Classes are under way at the expanded customer training center and new proving grounds for lift and access equipment at JLG Industries’ headquarters in McConnellsburg, Pa.
Completed in August, the $2.5 million project quadruples the size of the company’s original training facility to accommodate more students and machines. In addition, a four-acre outdoor proving grounds course provides trainees with a hands-on learning experience to develop driving and operating skills on telehandlers, scissor lifts and boom lifts.
“Whether it’s classes for equipment operators or service technicians, or our Train-the-Trainer program, this new facility will make it easier for students to learn because they’ll have more multimedia resources, more equipment, more space and more comfort,” said Rick Smith, JLG Industries’ senior director of product training. “We’ve expanded the indoor demonstration area to include four bays that feature 30-foot-high ceilings to accommodate as many as four JLG Ultra Booms.”
The additional bays also allow JLG to conduct multiple training classes at the same time in a climate-controlled environment that protects participants from the elements. Live demonstrations are enhanced with multimedia media projections on a large screen and several HD monitors.
Customers also have the opportunity to operate JLG equipment outside on the new proving grounds. The grounds feature mixed terrain, structures for placing and picking telehandler loads, and several aerial work platform targets to simulate real-world applications. Participants maneuver equipment under and around obstacles, including simulated power lines, while moving up and down slopes and grades.
“The proving grounds give students in operator training a chance to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in a setting that duplicates many of the scenarios they’re likely to encounter on the job,” Smith said. “For example, the simulated power lines help them identify voltage on a power line and determine the minimum safe distance that must be maintained.”
The 17,000-square-foot indoor space includes three classrooms, a coffee/dining area, and meeting space. The newest classroom can accommodate up to 24 people and includes a 20-foot atrium ceiling, large projection screen with dual HD monitors, and an audio/video control panel. In addition, an 8-foot door provides access to the bay to move small machines into the classroom. A movable wall opens the classroom to the dining area, which can then accommodate as many as 80 people. The dining area features additional media and sound equipment, along with catering and beverage service.