Martz anticipates reduced training costs, improved performance and a reduction in the number of accidents new drivers encounter due to the simulator training. Photos courtesy of The Martz Group.
At Martz Group Companies, motorcoach drivers can now benefit from the same type of training available to pilots with the addition of a “simulator” designed just for the bus industry. Martz recently placed an MPRI Driving Simulator in a motorcoach that was reconfigured to become a classroom on wheels.
The mobile classroom will rotate between all Martz locations (Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida) and provide newly hired and current drivers state-of-the-art training in situations such a tire blowouts, black ice, high winds and much more that would be impossible to recreate on the highway.
“Driver reaction thus far has been fantastic,“ said Mike Jordan, safety director for the Martz Group Wilkes-Barre location. “Our operators really appreciate the opportunity to recertify on the simulator and encounter unique experiences that can occur on any given day; the scenarios are realistic and practical. Our people are actually anxious to have their turn on the new unit.”
In addition to the simulator unit, the mobile classroom has comfortable seating and desks for 10 students, Wi-Fi accessibility, and power outlets for laptops and other training devices. A large flat screen TV allows students to view the same scene on the simulator as the driver, as well as watch webinars, videos or PowerPoint presentations for other training applications.
“Training at Martz receives a tremendous amount of attention,” said Ed Steltz, VP, Human Resources.
In addition to the simulator unit, the mobile classroom has comfortable seating and desks for 10 students, Wi-Fi accessibility, and power outlets for laptops and other training devices.
New drivers at the company receive a minimum of 168 hours of classroom and on-the-road training before they are placed in revenue service. "That is a huge investment of time and money," Steltz said. "The integration of the mobile classroom and simulator into this already intense program will maximize individual training time, improve awareness and provide real life experience before the driver takes the first trip,” he added.
Martz anticipates reduced training costs, improved performance and a reduction in the number of accidents new drivers encounter due to the simulator training.
“We are extremely proud of this Mobile Training Center,” said Craig Smith, CEO, The Martz Group. “And, especially excited about the increased level of training we can provide our drivers. It is our hope to be able to share this technology and our many years of driver training expertise with other companies after we complete the initial phase within our organization and find available time to offer our services to other coach companies.”
Any transit or motorcoach company interested in learning more about the Martz Driver training Program and simulator should contact Ed Steltz at (570) 821-3840.