Atlas Copco’s Master Driller Program, created to speed up training of drill rig operators during an industry-wide shortage of skilled drillers, is now available in the U.S.
The program is based on progressive instruction in a classroom that includes simulated drilling in an actual drill rig cab. Atlas Copco said the program will not only help companies train new drillers, but can also be used to train experienced operators on new rigs during fleet upgrades, as well as enhance current driller skills to increase a company’s overall efficiency.
Wesley Stivers, regional training manager of North and South America for Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation Service division (MRS) said, “We started the Master Driller Program for the Atlas Copco Pit Viper and will expand across other product lines in the near future.”
Training is initially offered through the Atlas Copco division hub in Garland, Texas. Stivers is working with Versie Wallace, U.S. training manager MRS, to set up training in other Atlas Copco stores across the country and may expand the program to private distributors later.
“It’s very exciting training that will ensure that our operators are skilled on the specific machines they operate,” Wallace said.
During the course, which covers theoretical and manual training on simulators, students study drill startup and stop, safety procedures, towering-up, propelling, advanced propelling, drilling and advanced drilling. After a few days of this training, crews are able to drill the very first day in an actual drill rig.