Learning to use 3D grade control on a dozer is not difficult or all that time consuming, considering the long-lasting benefits. But it can still take a few days of practice for operators to feel confident and proficient. And even more time to become grade-control experts. In the meantime, equipment that could be making money is tied up. And, the learning process can be protracted depending on the scope of the projects that operators get to “practice” on.
To help operators get up to speed faster, Trimble and John Deere Construction & Forestry Co. have collaborated in developing a Grade Control Simulator that lets operators get hands-on training... without touching dirt.
The Simulator helps operators learn to read 3D design models and interact with the system’s control box just as they would in the dozer machine cab on a real job site.
Similar in concept to computer games, the full version of the Simulator features fully interactive joysticks, a motion platform, decelerator (gas pedal) and a control box. Through realistic virtual site graphics, operators can experience jobsite hazards, safety situations, and precision control of the dozer blade. The training software also evaluates operator performance and provides feedback to strengthen the learning process. Contractors benefit from having highly skilled, expert operators that can get to grade faster with less re-work. For more flexibility and onsite training needs, a portable version of the simulator featuring the same training modules and joystick interactivity is also available for running on a laptop.
I tried out the simulator recently, and was amazed at how interactive and realistic the experience is. And quite honestly, how fun it is. To find out about availability and grade control training schedules for your area, just contact your SITECH dealer.
You can read many stories about why and how customers made the decision to implement technology, and what their experience has been, at trimble-productivity.com.