FS17 Seasons Mod

For most of us long time Farming Simulator gamers, there is a list of “must have” mods which many have already started to appear in FS17.  I’m talking about mods like CoursePlay, GPS Mod, AI Vehicle Extension Mod (AKA Auto-Combine).  Additionally, many of us have truly longed to experience seasonal farming.  Unfortunately, for the Farming Simulator series developed by Giants, it’s always a mix of Spring/Summer/Fall.  But things ARE about to change.

In what I believe will be the game changer in FS17 just like SoilMod was for FS15, the FS17 Seasons Mod is here.  Please note:  The FS17 Seasons Mod is still in BETA.  There are issues, there most likely be many more issues discovered.  This is how beta access works.  In other words, use at your own risk.

Please watch my review of the FS17 Seasons Mod which I cover how to download, install and discuss many of the features of this wonderful mod.  Information on where to download will be included in the video description on my YouTube Channel.  If this video has helped you, please consider visiting my YouTube Channel and leaving a Like.  Additionally, I hope you’ll also become a Subscriber of my YouTube Channel for more videos like this and of course my “Let’s Play” series.

Thank you for your time!  I truly hope this information helps you enhance your virtual farming experience.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

J

FS15 Mod Review–Portable Grain Auger

As I’ve mentioned on my most recently blog updates, I’ve been playing the Oklahoma map and absolutely loving it.  Oklahoma is a 4x map and it’s HUGE.  I’m playing it with a heavy influence to raising cattle and horses and as a result farming the few fields I’ve managed to purchase to both support my efforts as well as area local farmers.  I’m still very much in the process of getting my equipment the way I want it.  I’m saving some cash, purchasing and renting equipment as necessary.  As this map does not feature built in auger systems for storage of grass, straw and silage the occasional gathering of these items will need to be done manually.  While I’ll eventually purchase a wheel loader, tele-handler and probably a skid steer to assist on the farm, these items are somewhat lower on my priority list at this time.

My goal as I began playing the Oklahoma map was to begin generating some cash through the sell of the wheat crop, but also begin the process of making total mixed rations (TMR) for the small amount of livestock I already owned.  I rented a tractor and loading wagon to pickup the straw from the wheat crop.  I then mowed enough grass to accumulate approx. 250,000 liters of grass and then finally I chaffed most of the corn crop for silage.  Again without built-in augers….I needed an efficient and fast way of loading these materials when the time arrived to start feeding and supplying the mixing station.

I had recently read comments on various Farming Simulator forums discussing a portable auger from the Sakudiak Equipment company.  In real life, these are known as Meridian Augers and are sold and used all over.  The mod is slightly un-realistic as it can be driven around under its own power.  For my efforts in “Realism through Simulation”, I move the auger around via tractor and make fine adjustments using the augers own power.  The auger would be small enough for one man to move and fine tune it so that is what I’m simulating.

Anyway….the Sakundiak auger sells for $15,000 (rental price of $50 per hour) and carries a daily maintenance charge of $10.  A hitch is available (separate purchase) for $50.00.  The hitch needs to be connected first to the towing vehicle and then connect the auger.

image

How can I get this mod?

The Sakundiak Auger is available here.  I have personally downloaded, installed and tested this mod.  The mod works and I use it on all my maps.

How do I install this mod?

Please see my blog post “How to Install Mods in Farming Simulator 15” for complete instructions.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

Schwarzmüller Trailer Pack DLC Review

About a week ago SCS communicated via their blog regarding an opportunity to win one of 30,000 activation keys being given away for a brand new DLC pack.  This new DLC pack is the Schwarzmuller Trailer Pack.  Unfortunately, all 30k keys were awarded within 24 hours, but the great news is, for much less than a cup of fancy coffee…this brand new DLC for ETS2 can be yours.  In US money the brand new Schwarzmuller Trailer Pack DLC will set you back $2.99 and is available from the Steam Store.  This trailer DLC expansion pack includes FIVE trailer types including a Food Cistern, Curtain Sider, Refrigerated Trailer, Slidepost Logging Trailer and a Low Bed Trailer.

Do we need more trailer choices in ETS2?  Well…perhaps not and I know through mods the sky is the limit.  But as I’ve said before, the cost of this DLC is affordable (for most) and most importantly, it helps support SCS Software to further develop our favorite trucking games of ETS2 and ATS.  Of course, I know this statement is often subject to ridicule.  You’ve already purchased the game so hasn’t that fact alone already funded SCS Software forever and a day?  Actually…NO!  This is not an SCS Software issue, it is just the nature of the software business and one that I’m very familiar with.  But this blog post isn’t about all that, so I’ll get back on subject.

