Trucking Digest

Over a month since the last digest and a lot to cover, so let’s get on with it. December opened with the delivery of v1.36 changes to Euro Truck on the 3rd, bringing detours into that version of the game for the first time along with the other improvements including the move to DirectX 11. It also brought the island of Corsica for those who own the France DLC. For such a small island, there are a lot of towns there for us to deliver to. I took a fleeting visit to Bastia on the morning of the 5th, running up the eastern coast road from Porto Vecchio through Aleria……SCS have really captured the atmosphere in their creation of this addition to our maps. I would have liked to stay longer and I will probably buy a garage here for the company – Ajaccio would make a good off-shore option. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay because – The Road to the Black Sea DLC released on afternoon of 5th December and I had to head back to the mainland and drive east for that.

Every new map created for ETS2 pushes the quality bar ever higher, following the new standards that initially appeared with American Truck Simulator, and The Road to the Black Sea is no exception. This DLC gives us Romania, Bulgaria and the European side of Turkey to drive in. Here are some screenshots…

…To claim that I have seen everything already would be a lie – there is too much to see, too many roads to drive – It would take more than the two weeks I’ve had to explore! I have had chance to pass by Cousin Vlad’s Castle though it was still dark and he was out and about – must visit in daytime if I want to catch him at home!..

I say I’ve had two weeks but even that is a lie because on the 10th December SCS threw in another long-awaited addition into the ATS mix with the delivery of the International LoneStar. This is a truck that almost certainly divides opinions on styling……I wasn’t sure that I would like it but as I tweeted; Not sure about the styling – guess it will grow on me… Love the dash… Dislike the mirrors for normal driving – but they’re good when parking… Which you can see from this in-cab shot during the above delivery to Eddy’s……She has grown on me and I will be keeping her – in fact I may well order some more for our fleet. here she is climbing Donner Pass…

Of course, it’s nearly Christmas and all us Virtual truckers know what that means; It’s Christmas Community Event time! This year the theme is Giving – you can read about it on SCS’ Blog. This was my tweet on it; ‘The @SCSsoftware
#BestCommunityEver is on the road again delivering Pressie Power to the People for #XmasGrandGiving – Lets Go!’……moody view of a power-station complex in Romania on my way to Hunedoara. I’ll cover my adventures during this event in another post. In the meantime, Keep the Shiny Side Up! 🙂

Trucking Digest

After the recent hiatus I had some difficulty deciding what game periodical I should write first. In the end, Trucking gets the nod for being easiest to pick up the thread despite there being a lot going on.

You will recall that at the time of the last Digest I was delivering cargoes for the SCS Software Breast Cancer Charity event. Needless to say, the community completed the target 1m deliveries on 14th October with 6 days of the event to go. Since then SCS have been able to make initial donations to the chosen Czech and US charities and to add in a 3rd recipient in Germany! Here’s the story on SCS Software’s Blog. Apart from the pink ribbon dlc’s for my trucks I also treated myself to one of the pink t-shirts marking the event. I expect there will be more charity events for us in the future 🙂

Halloween brought some light-hearted fun for the community with many drivers repainting their trucks in appropriate themes. I opted for buying another Peterbilt 389 and passing ‘Ribbons’ on to an employee. Finished in metallic black with white wheels, I call her ‘The Undertaker’……In cab she has appropriate decor in the form of a special steering wheel and hanging Terminator skull……Ideal for Halloween. Subsequently, for Remembrance Day, I replaced the skull with a pair of dogtags as a mark of respect.

The pace of change remains rapid. Game update v1.36 was deployed on November 5th to American truck Simulator. This was a key enabler for the release of the next state – Utah, which released on November 7th. It also brings full DirectX 11 support but means that the game will no longer run on DirectX 9. The v1.36 for Euro Truck should arrive in late November as a precursor to the delivery of the next map dlc in that game – Road to the Black Sea. And then it’ll be time for the annual Christmas event.

