Category: Developing Skills

Sep 1
The world is full of “work” that requires interaction between two people, and I’ll use tennis as a simple example. Playing tennis requires two people, but you learn to play tennis by yourself, at least at the start, with coaching help: how to hold the racket properly, how to hit (...)
Aug 11
The simulation of real-world work starts with how things look. That’s simulation graphics. For example, the various parts of the simulated lift truck should have the right shapes and sizes, in the right proportions. And when the (simulated) sun shines, it should cast (simulated) shadows that look like real ones. (...)
Aug 22
A recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek [1] noted that employers are increasingly working with their local high schools to develop new programs that combine classroom learning with on-the-job training. The objective: grow your own skilled workers. “With almost two openings for every person looking for work, US companies are increasingly (...)
Feb 7
I didn’t know what to say. The Director of a heavy equipment operator training school had called to talk about his new (Simlog) simulators, and asked me the following question: “What’s the #1 way they’re helping my students?” The #1 way? Well, simulation can improve operator training in so many (...)
Sep 13
As the world “exits” the COVID-19 pandemic, companies in all sectors are struggling to hire (or re-hire) employees, from construction [Dodge Data & Analytics 2020] to logistics [DC Velocity 2021]. And as company owners become more concerned about “attracting new talent” [CURT 2022], they are directing Human Resources to work (...)
Jun 8
When developing skills, how you train is just as important as what you practice. And often overlooked is timing, especially for how long you should practice “in one shot”, what kind of a “break” should you take between training “sessions”, when is the best time to train during the day (...)
Apr 5
Organisations that own and operate heavy equipment are always looking for new operators. And to do that, they are primarily targeting: current employees who are now doing other kinds of work, to grow their own people with work experience in other fields, including military veterans [1]. In both cases, people (...)
Jan 18
Whether you like it or not, your thoughts affect your actions.  And that’s why how you feel about what you do counts. The fact is, most of us struggle when we’ve got to show someone else what we can do e.g. to earn a driver’s license, or become a certified (...)
Nov 15
Typical operator training programs combine classroom-based instruction with real-world seat-time but the results are often discouraging, because there are three kinds of uncertainty. Are you choosing the right people to train? Are your trainees learning properly? Are your new operators working well enough? We can summarize the current arrangement in (...)
Oct 4
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 (...)