The truck simulator - a training option for the New Zealand heavy vehicle industry?
There are many reasons why both transport companies and the government should consider training as an important adjunct to their operational thinking. These include, but are not limited to; safety, efficiency, economy and career pathways. The training paradigm has seen major shifts with the evolution of the motor vehicle. This dissertation will look at the development of the simulator as a tool, the literature that has evolved from this development, how this tool may be utilised and whether this technology has a future in New Zealand as a legitimate training aid. While there are several different simulators in New Zealand, there currently is no dedicated truck simulator employed in training institutions in this country. This situation is expected to change if DECA Ltd brings their simulator in from America later in 2009 as indicated. Overseas evidence has shown that simulators can provide many benefits in the fields of fuel economy, safety awareness and fatigue reduction. There has been interest shown in this technology from government, Ministry of Defence and industry at various presentations by the manufacturer over the past two years. The author was fortunate to be able to visit Australia and see first-hand how effective this technology can be in the hands of an experienced trainer. There will need to be similar developments in trainer expertise here before the full benefits of any simulator introduced into the New Zealand training paradigm will reach peak efficiency. To enable industry to benefit fully from this technology, any results that accrue from training carried out in a simulator must be disseminated to the wider training fraternity and industry as a whole. The author is of the opinion that this technology will benefit the transport industry but there will need to be much more in-depth study of both the simulator itself and the results it obtains.... [Show full abstract]