New Truck Driving Simulator - Carlile Transportation Systems


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Fred Downes, a trucker with Carlile Transportation Systems, was cruising down the highway at 50 mph with two trailers hitched to his rig when his driver's-side steering tire blew out.

The blowout caused an abrupt shift in balance, pushing the tractor toward the passing lane, where a steady stream of faster-moving vehicles had been overtaking the truck. Downes muscled the wayward steering wheel back into submission and gradually reduced speed, bringing the 120,000-pound rig to a controlled stop.

Then John McCoy, Carlile's driver education and development manager, reset the computer and began working up another scenario that might actually challenge the veteran driver.

"A lot of guys would have lost it there," said McCoy, who runs a new truck-driving simulator that Carlile recently installed at its Anchorage headquarters.

Carlile has been in business since 1980, shortly after the trans-Alaska pipeline construction boom. Brothers John and Harry McDonald founded the company with two tractors that they used to move freight around Alaska.

Today, the company employs more than 600 at terminals across the U.S. and Canada who haul everything from consumer goods arriving by ship at Anchorage's port to drilling gear from Houston all the way to Alaska's North Slope region.

Advances in technology combined with diminishing costs and ever-growing demand for qualified truck drivers have prompted trucking companies across the nation to invest in computerized simulators.

Carlile's simulator -- a TranSim VS IV built by a subsidiary of military contractor L3 Communications -- cost $133,000. That's about the going rate for a real truck these days, said the company's co-founder and president, Harry McDonald.

But McDonald figures the virtual rig will save the company at least that much over the long haul.

The computer-powered semi will help cut recruiting costs, improve driver training and skills, lower accident rates and generally improve the quality of the trucking outfit's service, he said.
Source : Monterey County Herald
Depending on how realistic these simulators are, I think they would be a good addition for any driver training school.

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