Peterbilt 389 by Viper2

I guess this could be classified as a mod review.  But then again I’ve already reviewed this mod some time ago.  While there are many outstanding mods available for both ATS and ETS2, it is my opinion that the Peterbilt 389 by Viper2 is the VERY BEST!  Just to be clear, I’m not saying his Peterbilt 389 is the best truck mod.  I’m actually saying this Peterbilt 389 is the BEST MOD PERIOD!  At least it is my favorite.

I spent a long, long time playing ATS on the multiplayer servers where mods like this are not allowed.  I really…really….I mean I really missed playing ATS with mods.  As with other simulation based games I enjoy, the mods really make the experience.

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The Peterbilt 389 by Viper2 not only looks fantastic…it performs very well.

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Why haul for Walbert when you can haul for Snap-On Tools?

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The sun may be setting on this game day, but the Peterbilt 389 by Viper2 will see many sunrises and sunsets.

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If you are a fan of American Truck Simulator and you have not tried this Peterbilt 389 by Viper2, what are you waiting for?  You’ll find it in the Steam Workshop.

Enjoy!

Happy Trucking!!!

Jerry

ATS Rescale News

On Monday, 5 September SCS Software released brand new screenshots for the much anticipated ATS map rescale project.  While the screenshots are certainly welcome, the better news from SCS is they are “finishing work faster than initially anticipated”.  The info went on to state that they believe internal testing could begin in several weeks and after (only after) will the open beta be made available.

I truly must say that SCS Software is perhaps the best at keeping its users informed of changes and projects for the simulation based games I enjoy.  You can read more about the ATS rescale project and view the screenshots here.

As I’ve previously mentioned in an earlier blog posting, my summer has been extremely busy.  What little time I’ve had for game play I’ve spent farming.  ATS and ETS2 are certainly sim based games I still enjoy and I’ll return to them when time permits.

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!!!

Jerry

More like this please…

I’m slowly starting to explore more and more of the new Arizona expansion map for American Truck Simulator.  While Arizona has been available for several weeks, between my work schedule and a much needed long vacation, and even spending a little more time in Euro Truck Simulator 2, Farming Simulator 15 and Flight Sim….I’ve only recently discovered something that I really enjoyed. 

This past Sunday, I delivered a load of Yoghurt from Bushnell Farms in Holbrook to Tidbit in Kayenta.  The drop point is shown below in the captured screenshot. 

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SCS Software, Please, Please, Please….more like this!  This delivery point was a slight challenge (not super hard, but also not super easy).  But the important element I’m wanting to make here is this delivery point really pushes the Realism through Simulation element that I strive for.  I’d really love to see more delivery points just like this as SCS Software expands ATS into future states. 

Finally, I realize my blogging efforts have slowed to a mere trickle in recent weeks.  Again, this is mostly due to my work schedule and a recent European family vacation.  As I get caught up at work, as I get over both a cold and jetlag…and as I spend more time with all my favorite simulation games….THERE WILL BE more blog postings.  So please stay tuned…

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!

Jerry

American Truck Simulator Arizona

The very highly anticipated map update to include the US State of Arizona was officially made available yesterday (Monday, 6 June) for American Truck Simulator.  In addition to this new US State, several features and enhancements were also included for both ATS and ETS2.

I’ve had a really busy last couple of weeks and my blogging efforts have suffered.  I did not participate in the Arizona beta as I was busy and two, well…I just typically steer clear of beta projects.  It simply reminds me too much of my real world job.  Anyway, I did manage to take a short drive from Las Vegas, NV to Page, AZ.  I would have spent more time exploring Arizona, but I spent about an hour tinkering with my Logitech G27 as it seemed to have forgotten it was a steering wheel controller.

Thankfully the issue with the G27 WAS NOT due to the Arizona update but was an issue caused by a recent Microsoft Windows 10 update.  Many other users who have the G27 and run Windows 10 are reporting the same issue.  I think this update must have dropped about a week or so ago as I began noticing some really odd behavior from my G27 at that time.  Simply, normally when I boot up my sim PC my Logitech G27 will make a few movements as the software identifies the device and calibrates it.  But about a week ago, the G27 wheel would turn and pause, turn and pause…over and over and over.  It seemed possessed.  But I was spending time flying and just eventually unplugged the G27 until last night.

The fix for me was simply to uninstall the Logitech Profiler software (for the G27 it is version 5.10) and re-install.  This corrected the issue and I was 100% back in business.  However, as I’ve been reading on the Steam forums this morning, other users haven’t been so lucky.

