Innovative field activity helps trainees visualize haul truck blind spots
One of the challenges in training new hires to be haul truck operators is that they may not truly grasp just how large the blind spots of a modern ultra-hauler are. To solve this problem, VISTA Training developed a unique on-the-job activity that shocks them into understanding and respecting the blind areas around their haul truck.
Of course, the computer-based training that is a key element of VISTA's comprehensive TruckLogic™ haul truck operator curriculum includes a discussion of blind spots. It shows blind spot diagrams for several models of large haul trucks, and warns that nothing in the red areas is visible on the ground. But it's too easy to dismiss a simple diagram, because it has limited relevance when you're sitting in the cab of a large haul truck, two stories off the ground.
So we decided to bring the concept of blind spots to life in a memorable way.
Early in the TruckLogic™ program, trainees take part in a field exercise where one person sits in the cab of a 400-ton haul truck with a portable radio. The rest of the students and the field trainer (who also has a radio) place orange cones around the perimeter of the truck, one at a time. They do this by walking a succession of straight lines away from the front and sides of the truck. As soon as the person in the cab can see the field trainer with the cone, he or she lets them know on the radio, and the trainer drops a cone on that spot.
Additional cones are placed in the same way. In approximately 10 minutes, the team has created a visual representation of the perimeter of the blind area of the truck. This unique, memorable hands-on activity tends to shock trainees into the realization that that they must take great care when operating such a large haul truck.
Excerpted from a technical paper presented at the 2011 Haulage & Loading conference, Lessons Learned: Suncor Implements the TruckLogic™ Training System. Read the full paper here.
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