Technology has changed—and driver training has, too.
Back in the day, whether you were learning to drive for the first time or you were learning to drive a commercial truck, the training was the same: Throw you into a vehicle, put you on a course, and put an instructor beside you to help you figure it out.
Today, this philosophy is about the same as throwing a toddler into the water and hoping they learn to swim. There’s a much better way.
Simulator-based training gives drivers the opportunity to get behind the wheel in lifelike scenarios with no risk to themselves or to other drivers. They can build their confidence, test themselves in a variety of difficult situations, and learn important driving skills—all in perfect comfort and safety.
We’re Transport Training Centres of Canada, and we have some of the most advanced truck driving simulators in the country. In this article, we’re going to explore the advantages of our driving simulator, highlighting how it delivers better results in a safer environment.
Fewer Accidents After Simulator Training Sessions
When it comes to commercial truck driving, shifting and backing are two of the most difficult skills to master. Not knowing how to shift can lead to stalling, and not knowing how to back up can lead to accidents in an even more direct way.
With our driver simulator program, commercial truck drivers can practise shifting and backing as much as they want. Our training allows us to:
Assess a driver’s abilities with precision
Replay scenarios from different vantage points
Test drivers on a wide variety of courses and terrains
Offer real-time feedback for the driver
Combined, these factors lead to higher-quality training. Higher-quality training, in turn, leads to fewer accidents.
This is the core reason for driver simulators—you’ll see fewer accidents during training (you’ll see no accidents at all during simulator training) and fewer accidents once the student has obtained their licence.
That’s a huge boon to public safety and a huge bonus to drivers. Instead of being limited to practising backing and shifting in a vehicle, new commercial truck drivers can spend hours honing these skills in our simulators.
Developing and Proving Skills
One of the joys of learning in a virtual environment is that students can develop and test their skills in perfectly controlled environments, without any risk to the people around them.
We’ve already explored the advantages of developing skills in driving simulators—drivers can practise difficult skills in perfect safety. One of the other advantages is that the simulator can detect any driving errors that students make. Those errors can then be practised and corrected.
Shifting and backing are two of the most complicated skills a truck driver has to learn – without learning to shift, a truck driver may be limited to driving only automatic vehicles. By practising these skills in a simulator, the driver will be much more confident when they find themselves behind the wheel.
Testers can even create backing and shifting tests that driving students can pass or fail. These tests also allow the testers to hone in on the specific elements of the student’s technique that need work.
Driver Training in Different Scenarios
You’ll never just be backing or shifting in one scenario. You might be shifting while driving up a hill, or backing down roads with multiple sharp turns. Our simulator training makes these scenarios fun – you can practise backing and shifting on all kinds of different courses, improving your skills in a wide variety of different scenarios.
Driving Records and Analysis
One of the biggest advantages of using truck simulators to test backing and shifting skills is that you can record a student’s progress over time. Trainers can analyze exactly what the student is doing right and wrong and can compare every lesson with the previous lessons. Road conditions can be kept consistent from session to session (one of the joys of a controlled environment), so progress can be tracked precisely.
Simulators allow students to make several attempts on a given maneuver in a given set of conditions and for trainers to help them make adjustments. By tracking, analyzing, and practising these maneuvers, students can expect better outcomes.
Primary Uses of Simulator Training
Driving simulator training is most commonly used in three different scenarios: When a truck driver is first learning how to drive, when they’ve had an accident, and as a refresher when a driver has developed bad habits. This means that you can take advantage of our training even if you’ve already obtained your commercial truck driving licence. Here are the advantages of simulator training in each of those scenarios:
During Initial Training
New truck drivers may be nervous—they’re learning a whole new set of skills behind a big rig. They need to be comfortable behind the wheel; when they can practice driving in a simulator before going on an actual road, they’ll already know exactly what to do when they get behind the wheel of a large truck. Best of all, our simulator training is fun – you can learn in private and review your progress at your own pace!
Our truck driving simulator gives you the opportunity to learn exactly how to operate a truck and how to master techniques like backing and shifting, all without any risk to yourself or anyone else on the road. Once you develop the skills and confidence you need, you can start driving a real truck—and if you ever need to, they can work on skills they haven’t mastered in the simulator.
Refresher Session To Break Bad Habits
Anyone can develop bad habits over time. Our truck simulator training can help you break out of bad habits. This can make your driving more effective and safer.
Simulator training allows you to practice the same techniques over and over again. You can learn to shift gears on the open road or while climbing a mountain. No matter which bad habit you’re trying to break, a driving simulator can help. Analytics can help us detect exactly where your bad habits
lie, records can help us monitor your improvement, and the simulator can help you practise as many times as you need to.
Specialized training for commercial truck drivers
Learning shifting and backing doesn’t have to be difficult; with specialized simulator training, you can learn these techniques before ever having set foot in a commercial truck. Best of all, simulator training is fun!
We can combine this specialized training with the various road conditions, terrains, and rules we’ve already discussed – backing a truck in a sleet storm is quite different from doing it on a warm summer’s day. With rigorous simulated training, we prepare commercial truck drivers for all conditions, well before they encounter them.
These are just some of the many advantages of using simulator training—in conjunction with training behind the wheel. Whether you’re a new driver or an experienced driver looking to improve behind the wheel, simulator training has something to offer you.