Freddy Lund, CEO of Swedish company Tenstar visited the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) Telford Campus on Tuesday 10th December.
Tenstar produces simulation units, that can be used in educational settings, and Mr Lund will be demonstrating the new tractor simulator that has been purchased for the Telford Campus.
SIT staff and invited guests will be shown the capabilities of the unit and how it can be used with a variety of machines, including truck and trailer, forklift, grader, tower crane, digger, and forestry forwarders.
Having seen the benefits of simulation-based training in other sectors, Work Experience Coordinator, Allan Roxburgh (Arli), feels the addition of this technology will be a real turning point for rural sector training going forward.
Working in partnership with around 80 farmers to provide work experience opportunities for students, Arli notes that with farm tractors being worth around $200,000, farmers may hesitate to put a student on one.
“If a student misjudges a gateway, for example, it could be costly,” he said.
The Tractor Simulator will be a first for New Zealand and will enable students to gain experience and master techniques, prior to being placed in charge of a costly (and potentially dangerous) piece of equipment – similar to how pilots spend time on a flight simulator prior to actually flying a plane.
Arli believes the Tractor Simulator will challenge students.
“By putting them in a situation in the paddock and seeing how they respond, it will better prepare them to be equipped for certain situations that may arise out in the field.”
The Tractor Simulator will be ready for use in 2020.
As well as immediate safety benefits, training on the simulator provides the opportunity for a much larger number of students to get vastly more ‘seat time’ and experience with a wider array of implements and scenarios than would otherwise be possible in real world situations.