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Students behind virtual wheel

Thursday, 4th September, 2014

TAFE Western teacher John Welsh with a student on the Mining Equipment Training Simulator. TAFE Western teacher John Welsh with a student on the Mining Equipment Training Simulator.

TAFE students are getting to know what it is like to work in the mines without having to go underground.

A simulator that gives truck driving and other mining experience has come to the city on its way through the west.

Called "The Mining Equipment Training Simulator" it is being taken to colleges as part of a mining course run by TAFE.

Local students who are working towards a Certificate II Work Preparation for Mining and Construction have been lining up to have a go.

TAFE Western teacher/ assessor, John Welsh, said they had brought it from the Dubbo TAFE.

"We have run courses in Orange, Dubbo, Wellington, Bourke and here in Broken Hill," Mr Welsh said. "We try and travel anywhere in the area."

Mr Welsh said the machine provided the experience of operating a Caterpillar 777D haul truck and let students get used to hydraulics, dumping and driving.

"The truck simulator facility offered to students gives them something to take to an employer," he said.

"It is an advantage to getting a job. The simulator gives students 10 to 15 hours' experience.

"They are given printouts of each cycle that they complete to show to a potential employer."

Mr Welsh said the students had been very interested in the simulator.

"There are 15 students in the class. They find the simulator very realistic," he said.

"Sometimes we get students saying they suffer from motion sickness while sitting in here."

Mr Welsh said they were also running drilling simulations.

"It's been very successful, the class is enjoying it. It has been very positive."

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