“Grow” Your Own Operators with Simulator-based Help

March 7th, 2019

With so many sectors of the economy doing so well, employers are struggling to “find” operators for their heavy equipment.

Chances are your own business is growing too, so you not only need people to replace the operators who are retiring or moving away, you also need people to operate the new equipment that you’re adding to your fleet.

And that’s why this ought to sound familiar:

“It’s hard to find operators. We’ll try people out on the job: if they can’t do it, we won’t keep them. Worse, 95% can’t do what they say.”

(An old hand once told me that someone he interviewed was so persuasive, he could have talked a cat off a fish boat.)

Well, if you can’t “find” operators to hire, you could establish some kind of collaboration with a local “education” partner, but that would take time.

And that’s why doing things yourself, training your own, is often the best option, and why so many people say:

“My best operators are grown right here in my company.”

Indeed, if you’re the right kind of employer, then your current employees want to stay with you, to hold onto their current employment advantages (seniority, paid holidays, health insurance, retirement plan, etc.).

In fact, many will jump at the chance to earn more by doing work that pays more. And by providing such opportunities, you’ll be showing everyone how much you value them. Now that’s a true competitive advantage to set you apart, while promoting employee retention.

How Will Training Simulation Help?

Here are some details from a Simlog customer.

Employees train at the simulator on their own time. To do that, they reserve 1-2 hour periods during the day or in the evening/weekends when staff can provide the necessary access. (The simulator is in a dedicated room with a door that locks.)

The focus first is on working carefully, so slowly, to learn good habits. After that, with enough practice, most people come up to speed. Then once you’re doing the simulated work well enough by meeting pre-defined target values, it’s time to move outside to train at the controls of the employer’s (real) heavy equipment.

And thanks to this simulator-based preparation, that employee is truly “seat-time ready” and “ramps up” much more safely, and more quickly.

But you’ll discover that not every employee willattain the necessary level of simulator proficiency because:

  • Some people just aren’t “serious”, so after a while they stop.
  • Some people don’t have enough “aptitude” and although they continue to practice, after a while they become discouraged and so they also stop.

Indeed, one Simlog customer reportedthat over half of his simulator “students” (remember, all current employees) removed themselves from further consideration in these two ways. Imagine all the cost savings from not training them at the controls of real heavy equipment!

Which Employees Should You “Grow” to become Heavy Equipment Operators?

Well it should now be clear that thanks to simulator-based help, the employees you’ll be “growing” will become real assets, because they’ve got the necessary aptitude and because they’ve been properly prepared with simulator-based help to work safely and productively.

But among your current employees who demonstrate the right attitude (by showing up every day ready to work), which ones should you try to “grow” to become heavy equipment operators?

Here are what some Simlog customers are doing already:

  • A building contractor looks to employees who are now operating forklifts in the spare parts warehouse.
  • A government agency responsible for managing water resources looks to employees who are now working as plumbers conducting pipeline maintenance.
  • A municipality looks to clerical employees in the Department of Human Resources.
  • A forest industry contractor looks to employees who are now operating other, simpler, kinds of mechanized logging equipment.

Time to get started!