vehicle fully up to date resulting in a really polished final model. Release to live was finally announced on Tuesday as being 13:00 yesterday. And that left me with an issue for yesterday morning… I had just completed a delivery to Kotka in Finland and I really wanted to buy a Renault T from the nearest Renault dealer to our home base. That meant making my way back to Lyon in France!

Fortunately I was able to pick up a job from Kouvola carrying a load of tree saplings to Milan. That’s a very long drive – here’s the route……and here’s a few shots from along the way…

…Then I had to pick up a simple job across to Lyon……a much shorter drive but a grand total before I even got to the dealership for my new truck of 4415km.

So I spent around 4hr45min real time just getting back to Lyon yesterday. Sometimes this is not a game for the casual player 😉 I hope you liked my inclusion of route maps – something I’ve been toying with for a while. I’ll introduce you to my new Renault T in another post 🙂

Trucking Digest

Today was a fairly normal day on the road for me. I’d delivered a load of drinks to Santa Fe the previous evening before driving down to the truck stop outside Albuquerque to rest up. Thought it’d be busier really but it was only half full. So, this morning I took the chance of a quick wash and brush up before breakfast in the grill. Then it was time to check in with Jed, my dispatcher. I brought Jed on board not long after I got my first rig, the Peterbilt 579. Back when I was a hire-rat it didn’t matter if the office was a mess but once I became an owner driver I quickly realised that some organisation was needed at home base. Jed’s an ex-driver – gave it up because he wanted to spend more time with his family – so he jumped at the chance to get back into the business without having to spend long nights away from home. Together, we’ve started to build the business.

I remember the look of surprise on his face when I came back to the depot in a Freightliner FLB a few months back. I saw her at a Kenworth dealership in Los Angeles and fell in love – old school cabovers have a certain appeal and she was in beautiful condition. I reasoned back then that the time was right to expand the business. We advertised for a driver the next day and spent quite a while looking over the applicants – Jed said we should go with a young lady name of Mille. I wasn’t sure but she had the best credentials of the applicants so I agreed. It was a good decision and Mille has quickly become one of the Republik family!

I rang base – “What’ya got for me today Jed?” It seems the weather in Bakersfield is bright and sunny – funny how a question about consignments and manifests starts off with a weather report – but that’s Jed all over! “Yeah – it’s a sunny morning over here too! – now quit stalling.” It turns out that jed has sourced a load of white goods – Toasters, Kettles and Microwaves – going south to an outlet in Las Cruces. “You’ve remembered I’m in Albuquerque, right?” “Yeah – collection is just across the interstate from where your at. They’re open and ready for you, said you can come ahead!” So that’s my first job of the day. “And…” Jed continues “I think the receiving company will have a follow-up consignment – I’m just negotiating that at the moment.” Now that’s good news – nothing costs a company more than dead time.

I haven’t told you but I’m out in a new truck – well I’ve had her about a week. We were ready to expand again so I popped into the local Pete dealer thinking about a second 579. I’ve been really pleased with the first one – reliable and economical. Mille certainly seems to be getting the best out of it. I told the dealer my thoughts – I like the 579 but I’d like something a little a little more traditional. He suggested the 567 – it’s a 579 but with a heritage twist. In fact they even do a Heritage model! I liked the idea and decided to get a special paint job – whilst Jed didn’t agree with spending the extra money I’m sure he’ll like her when he sees her first hand. You see, the Bakersfield dealer couldn’t source the special so he put me in touch with his fellow dealer in Flagstaff who was happy to help out. He even took a photo of her as I drove her around the block for the first time……579 inside but traditional outside – I like it!

So back to now – I picked up the load for Las Cruces and set off down I-25. Traffic was light until I reached Socorro. It was like night of the living dead driving through there and we came to a stand on a couple of occasions for no good reason other than people not knowing what lane they needed to be in. Losing momentum is frustrating for truckers and it gave me an excuse to test the air-horns – Yepp, they work! I was just crawling into Las Cruces when Jed called back – “That follow-up is confirmed – You got used packaging to take over to Roswell – I’ll fill you in while they unload you.” When I arrived at the delivery point it seemed like the only guy around was security……but I’d caught them on their coffee break and they quickly found me a bay to back into…

Jed came back with details of the used packaging consignment – it’s destination was unknown until just before he called me because the consigner was looking for the best price for handling the stuff. Now Roswell was confirmed. Used Packaging doesn’t pay very well but as a load to fill in the rest of the driver’s hours it’s a good option. My concern was whether I’d make Roswell inside my remaining hours. Jed said “You’ll be fine.” – and promptly hung up! With the cargo unloaded I had to shuffle to a different bay for the old boxes to be put on board. It always amazes me how empty boxes weigh more than full ones – close on 39000lbs to drag east.

Loaded up with a quick bite and some coffee I set off into the evening……skirting Alamogordo and up to Carrizozo before turning east once more. It’s quiet on the road late evening and you get to thinking. Names of places en-route remind me of the Westerns I saw when I was a kid – the Rio Grande that we crossed near Las Cruces. There’s the Pecos River over at Roswell – There’s no law west of Dodge and no God west of the Pecos. And we’re riding the Billy the Kid Trail – now hows that for a liturgy of westerns?

By the time I reached the outskirts of Roswell I was starting to feel tired. It’s funny how the signals seem to stay red for longer when you’re reaching the end of your drive and looking for a nice warm bed! I made it to the delivery just within my hours and the handlers unloaded the trailer pretty quickly. Then it was time to head for a motel – I needed a proper night’s sleep!..…I’ll tell Jed about the westerns in the morning and get a weather report too 😉