In the previous post I explained my decision about play choices in the Truck Simulator programs. So now I think it’s time to introduce you more fully to Mystery Blue. The Iveco Stralis is one of the less popular vehicles in Euro Truck. Most favoured of the trucks provided by SCS are the Scania’s and Volvo’s. But although I indicated my preferred truck in game set up to be the MAN range, buying the Stralis is a logical first step to working through all the in game trucks as it is the cheapest.
The external appearance of the truck is neat and quietly attractive – an appearance that is ruined in the Hi-Way version, or that is my opinion anyway. I don’t think this truck is going to look good in custom paint schemes over and above a simple metallic. The stock colours that you can choose when buying are ok. I’d stick to the white, blue or the graphite grey as my personal preference.
How is the office? The seats look ok in a very grey shade of bland. The mirrors are great – especially when you’ve driven with what passes for mirrors in American truck! The location of mirrors just seems better on the Euro trucks. The dash is plastic… Very plastic! Even my car has a better looking dash. I would like to see something a little less granular-grey! I do like the info panel in the centre of the instruments but the colour-coding on the rev-counter that I see in most European Trucks showing economical revs and risk of engine damage revs is missing. That’s a shame because I can drive an old school US truck on engine sound but the engines of EU trucks are so insulated from the cabin that the indications on the rev counter are very useful. I’ll be interested to see what dashboard options become available as I level-up. And that’s something that I will need to take into account as I move through the trucks in this game. To be fair in my appraisals I will need to start at a basic level in each and work up. Anyway, for the Iveco, looking good on the outside doesn’t equate to a good looking interior.
The engine at 310HP is a serious issue, especially as driving outside The Netherlands invariably involves some lumpy bits of road. Experience in both versions of Truck Sim has taught me that ideally you want somewhere in the 450HP range (and preferably a bit more) for the normal style jobs. I suspect that real world applications for the 310HP engine are in fixed chassis trucks rather than tractor units. I have to say that I found the vehicle pretty gutless with this engine and after only 4 trips I took the chance to upgrade to the 360HP engine which brought a minor improvement. I don’t know how accurate the engine sounds are and I need to do a bit of research in that area – something I have been doing in American Truck.
Let me quickly cover those first 4 journeys. My initial run was from Dortmund to a farm near Dresden hauling 14t of wood shavings – I guess that might be for the chickens to bed down? The screenshot in the Maps and Mod’s post was taken at the farm. I picked up 18t of Eggs bound for Magdeburg. On the way to Dresden I had passed through some very rough road resurfacing work, so going back towards my new destination, I made a point of avoiding that road with my ‘fragile’ cargo on board! It was already apparent on these two runs that climbing hills with such loads was hard work.
The third run from Magdeburg took me across the sea to Sweden and the city of Helsingborg with a 7t load of cars. This was much more to the truck’s liking and we had little difficulty making good time. The last trip with the 310HP engine was from Helsingborg to Olsztyn in Poland with 14t of Carrots. This really demonstrated the short-comings of the low horse-power (and probably my driving too!). Coming out of the port area there is a climb to a set of traffic lights which steepens as you near the top. Murphy’s law states that lights will turn red as you reach them so you have to do a hill start I actually took a look outside while waiting to see if I could frame a screenshot and found daylight under the front wheels – graphics glitch or what! Anyway, when I tried pulling away I just could not get her moving at all – full revs and gently easing the clutch in resulted in a stall every time. In the end after checking behind and finding no one there I eased her back down the hill to a gentler slope. Then timing my run with the sequence of the traffic lights I was able to pull away and complete my journey. I’m sure this is partly a game glitch because if it isn’t there’d be stalled trucks at a lot of traffic lights in England! For the record, 14t is a 30000lbs load which in American Truck is one of the heavier standard loads you get to haul. Anyway, that decided me and I upgraded to the newly available 360HP Iveco engine and replaced the gearbox with the Retarder fitted version. For the record, my profits over those 4 runs were €18805 after expenses and upgrades.