Pay big money for a project design only to have it used incorrectly in the field? A new partnership between CM Labs and Trimble aims to provide operators with realistic training on grade control technology.
Launched at The Utility Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, the excavator simulation integration allows training organizations to provide operators of all experience levels access to technology on the modern job site.
The Trimble Earthworks for Excavators software works in parallel with CM Lab’s Vortex Studio software and runs on a tablet, which the user can connect to the simulator. Visual aids are overlaid onto the existing ground along with cut/fill information, slope data and other customizable reference points to provide the user with a better understanding of the work that needs to be done.
“To a user, this will look exactly like the Trimble application, but it’s going to be fed by what they’re doing in the simulation,” said Yannick Lefebvre, technical sales manager, CM Labs. “They can go into Earthworks, program the depth that they want to work at, and know when they are going over a hidden utility line – all of that comes into play.”
A variety of configurable views makes it easier to obtain the right perspective for maximum training value. The integration allows users to get familiar with technology without making costly errors in the field. “We’d like you to make the mistakes here. We’d like you to play with the design here,” said Gary James, training instructor/SimGuide specialist, CM Labs. “When you go to a job site, you’re ready to go. You understand exactly how to build a design, follow a map and customize offsets.”
But training isn’t the only use for the simulators. The system can also serve as a company’s first line of defense against bad hires. “It’s the fake it until you make it world we’re trying to get rid of,” said James. “We want guys and girls to go home at the end of the night. The money is not worth anybody’s life. It’s all about safety.”
Trimble Earthworks is available as an add-on with CM Labs’ Excavator Training Pack and will be expanded to other earthmoving modules. The software is compatible with all of CM Labs’ Vortex Simulators.