Now Where Was I…?

…Oh Yes – planning on buying another garage in Montpellier. The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley. I had the money in the bank and was sitting in Bourges after a pleasant trip across country from DΓΌsseldorf with a load of Beverages. Pleasant run it might have been but being mostly on back roads it was bad for the fuel economy as was the previous run with a load of Vodka. The company accountant will be spitting feathers πŸ˜‰ So I’m looking to go and get that next garage before he notices and pretends that we can’t afford it! The trouble is that I can’t find a load from Bourges going to Montpellier nor are there any going to Marseilles or Toulouse.

What I can get is a load of boots going north to Paris. That’s Rubber Boots of the Michelin Tyre variety πŸ™‚ OK – looks like we’re going to be buying our next garage in Paris. We set off from Bourges in the early morning light……It’s lovely driving at that time of day πŸ™‚ The delivery went smoothly and I didn’t have far to drive from Geodis to the garage I was going to buy – it’s right next door πŸ™‚

Now we need to put together the money for another truck and to hire a driver. I picked a job to deliver a Digger 1000 from Paris down to Limoges. It was all the way round on the other side of town so a long deadhead run to the job. Then down to Limoges where we delivered to Hellmann opposite the local Volvo dealer. I wrote about the way that some low-loaders cut the corner behind you previously and maybe this shot illustrates the point……That’s why trucks have to go onto the wrong side of the road to make a turn! Something us ordinary motorists / cyclists need to bear in mind.

I camped out in the Volvo Dealer – slightly cheeky as I was in the MAN but I am a customer so no complaints πŸ˜‰ I still needed to get the money for a new truck for Paris so it was off to Le Havre the same evening with a load of transmissions. That was a long run and I probably should have taken a break part way but I decided to press on and get it done. As a result I picked up a couple of sleep avoidance fines. While I don’t view them as ‘driving errors’ in the same way as I would a collision or off-road excursion, I think I need to be a little harder on myself about these in future for the sake of realism.

From Le Havre it was a long cross-country with a load of Boric Acid into Germany – destination Stuttgart (I’m a sucker for Sunflowers πŸ˜‰ )……before heading back to Luxembourg with a Digger 500. With the help of Freja and Marcel’s work we had quickly amassed the necessary money to get the next Volvo for the fleet. Into the dealer at Luxembourg – Truck bought and delivered to Paris. I looked through the available drivers and a young lady called Marianne with an ADR qualification and distance skills caught my eye so I hired her.

Time to get back on the road and work towards that Montpellier garage. I’ll leave you with a shot of us running through the outskirts of Paris with our load of Michelin Tyres πŸ™‚

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Random Solutions

As reported in my previous post, after the new 1.29 version of American Truck simulator dropped I did have some issues. Those are now largely resolved as I have identified the mods causing issues and either updated or removed them. Two trucks are still awaiting updates (Mack Ultraliner and Freightliner Cascadia) but others like the K100 and FLB are now fully functional which is great for the Lone Star Project as our existing K100 will drive ok and when I’m ready, a Freightliner FLB will once again grace the fleet πŸ™‚ The only ongoing issue (until today) was the bloom on HDR settings. I turned off the HDR setting and after finding things were a little dark I decided to download Piva’s weather mod which I have used before in ATS to good effect.

I’ll digress at this point because internet security is an issue we should all be aware of and I want to give some basic advice. Many mods are too large for Steam’s Workshop. Also, some mod makers don’t like to entrust their stuff to Steam for whatever reason. So we sometimes have to go get those mods from one of a number of game specific mod sites. These use upload sites to store the files and those sites rely on advertising revenue to fund their existence. So each time you attempt a download a pop-up will open to one of the advert sites… Except it sometimes isn’t. It is very good practice to be conversant with how to deal with browser hacks – I had one of these when getting the download of Piva’s Weather mod. Not the fault of Piva but some blame should attach to the storage server owners who should really police their advertisers more carefully. But be aware that there are worse. While I was trying to get the latest version of the Kenworth K100 I found that on certain storage sites the file was not as expected. I ducked out before downloading. Key advice – Always confirm that the name of the file and its size are as expected before you download and check the file type! Be especially wary of .exe files because normally the files you are going to download shouldn’t be executables. And always install good Anti-Virus software on your PC!

With that out of the way it’s time for me to show some shots from the 1.29 update of ATS and also the FLB that has joined our Lone Star fleet. But the first images belong to Nightshade from our main profile. She bore the brunt of testing out the game after the new changes…
…She’s seen here drifting past one of the new Random Events on I15 on the way to San Diego from Las Vegas with a load of transmissions. Two Customs Cars and an Audi – gotta be a drugs bust?! We continued down the I15 and found that the intersection with the I10 has suddenly grown because I15 now goes all the way down to San Diego……That wasn’t there before!!! And a bit further down the road at the junction with I8 we passed the Qualcomm Stadium – home of the San Diego Chargers until this season. I understand they’ve moved up the road to Los Angeles. Such things are frowned upon in the UK where, with a couple of exceptions, a football club is seen part of the community rather than a franchise to move where you will! Don’t worry – we have our own ways of creating football scandals πŸ˜‰

