Some people might say that simulator-based training isn’t effective when getting their light rigid license training in Melbourne, because there’s no real-life experience behind it, but in reality, these simulations can be quite accurate when it comes to testing certain skillsets.
What is simulator-based training?
Simulator-based training uses a computer or video game to recreate a real-life experience. This type of medium rigid truck training is often used for heavy vehicle operators because it can help them learn how to handle difficult situations they may encounter on the road. Training institutions that carry out heavy vehicle training may use simulators to teach students how to handle difficult road situations.
Simulator-based training is often used by heavy vehicle operators because it can help them learn skills they will need on the job, including things like driving through hazardous weather conditions and avoiding crashes with other vehicles. While simulator-based training isn’t 100% accurate when compared to real-life experience, it still helps trainees develop crucial safety and defensive driving skills that may save lives in future scenarios while also reducing injuries and costs associated with accidents. The biggest advantage of simulator-based training is that people get a realistic idea about what driving such large vehicles entails before actually getting behind the wheel themselves, which allows for better judgement during testing or employment opportunities, as well as greater time management between learning new techniques and skills and reality.
The advantages of using simulators for heavy vehicle operators
There are certain advantages to using simulated training sessions for these types of vehicles. These include:
The possible reduction of crashes and injuries
The ability for people to be better prepared before driving the vehicle in real life.
This allows drivers time to practice certain skills without distractions that would otherwise happen behind the wheel.
Spending less time learning new techniques while also improving judgement between what is learned during training sessions versus on the road.
Disadvantages to using simulators for heavy vehicle operators
While the advantages are many, there are some disadvantages as well, including:
An expensive investment is required by companies or individuals looking to purchase simulators for their own personal use, due mainly to the sensitive components used within these types of machinery that may wear down over time, making them unsuitable for repeated multiple uses. The amount of money saved depends entirely on how often they will be using it too.
The fact is that simulators are not always able to replicate the exact conditions drivers will face on the road. Weather, traffic, and terrain can all play a part in how a driver will react and handle their vehicle in different situations.
Due to the level of concentration required to operate these types of machinery, driver fatigue may set in more quickly when using a simulator as opposed to being behind the wheel of an actual truck or bus. This is especially relevant when conducting long-distance training exercises.
Despite these disadvantages, simulation-based training continues to grow in popularity with heavy vehicle operators around the globe thanks to its ability to provide a realistic environment where judgement between what is learned during training sessions and on the road can be improved. As technology advances, there are many new ways in which simulator-based training can be used to improve safety outcomes for heavy vehicle operators.
One such way is through the use of virtual reality (VR), which allows drivers to experience real-world scenarios, including hazardous weather conditions and challenging road layouts, in a controlled environment. VR has been shown to improve driver confidence and situational awareness, as well as reduce stress levels. In addition, it can also help identify potential errors or mistakes before they occur on the road, allowing trainers to provide feedback that will help prevent these from happening in live traffic.
How to use a simulator for training purposes
This technique of training drivers uses the same principle as flight simulators. However, instead of training pilots in their own cockpit, it is used to train heavy vehicle drivers on a big screen with realistic driving conditions and road scenarios.
The simulator provides an interactive experience for drivers through its motion platform, which moves around like a car or truck does when turning left or right, etc., at the same time providing similar movement sensations associated with travelling over different types of ground surfaces (i.e., gravel roads). It also includes real lights and sound effects that make it feel truly immersive—almost like being behind the wheel. The synchronous nature of these features can contribute towards building driver confidence and situational awareness, as well as reducing stress levels. In addition, it can also help identify potential errors such as inappropriate or incorrect gear selection, speed, road position, etc. The motion platform can also help drivers to generalise the experience outside of the simulator; for example, in extreme weather conditions or when operating at night (where there is limited visibility).
Technology has become increasingly important in heavy vehicle training over recent years, with industry demand increasing exponentially both here in Australia and around the world. However, one area where technology could play a significant role is through simulation-based training, which involves using computer-generated replicas of real driving scenarios and environments. With this type of system being utilised more often by companies who need to train large numbers of drivers quickly without having to take them out on site constantly, it is likely that their effectiveness will increase over time.