Starting Your Trucking Business

I’m not going to go into the details of installing Euro Truck Simulator 2 or setting up your chosen method of control be it wheel, joystick or mouse and keyboard – this is purely about the gameplay.  But… Between starting the game and setting up the controls you will need to create a profile.   Here you enter a user name and a company name so you might wish to give some thought to those before you start.   There is the usual choice of Male or Female and you have to pick an avatar from the supplied images along with a company logo.   None of these are particularly important as they don’t affect gameplay at all.

The other item you have to choose as you create the profile is your preferred truck.   You can choose any one you like and overall it will not affect your future gameplay.   What it does determine though is the truck you will drive on the very first job that the game gives you.   In Euro Truck it really doesn’t matter therefore if you choose Scania for example, or MAN as the trucks have generally similar characteristics in the base game.   In American Truck however, you may wish to select one of the shorter wheelbase trucks because of the variance in turning circles.   The sheer size of the Kenworth W900 can make getting out of the yard with that first cargo problematic if you have no previous experience – ask my Son 😉

So I selected the MAN TGX as my preferred truck.   That will have no influence on my actual first purchase although I already know that my company will have some MAN vehicles in the fleet.   When you complete building your profile the game will start and you will be presented with a map and asked to choose a headquarters city.  At this point I should tell you that I am running the game with three additional maps so I have a wider choice than those who are running the base game.   You might choose somewhere in Germany or the UK.  I have chosen Lyon in France because I like driving in that area.

Once you have chosen your headquarters the game will load your preferred truck at a business in your chosen city with a consignment for another business around the corner.   This is the only time that you don’t get to choose your job.   You will find that this run pays around €360 and offers 1 experience point (XP).   So off you go around the block trying to avoid accidents – damage to the cargo will be deducted at the destination and any fines will come directly out of your bank account which you will find has €2000 in it at the start of the game.   When you reach the destination you will find a green icon in the entrance to the yard.   Stop over that icon and hit the enter key to see your parking options.   Always – no matter how inexperienced you are – go for the hard parking option.   The key to this part of the game is collecting XP so that you can increase you skills and therefore the range of jobs that are open to you.   As your skills increase, so your ability to make money grows too.  So do that hard park and turn your 1XP run into 41XP or even 91XP 🙂   Just a quick note regards American Truck – in that game the first job is over a longer distance which may even take you to another city.

When you successfully park the trailer in the white marked area it will turn green and the message display will ask you to uncouple by pressing T.   Then you will be presented with a job conclusion screen telling you how well you’ve done – anything less than excellent means you’ve probably hit something along the way and damaged the cargo.   If it comes up with a red Late header then you’re really into heavy repayments to the contractor – whatever happens on any job, Late is the worst offence of the lot 😉

Finally – when you close the job completion screen you’ll get to see your Headquarters…

 

…It’s not much to look at, but you’ll be changing that once you start making real money!   I think that will do for a first lesson.  In the next trucking post we’ll get on to moving some actual loads between cities as a hired driver.

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King of The Road

Of all the accolades that can be appended to you, perhaps this is the most meaningful when driving in American Truck Sim or Euro Truck for that matter. It says simply that you’ve reached Level 40. Although it’s mainly only a measure of how many hours you were prepared to put into the particular game-save because it’s based on the experience points in the game to earn the status, the speed with which you get there is affected by accidents, damage to cargo and late deliveries. For players who go out to break the law, have fun colliding with other vehicles or lack the planning skills to ensure that their deliveries arrive on time, it will take longer to achieve.

In some ways though I’m reminded of the Roger Miller song – I certainly feel like I’ve been a Trailer for sale or rent! The reason for that is the other challenges in the games – the World of Trucks challenges. These span both games so you can choose the US or Europe to do them. The ones that caught my attention were the ‘do this in this amount of time’ challenges. There are 4 of them currently. The first was a cinch – do 5 consecutive jobs over 1000km in length… I got that instantly because I love a long job and I’d already achieved the requirements 🙂 There is another that requires you to deliver 100t of cargo in 1 hour with all jobs over 100km – I have yet to try that one. The third is called Punctual Perfectionist and needs you to complete 3 contracts over 300km in length perfectly (No damage and on time) – the catch is that none of them should take more than 25mins. It took me 2 attempts that failed before I realised that the time starts at accepting the contract not when you couple up to the trailer! I’ve done it and it’s a good challenge as you have to run hard but safe. The last challenge requires you to shift 1000t of cargo in a rolling 7 day period. It is a grind-fest in which all journeys have to be over 250km to count. The added complication is that World of Trucks Contracts never have more that around 21t loads. So, as each day passes, the work you did before drops off the amount you have achieved. I have just completed this one and I’m resting (as are my trucks!) It was hard work starting slowly on Monday last week and slowly building the number of contracts each day until today when I was left with around 120,000 Kg to shift in a single day to complete. As long as I completed by around 17:00 I knew I wouldn’t lose anything that I had added the previous Monday. But it was a grind with maximum loads over medium distances – not my favourite type of driving. I’m glad I’ve done it but – yes… I do feel a bit of a Trailer for Rent!

