Bison launches new training initiative

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WINNIPEG, Man. — Bison Transport has undertaken a new approach to driver training involving the use of computer-based training, instructor-led training and driving simulations.

The objective is to better enhance and develop driver skills.

The company recently purchased technology that includes a stationary simulation called the TransSim VS Driver Training Simulator, as well as a full motion life sized truck simulator from GE Capital I-Sim, as part of its new Tatonka program. Tatonka will allow the fleet to focus on driver skills development while at the same time providing a safe, interactive learning experience for all of its drivers, the company says.

The simulator is able to provide a variety of realistic weather conditions and various challenges drivers will face out on the highway. Enabling drivers to confront these challenges in a controlled environment and measure their responses to these challenges will result in a safer team of drivers, the company says.

“Taking the best teaching tools and applying effective classroom, computer and simulation techniques makes this program interesting and unbelievably effective,” says David Klassen, Bison’s training coordinator.

Terry Doerksen, manager of SRE fleet safety with Manitoba Public Insurance, says the program is “A progressive training tool that encompasses a proactive approach to the development of safe driving skills.”

Bison had the TransSim VS unit on display at Truck World in September, providing drivers and potential drivers the opportunity to take it for a spin. The unit has a height of 70-inches and a weight of 560lbs and contains a large monitor, truck seat, steering wheel, foot pedals and gearshift. Weather conditions and other variables can be altered to test a driver in all the situations.

The fleet also plans to introduce a Mark II driver training simulator to the program, which is a life-sized truck cab measuring 15ft. high and weighing 4,200lbs. This simulator will enable Bison to take the program to the next level, offering all drivers a complete training experience. The Mark II can simulate more than 140 different transmissions and 240 engines and it features an audio and vibration system for the ultimate in realism.

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