Nightshade had the honour of the first run into New Mexico as reported in the previous post but in our Lone Star project Midnight Cruiser took the first run for the team. The cargo was Car Parts from Flagstaff to Albuquerque. We received the traditional welcome to a new state – called into the weigh station by the New Mexico police……Coming back with a load from Vista print bound for Phoenix. we passed a police car with a pulled over car – officer rendering assistance or a speeder?……Then we passed a nasty multi vehicle accident with police, ambulance and fire brigade in attendance……These are examples of the new Random Events now in-game since v1.29 was released πŸ™‚

Phoenix offered the chance to buy our third truck for the Lone Star project. Once again this is a slightly older truck unlike my main profile where I will be driving current vehicles. We’ve replicated a 1995 Freightliner FLB with a Detroit Diesel Series 60 500HP engine. She’s got a 13 speed Eaton-Fuller gearbox and a retarder. The paint job is one produced by Lucasi while the truck is the work of Harven and represents the latest iteration in a long history of this mod by a variety of authors over the years. Here she is climbing out of Phoenix with a load of Dried Milk for Alamogordo… I see we have a Krusty Clown truck on our tail πŸ˜‰ My nickname for CRST trucks in-game as they tend to be quite aggressive – Though I recall being carved up by a Knight’s truck recently 😦 I’m sure the real life drivers are ok – though some of my US readers may wish to comment otherwise πŸ˜‰

I closed off last time joking about ‘back in France’. I have got some material to relate from there so we will be looking at what my MAN and I have been up to soon πŸ™‚

Oh God!! It’s Broke…

…The game just crashes! πŸ˜‰

SCS have finally delivered the New Mexico expansion. One of the joys of SCS Truck Sim’s is the updates. These wonderful events bring great new gameplay and scenic improvements (mostly). But, if you’re using mods to improve your immersion or provide additional gameplay like a truck that isn’t in the main game then be prepared for trouble when the new version update drops πŸ™‚

Updates installed I fired up the game in my main profile – the one with official SCS trucks. The game crashes almost as soon as I start the truck. First step – check the game logs. Looks like something to do with colours and some vehicles. I remove all mods relating to vehicles – that’s Jazzycats ai mods and all the special trailers and my non-standard trucks. Try again…

Game still crashes 😦 Turn my attention to the less obvious candidates. Real Companies, Real Gas Stations. I umm and ahh about the realistic traffic mod and a couple of others but decide to try again. Success…

Game loads and runs ok including the mods that give Nightshade her distinctive colors and the Cummins N14 CELECT engine. In fact there are several other mods that are working ok. So we start driving from Elko – the game relocated me and Nightshade there as a result of the upgrade. This was billed as a new map expansion but to achieve it the SCS team also looked at improving the existing states. Some things have definitely changed and I don’t think SCS actually told us everything about the changes. Coming south from Elko I passed a disused motel that I don’t think was there before and I certainly hit some grades that were steeper than I recall – clearly some more wide spread changes have been undertaken!

Diving off in a brief tantrum… One other mod that isn’t working but isn’t causing the game to crash is the ‘No_Bloom’ mod. This takes out the horrible splashes of haze around any bright light source. The sooner that is fixed or SCS finally realise how annoying that bloom is, the better! It’s ghastly and is one of the reasons why this post is lacking a lot of screenshots. The author of the mod knows of the problem and is working to fix it and as it’s a Steam Workshop mod it should auto update very soon πŸ™‚

I picked up my first new section of road just past Barstow. However, I was already seeing the ‘Random Events’ in the shape of potholes and re-tarmac’d sections of road from early in the journey. And there was a stationary ambulance on the opposite carriageway. The traffic in general seemed a bit more realistic but I am still running DP’s realistic traffic mod so I’m watching this area closely to see how it pans out. On this first run all Jazzycat’s mods were removed, which also has a bearing.

On the run down to El Centro after leaving I10 I met a pick-up on the wrong side of the road – that’s a first and probably an import from Poland in ETS2 πŸ˜‰ (I had the same on the return trip too!) In the small town along the same road we hit an ‘AI in a Tis-Was’ situation and I had to close the game and start it up again to resolve the issue – not a first for this location and clearly an intermittent ongoing bug!

From El Centro I picked up a load to Flagstaff – probably aiming to seek sanctuary from the mayhem by hiding in one of my garages πŸ˜‰ By this time I’d downloaded some ai traffic updates from Jazzycat and I tried out the Buses one to see if it causes issues. The run proceeded smoothly and we saw some buses which means that the updated Jazzycat mods are working fine. We also got to meet one of the new random events in the shape of overnight road works. The first I knew was a bright yellow light flashing. I slowed and then picked my way into the open lane as we passed the team working on creating more potholes in the road πŸ˜‰ I should have taken a screenshot but I was just enjoying what I was seeing – I’d normally be running through here in cruise and yawning – the new random events really rock!

I feed in some more of the Jazzycat mods including the cargo ones that haven’t been updated along with Cyrus’ Kenworth K100 that has been updated and we set off to Santa Fe – our first New Mexico destination. No issues encountered with mods. I did find that the AI seems more realistic in the variation of the traffic. It’s good to be watching the action up ahead and being able to adjust speed around realistic traffic flows. That’s one of the skills in game that I enjoy – perhaps not one that the ‘race and crash’ merchants take note of though πŸ˜‰

The run up to Santa Fe went pretty well but the delivery drop off was fun – driving around between heaps of gravel in the dark can be a bit disorientating! But we found our way round to the drop-off point and took advantage of the adjacent rest area πŸ™‚ A ‘fun’ day of fault finding and driving!

Now back in France… something for another post perhaps πŸ˜‰