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PC-Based Equipment Simulators: Cost-Effective Hands-On Training Tools

Bulldozer Simulator

This affordable simulation software puts you at the controls of a medium-sized crawler dozer at work in a typical construction site. The simulator is designed to train entry-level operators on basic machine operation and core skills, using seven simulation modules of increasing difficulty.

The Building Blocks of Equipment Operation

This instructionally-designed equipment simulator takes a building block approach to training, starting with simple tasks and progressing to more complex ones. Lessons begin with controls familiarization and then progress through bulldozer positioning, using the blade to control the path of a boulder, using the blade to backfill a trench, slot dozing and spreading. Many different job site situations are presented, which address a variety of operating scenarios.

The operation of the bulldozer simulator can be customized to simulate the behavior of a wide variety of machines.

Examples include:

  • Using separate pedals for decelerator and brake, or just a single pedal that combines both functions.

  • Activating or deactivating counter rotation so that when making a tight turn, the two crawler tracks will turn in opposite directions.

  • Setting the blade functions to work faster or slower.

Benefits of Crawler Dozer Simulation

  • Simulator training significantly reduces the need to use production machines for training.

  • You can utilize the simulator to assess the skills of prospective hires.

  • It provides your new hires with consistent training, because everyone works through the same exercises in a logical order. This enables you to establish performance benchmarks and elevate the proficiency of all of your dozer operators.

Slot Dozing
Pushing a Boulder

Bulldozer Software Description

There are seven “Simulation Modules” of increasing difficulty, starting with Controls Familiarization and then progressing through Bulldozer Positioning, Boulder Control, Backfilling 1 and 2, Slot Dozing, and finally Spreading. Many different kinds of situations are presented, in order to address the training needs of a wide variety of customers using different operational practices. You can even use the keyboard function keys and mouse controls during the simulation to change the point of view, to present views from outside the cabin e.g. to the left/right and up above, to better “understand” the simulated work.

VISTA's Bulldozer simulation software can be configured to simulate the behavior of a wide variety of bulldozers. For example, you can use separate pedals for Decelerator and Brake, or just a single pedal that combines both functions, to reproduce the different pedal arrangements found in real bulldozers. You can also activate (or not) “counter rotation” so that when making a tight turn, the two crawler tracks will turn in opposite directions, since this kind of control is typical of some, but not all, bulldozers. You can even set the blade functions to be faster or slower!

Simulation Modules

  • Controls Familiarization

  • Bulldozer Positioning

  • Boulder Control

  • Backfilling 1

  • Backfilling 2

  • Slot Dozing

  • Spreading

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators measure how quickly and how carefully the simulated work is performed including execution time, collisions, and criteria related to how well a trench is backfilled, is excavated, etc. With more than 20 unique Performance Indicators, feedback is diagnostic, instead of just a consolidated pass/fail score.


Tracking Results

Simulation results are automatically saved on your PC's hard drive for you and your trainee to review later. To make the record-keeping even easier, simulation results can also be saved in a single database using a separate Simulation Manager.

For each training module, the software captures data that summarizes how quickly and how carefully each job site task is done - 20 performance indicators in all - which include:


  • Execution time

  • Surface height variability

  • Volume of material backfilled into the trench

  • Dozing depth variability


This data enables trainers to clearly see areas where trainees need to improve; they can then coach them to correct those weak spots.


Software Pricing

Please contact us for pricing of a commercial software license for the crawler dozer simulator. Even small accidents due to inexperience can cost thousands of dollars in replacement parts and downtime, far in excess of your investment in this training tool. It represents an excellent training value and improves operator safety - a priceless investment in the health and wellness of your workers.

Software Description
Simulator Controls

Crawler Dozer Simulator Controls

Replica Controls for the Bulldozer Personal Simulator feature industrial strength components suitable for both table-top mounting and Simlog’s new Operator Chair.

Replica Controls begin with two industrial USB joysticks. There are a total of 8 push-buttons for the thumb, plus a trigger, to let you change the viewpoint by looking to the left/right, looking up/down, and by changing the viewing mode during the simulation. The USB electronics are built right into the base, so the joystick can be connected directly to your PC. Simlog also offers table-top mounting brackets to bring the joysticks down from table-top height to the sides of an ordinary chair, to better mimic the positioning of real controls in the cabin of real heavy equipment.

