What do airline pilots, Formula 1 champions and forestry harvester drivers have in common? Answer: They can all use a simulator to hone their driving skills, thanks in the case of forestry workers to a recent investment by Komatsu forest equipment distributor, McHale Plant Sales.
In the case of McHale, their purchase of a Komatsu Driver Training Simulator means driver trainees can experience ‘real life’ forestry conditions without leaving the comfort of the company’s Rathcoole headquarters where the unit is located.
Described as ‘the essence of high-tech’, the new unit replicates the cockpit of a working harvester or forwarder. On-board equipment includes a VR (Virtual Reality) headset, a driver-information screen, hand controls which the operator works from a full-size driver’s seat and, up-ahead, a large, wrap-around panoramic screen on to which a full colour, interactive graphic of the ‘virtual forest’ on which the simulator driver will work is projected.
Asked about their decision to purchase the unit, their chairman Michael McHale said: “Aware of how valuable operators skilled in the complexities required to operate timber harvesters and forwarders are, our investment in the Driver Training Simulator will be a great support for our many forestry contractors and customers.”