More warehouses and distribution centers are opening every year and, in nearly every one of those warehouses, forklift operators are essential. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says demand for forklift operators is expected to grow more than 12% by 2020. We all know that no company can thrive without well-trained employees, but even the very best training programs can’t replace the real-life skills that come with on-the-job experience. So, how do you make sure that vital training happens effectively, securely and efficiently – especially if you need to train employees quickly, such as seasonal or temporary labor?
A New View for Forklift Operators
Welcome to the material handling future: virtual forklift training. Different forklifts can be used in combination with virtual reality (VR) to build a real driving experience, including one like Raymond’s Virtual Reality Simulator. To begin, the trainer hooks up the lift truck to the system via Raymond’s plug-and-play technology, then the forklift operator steps into the truck wearing VR goggles and starts the virtual tutorial. While the truck stays stationary, the driver can operate all aspects of the equipment while they work real life scenarios through the virtual warehouse environment. This eliminates the need to have “training” trucks on hand and larger teaching areas set aside, plus it’s much more efficient than a trainer running after a moving vehicle. It’s like the flight simulator used by the military and airline industry.
Lift Truck Learning Simplified
Each system comes with a series of guided lessons based on OSHA guidelines. Each one builds on the other in complexity, so training can start with the basics and move up to more challenging and complex exercises. Because they are based on principles learned in earlier modules, forklift operators get a consistent learning experience to develop their expertise as they go in a controlled environment. That can help build confidence and comfort with the equipment since the more you practice a skill, the better you get at it, including operating a forklift.
It’s not easy to operate this equipment – it takes skill and training – so the system also provides feedback as the operator is training so coaches can help improve problem areas in the moment. This advanced hands-on training also allows operators to feel what an impact would be like without consequences of injury, product or truck damage.
Augment OSHA-Required Training
Not only can these virtual reality training tools help take your warehouse into the future, but they can also help retrain forklift operators in need of a refresher or introduce new skills to someone ready to advance in their career with your company. Because the material handling industry is always evolving, now is the perfect time to meet the demands you have today and get ready for the future.
Ready to make your operation more productive? Abel Womack is here to help with different training options tailored to meet your needs now. We rent the VR equipment for training sessions and can help schedule regional training if you have a large team that needs to get up to speed. Discover the future of training today.