Heavy Duty Trucking

SEP 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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38 HDT • SEPTEMBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com look at the cost of acquisition and operation vs. the benefits achieved. Simulators are cheaper to operate than trucks. They don't need fuel or insurance; they don't put wear and tear on tires and components; and you don't need to worry about possibly damaging the truck while training the driver. Virage Simulation estimates simulators can be operated at less than 15 cents per hour. In addition, many of today's simu- lators feature an open design that allows a small group to gather around and observe the training. "One can train up to four drivers at the same time in a simulation system, which is impossible on the road," says Greg Collins, contracts/market- ing manager for Doron Precision Systems. "That's a serious cut in fuel consumption." "We often do group training of four to eight people around the simu- lator, having a discussion about prop- er techniques and proper behavior," agrees Virage's Quimper. "Whether or not you are the one driving, it is the ideas that are being demonstrated that the group is learning, too." n Read tips on how to choose and implement a simulator program at www.truckinginfo.com/simulators Safety&Compliance Roadcheck: OOS T he percentage of trucks put out of service during the three- day, continent-wide truck inspec- tion blitz known as Roadcheck fell only slightly this year from 2013, while the driver figure edged higher. Of the 73,475 total inspections conducted June 3-5, 49,656, or 67.6%, were the most thorough, Level I. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance reports that 23%, or about 11,420, of those resulted in out-of-service vehicle viola- tions, compared to 24.1% in 2013. In contrast, this year there were more driver inspections, with a total of 72,415, compared to 71,630 last year, with 4.8% this year found with OOS violations, slightly higher than last year's rate of 4.3%. Truck driving champ J effrey Langenhahn, a Con-way Freight truck driver based in Plover, Wisconsin, was named the 2014 Bendix Grand Champion at the 77th annual National Truck Driving Championships in Pitts- burgh last month. He also won the Twins class. A driver for 28 years, he has more than 1.9 million miles behind the wheel. Traffic deaThs down P reliminary data collected by the National Safety Council indi- cates deaths from motor vehicle crashes during the first six months of 2014 are down 4%, compared to the same six-month period last year. In 2014, 16,180 traffic deaths occurred from January through June, compared to 16,860 in 2013. SAFETY Shorts T here's some disagreement about the use of simulators with multi- screen systems that give drivers a full field of view. Some simulator makers say they're a must. Others say drivers often feel dizzy or nause- ated when using these simulators. "Adults cannot handle three-screen immersion," says Bob Davis, CEO of Virtual Driver Interactive, although he notes that those under 25 or so generally don't have a problem. "About 30% of people say, 'That thing made me woozy.'" Other companies say most drivers don't have a problem if the simulator programs are done correctly. "This can be minimized through proper instructor training and trainee orientation," says Greg Collins, contracts/marketing manager for Doron Precision Systems. "Also, improved graphics can make a world of a dif- ference." What used to be called "sim sickness" is now called simulator adapta- tion syndrome, or SAS, explains Deborah Quackenbush, president of Virtual Excellence LLC, a technology consultant with extensive experi- ence in simulation. "When your body is looking at a visual scene that is moving but you're not, your brain is telling your body that you should be moving," she explains. "That gives you that disorientation in your inner ear, and it may give you almost a feeling of motion sickness. "Today's more sophisticated simulators add motion, and if you properly synchronize that with a high-quality graphic, you do not get that same sense," she says. At DriveWise Canada, which uses simulators in its training programs for fleets, "When we're instructing a driver for the first time, we introduce them to the simulator slowly," says Mike Speers, manager of business development. "The first couple of scenarios are simple, with no turns and few images going past them on the screens. This makes the adaptation process easier, and virtually eliminates SAS." What about sim sickness? Today's increased computing power allows for more realistic simulations, according to DriveWise Canada.

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