To help meet the growing need for qualified equipment operators, Caterpillar Equipment Training Solutions Group is developing cost effective, easy to use and reliable PC-based simulators for training entry-level operators. The Virtual Training Systems, the personal simulators and the accompanying training modules, are designed to orient and train inexperienced and prospective operators in basic machine operation and application skills. The training curriculum progressively takes a trainee from basic control orientation through complex application tasks. The training can be used as a self-study tool or as part of a program led by an instructor.
The Virtual Training System for hydraulic excavators already is available. In 2006, Caterpillar will introduce systems for off-highway trucks, wheel loaders, backhoe loaders and track-type tractors. Systems for motor graders and skid steer loaders are planned in 2007.
The system features an instructional design that moves operator trainees through increasingly more difficult modules to enable the trainee to build skills. The trainee receives instant feedback to show where improvement is needed. Examples of feedback include time to perform task, accuracy of task and undesirable actions during the task. The trainee”s skills level can be measured, reported and compared to performance criteria so that competency weaknesses are identified quickly.
The personal simulators have a number of applications:
- New operator skill development: A trainee can develop skills in a controlled and safe environment.
- Application training: Operators can learn or enhance skills in specific applications.
- New control familiarization: Operators can learn new control designs and functions.
- Screening new employees: The system delivers an inexpensive and objective method to assess the capabilities of potential employees and new hires.
The Caterpillar® Virtual Training System offers all the benefits of simulator training without the high initial cost. Specifically, the system minimizes the use of production machines for training and reduces exposure of trainees and instructors to hazards in the field. The system also allows flexible scheduling and location of training and provides measures of trainee performance, which is difficult to assess in real world situations. The Virtual Training System can increase production while reducing costs.
For more information, customers should contact the local Caterpillar dealer or visit www.cat.com.