The Scottish Plant Owners Association has invested in a top of the range Tenstar simulator, as part of its ongoing mission to upskill the industry and attract young talent to follow a career path in plant.

The simulator has been supplied with a motion base for a real-life seat feel. The equipment also features a VR headset, for use with the crane package and for doing daily checks on machines. As your author can attest, it's thrillingly realistic.

The new simulator can be set up with a steering wheel to provide training on a number of construction machines, including wheeled and tracked excavators, graders, ADTs, dozers, telehandlers, wheeled loaders and a mobile crane. The software can also be customised to suit individual training needs.

“The training simulators enable safe and controlled access to many types of large plant and machinery categories. This allows individuals to experience what it takes to operate such machinery and often reveals hidden skills that can be further developed into potential future careers. The Tenstar simulators also have a use with more experienced operators helping them to explore and learn about the use of attachments such as tilt and rotate buckets and 3D GPS machine control systems. We look forward to working with the SPOA and its members on such an exciting initiative,” explained Tenstar's Simon Hogg.

The SPOA has teamed up with Setting Out For Construction to offer training courses from November 2023 to April 2024. The first training opportunity is due to take place on November 3rd at the office of the SPOA in Stirling. The half-day course - priced at £240 - is eligible for CITB grant funding. It is also possible for members to organise training with the Tenstar simulator at their own premises if they are willing to cover travel and transportation costs.

The SPOA has also invested in a trailer to make it easier for members to take the simulator to their local schools and career events. The SPOA will also take the simulator to industry shows and events to attract passionate individuals to try out the equipment.

“I really hope that members embrace this opportunity to upskill existing plant operators or to use the simulator as a way of engaging with young people who could have a bright future in plant. We constantly hear from members about the need to attract young people into our industry and this is a very tangible way of doing so. The Tenstar simulator is top of the range and really gives the operator an extremely realistic experience of what it is like to be a plant operator," said SPOA Executive Committee Member, James Currie.

SPOA members can take advantage of the new simulator, with just a small fee required to cover contract and insurance requirements. The simulator will be hired out under SPOA terms and conditions. A copy of the member's plant insurance will also be required, along with confirmation that the simulator is covered within that policy.