July 28, 2014By Lance Baily

CAT Simulators – Heavy Equipment Operators Can Now Train Safely Through Simulation

CAT simulator

Every boy (and still many men) have a dream to drive around a big tractor, bulldozer or other heavy piece of construction machinery. Well, now from the folks at CSE Software that is entirely possible with their CAT Simulators – designed to safely train and prepare heavy machinery operators for their unique jobs.  In the not to distant future I believe that every job training will have an element of simulation which is why from time to time I share how simulators continue to increase in other industry verticals.  Simulation as training methodology is here to stay, especially as the technology becomes more advanced and more affordable. Check out these two videos which highlight a new Logging Simulator with synchronized hydraulic seat movement and a testimonial from a CAT educator about the benefits of working with simulators for education and recertification.

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Why Simulators in Heavy Equipment?

Simulators aren’t new to the industry, but many companies don’t understand the cutting edge training they offer for heavy equipment operators. Simulators are easy to use, cost effective, and allow operators to be well trained and comfortable before being placed in the cab of an expensive piece of equipment. They combine technology and operator instruction with rich graphics and realistic controls to help operators feel like they are in the actual machine, allowing them to become familiar with and memorize the machine’s essential operating techniques.

“I think simulators are important for the overall training experience,” says Tom Whitworth, an account manager for Simformotion LLC, the licensee for Cat® Simulators for Caterpillar Inc. “A simulator provides training in a virtual environment. It keeps the operator and other ground personnel out of the equation and out of harm’s way.”

Training exercises on the simulator are measured and recorded for each operator’s simulator sessions. That way, the operator can see how well he/she performed. An instructor can check the results to determine if there are areas of inefficiency that need further instruction and additional training time.

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“We use our simulators almost every day here,” says Danny Turner, training and development coordinator at Aecon Mining in Alberta, Canada. “In the last four months, we’ve had 250 trainees go through our training center.”

The use of simulators allows operators to make mistakes without endangering themselves or the equipment. This is huge. No one wants to put a greenhorn behind the wheel of a haul truck or at the controls of a loader, excavator, or other expensive machine without knowing he/she can operate it correctly.

“If you make a mistake on a simulator, it’s better than making one on a machine,” Whitworth says. “A trainer can immediately explain to the operator what he did wrong, give him instructions on how to do it correctly, and allow the operator to practice until he has mastered the operation.” Shared here is a case study highlighting a “Technical College That Found Cost Savings with Simulators”.

About SimForMotion LLC

“A leader in heavy equipment simulator training solutions – is the licensee for Cat® Simulators for Caterpillar Inc. Cat heavy equipment simulators deliver dynamic training technology and outstanding safety results through the power of state-of-the-art virtual training. These training simulators help businesses dramatically lower costs; address initiatives such as safety and production; while ensuring training can be delivered anytime day or night, regardless of weather conditions. Cat Simulators are chosen as training solutions in such markets as mining, contracting, government, forestry, and trade and vocational schools. Ken_Lara_ReneeSimformotion LLC is owned and run by three tech-loving gurus who also own sister company, CSE Software Inc. Ken Pflederer founded CSE in 1990. Vice Presidents Lara Aaron and Renee Gorrell joined him as partners in 1992. In 2008 they formed Simformotion LLC as the simulator arm of the company. The development teams have the capabilities to program all types of simulation software and engineer tandem hardware, whatever the machine, tool, or industry.”

Next I will post more about CSE Software who have also successfully built training simulators in healthcare. Interested in vehicle simulators in other industries? Check up my write-up on Police & Fire Rescue Simulators.


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