Virtual Reality Redefines Training in Underground Construction

Underground construction professionals know that a piece of equipment is only as effective as the operator is knowledgeable and comfortable. The industry faces a slew of evolving challenges including more compact urban jobsites, complex underground networks, and a growing demand for underground construction projects. Concurrently, a looming workforce shortage is making it difficult for contractors to recruit and train fresh talent to keep pace with demand.

However, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Ditch Witch and Subsite are stepping in to help by developing innovative and adaptable training solutions that engage the next generation of workers. With flexible training options already in place such as online training platforms, simulators, instructor-led courses, and hands-on job training, OEMs are embracing technology to assist the industry’s growing demand. One digital technology that is bringing training into a new era is virtual reality (VR).

VR technology presents an innovative solution to engage and upskill new workers. By simulating 3D underground environments, VR allows trainees to obtain hands-on experience safely and efficiently. Leveraging VR, trainees can apply textbook knowledge in lifelike scenarios before ever stepping foot on a jobsite and operating expensive and often intricate machinery. From horizontal directional drill (HDD) equipment operations to navigating complex jobsite conditions, through VR, operators can gain the skills, muscle memory, and confidence required for the real world.

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