Video games have been around a long time. But ever since technology advanced during the past few decades, it has become a multibillion-dollar industry. Equipment and devices have also advanced enough to become smaller, less expensive and more intuitive. People as young as a 6 months old are able use a tablet touch screen without instruction.
One of the most basic tools used on construction machinery is the joystick. Excavators backhoes and bulldozers all use some form of lever or joystick to operate. Construction companies and unions are now purchasing construction equipment simulators to help recruit. They’re also used to train future heavy equipment operators because the video game generation already can use a joystick.
Baby boomers and their sons are now retiring and the construction industry is having trouble filling positions. Companies are now bringing their simulators to high schools, community colleges and non-profit organizations to show how construction machinery operates.
Some construction companies hire video game makers to enhance their recruitment programs. There are games available to the public that can be played on PC, console or smartphone.
Simulator games, like Heavy Excavator Simulator 3D, provide real-life physics of digging, lifting and driving construction machinery. They even have controls for jaws, arms, turrets and other attachments commonly used. It also displays in a 360 degree view from inside the excavator and backhoe.
Typical game play simulates lifting of dirt and mud, loading of a dump truck, driving dump truck to a destination and dumping. There’s also options to drive bulldozers, excavators, diggers, lifters, pullers, driller and backhoes.
So don’t be discouraged if you discover your children spending hours at a time driving their favorite backhoe down a virtual street. They may be in training for a rewarding career.
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