If a simple uninstall and reinstall of the Logitech Profiler software does not fully resolve your issue, then you may consider following the steps below.  These were posted on the Steam ATS Discussion Group page.  Please note that I’ve not tested the below steps, so your mileage may vary.

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**** ALL CREDIT TO USER AGENTZ86 ON LOGITECH FORUMS FOR THE FIX *****
Re: G25/G27 is detected as Driving Force – FIXED – SOLVED [ Edited ]
Here is my fix: – Works on Windows 10 too
Turn off / exit the GS 5.xx software
•Go to – Control Panel / Hardware Sound / Device Manager
•At the bottom of the device list you will probably see a item shown as (Universal Serial Bus Device) This will show you USB devices
•One of them will be the G27 (it might be in another location on that list but usually in (Universal Serial Bus Device)
•Right click on the G27
•Select (update driver software)
•Select (Browse my computer for driver software)
•Select (Let me pick from the list of device drivers on my computer)
•There will be a list of a few things perhaps G27 or even some assistant thing showing up in there (just fyi)
•The one you want is (USB device). This will remove that assistant thing that is creating this paradox.
** NOTE: If there is no choice for a USB device then (uncheck the option for *show compatible devices)
This will show a huge list of manufacturers etc.
From here scroll to the top of the list and select (Standard system devices)
Then on the right you scroll down to select (USB input device)
This will cause the Driving Force which gets selected by the assistant device to be removed and all association with it.
Now the G27 will show up under the (Human Interface Devices) Instead and will work perfectly without forgetting who it is.
Turn on your GS 5.xxx profiler and BOOM all should be well no rebooting and no reloading anything at all.

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Well that is all I have time for at this time.  Of course, multiplayer will not currently work with the ATS update.  TruckersMP are working hard to update their multiplayer servers and software to accommodate all these changes (including Arizona).  No timeframe has been given on when the update will be made available.  I think the last major update (custom wheels) took TruckersMP about a week.  So just be patient….enjoy Arizona in offline mode and multiplayer will be ready when it is ready!

In closing, I’m sure the Steam Discussion groups will soon begin to fill up with questions regarding what the next state will be.  While I have no official knowledge, I think we can be assured the next state to be released for ATS will be one of the following:  Oregon, Utah or New Mexico.

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!!!

J

CSIO’s SKRS Eaton Fuller Style USB Shifter

The Eagle has landed…the good ole, and reliable United States Postal Service (USPS) “We Deliver” did their job just as the tracking number I received indicated and delivered my CSIO’s SKRS Eaton Fuller Style USB Shifter on Saturday.  You may remember from a piece I wrote in April that I backed their Kickstarter program and as part of being an official backer would receive a shifter sometime in May.  I’ll admit, the wait has had elements of my childhood in the days leading up to Christmas and wondering what would be under the tree when I awoke on Christmas morning.  Ahhhhhhh  Ok…let me get back to reality now.

If you’ve had your head buried in the sand over the past several months AND not been paying attention to the recent ATS and ETS2 trucking news, then perhaps you’re completely out of the loop regarding what a CSIO SKRS Eaton Fuller Style USB Shifter is, what it does, how you can get one and most importantly IF and WHY you should own one for yourself.  Well…I’m going to break these things down for you in what I hope will be an easy to understand read.  Here goes….

What is this thing?

The CSIO SKRS Eaton Fuller Style USB Shifter started out as an idea (and a rather good one at that) by the CSIO Technologies team.  These guys wanted to bring to market a piece of hardware which would truly place us behind the wheel, or better yet behind the gear shift of a semi truck.  And remarkably they did just that!  But trust in the fact they just didn’t crank out a replica shifter from a 3D printer.  Oh heck no!  These guys have used the genuine article.  The shifter housing is 100% the real deal and what you would find if you crawled into the cab of a semi running an 18 speed Eaton Fuller transmission.  Sounds easy right?

Unfortunately for us simmers, the real deal found in a semi truck uses pneumatic hoses and not electric cables.  So the talented folks at CSIO Technologies designed a small USB interface which would be fully contained inside the shifter housing.  Their goal was to provide us something we’d all be proud to own and use and they certainly got this right!

