A video today of a drive in my DAF XF106.460, ‘Azyet’, pictured here at the end of a previous delivery…

…It’s a short night run, so the traffic on the roads is light. However, the single carriageway road between Kiel and Travemunde has some twists and turns so we need to pay attention πŸ˜‰ Video is 17min’s in length…

The week before last I was depressed – I realise that now. I went through a period when I couldn’t settle to anything. Not even my favourite games were holding my attention. I did get some farming done and you’ve seen the posts about that but I did little else. Some afternoons I was just binge watching tv re-runs of things like NCIS – anything that has a ‘happy ending’. We’re not talking clinical depression, just the loss of that sense of wellbeing and a lack of get up and go. I think all the Covid news did finally get to me, as it has to a lot of other people. Last Friday I had a few extra beers and went to bed early to sleep it off…

I woke on Saturday with a bit of a hangover – nothing serious, just evidence that I had overdone it the previous evening in the form of a stuffy nose. When I fired up the pc I decided to do some gentle driving in Euro truck. I think it proved to be a good choice.

It started with a trip east in Maria, my MAN TGX. I had drifted over to Kaliningrad on Friday morning before that beer. One of the long outstanding achievements in Steam requires delivering from the Russian Enclave there to the Motherland. I’ve never had much luck in getting jobs to Russia – just one from my previous visits but this time it was different. There was a job to Vyborg that Saturday morning. It was the start of a weekend’s driving in Maria that would knock out 2 of the required deliveries for the Enclave Transit Achievement and push Maria’s driven distance up to over 45000km. Here’s some images from those trips…

By late Sunday afternoon, I’d reached a point where there were no new jobs from Kaliningrad going to ‘Mother Russia’ so I decided to head back to France – time to give Maria a rest and get another of the fleet out of the garage or possibly try a new truck. I picked up a load back to Strasbourg. By the time I got there I’d completed 5569km of in-game driving since Saturday morning…

It fell to a new truck to take up the baton and return to Kaliningrad. I’ve been looking at a mod of the Mitsubishi Fuso superGreat V for a while. It’s a good looking truck and I finally decided to give it a go. There were a couple of issues with that decision, the main one being that it’s only available in right-hand drive because it’s a Japanese domestic market version. There are a number of other minor issues with the sounds and the coupling to trailers but over all it’s a nice mod.

I did some early runs in northern France and Germany as I tried out various things. Here’s some shots…

…Our company standard metallic blue seems to suit this truck well and I really like the layout of the instruments in the cab. What I don’t like is the small fuel tank – only 350l and those coupling issues which I think I’ve narrowed down to a mix of tyre sizes affecting the 5th wheel height for all trailers along with a real dislike of certain Krone trailers. That’s something that I’m sure the modder will work on although it may not be an issue on their target Project Japan map audience.

The worst of the glitches overcome and I took the Fuso, now christened ‘Fujin’ after the Japanese Wind God, back to Kaliningrad. We then continued our good fortune of finding the jobs needed to complete the Enclave Transit achievement, hauling to Sosnovy Bor and Luga. On the 27th I tweeted to my trucking colleagues “Sunrise to sunset driving in SCS Software ETS2 πŸ™‚ Fujin brings another day to a close with a run from St Petersburg to Kaliningrad. Glad to find that gas station open – running on fumes about then πŸ˜‰ ” with these images from that trip…

…Then it was time for Fujin to head home to Lille via Sweden and Germany. After the relaxing roads through Scandinavia there was lots of traffic on the autobahn to keep our attention…

…Back in Lille yesterday evening, it was time for Fujin to rest with 9880km covered since Sunday evening. Today Renzo will take over and we’ll be doing some heavy-haulin’ πŸ™‚

And me? – My Shiny Side is back up thanks to Euro Truck Simulator. I hope your Shiny Side is good too πŸ™‚

Today we’re going to take a trip from Mannheim to Amsterdam in our white DAF XF named ‘Lady Galadriel’. In terms of the route within Euro Truck Simulator 2, this entails driving mostly on the older map builds although there is a section within Germany where we encounter the updated map with improved quality and realism. I have recently re-enabled a mod to improve the traffic realism, so you will see more ai vehicles. If you watch closely, quite early on, there has been an accident on the opposite carriageway and later there is a car that has clearly spun!

Lets talk interiors. In my US trucks the ostentation is most commonly chrome and paint although I often have a dreamcatcher or something else as a hanging ornament. In Europe it’s more likely that there will be interior hangings. For my in-game trucks, they can be a reminder of the past activities. So, the right-hand pennant on the windscreen in ‘Lady Galadriel’ is a Turkish Tourist Board advert whilst on the dash itself you can see a Turkish flag. This is a reminder that she was the truck that did the ‘Orient Express’ achievement, driving from Paris to Istanbul along the route of the famous train. Other trucks in my fleet also have reminders of their achievements. The Home Trucker hanging is a reminder that we’re still following Covid-19 guidelines and should act appropriately – several of my trucks in Europe and the US carry that one.

This video is 38 minutes in length. If you can stay with it until I make a fuel-stop roughly midway, you will see the improved maps and be able to compare with the earlier version (most noticable at intersections). You’ll also experience some unpleasant weather. A bit later on we’ll cross the Rhine on the Rodenkirchener BrΓΌcke with a glimpse of KΓΆln to the north. If you have the extreme fortitude to stay with me until we arrive in Amsterdam you’ll be rewarded with a very nice sunset πŸ™‚

If you’re out on the roads, drive safe. If you’re in the US braving either Fire or Flood – again, stay safe!