Haul truck simulator shown at SME conference

By KBJR News 1

April 22, 2014 Updated Apr 23, 2014 at 6:49 AM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) conference allows people from across the mining industry to learn more about what's happening in their field.

Featured at this year's conference is a portable haul truck simulator, which trains people working in the mines.

"You get the full sense of being in a real truck," said Rich Hyduke, who trains people to use the simulator.

The scenes depicted in the simulator resemble the actual layout of Hibbing Taconite, giving drivers an accurate sense of what it will be like to drive the real thing.

"You can simulate virtually everything imaginable," said Hyduke, "Hibbing Taconite had a fire on one of their trucks [recently] and when MSHA [Mine Safety and Health Administration] came to investigate, the young man who was the driver, the first thing he said is by going through the simulator, by practicing how to put out a fire, is what saved him."

Mary Brandt works for Advanced Minnesota, one of the partners which brought the simulator to the SME conference.

"They're safe. They're efficient. Productivity goes up by being in the simulator first," said Brandt.

The portable simulator was transported to the conference by semi truck, while a front loader put it in its place in the DECC's Fitzgerald Hall.

The SME conference runs through Wednesday.

Jennifer Austin

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