Therma One Transport Corp (TOTC), First Balfour’s heavy equipment transport and hauling business, recently purchased an Acreos HGV (heavy goods vehicle) Simulator, the first company in the Philippines to do so.
Developed and manufactured in France, the simulator which has a dynamic motion seat enables operators to learn the specific controls of straight trucks and articulated trucks with trailers. Apart from improving the skills of its current pool of drivers, it also enables TOTC to assess the skill level of its driver applicants. TOTC Maintenance and Development Supervisor Jesus Enrico “Kiko” Oyos shares that since its assembly on 13 January 2022, seven applicants have already undergone simulator training, four of whom are current TOTC drivers. “Training them and letting them perform driving exercises will surely improve their skills which we hope will result in increased productivity and improved efficiency and safety,” he shares.
Apart from recognizing the role of technology in strengthening its capabilities, TOTC Business Unit Head Jed Francis Decano also shares, “I firmly believe this new acquisition will also pave the way for empowering the whole organization. For instance, truckmen or those who assist truck drivers in restraining the loads and changing the tires, can be promoted to truck drivers when they undergo simulator training and pass the actual trade test and all other related examinations. Aside from optimizing our operations, we will be able to create a work environment where people can develop their skills and truly excel.”
The Acreos Simulator is a technology that provides various simulation modules and exercises that allow operators to master heavy equipment operations in a virtual environment. It is a cost-effective training tool that carries out a realistic simulation where users can acquire appropriate driving and equipment operation skills. With this simulator, the use of an actual heavy equipment in the conduct of training is no longer required, thereby reducing fuel costs and avoiding mechanical wear and tear.
The unit is the newest addition to First Balfour’s current lineup of the latest training and development technologies on the handling of heavy construction equipment. In 2020, its equipment rental business T1 Rentals bought its own simulator with the modules for operating a mobile crane and a hydraulic excavator. First Balfour’s very first simulator was brought in 2014, making the company one of the first in the industry to invest on such innovation.