Simulator

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Tammy A.'s Comment
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Has anybody practiced with a simulator and does it help?

Davy A.'s Comment
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I used American truck simulator with two 36" monitors before I went to school. I don't know that it helped, perhaps gave me some concepts of things, but not much. I used simulators while in top gun training and they helped to a small degree

FR8 M4N's Comment
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I got to try a simulator just one time. At least, it gave you a lot to process and think about given the driving scenario provided. Lots of things 'thrown' at you that can happen in the real world. For instance, I took for granted having a car door fling open at the last second from a parked car. Another instance was a lady approached the curb from one side of the road while a child came running from the other side. Just things to watch for while dealing with the snowy/icy road and narrow streets, as part of my scenario dictated.

Wile E.'s Comment
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The CDL school I attended had a simulator. Overall, I think they're a plus. Ours was a large simulator, 3 screens surrounding the driver, rear view mirrors were reasonably realistic, driver's seat, pedals, shifter, etc...

As FR8M4N said, it's the scenarios that really help. Is that driver going to back out of their driveway in front of me? Is that kid going to chase his football into the street? What impact is this rain or snow going to have on me?

As for how it felt to simply drive vs the real truck, I thought it was a bit lacking, but it's still valuable, especially if you're learning a manual transmission.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Personally, I think more companies should use simulators there is a reason pilots use them. True there is no replacement for real world experience but they can be a good start.

With American truck Sim you can view your rig from the outside looking straight down. I think it would help some people with backing, they can see from above how the truck is reacting to their steering wheel inputs. Also if you knock down a light pole taking a turn too tight you don't have to worry about the town getting mad at you.

PJ's Comment
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Sims are a great tool. I highly encourage their use. I was a lead simulator instructor for about 12 years and was a consultant to a large sim company out of New York for several years. My experience mainly involved law enforcement.

Sims are designed to teach thought process, not skill. Some are better than others.

NaeNaeInNC's Comment
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The simulator made me nauseous to the edge of vomiting. It does not do well for people who are near sighted in one eye, far sighted in the other.

FR8 M4N's Comment
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The simulator made me nauseous to the edge of vomiting. It does not do well for people who are near sighted in one eye, far sighted in the other.

Agreed! I can still feel the eye strain even now just thinking about it. That was hard on the ole brain! haha

Dean R.'s Comment
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My driving school, John Wood Community College (8 week program), had a simulator to help people with 10-speed shifting. Still didn't help one student who eventually dropped-out.

Schneider in Gary, IN., has a simulator. They throw traffic, steer blowouts, and weather scenarios at you. I tried the American Truck simulator while in driving school but didn't get much out of it.

Dean

Dan67's Comment
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Tried to use a simulator when I was at Werner several years ago. It made me extremely nauseous to the point I hugged a trash can. I am nearsighted with a astigmatism.

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