Utilizing the Excavator Simulator: A Closer Look at Innovative Safety Training

When you enter the Public Training Room in Dig Safely New York’s Center for Damage Prevention it’s hard to miss the big shiny Excavator Simulator. Dig Safely New York received the first excavator simulator of its kind by John Deere on September 27th, 2019. It’s an innovative and safe approach to train excavators on how to use an excavator or backhoe. Here’s how:

The touch screen-capable monitor is controlled by the instructor, via a keyboard, who can put you in any type of training scenario and control the weather.

On the monitor, you’re given three options which are Dashboard, Environment, Faults, and Operator Controls. The Dashboard shows your progress through your scenarios, which is later added to a report that can be printed.

The Environment is where you can change the precipitation or obstruct your view by increasing fog in the air.

Faults are controlled by the instructor. For example, if your cell phone rings and you use it while operating the simulator.

Operator Controls are how you start the excavator, use the throttle, adjust your windshield wipers, and more.

Once you start, you might begin with the Basic Controls scenario to learn how to use the simulator, like Steve here, but then you’ll move on to actual jobs.

The three screens stacked vertically gives you the view of what you would actually see if you were sitting in the cab of the excavator.

Just like you would on any other excavator, your controls are the stick, petals, and screen that functions as your operator controls. There are hydraulics in the seat so when you move these controls it shifts your seat as it would if the excavator were real. For example, if you lower the bucket on your screen to the ground and push the bucket into the dirt, then your seat will start to lean back as if you’re about to tip the machine backward.

In addition to the excavator mode, it has a backhoe mode with related scenarios. Parts of the simulator can be removed and added to change operations. Instead of using the sticks, you can switch to a steering wheel.

If you want to test it out, schedule a meeting in the public training room at www.DigSafelyNewYork.com/CenterDamagePrevention and select that you’d like to use the simulator on the form.