Simulators help operators improve safety

  • 04-Jun-2009 05:40 EDT

Simulators from Caterpillar enable operators to live to tell about mistakes they make while learning to run excavators and other equipment.

One of the keys to safety is having well-trained operators. Simulators are becoming an increasingly viable option, providing training in a virtual environment where there is little chance for accidents.

Once reserved for pricey applications such as flight training for pilots, simulators now utilize PCs, so they are quite affordable. Today’s powerful processors and sharp displays let equipment owners provide operator trainees with realistic training. That helps them develop hand-eye coordination and get comfortable before they confront the dangers of the real world.

"In a virtual environment, learners encounter obstacles and real-world situations, yet the instructor can remain confident injuries won’t occur as skills develop," said Jon Goodney, Manager, Learning Technology, at the John Deere Training Center.

Though a primary goal for training simulators is to improve productivity and increase profits, safety is prominent. "Safety procedures are covered before operators are introduced to the training exercises," said Larry Estep, Caterpillar’s Program Manager for Simulators and Equipment Training Solutions.

For example, Deere’s eLearning curriculum for hydraulic excavators begins with a safety module that includes steps that should be taken before operation, such as machine operation on uneven ground, engine stopping, and parking.

Estep noted that safety modules in Cat’s Mining Truck eLearning curriculum cover personal, work site, and machine safety; warning labels; mounting and dismounting; drivetrain failure stopping procedures; parking on a slope; and machine out-of-control procedures. All simulators contain an overview of safety walk-around inspections.

Deere simulators first warn novice operators when they make mistakes. As they advance, it prevents them from continuing when they make safety mistakes.

"In practice mode, operators are cautioned if they are starting to commit an unsafe act," said Goodney. "This allows a learner ample time to correct the situation before the violation occurs. In assessment mode, these cautionary statements are absent."

HTML for Linking to Page
Page URL
Rate It
4.00 Avg. Rating

Read More Articles On

Wilbrecht LEDCO, Inc., a Microprecision Electronics SA company, offers a long-body, nickel-plated, panel mount LED suitable for various applications, including industrial control panels, transportation dashboards, gaming/vending machines and aircraft/military instrumentation.
Partnership between Omnitracs and Peloton Technology brings platooning technology to fleet customers.
As ground vehicles employ more electronic sensing, control and communication systems, design engineers are increasingly utilizing more commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) modules. Though COTS slashes development time and costs, it’s still difficult for many military users to find COTS boards that meet their low-volume demands for ruggedization and redundancy.
Preco Electronics' new PreView Side Defender system aims to reduce trucking's increasing incidence of side-blindspot collisions.

Related Items

Training / Education
Technical Paper / Journal Article