Of course, the other major benefit of this DLC is having more choice of equipment in the multiplayer environment.  While these trailers are not currently available in the TruckersMP Multiplayer environment, they should be added in the next release.  THIS is great news for those of us who enjoy multiplayer action and of course unable to use mods.

The photos below are property of SCS Software and obtained from the Steam Store for the purpose of this review.

image

 

image

 

image

 

image

 

image

Unfortunately I was not one of the 30,000 lucky winners.  By the time I read the blog article all had been awarded.  But I did purchase this DLC and managed to do a few jobs in recent days with these trailers.  Just in recent weeks, SCS Software has conducted two DLC giveaways via their blog site.  I’m not sure if more are coming, but it’s probably worth checking often.

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!

Jerry

FS15 Mod Review–Buy Bales

Happy Friday!!!

I’m sure you must know the struggle each of us have when just starting out on a new map.  Especially if you are itching to get started with livestock.  Of course I’m talking about the lack of having any hay or straw on day one.  First we must harvest the wheat or barley crop, then rake and either bale or pickup the straw with a forage wagon.  In so many cases we don’t have these pieces of equipment when just starting out and equally we lack the funds to purchase them.

Finally…someone has developed the Buy Bales mod which (just as the name implies) allows for the purchase of straw or hay bales from the store.  As the mod description reads, you can choose either straw or hay bales and they will appear stacked at the vehicle shop, these bales will function as any bale made with a baler.  The purchase of bales include either 8 straw bales or 8 hay bales.  These are available under the Misc category.  The cost for 8 straw bales is $6,200 and 8 hay bales is $9,600.  The rental mod seems to accept these as rentable…but of course that shouldn’t be the case.

My Feedback

It’s unfortunate this mod is coming out in the final weeks before Farming Simulator 17 is due to be released.  This mod could very well be one of the more important mods a virtual farmer should consider and it’s been seriously lacking in game play.  After all, we as farmers can sell our straw and hay bales, why haven’t we been able to purchase them?

Now at first glance you may think “Wow that seems expensive”!  Well….let’s break it down.  In looking at the straw bales, 8 bales for $6,200 comes out to $775.00 per bale.  If I’m not mistaken, bales when sold by us farmers earn around $600-650 (I’m guessing from memory, but don’t think I’m far off).  So yea…there is a price difference.  But this would be expected as when we sell a hay bale, we are selling at wholesale prices, but purchasing at retail.  That’s business!

image

The only negative comments I have toward this mod is A.  It shouldn’t be rentable.  B. Perhaps it should be deliverable.  When you purchase a stack of hay or straw bales, you must retrieve them from the store versus having them reset to the farm.  Perhaps the mod could be expanded upon to offer two different types.  One being slightly more expensive to cover the delivery/stacking charge.  The only reason I’m suggested this is because the beginner farmer may not have all the necessary equipment to efficiently move the 8 bales from the shop to the farm.

image

How can I get this mod?

The Buy Bales mod is located here.  I have personally downloaded, installed and tested this mod.  The mod works and I use it on all my maps.

How do I install this mod?

Please see my blog post “How to Install Mods in Farming Simulator 15” for complete instructions.

Until next time…

Happy Hauling!!!

Jerry

FS15 Mod Review–Oklahoma Map

As discussed just a few days ago, I started a new map (new to me) called Oklahoma.  I have been looking for some time for a map which would fit a farm based in Eastern Colorado and my search results have never been fruitful.  While the Oklahoma map is based in Oklahoma, the map (including soil textures) could also be located in far eastern Colorado in what is known as the Five State Region.  This region is one of the largest producers of feed grains and livestock in the United States.  In addition to the typical crops of corn, barley and wheat, this area also produces large amounts of alfalfa and sorghum.  This is exactly how I plan to run this map.

Please note:  All photographs are credit to the mod author and obtained directly from the American Eagles Modding website.

The Map

Again, this is a 4x map with large fields (51 fields in total) with the largest field at 500+ acres and the smallest about 7 acres.  For those of you who are not fans of forestry, trains, missions and don’t want to earn fast money with a BGA, then this map may appeal to you.  The Oklahoma map is about farming and ranching, as a result you’ll really need some massive equipment to keep (and help) to stay on top of it all.  While this map would be a great map for multiplayer, it can also be farmed solo with the aid of CoursePlay.   I plan to farm it solo and will rely (not heavily) on CoursePlay to assist me.  After all, a farm this size would employ many employees.