The CSIO SKRS shifter mounts snugly and securely onto a Logitech G25/G27/G29 or Thrustmaster TH8RS/TH8A shifter.  One small USB cable (provided) then connects into an available USB port on your PC and after making a few changes in either ATS or ETS2, you’ll soon find yourself manually shifting gears in the big rig of your choice as you truck down the open highway.

My First Impressions

My style of simulation game play has always been to enhance it as much as possible.  I have hundreds of dollars invested in hardware to enhance my flight simulation experience.  When flying the PMDG 737 or 777, I almost rarely need to use the keyboard and mouse.  I have hardware modules to control my NAV and COM radios, I have hardware modules to control the autopilot and flight navigation systems and of course I use a flight yoke and rudder pedals.  Likewise, I have the Logitech G27 wheel, pedals and shifter to enhance my “Realism through Simulation” efforts with American Truck Simulator, Euro Truck Simulator 2 and Farming Simulator 15.  Driving or flying using only mouse and keyboard is just simply not an option for  me.  Each of the games I play are SIMULATORS.  So having said that, it’s no wonder I would find the CSIO SKRS shifter a must have for my setup.

While it’s been a long time since I held a Class A CDL (issued in the Great State of Texas), the CSIO SKRS Eaton Fuller Style USB Shifter felt comfortable in my hand.  Of course it should.  As previously stated…this is the real deal!  But I must almost admit that I pretty much drove my ATS and ETS2 trucks with automatic transmissions.  The reason for this was because I just found the process of shifting gears (especially simulating an 18 speed transmission) to be un-natural.  I tried setting up buttons on my G27 shifter to emulate the high/low and splitter functionality.  But it just didn’t feel right.  So I gave up and returned my truck to an automatic transmission.

The Setup

In the coming weeks (perhaps month or so) the initial setup will be much easier and actually almost plug and play.  SCS has officially backed the shifter and have plans to add the necessary adaptions to make the setup easier.  Until this happens, you will need to make a few edits to the profile controls.sii files.  But everything is explained in the very well produced CSIO YouTube videos found here.  The changes required on my system mirrored 100% of what was discussed in the video and everything functioned as described.

My Use

As you can see from the image below, I’ve installed the shifter onto my Logitech G27 shifter as described.  I spent about two hours over the weekend driving in ATS multiplayer both learning the correct shifting methods and having a lot of fun.  As those of us who already use a wheel, pedals and shifter setup know just how much these items immerse us into the simulation….this shifter knob takes it even higher.  Yes absolutely, you can enjoy ATS or even ETS2 just using a mouse and keyboard.  You can improve on that slightly by using a game controller such as an XBox type controller.  But throw this CSIO SKRS Eaton Fuller Style USB Shifter onto a Logitech shifter (with wheel and pedals) and just about the only thing missing is that sweet smell of diesel exhaust.  In other words, this setup takes ATS from being a video game into a hard core American Truck SIMULATOR.

shifter

Unfortunately, I realized I would need to change my setup just slightly in time.  I’ve got to get rid of the rolling chair I currently use or place a carpet under it.  Trying to stay coordinated while using clutch, brake, accelerator (plus shifting gears) all while trying to keep my chair from rolling backwards is a real pain.  Not to mention it seriously breaks my sense of realism.  The other thing is I plan to mount the Logitech shifter on a lower table or platform of some kind so my shifter is a little lower than it currently is.  Mounting this at the same height as the steering wheel makes the overall height of the knob much higher than the default shifter knob and I’d rather it be just a little lower.

Am I satisfied?

Heck yea….

Do you need the CSIO SKRS Eaton Fuller Style USB Shifter?

Heck yea…Especially if you already have either the Logitech or Thrustmaster hardware.  This will allow you to take the simulation to the next level.  This is truly an awesome hardware addition and I’m happy to have had the opportunity to back such an amazing product.  I can’t wait to learn what other items the CSIO team will come up with next.  As a matter of fact, the CSIO.tech team posted a new YouTube video showing an EasyJake addon for the SKRS.   Yes Please!!!!!

Want to learn more about the CSIO SKRS Eaton Fuller Style USB Shifter?  Just visit the CSIO.Tech website.

 

As always thank you for reading my blog.  You can follow me on Twitter and also check out my mature virtual trucking company, Grizzly Bear Trucking.  We pride ourselves in realistic simulation operations on multiplayer and single player.  We are a relaxed group of enthusiasts who enjoy following the rules of the open road and would welcome others who share this same desire.

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!

