@justinlynch3 I usually take the hybrid approach and by that I meant I buy a decent PC from the store that already has most of the good stuff (large hard drive, enough RAM, fast CPU) then I take it home and buy a proper gaming graphics card and power supply if needed and turn it into a gaming PC for a couple more hundred dollars or so.
We know there are two types of rendering of trees in this game. The full tree, for up-close rendering, and the simple tree with flat vertical branches for more distant rendering. Usually this works correctly but I've seen it many times, especially when in the middle of a forest, where the game isn't picking the render type correctly. Sometimes it seems that the game is using the vehicle-to-tree distance rather than camera-to-tree distance, with trees changing render type right in front of the camera. This is on the PC but consoles may have the same issue. See example below.
Here's the tree in full, when the vehicle is close but the camera is farther:
And here's the same tree in simple form when the vehicle is farther but the camera is actually closer:
Aren't you glad you didn't have to use that method to fill the entire trailer log by log (if there was no packing feature)? I'm sure this was painful enough. What are those ghost vehicles, some other players who quit or lost connection?
I've loaded a truck using the skidder, using the same technique you mentioned, the one where you back up the truck or trailer under the logs, then lower the logs. I do remember you mentioning the other method where you tip over the trailer. That's a good trick, but I haven't needed to do that. Even on this map where the I took the screenshot (a Russian-style mod map) I used the Skidder voluntarily, just for fun. I had another vehicle with a proper crane. It seems that every map I play has at least one vehicle with a proper crane or a K-700 so it's a non-issue for me (in single-player) .
Now as far as whether you grab the logs by the middle or the ends, in this game it doesn't really matter, since logs banging against the vehicle do no damage, but in real life they drag the logs by the ends probably to avoid that kind of damage, and it's easier to navigate narrow paths that way.
Showing the proper way to use the skidder. I'll voluntarily admit that I didn't know that until today (when I saw a YouTube video of the real thing in action). I always tried to grab the logs by the middle, and sometimes I even tried to load a truck with them which is a pain with that short crane. Well that's not what the skidder is for. It's actually meant for dragging logs to another loading point.
Not sure how to remove the controls panel but I agree it kills a nicely detailed interior, plus I NEVER look at that panel anyway.
All you have to do is find the installation folder for the mod (they're all just numbers, in the Steam workshop folder), then extract the xml file for the truck from the zip file, remove the ControlsPos line, and then copy the xml file back into the zip. I make a lot of tweaks like that for probably most of the mods I have. Just be sure to save a copy of your version since you'll lose the changes every time the mod creator decides to update the mod.
@justinlynch3 Yeah, it's like someone took a paint brush and added the white color by hand. I'm all for old, even rusty vehicles as far as MR goes, but bad paint jobs is not my thing.
I also don't like the game's dashboard panel. Whenever I have a mod that has a nice dashboard I make sure to remove that ugly panel, even if the gauges are non-functional.