Ditch Witch introduces industry-first HDD virtual reality simulator

Ditch Witch has introduced an industry-first virtual reality (VR) simulator to better prepare horizontal directional drill (HDD) operators for safe underground construction.
Ditch Witch introduces industry-first HDD virtual reality simulator Ditch Witch introduces industry-first HDD virtual reality simulator Ditch Witch introduces industry-first HDD virtual reality simulator Ditch Witch introduces industry-first HDD virtual reality simulator Ditch Witch introduces industry-first HDD virtual reality simulator

Ditch Witch's virtual reality HDD simulator

Duncan Moore

Editor

Duncan Moore

"Our next-generation HDD VR simulator takes training to the next level by allowing operators to familiarise themselves with HDD equipment and experience a realistic jobsite without the potential risks of putting a novice operator in a complex environment," said Greg Wolfe, Ditch Witch director of training. "Combined with our comprehensive certified HDD training curriculum, the simulator provides operators with the proper training to safely and effectively complete an HDD jobsite project, without the pressure of consequences from mistakes."

As the industry's first simulator utilising VR technology, the new technology provides both novice and experienced HDD operators with a 360-degree view of a realistic jobsite - simulating a variety of soil conditions and installation applications so operators can learn how the drill reacts. Through a series of lessons that increase in difficulty, operators are evaluated and educated on machine functions, product location, damage prevention, extended bend radius and steering. The program emphasizes damage prevention by requiring operators to pre-plan, set up equipment correctly and test protective systems.

The full VR simulator kit includes a portable operator station, joystick, dongle, lead motion detector sensor and VR goggles. To truly simulate a real jobsite experience, the equipment is configured to replicate what operators see and feel, leveraging the same joysticks found on Ditch Witch HDD equipment.

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