Simulation for training, as we know it today, began back in 1934 when Ed Link sold his “Pilot Maker” to the (USA) Army Air Corps to help train people to fly the first airplanes. But simulation for training people to operate heavy equipment in forestry, construction, mining, and material handling, continues to be something “new”. And so this blog is meant to help you learn more.
The fact is, after 21 years at Simlog as Founder and President, and 15 years of work before that in engineering and university research, I’ve developed what I like to think is a unique perspective on what’s really important (and what’s not), and so I hope that you’ll find these entries informative. (To comment on anything you read here, please write to “email@example.com” with “blog” in the Subject, to direct your message to me.)
Paul Freedman, Ph.D., P. Eng.
Learning to operate heavy equipment is like learning to play a musical instrument. Really? Well as one example, operating a backhoe and playing the banjo do seem rather different, as the following table makes clear. Description Operating a Backhoe Playing the Banjo Need two hands Yes Yes Need two feet (...)
As increasing numbers of equipment operators retire, employers are struggling to recruit new ones. And those new hires are often young people who've grown up playing video games.
Time was, it took real strength to operate the controls in the cabs of heavy equipment. But with everything computerized these days, anyone with two hands and two feet (and eyes and ears) can do just fine, male or female, big or small.
An early airplane flying enthusiast, Ed Link developed his “Pilot Maker” in 1929 by combining state-of-the-art technology (for that time) consisting of motors, pumps, and bellows from the electric pianos and movie theatre pipe organs manufactured in his father’s factory.
What does it mean to develop a skill, and go from "novice" to "expert"?
In the world of heavy equipment, that partly means memorizing how to use levers, joysticks, steering wheels, pedals, etc. in a coordinated way to make things happen.