Do simulators train as well as behind the wheel training?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Traveler51, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. chompi

    chompi Road Train Member

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    I have never been in a simulator but feel as if nothing can replace "real" world training time behind the wheel. Simulator stems from the word "simulate" meaning it is similar to what you are doing. If it were the same it would be called a "same-ulator". I am sure it is a very excellent tool in training you but just don't think it replaces the real thing.
     
  2. DragonTamerBrat

    DragonTamerBrat Road Train Member

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    I'll address flight simulators (as that is what I know. My father has written the code for the programming for them since the earth cooled.) It is far safer to throw a simulation at a pilot. Say, flying into turbulence, or a blizzard, or an engine going out. These are things you would optimally train while on the ground. Not in an emergency 5k to 20k above the ground. It is easier to program the "what-ifs" than to find "real world applications" for these.

    Used in this manner, truck driving scenario simulations could be a very good training tool. That being said, I think they have just begun to realize what they can throw at a driver in a sim, and I think they need to be somewhat more sophisticated (much more like an airplane sim) to fulfill their potential. Airplane simulators use actual cabins.

    No, it isn't exactly the same. However, knowing correct procedures and having practiced them in a safe environment will help prepare you for it out on those real roads. I do NOT think that simulator training is the be all and end all of training, either for drivers or pilots.
     
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  3. steelbeltsdrumming

    steelbeltsdrumming Light Load Member

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    If you want to play video games, you can do that at home or on line.

    If you want to actually learn how to drive, get in an actual truck and drive.

    I worked for a company that purchased a simulator. The things are designed to set up scenarios that make even the most safe, seasoned driver fail tests. I guess its not to force you to fail but to see how you react to different situations (braking, steering, etc)

    Because I knew this I drove extra cautious on the simulator, which is not realistic to begin with. If its not real, you won't take it 100% seriously. One setup we had cause you to blow out a steer tire coming down a curvy mountain 2-lane road on a 8% or so grade. On top of it you are in a rain/windstorm that suddenly turns to ice/snow. I was one of maybe 10 drivers out of 350 to keep the thing rubber side down/shiny side up, although I did end up off road.

    They are neat and fun, but bottom line, they are just a high tech video game.

    Just my $0.02
     
  4. DragonTamerBrat

    DragonTamerBrat Road Train Member

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    Would you want your first experience w/ that scenario to be going down one of the Rocky Mountain passes? Sims CAN be high tech video games. OR they can mimic as closely as possible the actual scenarios you may face. From what I've heard, the truck sims are NOT as sophisticated as the airline sims which engage the full cabin on all three axises. HOWEVER, there is good to be found in being exposed to such scenarios in a safe and secure environment, rather than on the road or in the air.
     
  5. ironpony

    ironpony Road Train Member

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    You guys don't get the point. First if you want "real" start throwing in bushels of money. Millions. Your average trucking company doesn't have that kind of cash lying around to make you feel good about using a simulator. Second, the scenarios aren't set up as a pass/fail test - it's to put you into the situation so you've had the experience of being in it. It's not a replacement for seat time in a tractor, its to get your brain into gear so when you drive into the situation you've got a clue about what to do.
     
  6. DragonTamerBrat

    DragonTamerBrat Road Train Member

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    I do get it, and I know how much those airlines pay for simulators. There is a reason trucking sims aren't as sophisticated as the flight sims. And you are right, money is at the heart of it. I also know that the reason is to get the ideas for situation escape to start peculating in the brain. Having a high fast-twitch response won't help you in a simulator, but IF you approach the sim with the right attitude, maybe, just MAYBE you'll learn something. So, instead of poo-pooing the idea, maybe you macho men can start actually using them for the intent for which they are intended. Giving you a taste of the dangers out there without actually placing you IN danger. (Certain folks are not included in the "macho men" moniker.)

    You don't hear pilots deprecating a very important tool in their learning process. Perhaps drivers who think of them as nothing more than a high tech video game can use them as an example.
     
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  7. steelbeltsdrumming

    steelbeltsdrumming Light Load Member

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    I wouldn't be driving in that scenario (those type of weather conditions) to begin with.
     
  8. DragonTamerBrat

    DragonTamerBrat Road Train Member

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    Have you seen how fast a tornadic storm can whip itself into a frenzy? Yes, get the heck (not quite the word I want to use, but you know what I mean) off the road ASAP, but in the mean time, you will be dealing with wind gusts and driving rain. And dealing that in a 80k gross rig is a lot different than your 2.5k Ford Station Wagon.

    Agreed, if YOU deem it unsafe to continue, you call dispatch and say "It's not safe for me to drive." If the dispatcher poo-poos that idea, get safety on the line. Trucking simulators have a LONG way to go in the sophistication department to be as effective as airline simulators. But a start is a start.
     
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