Truck simulators are very popular when training today’s drivers. The simulators are programmable and can be re-ordered to utilize different scenarios for various reasons an styles of trucks.
Driving simulators are increasingly being used to train new truck drivers. Evolving from flight simulators for aviation training, driving simulators represent the newest, emerging training tool for new drivers. Driving simulators are designed to closely simulate actual driving conditions of real trucks and they are useful for skills mastery and performance evaluation.
Quality research indicates that skills learned in the truck simulator are easily transferable to a real truck and are learned as quickly – and sometimes faster – than learning in a real truck. The research study, “Transfer of Training in Basic Controls from a Truck Simulator to a Real Truck,” was recognized by the Transportation Research Board as the “Best 2017 Paper.”
In general, most driving simulators have the following features:
- 180-degree view of the field
- Graphics software that provides a road view and change weather and traffic patterns
- Force-loaded steering wheel that gives a feel of different terrain
- Built-in events like a tire blow-out
- A mix of truck and tractor configurations
- A seat, steering wheel, 3 pedals and a gear shift
- Technology that allows for recording student performance and playback.
Most truck driving training programs that use driving simulators are fans of the technology. However, most programs use experienced truck drivers to teach real-world knowledge and skills. Benefits of a truck driving training simulator include:
- No real safety concerns
- No wear and tear on the real truck
- No fuel use during training activities.