ForgeFX is a proud simulator development partner of JLG Industries, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of aerial work platforms, telehandlers and other access equipment. In addition to creating industry-leading equipment, JLG partners with their customers by providing cutting-edge training and service, which is unsurpassed in the industry. The huge success JLG has achieved also presents them with a challenge, how to provide training for such a large number of new operators. A construction equipment training simulator, which is widely deployable, is precisely what JLG needed in order to meet this challenge.

ForgeFX leveraged our experience and technical skills to produce a training simulator for JLG that is available across a collection of platforms and devices, including iPad, Windows and a browser-based version, allowing operators to easily access the training material wherever they are. The JLG Equipment Simulator helps operators to quickly and safely become comfortable and gain proficiency with the equipment controls, allowing them to be better, faster, and safer operators in the real world.

JLG Equipment Simulator by ForgeFX Simulations

JLG Equipment Simulator

JLG is dedicated to helping their customers increase productivity and lower operating costs. Their 800 Series Telescoping Boom Lift takes you from the ground to 80 feet in less than 67 seconds, with a horizontal outreach of up to 75 feet.

JLG’s telescoping boom lifts take you from the ground to full extension in just over a minute, with horizontal outreaches up to 80 feet. Achieving proper training is essential in order to correctly and safely operate boom lifts. The JLG Equipment Simulator provides operators with controls familiarization as well as task-based scenarios for training.

JLG 800S Boom Lift Training Simulator

Operating a boom lift requires proficiency in the real-world. Operators are controlling and moving a platform which they are on. They may be facing away from their target location, and they have extension and other controls to adjust their aerial position. Getting a feel for this is not possible by reading about it. It requires hands-on experience. After using an actual boom lift, whether real or simulated, operators rapidly gain a feel for the machine. In particular, the proportional nature of the controls requires experience in order to master the delicate touch which is most effective. Novice operators will often treat proportional controls as all-or-nothing controllers. After using the training simulator, operators gain an understanding of the delayed effect of proportional controls, and learn not to “over steer”.

Aerial Work Platform VR Training Simulator

Aerial Work Platform VR Training Simulator

JLG Boom Lift Training Simulators Increase Productivity

At their facility in McConnellsburg, PA, JLG has created a testing and training facility that duplicates many aspects of a typical real-world job site. For example, uneven surface, mock buildings under construction, and a variety of loads to transport. To train on site with experts at the proving grounds is an invaluable experience. However, the real-world proving grounds can’t handle the volume, nor can everyone handle the expense of on-site travel and training. In the JLG Equipment Simulator, ForgeFX has created a true-to-life replica of the Proving Grounds, allowing an unlimited number of students to gain much of what is gained in the real-world experience.

The Simulated World Offers Options the Real World Cannot

The virtual experience offers trainees some things you can’t experience in the real-world. For example, within the simulation an operator can see an exterior, or bird’s eye view, of the effects of control manipulations as they are using the equipment. As a novice user extends the boom arm he can switch to a dedicated virtual camera which shows how much room he has left, allowing him to gain a feel for the limits of what is possible.

Studying Boom Lift Operations

The first step that ForgeFX takes when embarking on an operator training simulation development project for any piece of equipment is to study that equipment in operation in the real-world. The ForgeFX team brings on site every type of media capture device imaginable: SLR still cameras, audio recording equipment, and video recording equipment. The capture process for boom lifts which can operate 185 feet in the air posed a unique challenge. To meet this challenge, ForgeFX used drone-mounted aerial cameras in order to closely observe the actions of veteran operators at altitude.

Studying Aerial Work Platforms and Operators

Studying Aerial Work Platforms and Operators

Capturing and studying exactly how booms work can be a challenge. For example, the 1850 can operate 185 feet in the air. For all of our clients, ForgeFX begins the project with an onsite visit where we record many hours of raw source footage. This footage is then edited and cataloged for use as a reference during the simulation development process. ForgeFX brings everything to bear to capture every aspect possible.

Aerial Boom Lift Training Simulator

JLG Aerial Boom Lift Training Simulator

Task-Based Training Scenarios

In addition to a free format controls familiarization mode, it is valuable to provide students with specific tasks to accomplish. This gives the training a sense of purpose and supports the opportunity to provide real-time corrections and guidance as a student is attempting to complete a specific task.

Boom lift training simulator featuring task-based training scenarios.

Boom lift training simulator featuring task-based training scenarios.

The JLG Equipment Simulator provides a variety of task-based challenges for students to complete. These include both novice level and intermediate level tasks. An example of a novice level task-based scenario for boom lifts is booming up to a telephone poll mounted light, on a level surface, to repair it. An example of an intermediate level scenario is booming into a structure within a confined area, requiring more sophisticated skills. To guide users through these task-based scenarios, ForgeFX employed visuals, including glowing paths to travel and target boxes. These visual cues help trainees to practice proper vehicle maneuvering and lift platform positioning techniques. A collection of success criteria is set within the simulation and responds to those criteria being met. For example, the simulation tracks whether or not a user has successfully positioned the lift platform within a particular target zone. This automated computer-controlled tracking allows the simulator to give the real-time guidance and feedback to the student towards completing the assigned task.

Virtual Training in the Access Industry

The JLG Immersive Training Simulator was featured at Augmented World Expo 2018, in Santa Clara, California. AWE is the largest conference for augmented reality, virtual reality and wearable technology. ForgeFX CEO, Greg Meyers, and JLG Senior Director of Global Product Training, Rick Smith, presented this session on how virtual reality training provides a safe place to practice, learn and improves the confidence of access equipment operators.

ForgeFX’s Solution for Boom Lift Training

Training for boom lift operation presented controls familiarization and spatial awareness challenges. ForgeFX met these challenges for JLG by developing the JLG Equipment Training Simulator allowing operators to learn and practice both safety and productivity in a virtual environment.  Meeting JLG’s special requirements for volume training, we did this in a way which is widely deployed across multiple options, including virtual reality, laptops, and tablets.

What are your training needs?

Thank you for your interest in this virtual training simulator. Please see the JLG website for more information about their aerial work platforms, and for more information about the development of custom training simulators, please contact ForgeFX to discuss your requirements.

All images on this page are the property of JLG Industries, Inc.