JT

940551169900056091xxxx

What does 940551169900056091xxxx mean?  No, it’s not an international telephone number.  No, it’s not the winning lottery numbers (close) and no, it’s not my IQ.  That number is the United States Parcel Service Priority Mail tracking number for my Eaton Fuller style USB shift knob which I backed in the CSIO Kickstarter campaign last month.  The reason why this number is close to being a winning lottery number is the fact that the package is due to arrive at my residence tomorrow (Saturday, 21 May).  Woohoo….

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I received the shipping notice and the CSIO folks posted the above picture on Twitter with the tweet reading “Last of the @Kickstarter s going out right now!”  Yep, one of those USPS Priority Mail packages will find its way to my home in Denver on Saturday (hopefully).

I’ve see a few of the famous (and some not so famous) YouTube folks demo and showcase their shifter knob in recent days.  From what I’ve seen, the shifter will most certainly live up to my expectation.  You can expect a full review of the shifter sometime next week right here on GrizzlyBearSims Planes, Trains and Automobiles (and Farming Too!) Realism through Simulation blog

Until next time…

If you can’t find it, grind it! 

Jerry

ATS Mod Review–Freightliner Classic

Since the release of American Truck Sim, I’ve been driving the default or in-game trucks.  Like many others, I’ve added sound mods to get a better and more true-to-life sound from these trucks.  It was quite disappointing the first day I played ATS to sound the horn on my brand new Peterbilt and it sounds like beep-beep instead of the HONK-HONK that it should have.  I still tend to switch between my Peterbilt 579 and the Kenworth W900.  However, I was out looking at a few of the mod websites and I saw this Freightliner Classic which had been re-worked and had pretty positive feedback in the comment section.  So I decided to try it out.

Like the Kenworth W900, it has that classic truck look.  The pictures below show the base truck as it comes from the dealership (it can be purchased from any Kenworth dealership).  I upgraded the engine and transmission to better suit my needs (more power).

The interior is nice and clean.  It features an on-dash SatNav and digital gear indicator just below.

I hauled a load of pipe from Los Angeles, CA to Ely, NV and she handled well.

What is the Featured Mod and what does it do?

This mod is the Freightliner Classic Truck mod for American Truck Simulator.  The mod adds this truck to your list of purchasable trucks and can be found at any Kenworth dealership.

 

How can I get this mod?

The Freightliner Classic Truck mod mod for American Truck Simulator is available here.

 

How do I install this mod?

Please see my blog post “How to Install Mods in American Truck Simulator” for complete instructions.

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!!!

J

Arizona DLC–Worth the Wait

Arizona DLC – Worth the Wait.  I know many will disagree with me.  But based on the images below, the much anticipated Arizona DLC from SCS Software for the awesome American Truck Simulator will be well worth the wait.  I have been fortunate in my lifetime to visit the Grand Canyon several times.  My first visit was back in the 80’s.  As a teenager I realized the Grand Canyon was more than “just a big ditch”.  I was inspired by the beauty and from these images, SCS Software have done an outstanding job capturing the “Grand” in Grand Canyon.  I’m also pleased to see they have added points of delivery here as I believe it will provide more realism for the game.  Anyone can deliver frozen foods to a Walbert in Los Angeles, Las Vegas or even Phoenix (when AZ is released).  But moving heavy machinery, goods and other items of interest to this wonderful and very beautiful place will be most incredible.

Seeing what SCS Software has done with the Grand Canyon, truly gives me hope for what I believe they can (and will do) for the state I call home…Colorado.   Of course, who knows when Colorado will be released.  Perhaps sometime soon after Utah as they continue their move eastward.

Enjoy the images.

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These images are the property of SCS Software and posted here as a newsworthy source.  If you are interested in purchasing American Truck Simulator, please visit the American Truck Simulator Steam page.

Until next time…

Dreaming of Arizona!

J

I Must Be Nuts…

Wheel nuts that is. 

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Yea…I’ve been critical of SCS Software before and I’ve recently written several blog articles about the new update for ATS and ETS2.  But, while I really don’t need to “tune my nuts”…I did put my money where my mouth is an purchased their brand new DLC titled “Wheel Tuning Pack”.  It’s available at the Steam Store for $2.99 USD.  If you own both ATS and ETS2, then you only need to purchase it once and you’ll get the DLC for both titles.   Look…I’ll be the first to say that I feel there are a lot of other things SCS Software should be working on before working on a wheel tuning pack so I can paint my nuts.  But….But….like many of you, I truly love ATS and I want to see this franchise be successful and I’m willing to support that success any way I can, and the best way I can do that is to purchase the DLC.  So I did.

