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Penn College Heavy-Equipment Students Experience Volvo Simulator

Trevor J. Horton, a Pennsylvania College of Technology student from Curwensville, operates a simulator on loan from Volvo and the Oryx Co.Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis major are benefiting from the use of a full-motion wheel loader and articulated haul-truck simulator on loan from Volvo and the Oryx Co.

“This simulator is the closest thing to actually being in a real machine,” said Lester L. “Budd” Greevy, instructor of diesel equipment technology in Penn College’s School of Natural Resources Management, whose students have been learning proper safety procedures and operating techniques by practicing the different simulations of each vehicle.

“The only thing missing is “˜the scare factor’ it gives students the ability to operate a machine and learn controls in a safe environment,” he added. “The instructor is able to stand right next to the simulator and explain certain things while the student operates.”

Students reported an increase in confidence and a decrease in anxiety after operating the Volvo simulator. Heightened proficiency and a shorter learning curve are significant offshoots of the students’ ability to practice mechanical skills prior to climbing aboard a “live” piece of heavy equipment.

“I think it will prove to be an economical and safe way to train students because there is no fuel being burned or wear on the machine,” Greevy noted. “We would much rather start the students out on the simulator than on a half-million-dollar piece of equipment.” Students are introduced to “green” technologies as they relate to the industry, and the simulator offers a good example by allowing instruction without damage to the environment.

Several members of the school’s Heavy Construction Equipment Technology Advisory Committee and others have seen a demonstration of the simulator at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood. Among them are Henry Sorgen, Highway Equipment; representatives from Glenn O Hawbaker Inc., HRI, Hansen, Fairchild Brothers, the Wayne Township Landfill, Lycoming County Resource Management, American Infrastructure, Liberty Excavation, D&J Excavation and Charles Construction; Hank Frew and Jim McGuire.

The industrial visitors pointed out the simulator’s many advantages for testing new employees and evaluating the skill level of more experienced operators.

For more information about the School of Natural Resources Management, visit online or call or call 570-320-8038.

For more about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Photo by Melissa M. Stocum, coordinator of matriculation and retention for the School of Natural Resources Management

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