Utah has been an eagerly awaited addition to the American Truck map and it didn’t disappoint. There’s some very nice scenery and some tricksy roads. To lend some perspective to the latter – if I’m driving I10 or I5 through New Mexico, Arizona and California, I can expect to achieve 550-600 miles in a shift. Even using the I15 in Utah is slower and once you’re on the 191 or the 89, well – I reckon I’ve done well to get 475 miles in a shift! One of the big attractions is the Kennecott Mine near Salt Lake City. That is one big mud-pie – here’s The Undertaker climbing out of it with, of all things, a tree stumper……I wonder if they’ve uncovered a petrified forest down there or something? 😉

We also got some new trailers as a result of the v1.36 update. One of those is the Frac Tank – an absolute pig to haul because of its wheels being right at the back! Here we are climbing up the grade from the power plant at Price River on the 191 just north of Martin……you can see how it wants to be on the wrong side of the road! You can also gauge the quality of the work SCS have put into this new map from that image – I had no problem finding the location on google maps. Also in this image is my current truck – The Undertaker has been passed to another employee as I try out one of the more recent vehicles to have become available as a workshop mod.

This is the Kenworth W990 and in real life it’s basically the T680 with a more ‘classic’ styling aimed at the owner-driver who wants something that stands out from the crowd but has a more modern style than the traditional W900. This is Kenworth’s take on the market option that the Peterbuilt 567 addresses with its heritage appearance on the 579 running units (I have shown the 567 before in Digest). I think Peterbilt nailed it but I’m not sure that Kenworth have. However, this is a nice truck to drive and I’m taking time to enjoy her. I initially applied a suitable Heritage paint Job……But with all that chrome (which is standard by the way!) I decided that a plain metallic was going to look better. So she got repainted into the gold scheme you see here……and ‘Rolled Gold II’ was born.

I always mention that a particular truck has been passed to an employee. My personal fleet built up since I restarted my profile when v1.35 was released is as follows: Peterbilt 579, 567 and 2x 389, Freightliner FLB, Mack R600 and this Kenworth W990. There are also 4 other Pete’ 579’s in service with the company. One interesting inclusion to the changes in v1.36 was the ability to see where each of our drivers is on the map. So, this evening I see that our longest serving driver Mille is heading home to Bakersfield from Grand Coulee with a load of Silica in my personal Peterbilt 579……and Simone is hauling a mobile barrier back to her home base at Flagstaff with my Peterbilt 567……She’ll have fun parking that when she gets there 😉 And me? I’m that cockney sparrow up in Sacramento where I’ve just bought a new garage, two Peterbilt 579’s and hired two new drivers. It’s time we tapped into the freight market in that area 🙂

Frac Tanks got a mention in this post. When I prepare to write about my trucking experiences in game I spend some time doing research – usually to check the accuracy of trucks and trailers or to find out some more about new areas that I’m driving to. In looking up Frac Tanks and their uses I found this article about fracking and the impact on Vernal, Utah (where I picked up my Frac Tank load) – I think it’s worth a read. Fracking has certainly caused some controversy in the UK and our Government has just withdrawn its support for Fracking – though the cynic in me say’s that’s a pre-election ploy to gain some votes. Anyway, that’s about as close to politics as Trucking Digest should go 😦

Ok – that’s all for now – keep the shiny side up folks 🙂

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Blue

Discarded Blue……A baby’s cot left to decay along with the autumn leaves.

Blue Cheatlines and trailer……Once owned by Culina, now possibly an ‘owner-driver’ rig, DN15TWA is a Volvo FH4 with 500HP engine. Was advertised for sale by FleetEx in June this year.

All Blue……Volvo FH 500HP operated by D.R. & F.A.Ford – based in Wem, Shropshire with another base in Chirk.

Screenshot Blue……Finished in the traditional Ford colors, an 8240 Tractor in Farming Simulator 19.

Photos taken this morning for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. Catch up with the challenge Here.