Until next time…

What color will you paint your nuts? 

J

ATS/ETS2 Recent Updates

If you are a Steam user of either (or both) American Truck Simulator or Euro Truck Simulator 2, you probably are aware a software update was automatically pushed out in recent days.  The official update versions are as follows:  ATS 1.2 and ETS2 1.23. 

I don’t know about you, but I had a bear (a Grizzly Bear) of a time with ATS after the update.  For about 12 hours I believed I had lost much of my overall progress with my career save profile (the one I started the game with).  I assumed most of the mods I had installed prior to the update would cause ATS to blow up, so I deactivated them from the ATS Mod Manager.  Upon doing this, it caused ATS to crash when loading into my saved profile.  After several swear words, and a not so restful nights sleep…I approached it again this morning and managed to get it working.  Look for a soon-to-be-released blog post on how I resolved this issue. 

Anyway, speaking about the ATS update (because I haven’t even dared to launch ETS2), it really is more than just custom lug nuts.  I know even I’ve been critical of SCS Software for bringing us custom lug nuts before delivering Arizona and before fixing some of the most talked about issues.  But Hey-Ho, you gotta start somewhere….and as I said, the update for ATS is more than just custom lug nuts.

Steam Workshop

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This is perhaps what I’m most excited about with this update.  I can’t tell you how frustrating it can be when dealing with all these mod download sites and their ads and high risk of malware.  From what I understand, the Steam Workshop will be a much safer alternative (and much easier to use) form of finding awesom mods to enhance ATS and ETS2.  Here’s the offical explanation of the Steam Workshop.  “Steam Workshop is a hub which allows simply distribution of game modifications created by community.  Thanks to Steam Workshop, you can download and install mods effortlessly from a safe and trusted place.”  You complete have me at SAFE and TRUSTED!I’ve already downloaded/installed a few really awesom mods from the Steam Workshop and suggest you take a look for yourself. 

 

Ultimate Wheel Customization

Yea, yea….I know.  I’m sure someone, somewhere is/was really exited to know that SCS Software was working so hard on custom lug nuts.  This is not high on my list of priorities.  After all, I can’t really see my lugnuts as I’m motoring down the interstate.  But perhaps this is clearing the way for better things.  So it is what it is!

UI Changes

There are a number of nice changes made to the user interface in this update.  They include:

Navigation path (red line) can be disabled (option)

Disable of hidden Route Advisor popups (option)

Autopark feature can be disabled (option)

Speeding highlight on Route Advisor

The last two are perhaps my picks from this list.  I don’t need autopark and while most times the speed will be highlighted in red (I almost always drive slightly over the speed limit as I do in real life), it is still good to know.

Vehicles

The following enhancements relating to vehicles are part of this update:

Fixed cruise control locked on by retarder

Multiple position of engine brake

Improved truck stability during retarder usage

Keyboard steering improved

Map

Speed limits polished

Speed limits signed enlarged

Stop signs removed from traffic light controlled crossroads

Turn left traffic added to some crossroads

Certified scaled are now working

Traffic light on interstates removed (where possible)

OK…so while there were some nice changes to the map dept.  There still so much work that needs to be done to fix really bad issues which truly break with reality.  The intersection in Tonopah still needs to be fixed and while they removed the traffic light/stop signs on I-80 in Reno, they still have the speed limit set at 30 mph.  I really doubt I-80 slows to 30 mph.

Other

AI improvments

Steam Achievements for Nevada

I’m not sure exactly what sort of AI improvements were made.  But hopefully SCS Software sent all the AI to drivers training and as a result we can anticipate the level of respect truckers deserve on the highway.  But the jury is still out on this one…As for Nevada achivements, looks like I earned both of those (Silver State – Discovery of every city in Nevada and Gold Fever – Deliver cargo to both quarries in Nevada).  Not sure why these achivements were part of the game from day one.  Hopefully any Steam achivements for Arizona will be available when that DLC is released.  Perhaps that is the cause of the delay?  ha ha ha

In closing, yea…I know I’ve mentioned lugnuts several times in this blog posting.  As you can see for yourself, this software update was much more and I’m truly excited for Arizona.  I think we must be close now….  Are we there yet?  Are we???

 

Until next time…

You’ll find me waiting for AZ DLC!

J