McColl’s Transport and VTA debut mobile truck simulator

Geelong based McColl’s Transport and the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) have joined forces to launch a mobile truck simulator dedicated to improving road safety around Australia.

McColl’s CEO Simon Thornton said the $500,000 multi-screen simulator was testament to the company’s ongoing commitment to heavy vehicle road safety; and would ensure all 500 drivers are “well equipped, well trained and ultimately well prepared” to meet the challenges they face on today’s roads.

“More than 240 people are killed in crashes involving heavy vehicles each year in Australia; and we aim to reduce that figure,” Mr Thornton said. “The new driver simulator can accurately recreate real situations, providing an excellent learning experience for drivers.

“Even experienced drivers are unlikely to have been through every kind of driving situation but the simulator allows them to practice difficult conditions over and over. It’s all about consistency.”

McColl’s driver simulator has three plasma screens combined with the look and feel of a real vehicle; including force-loaded steering and real-time feedback to help muscle memory. It is able to imitate different conditions of weather and daylight and simulate incidents like crossing deer, technical complications and road accidents.

“For instance, not all drivers know what it’s like to blow a steer tyre at 100km an hour in the wet. The simulator is able to mimic that scenario and train our drivers on ways to handle their vehicle in a safe and real-life environment,” Mr Thornton said.

The new device is mounted in a Volvo rigid divided into two sections – one including a classroom, and the other housing the actual machine. “In addition to real-life training, the new device will play a key role in creating a safe working environment.”

Mr Thornton said the simulator would also play an important role in driving fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. “Our drivers will learn essential tips on green driving to contribute to a sustainable future for the industry,” he said.
“Out of the handful of drivers we have trained so far, we have already a reduced fuel consumption of up to 15 percent. That’s quite a significant saving for the company.”

McColl’s will be driving the mobile simulator across the country to conduct a series of training sessions for its drivers. “Our new facility is an investment into driver safety and we aim to give our drivers and subcontractors at least 100 hours of refresher training every three years,” he said.

VTA CEO Phil Lovel said road safety especially for heavy vehicle drivers continued to be a prime concern for the association and the industry. “The chances of fatality in heavy vehicle crashes are three times higher than crashes involving light vehicles. In addition, crashes involving heavy vehicles are estimated to cost businesses and the community close to $2 billion a year,” he said.

“The VTA has been working closely with all sectors of the industry to develop new safety initiatives to overcome common issues including driver fatigue, driver distraction, speeding and tyre negligence. By building the new simulator, McColl has invested in the development of the entire industry.”

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend