Using virtual reality to train equipment operators: an upcoming opportunity?

For our latest poll, we’ve asked the question: how do you get new equipment operators some seat time?

The poll is still up (so feel free to participate, here), but so far we’ve received some interesting feedback, which is worth a discussion.

Almost half of participants so far have said that they’ll send new recruits to “harrow or cultivate fields (even if they don’t need it)” to get some training time. Falling into second place, at 15 per cent, is depending on “someone else’s farm” to do the teaching.

We also brought the question to members of the Farmer Rapid Fire on RealAg Radio, on February 2. Interestingly enough, one of the answers, by Peter Gredig, of St. Thomas, Ont., was something we hadn’t even put in our poll: virtual reality, used in the same way as a pilot-in-training would use a flight simulator.

“There’s a huge opportunity in the equipment sector, to come up with software for that kind of technology that would allow you to maintain your equipment better, and train people,” he says.

Virtual reality would allow us to put someone in a seat, and with how realistic this technology has come, it really would feel real. Even though the technology is making a resurgence — and largely because of video games — it could bring opportunity. Especially if you consider learning how to use a sprayer, and with the price of inputs, it allows us to make those mistakes without denting the chequebook too much.

“Why wouldn’t we go that way? Put someone in a seat. I don’t know why we aren’t there,” he says. “It just makes so much sense.”

Check out the full conversation between Gredig and RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney, on the February 2 episode, here.

What do you think? Would you use a simulator or VR set up to train new staff?

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture