The first time Simformotion Trainer, Tyler Kuehn, sat in the seat of a backhoe and started it up, he was hooked. Even at 16 years old, he knew operating heavy equipment would somehow, someway be in his future.
“I’ve been operating heavy equipment off and on since I was 16,” said Kuehn who attended Rockford University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. He then served in the U.S. Air Force at Patrick Air Force Base in Cocoa Beach, Florida, where he ran heavy equipment almost every day for six years. “We poured concrete, laid asphalt and built fences. You name it, we did it.”
“I like training students who have little to no previous heavy equipment operating experience. After they spend time on the simulators, they can walk away with a solid foundation that they can build on.”
By the time Kuehn completed his six-year commitment in the Air Force, he had a passion for heavy equipment. “Over the years, I’ve operated heavy equipment in almost every job I’ve had–from being an estimator/project manager to a construction manager to a Florida highway superintendent,” explained Kuehn. “I learned how to operate different machines while I was on the job which can be extremely challenging at times. That’s why training people on Cat® Simulators is really rewarding to me.”
Kuehn began a new chapter in his heavy equipment operating career as a trainer for Simformotion™ in the summer of 2021. Simformotion is taking Cat Simulator training on the road in its new Mobile Training Center.
Kuehn said, “I like training students who have little to no previous heavy equipment operating experience. After they spend time on the simulators, they can walk away with a solid foundation that they can build on. From learning how to complete a pre-operation walkaround to building muscle memory with the controls to performing application techniques the right way, the simulators cover it all and more.”
Having worked on various jobsites where incidents have happened, Kuehn understands how critical safety is and stresses the need to operate machinery safely to his students. “I worked on jobsites where a lot of heavy equipment would operate at the same time and also on worksites where traffic would drive by at 70 miles an hour. Safety had to be the biggest priority,” he explained.
That safety mindset goes for any jobsite and Kuehn is ready to take all he has learned and share it with the new operators he trains. The benefits of simulators go beyond safety. New operators, or operators who need to hone skills, can benefit from learning and practicing machine applications developed with Caterpillar experts. Training with authentic Cat controls and expert techniques on the simulators, can help operators reach optimum production in the field.
“I measure my success by my students’ successes.” Kuehn continued, “When they transition from the simulators and are confident when they get behind the controls in the real machines, that’s success. Then when they’re productive heavy equipment operators who get the job done and get it done safely, that’s real success.”
“I measure my success by my students’ successes,” comments Kuehn. “When they transition from the simulators and are confident when they get behind the controls in the real machines, that’s success.