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It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle. 7/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans 7/19/2019 Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire 7/17/2019 Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills 7/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status 7/12/2019 ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant 7/10/2019 New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters 7/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week 7/5/2019 Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July 7/3/2019 Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks? 7/1/2019 Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks 6/28/2019 Experts warn of active wildland fire season 6/26/2019 More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking 6/24/2019 Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award 6/21/2019 Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs 6/19/2019 Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers 6/17/2019 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo 6/14/2019 HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers 6/12/2019 FMCSA takes a further look at detention time 6/10/2019 Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest 6/7/2019 Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week 6/5/2019 Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo 6/3/2019 Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments 5/31/2019 Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration 5/29/2019 Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins 5/13/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole 5/10/2019 Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South 5/8/2019 Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets 5/6/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers 5/3/2019 'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states 5/1/2019 Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers 4/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business 4/26/2019 ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for 4/24/2019 Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks 4/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings 4/19/2019 Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels 4/17/2019 Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business 4/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise 4/12/2019 Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need 4/10/2019 Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border 4/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules 4/5/2019 Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates 4/3/2019 Don't get scammed by skimmers 4/1/2019 Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking 3/29/2019 Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers 3/27/2019 Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy 3/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap 3/22/2019 Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising 3/20/2019 FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website 3/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award 3/15/2019 The hidden danger of looking but not seeing 3/13/2019 Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout 3/11/2019 3/9/2019 3/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire 3/8/2019 Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases 3/6/2019 Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness 3/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports 3/1/2019 New tax changes hit drivers hard 2/27/2019 FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military 2/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use 2/22/2019 Congress committee looks at state of America's highways 2/20/2019 Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same 2/18/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks 2/15/2019 Detention - A problem still in search of a solution 2/13/2019 February Highway Angels honorees named 2/11/2019 Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets 2/8/2019 Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage? 2/6/2019 Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage 2/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team 2/1/2019 Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 1/30/2019 California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards 1/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers 1/25/2019 LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30 1/23/2019 2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry 1/21/2019 Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018 3/28/2018 TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award 3/7/2018 TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year 2/28/2018 Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers 2/26/2018 New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018 1/11/2018 Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup 12/21/2017 Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks 12/12/2017 Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017 12/8/2017 Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way 8/10/2017 Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road 7/18/2017 Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach 7/13/2017 Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal 7/6/2017 Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice 6/29/2017 The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers 6/15/2017 The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017 6/8/2017 We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better 5/30/2017 Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon 5/25/2017 11/30/-0001

Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers

Dave Wickenhauser on Mon, April 29, 2019

Last Updated: Sun, April 28, 2019

Training simulators have been in use for aviation and military purposes for some time, but these training devices are now catching on in truck driving schools across the country.

In a 2017 study titled, “Transfer of Training in Basic Control Skills from a Truck Simulator to a Real Truck,” written by researchers from Laval University and the business school HEC Montreal, it was found that truck driver training simulators are at least as effective as cab training with a live teacher for the first few days of being introduced to driving – and in some cases are more effective.

Simulators are more effective for such tasks as shifting gears and braking during the initial phase of the training, but advocates of simulators say these devices are not a replacement for the teacher-led in-cab experience.

The study used control groups to test in-cab versus simulator training's effectiveness. They found that trainees on simulators and in-the-truck performed equally proficiently for straight-line backing and 45-degre backing.

In the gear-shifting part of the study researchers discovered that both groups performed equally proficiently, but that the simulator-trained students picked up on gear shifting quicker than the in-the-truck students. But after a few days both groups performed equally.

“Shifting can be a stressful situation with an instructor watching. The simulator lets the student relax and pay better attention,” Pierro Hirsch, a co-author of the paper and a program developer for Virage Simulation, a Montreal-based provider of simulators, told Transport Topics.

Besides the Virage model, other companies offering simulators for schools include L3 Technologies' TranSim VS, FAAC Inc's FAAC TT-1000, and Advanced Training Systems' TransMaster Plus.

Schools and carriers like simulators

One of many schools offering simulation training is Transportation Training Services at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. Their program incorporates up to 20 hours of simulator training in its 200-hour CDL package.

John Rojas, director of the college's truck driver training program, told Transport Topics that students on the simulators quickly “understand looking in mirrors, they shift confidently, they coordinate their leg and hand (when shifting)."

Rojas said he appreciates that there are no safety issues, nor wear and tear on the truck's equipment. And less fuel is used during the simulator portion of training.

Brett Bell, a trainer with Basic Energy Services, of Fort Worth, Texas, said simulator training for their drivers has resulted in fewer rollovers with the company's 1,620 tractors, and they have experienced fewer accidents overall.

Dan Columbus, of Westcan Bulk Transport, of Edmonton, Canada, said that simulator training has cut fuel costs by 30 percent on average by teaching correct driving techniques.

Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa, incorporates simulator training it its CDL program.

The school touts the benefits of the simulators, saying that students are introduced to truck driving in a safe and risk-free environment that is much less intimidating – and, less stressful for instructors.

The simulator has shortened the time for students to begin range work from a week or more of class time to less than two days. There is also the added benefit that students are not burning fuel at the rate of three to five gallons per hour and wearing out clutches and transmissions with their first attempts at in-the-truck driving on the range.

Also, less stress on drivelines, tires, and suspensions means the school's trucks are in the shop less often for repairs.

Students can safely maneuver their virtual "trucks" in changing environments like weather, day/night, and different road conditions, depending on which settings the instructors apply to the simulator. They also get to experience different manual transmission configurations and even different diesel engines such as Mack and Cummins.

Advanced Career Institute’s Fresno Campus says that use of a truck driver training simulator has become a great resource in their CDL program.

The simulator's on-screen displays and in-cab steering, shifting and braking components teach students backing, clutching, and driving in various weather and road conditions; which the school believes better prepares students for having the skills for passing their CDL tests.

Sources: Transport Topics, Hawkeye Community College, Advanced Career Institute, Del Mar College

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