It appears the Oklahoma map was released several months ago and has been updated to version 2.  I typically try to stay away from newly released version 1.x maps as these will frequently have bugs and when new versions are released to address these bugs it may require a full restart of the map play.  While I’ve done this in the past, it certainly isn’t the desired action.

image

Starting Equipment

I’ve played many large 4x maps in the past and some start you out with either a large amount of equipment or as in the case of Graceland, a large sum of money.  The Oklahoma map is slightly different as you take ownership of the main farm and own three fields (Fields 1, 2 and 3) which have already been planted and are ready for harvest.  The starting equipment you’ll find waiting for you are two Case IH Axial-Flow 9230 Combines complete with large grain and corn headers.  One MAN TGS 18.440 Truck with the Krampe SB 30/60 Tipper.  Finally you have one white pickup (Piqup) to help you move around the large farm.

No, I didn’t leave anything out.  As you are starting out you don’t own any tractors, plows, sowing machines, balers, forage wagons etc.  The idea is you’ll need to get your crops harvested and sold and then begin adding additional equipment as needed.  The rental mod may prove to be your best asset as you begin building your farming empire.

image

Map Strategy

There are many ways to tackle the initial strategy for making a living on a new map.  In most cases the need to purchase new equipment, upgrade existing equipment and purchase additional fields are high on the priority list.  Maps which include forestry, missions or a BGA can certainly aid in the fast-track process.  However, as previously stated the Oklahoma map offer none of these.  I view this as a positive change from the standard maps.  As I would frequently use the BGA to quickly build up my cash-on-hand, not having the BGA is making me re-think my strategy.

All 51 fields have been planted and are ready to harvest when you start a new game.  As a result, I’ve turned off plant withering and also I’m not using soilmod with this map at this time.  My initial strategy has been to harvest crops from my three owned fields (wheat, sunflower and corn).    With the wheat crop, I set the harvester to leave the swath and after selling the first few loads of wheat I had enough cash to rent a tractor and large forage wagon.  I picked up enough straw to fill the mixing station and managed to place into storage over 500,000 liters.  The rest I sold to help generate more cash-on-hand for rental purposes.  Next I proceeded to rent a large John Deere 9630, cultivator and Air-Seeder so I could replant the harvested fields.

With regards to the ready to harvest fields which I don’t currently own.  Most maps I’ve played which featured already planted crops in un-owned fields, I’ve just left alone until such time I could afford them.  With this map, at least in the early stages I’m going to harvest the crops on behalf of the bank with the intention of purchasing afterwards.

image

Livestock, Livestock, Livestock

The Oklahoma map is really geared towards raising livestock including cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and horses.  At the start of game play, you already own a few head of each and all animal types have the necessary feed items available to them.  Of course, this won’t last long so it will be important to get started quickly stockpiling straw, grass, chaff (for silage) and get the mixing station processing TMR.  To get a jump start, I rented the necessary equipment.  I picked up the straw from the wheat harvest using the large forage wagon.  I rented the Krone Big X and the EasyCollect header and managed to fill both silage bunkers to 100% (still had corn left in the field) and then rented mowing equipment and managed to collect approx. 250,000 liters of grass.  Again, I plan to run a large amount of livestock on this farm and slowly getting everything in place.

Oklahoma also offers fattening of animals including chickens, calves, pigs and horses.  The last map I played which offered fattening of animals seemed to have an issue with the way the fattening and selling process worked.  Basically when you made your initial purchase of animals (example 10 calves), then once these were fattened and ready for slaughter you still had the original 10 animals.  It appears with the Oklahoma map, that once they reach slaughter weight and you sell the animal, then the total animal count is reduced.

image

Manual Operations

Most maps I’ve typically played have offered built in augers for loading stored materials such as grass, straw, silage etc.  Oklahoma offers none of that.  It’s all done manually with either a portable auger or front end loader.  I’ve found a new portable auger which I’ll review soon.  I’m sure it will come in handy on this map.

image

Summary

I’ve spent about 10-12 hours or so on the Oklahoma map.  I really enjoy it.  I don’t tend to farm multiple maps simultaneously, so I figure Oklahoma should keep me busy (and entertained) until Farming Simulator 17 releases.  While I don’t plan to document each and every day on Oklahoma, I will occasionally provide updates and details on how I’m playing this map. If you are looking for a challenge, give Oklahoma a look.  Good luck!