To complete the Replica Controls, Simlog offers a USB-ready Replica Controls 2-Pedal Unit.

Replica Controls

8-button tabletop simulator controls
Dozer simulator foot pedals

Replica controls provided a higher level of realism than PC controllers. The dozer simulator can be equipped with two industrial USB joysticks, each with 8 push-buttons. The right joystick controls the blade: raise/lower, tilt and angle. The left joystick controls the direction of motion (forward/neutral/reverse), steering and engine speed. Unit pricing is USD$1,250 or USD$2,500 per pair. An industrial USB-ready 3-pedal unit is available to complete the replica control set-up. Unit pricing for the pedal unit is USD$500.

Possible Setups

Tabletop dozer simulator
Tabletop equipment training simulator 3 screens
Tabletop equipment simulator with rear display
Portable tabletop dozer simulator setup
Here are four possible arrangements, one with a single display in front that is wall-mounted, other with three displays in front arranged side-by-side on the table, one with three displays on a table in front and a fourth display on a table in back and one with three displays in front in portrait mode and a fourth display on a table in back in landscape mode.

Custom Travel Cases for Replica Controls

Portable equipment simulator travel case
stacking portable equipment simulator travel cases
Portable equipment simulator roller case

For all setups, Simlog's Custom Travel Case makes transportation easy.

Key Features

  • Made-to-measure, with dedicated slots for levers, joysticks, pedals, steering wheel, and table-top mounting brackets

  • Space for a laptop PC, cables, and documentation

  • Pull-out handle, with multiple positions

  • Wheels (casters)

  • Cases are "stackable," for easy transport.



  • Overall dimensions: 30 (76cm) x 24 (61cm) x 19 (50cm)

  • Approximate weight: 50 lbs. (23 kg) when empty, up to 100 lbs. (46 kg) when full (depending upon the Replica Controls.)

Operator Chair

Simlog’s new Operator Chair with industrial controls is a cost-effective way to train bulldozer operators with our Bulldozer simulation software, in a safe and realistic environment. Compared to Table-Top Mounting Brackets, Simlog’s Operator Chair offers a superior simulation experience, thanks to an authentic operator seat with consoles for the left and right hands. All are mounted on an industrial platform with casters, for easy portability.

There are two Multi-Purpose Replica Controls joysticks along with a recessed USB-ready Replica Controls Pedal Unit. But if you already have a Simlog Operator Chair that you are using with some other Personal Simulator, then you may be able to re-configure that Operator Chair by purchasing additional elements.


Possible Setups

Operator Chair
Equipment simulator operator chair with 1 screen
Equipment simulator operator chair with 3 screens
Equipment simulator operator chair with 4 screens
Equipment simulator operator chair setup

Here are four possible arrangements, one with a single display in front, one with three displays in front arranged side-by-side, one with three displays in front and a fourth display back and one with three displays in front in portrait mode and a fourth display back in landscape mode.

Key Features

  • Authentic industrial operator seat, with headrest, air suspension, and seat-belt

  • Adjustable seat position (forward/backwards, three vertical positions)

  • Adjustable armrests (in height and angle)

  • Integrated left and right consoles for the joystick controls

  • Fully functional industrial style pedals

  • Steel platform with heavy-duty casters for easy portability


  • Overall Dimensions: L 60” (152.4 cm) x W 30” (76.2 cm) x H 47” (119.4 cm)

  • Weight: 330 lbs. (150 kg)

  • Shipping Dimensions: 67″ (170.2 cm) x 43″ (109.2 cm) x 44″ (118.8 cm).

  • Shipping Weight: approximately 550 lbs. (250 kg) One unit per skid, not stackable.

Vibration System

Vibration increases the realism of our Personal Simulators by adding physical (tactile) feedback to the audio and visual, making the experience more “immersive” at little additional cost, especially when compared to a motion platform.

The vibration that you feel is generated from the simulation software’s audio system as things happen. Engine idling, collisions with obstacles, digging virtual terrain, etc. can all be seen, heard and experienced! Adding vibration improves the realism of the simulation and makes the simulator-based training more compelling, encouraging trainees to be more serious and learn more carefully.

For our Operator Chairs, Simlog offers a vibration system that includes the “ButtKicker Simulation Kit” plus special mounting for the operator seat. The “ButtKicker” is a low-frequency sound transducer equipped with its own amplifier and “volume” controller to change the “force” of the vibration created by the simulation software sounds.

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