Simulator Provides Effective – And Fun – Training

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | August 2009 Vol. 64 No. 8

Three-level approach to training

In response to a well documented industry shortage of skilled equipment operators, John Deere has worked with the company's customers to establish a comprehensive market leading approach to operator training, says Michael Hoeg, senior instructional designer and developer, John Deere Training Center.

Deere operator training takes a three level approach:

  • Level 1 training is the first step to becoming a safe and efficient operator. Through the use of online interactive courses, videos and multimedia, operators will learn John Deere machine specific information at their own pace.
  • Level 2 training teaches experience, machine controls, operator technique, and safe operation through the use of simulation technology. John Deere's Excavator Training Simulator, new 4WD Loader Operator Training Simulator and Motor Grader Operator Training Simulator, now in final stages of development, fit in the Level 2 category.
  • Level 3 instructor led training involves skills verification on a real machine led by John Deere expert instructors.

Cal Peters, manager of sales, marketing and support training, said that the company embarked on the comprehensive training program in response to an industry need of attracting, training and retaining operators.

"Deere's main priorities were to build a solution based upon customer input and sound instructional design," he explained. "Feedback thus far has been that we have hit the mark, and without a doubt have the leading product in operator training which will address the challenges facing today's customer."

John Deere Training sites are located in Sacaton, AZ, and Coal Valley, IL. Customers can send operators to these locations for instructor led training, or instructors can come to customer locations to train a group of operators on all machines and numerous applications.