June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.719.1 - 14.719.12
Incorporating Equipment Simulators into a Construction Education Curriculum
Construction equipment simulators have been developed by equipment manufacturers to train operators for the stressful and tough construction environments without the need to employ an actual machine. Equipment simulators present an opportunity for construction engineering and management students to learn appropriate measures of operational performance and factors influencing operations. This study demonstrated that there is significant learning potential associated with integrating a Caterpillar Virtual Training Simulator (VTS) into a construction education curriculum. The simulator could be used to demonstrate and reinforce principles such as material waste, O&M costs, and safety. It could also be used to reinforce concepts such as workforce training and operational learning curves.
Construction equipment simulators have been developed by equipment manufacturers to train operators for the stressful and tough construction environments without the need to employ an actual machine. Eliminating machine use saves fuel, mechanical wear, and the inherent risks of damage to machine and man. Simulators are currently available for a variety of equipment types including motor graders, excavators, cranes, haul trucks, and wheel loaders. They can be used to familiarize operators with new equipment controls, evaluate potential operators, or develop operator skills in terms of safety and productivity.
Simulators have been used as training tools for many years in many different industries. However, the objectives of university level construction curriculum do not include construction operator training. Rather the objectives are aimed at educating construction engineers and managers, which includes enabling students to design and manage efficient construction operations. Equipment simulators present an opportunity for construction engineering and management students to learn appropriate measures of operational performance and factors influencing operations.
Students bring to the classroom a variety of life experiences, including equipment operating experience, which may influence the effectiveness of employing simulators in the curriculum. Students lacking operating experience may benefit from the learning potential associated with equipment simulators. Students with operating experience may already possess knowledge regarding operational influences and performance metrics. Alternatively, students with operating experience may draw upon their experiences and learn faster than those without operating experience
Construction equipment simulators can be purchased in a variety of configurations ranging in cost from a few thousand dollars for basic simulation on a personal computer using generic controls to several tens of thousands of dollars for full-motion simulators incorporating high performance graphical displays and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cabs and controls.
Hildreth, J., & Gehrig, B. (2009, June), Incorporating Equipment Simulators Into A Construction Education Curriculum Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4944
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