Simulation Based, Reality Driven
As part of TMC’s commitment to driver training and safety, we’ve invested in four top-of-the-line simulators made by L3 Harris. These are housed in our Des Moines Training Center. Simulator training is a rite of passage for any new TMC hire going through Orientation, with the occasional office staff or visiting customer climbing in the seat to see what it’s like to drive a rig!
These impressive machines can simulate a variety of different driving conditions: snow, rain, ice, wind, sun glare, fog, city driving, and mountain driving. This enables training for some of the worst driving conditions from the safety of a chair!
In Orientation, we use the simulators for a couple of different types of training: teaching shifting patterns for those that have never driven a 13-speed or 9-speed transmission, as well as defensive driving. TMC Trainer Coordinator, Matt Jorgensen, sets up a variety of scenarios for the students and goes over them afterwards with them. The simulators enable Matt to replay the scenarios for the students on the screen, and analyze it like “game film.” He and the students can review the results from all points-of-view: side view, top view, and cab view. Some key lessons emphasized are decision-making and defensive driving, checking mirrors enough and at the correct times, and paying attention to signs while catching ones that are truck-specific.
“For our drivers, it’s all about teaching good decision-making, defensive driving, and establishing good habits. For non-drivers trying it out, it hopefully gives them an appreciation for all that goes into driving a truck and what drivers go through every day," Matt tells TMC's media team.