The sad thing is that having achieved King of The Road in American Truck I will have to start from the ground up again when the map rescale releases. That will not be long now – it’s in open beta via Steam. As expressed in a previous post, this represents such a game change that I don’t think I could continue with my current game-save. I will be re-evaluating how I wish to play the game following the release to live but it is a slightly sad time as I will be saying farewell to my personal trucks and deciding which ones will reappear as I can afford them in the new game. Purple Rain has already had a respray into a more conservative silver-grey as I assess her suitability and Autumn Gal will probably appear much as she is. The issue for both these trucks is whether they will be compatible with the new code (there are changes to things other than the map). Rolled Gold and Nightshade should both be fine as they are SCS vehicles. I know that more is promised with the changes for the Peterbilt 389, so Nightshade will benefit from these. One of the background changes looks to improve the realism of all the stock trucks which will be a good thing  So, I have some concerns but overall, having seen some of the future in videos by beta players, any truck issues will be minor compared with the massive gains in the scenery and the attempt to bring the game closer to reality. I’ve seen the future and I’m looking forward to it – though a more comfortable chair may be needed for the longer journey times (already in hand!).

Growth – New Trucks, New People

Last Euro Truck post I hinted that I had a second truck. It was, in reality, a trade in for my first truck. It happened entirely by accident – a spur of the moment purchase. I was preparing to employ my first driver after upgrading the garage. The driver would need a truck, so I popped into my local MAN dealer to check out what was in stock. And that’s when I saw her… The MAN TGX XLX with 480hp engine in Rose Red. I decided there and then to upgrade – more power gives improved load shifting and you do need it for some jobs in Euro Truck! So I traded in my first truck and accepted that I was delaying getting a second truck and employing a driver… Resplendent in Red

Then, a short time later, I had enough money again to get a second truck and hire a driver. The truck was easy, MAN TGX XL with 360hp engine in Rose Red – their cheapest paint scheme. The driver choice was harder. Once again, as in American Truck Sim, it was the ladies who seemed to best meet my company requirements and, again, there were two of them that were evenly matched. In the end the job went to an Asian lady called Kim and she quickly got up to speed earning money.

The money was coming in so fast that I found I could very soon buy another truck and employ another driver! Again, I went with the 360hp MAN and went to the recruitment agency. I assumed at this point that I’d be employing a male driver but one applicant stood out above the others. I welcomed Alice, an African lady to my driver line up.

It became apparent over a short period of time that Düsseldorf may not have the traffic levels for two good drivers at this stage of the game – time to open a new centre of operations. I chose Berlin, purchasing a garage there and offering Kim as senior driver the role of lead at the new location. That opened access for our company to the Eastern European market whilst freeing up Alice to make the most of the routes out of Düsseldorf. Initially it was hard work in Berlin and Kim’s earnings for the company dropped a bit but, in business, there are times to be patient – she’s back up to speed again 🙂

The earnings were climbing again and this time I decided to go for a less experienced driver to work with Kim in Berlin – Welcome Richard to the team 🙂 He’s got a big grin on his face and I suspect he likes a laugh around the workplace but he has quickly got into the money and is advancing his skills. At the moment Berlin is going well and Alice has Düsseldorf making over €4k on her own – that’s a lot of money coming in! Meanwhile, I’m basking in the sun as we pick up work from the big companies…Working for the Big Boys

I took the opportunity to upgrade my truck again – now it has a full 6×4 chassis. This came in handy on a recent job. Let me tell you a story from pre-Martin gmbh days. When I was trying out the game, I picked up a job to move some pipes from a quarry. One big difference between Euro Truck and it’s American equivalent is the quarries. In ETS they are deep down in the ground and climbing out with a load is difficult. The job I picked required a load of pipes weighing 20t to be moved from the lowest level of the site all the way up to the exit and out onto the road. It took three attempts to get up to the first level of the quarry but climbing out from there proved beyond my capabilities at the time. I now believe that the Merc truck I was given was underpowered for the job (you take what you’re given when you’re working as a hired driver) – but maybe I’ve since developed some skills of my own too. Anyway, my 480hp MAN 6×4 romped up the climb with 18t of gravel in tow. Here’s my truck in her current form coasting through the Netherlands with a load en-route to Felixstowe.DHL approaching Rotterdam

So now it’s time to expand again and I think it’s time to buy a garage in the UK. Birmingham looks like a good choice so I’ll set up operations from there. With so much growth it’s time for a corporate image. I had intended to go with a red – probably a bit darker than the MAN Rose Red. A bit like this DAF XF seen near my home…4585276714_1ef5efcdac_b…But a chat with Alasdair has convinced me that the company should go with the Desert Sand colour for its vehicles. Time to make a skin!

ps… Yes, she has acquired Chrome Mirrors – Consider me suitably embarrassed 😉