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

FS Mod Review–48’ Dakota Spread Axle Trailer

It’s been a while since I’ve released a mod review for Farming Simulator 15.  I had just about decided not to release any additional FS15 mod reviews as we are less than two months from the release of FS17.  But I also believe many will continue to use FS15 for some time and may benefit from these reviews.  As a general rule, I really only write mod reviews for mods which I use.  But this works towards your advantage as you can be certain the mod truly works.  As I’ve started farming another large 4x map, I have several new pieces of equipment queued up to test and review in the coming weeks.  I think you’ll like what I have planned.  Finally….YES, I will be reviewing FS17 mods as they become available and as I need them in my farming efforts.  As with all my mods, you can find my complete list here.

There are many reasons why we choose to use mods in our games.  While Giants has done an outstanding job in providing a variety of default equipment in Farming Simulator 15, a lot of this equipment has more of a European look/feel to it.  If you are striving for an “As Real As It Gets” experience and you are also farming on a map set in the USA then this newly discovered 48’ Dakota Spread Axle trailer might just be the thing you are looking for.

I’ve started farming on a brand new (new to me) 4x map called Oklahoma.  I know….I know….for anyone who knows me, you know I’m a native Texan living in Colorado.  As most native Texans will agree…Oklahoma and Texas have a rivalry that goes back many, many years.   Anyway, I was looking for a new map….I wanted a larger map and one that was set in the USA.  While the Oklahoma map is situated in the state of Oklahoma, it could also be just about anywhere else (including eastern Colorado).  I will release an in-depth review of the Oklahoma map for FS15 in the next few days.

As you can see from the screenshot below, the 48’ Dakota sells for $45,750 (rental price of $152 per hour) and carries a maintenance charge of $75 per day.  The capacity of the trailer is 47,572 liters.

image

These trailers are CoursePlay friendly and work well when using the auger wagon or hauling grain to market.  They might be a tad long when using to empty a combine directly as the turning radius is quite large.

image

They attach well to the default MAN truck.  However, I noticed an issue when testing with the default Tatra Phoenix.  I’ve tested with other trucks including the International Transtar II (shown below) which I use in my farming operations on the Oklahoma map..

image

The trailer has a few interesting pieces of eye-candy including a folding ladder, top cover and even Oklahoma license plate.

image

 

How can I get this mod?

The 48’ Dakota Spread Axle Trailer mod is available here.  I have personally downloaded, installed and tested this mod.  The mod works and I use it on all my maps.

How do I install this mod?

Please see my blog post “How to Install Mods in Farming Simulator 15” for complete instructions.

Until next time…

Happy Hauling!!!

Jerry

ATS Mod Review–Better AI Truck Traffic

Would you like to see other types of AI truck traffic in American Truck Simulator than the Kenworth/Peterbilt offered in game?  This mod will introduce many different types of trucks to the AI fleet and provide much variety including cab-over and conventional.

 

What is the Featured Mod and what does it do?

This mod is the Truck Traffic Pack by Jazzycat.  This mod will introduce many different types of trucks to the AI fleet and provide much variety including cab-over and conventional.

How can I get this mod?

The Truck Traffic Pack by Jazzycat 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

ATS Mod Review–Foggy Weather

In a similar theme to last weeks mod review, this cool mod brings about some excellent weather effects such as fog and dust storms in the desert.

What is the Featured Mod and what does it do?

This mod is the Foggy Weather 1.6.3 update.  It produces fog/smog effects along the west coast, sand storm effects in the desert and cloudy/light rainy weather near west coast and desert areas.

How can I get this mod?

The Default Weather Update 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

ATS Mod Review–Default Weather Update

Looking to get a little better weather in American Truck Simulator?  This mod may be what you are looking for.

What is the Featured Mod and what does it do?

This mod is the Default Weather Update.  It produces brighter sunrise and sunset and a much darker night.  It updates the color and reduces the yellow tint.

How can I get this mod?

The Default Weather Update 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

ATS Mod Review–Real Brands Billboards

Hmmmm, Pizza!!!  Similar to the review I posted last week for the real world branded gas stations, this mod will re-brand the in-game billboards with real brands such as Pizza Hut, Coca-Cola, Napa Auto Parts and even McDonalds.

 

What is the Featured Mod and what does it do?

This mod is the Real Brands Billboards mod for American Truck Simulator.  It simply re-brands the in-game generic billboards with real world American brands of Pizza Hut, Coca-Cola and more.

How can I get this mod?

The Real Brands Billboards 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