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Crane Hot Line

Simulators Let IUOE Offer All-Season Training in Albany, New York

Vortex RT Crane SimulationNovember 7, 2018 - International Union of Operating Engineers Local 158 in Albany, New York, can now train operators all year round, thanks to its adoption of a Vortex simulator built by CM Labs Simulations, Montreal, Quebec.


IUOE Local 158 represents heavy-equipment operators, mechanics, and surveyors in Upstate New York’s construction industry, as well as stationary engineers who perform all types of maintenance inside buildings.

Previously, New York’s winter weather restricted Local 158 to classroom learning from November to February. Now the union has a virtual training yard available 365 days a year, snow or no snow, thanks to the Vortex simulator from CM Labs Simulations.

With software for training operators of rough-terrain cranes, crawler cranes, flat-top tower cranes, and excavators, a single simulator helps the Local provide training throughout winter.

Bill Gray, training director for Local 158 District 106 in Albany, New York, says that training on the Vortex simulator is also more convenient during heavy rain days, as an alternative to digging in the mud. “It’s opening up new training possibilities, and resulting in faster, more effective training for apprentices,” he adds. “You’re not just putting them in a piece of machinery and hoping for the best. On the Vortex simulator, you get immediate feedback from the instructor. The turnaround time of learning is half of what it was.”

CM Labs’ full catalogue of cranes and heavy equipment training packs can be run on a single simulator. That includes training packs for Mobile Crane, Flat-top Tower Crane, Luffing Tower Crane, Crawler Crane, Excavator, Wheel Loader, Backhoe, Motor Grader, and more.

“We have seasoned operators that are some of the best in the country get on this thing,” Gray says, “and they can’t believe how useful these learning exercises are for trainees in terms of complexity. That says a lot for what CM Labs has done.”



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