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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Oshkosh simplifies training for HEMTT

16 September, 2013
At the DSEi event, Oshkosh Defense demonstrates simplified training system using computer generated simulation for the company's HEMTT vehicle

As part of the Oshkosh Defense stand at this year's DSEi arms exhibition in East London, the company was showing the latest L-ATV (Light combat tactical all-terrain vehicle) which is being given its first airing on the European market.

The Wisconsin company has always considered its expertise to be in all-terrain equipment, having been established early in the 20th century as a supplier of transfer boxes enabling power to be transmitted from one set of wheels to the other. Not predicting the popularity of 4x4 leisure vehicles at that time, the motor industry wasn't interested so Oshkosh found its niche in special vehicles serving forestry vehicles operating in the extensive woodlands in the state of Wisconsin. Oshkosh still uses proprietary transfer boxes in its vehicles which serve the military market.

Extending its expertise and meeting the additional demands of the defence industry for support services, Oshkosh has now introduced virtual training to its portfolio with the first release being for the company's Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT). Although not a fully-fledged simulator, the graphical programme shows a layout of the truck's control console and guides the operator through the steps needed for most operations that are expected to be performed.

Essentially, the programme follows the paper-based user manual but in this case, the trainee carries out each step listed in the procedure and can't perform the next step until warning messages and hints have been read (unlike in the manual where they are usually skipped over). The demonstration programme showed the steps needed to be taken by the driver to hoist a log from the ground to the truck bed.

The procedure assumes no prior knowledge and could be performed by anyone regardless of experience, thus providing a simple, step-by-step training regime for all military drivers. Oshkosh explained that in the USA, there is a fairly high churn of military drivers and many new, young drivers are recruited from regions of the country where it isn't normal for the majority of young people to have driving licences. Simplicity and the step-by-step approach is therefore essential to meet the training needs of all levels of driver.

The training simulation programme for the HEMTT is available as part of sales and support contracts for the vehicle and similar simulators will be rolled out by the company for the remaining vehicles in its portfolio.

By Andy Pye

Cambridge graduate Andy Pye is one of the pioneers of internet publishing. An experienced engineer by profession, Andy also has decades of experience in technical journalism and content generation

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