Although many people assume technologies such as AI, analytics and the Internet of Things are…
In an era in which technology is taking over everywhere, there is still no compromise when it comes to training to become a heavy equipment operator. Sure, you can learn theory through a book, or online over the Internet, or perhaps even through a CD or DVD. However, nothing beats in-the-seat real time operator experience. I know there have been attempts to train operators using simulators, similar to those used by airline pilots, however, they still don’t deliver that same real life experience – even pilots need time in a real airplane to experience the real thing.
There is a lot that modern technology can simulate, and it does do a good job in general. When it comes to employing new heavy equipment operators, most employers want operators who have had experience in a ‘real’ machine, not just through a simulator. Where simulators do have a roll is in early training – it provides a safe environment where accidents cause harm to no one and to no equipment.
Of course, a good heavy equipment operator training school will ensure that students are trained in a safe environment that includes close supervision – and you learn a lot through your mistakes. Simulators can often be too forgiving when it comes to mistakes, not ideal when you’re trying to learn to become a good operator.
Simulators have one further failing that needs to be considered – simulators generally train operators to use the latest heavy equipment. The reality is that most workplaces use heavy equipment that is ten or more years old – certainly not the latest. Training schools that use real heavy equipment will have machinery that ranges in age, some new and some old, and that is the best equipment to train on since you gain a more diverse range of skills. What’s your preference, training in real heavy equipment, or training in a simulator?