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

This affordable hydraulic excavator simulator puts you at the controls of a modern excavator at work in a typical construction site. It's designed to train entry-level operators on basic machine operation and core skills, using 12 simulation modules of increasing difficulty. This technology has been used to train tens of thousands of people in over 25 countries worldwide.


Now even better! Version 2.5 of our award-winning product brings significant improvements to the 3D modeling, simulated physics, graphics, and Simulation Modules to provide even more operator training help!

You can use your own PC or choose the convenience of our PC bundle with the software already installed, licensed, and ready to go in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese.

Now use 3 Displays to create a field of view of 180 degrees. (You can still use just one display, if space is limited.)

And unique to our simulator, all you need is one off-the-shelf PC!


Trench Crossing

Bench Loading

Bench Climbing

Sample screen from excavator simulator

Hydraulic Excavator Software Description

The simulation software puts you at the controls of a modern hydraulic excavator at work in a typical construction site with both simulated dirt and large boulders, in interaction with an articulated dump truck. Both SAE and Backhoe-Loader joystick patterns are available, and changing the point of view during the simulation is easy with joystick buttons, keyboard function keys and mouse controls.

Simulation Modules

  • Controls Familiarization

  • Excavator Positioning

  • Raking the Green, for coordinating the movements of the boom, stick, and bucket

  • Over the Moon, that adds the coordinated movement of the swing

  • Bench Climbing/Descending

  • Trench Crossing, with “boom jacking”

  • Single-Pass Dig and Dump

  • Trenching

  • Trench and Load

  • Bench Loading with Truck Spotting

  • Bench Loading with Truck Spotting – Boulders

  • Ramp Building

Key Features

  • Highly realistic simulation graphics and physics, featuring simulated dirt and boulders

  • 12 Simulation Modules of increasing difficulty

  • 37 unique Performance Indicators to comprehensively evaluate the simulated work

  • 5 Procedure and Fatal errors to detect incorrect and unsafe operator actions

  • Many kinds of USB-ready simulator controls and mounting options

  • Support for multiple displays

  • Configuration parameters for both SAE and ISO joystick patterns

  • Functionality to slow down, or speed up, control functions

  • Viewpoints from inside and outside the cabin that can be changed during simulation

  • HD Instructional Video for each Simulation Module

  • e-book Instructional Companion


Tracking Results

For each Simulation Module, key unique Performance Indicators measure how quickly and how carefully the simulated work is performed, including execution time, truck loading accuracy, the maximum tilt angle when the excavator climbs/descends benches, and the number of “slams” that sound when the bucket is over-opened or over-closed. In this way, the feedback is diagnostic, instead of just a consolidated pass/fail score.


Simulation results are automatically saved on the PC, along with data about any procedure and fatal errors. To simplify record keeping, a database product called Simulation Manager is available; the same database can be used with all of the simulators VISTA sells.


Software Pricing

Please contact us for pricing of a commercial software license for the hydraulic excavator simulator download. 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. This priceless investment in the health and productivity of your workers represents an excellent training value and improves operator safety.

Software Description

Hydraulic Excavator Simulator Controls

PC controls offer maximum cost-effectiveness and transportability, thanks to low cost off-the-shelf PC joysticks. VISTA recommends using the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, shown at right. The same joystick can be used for both the right- and left-hand controls. Plus, it has many switches for the thumb along with additional switches in the base that can be customized in the simulator to perform different functions (such as look right and left). In most countries, these PC joysticks are for sale in retail stores that sell computers or video games. They may also be purchased on-line from Logitech.

You may choose to use other PC joysticks but VISTA recommends that you carefully review the look and feel of the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro before purchasing something else. Logitech Attack 3 joysticks will also work with this simulator. If your joysticks don't offer sufficient functionality, then you won't be able to take advantage of all of the training value that is built into this simulator.

Replica Controls

Simulator Controls
8-button tabletop portable simulator controls
Excavator pedals for tabletop portable simulator

Replica Controls for the Hydraulic Excavator Personal Simulator feature industrial strength components suitable for both Table-Top Mounting and Simlog’s new Operator Chair. The joystick model is multi-purpose, and may also be used with many Personal Simulators. (Replica Controls fitted with real hydraulic excavator control handles are also available.) Table-top mounting brackets bring the joysticks down to the sides of an ordinary chair, to better mimic the positioning of real controls in the cabin of real heavy equipment.

We have also developed a USB-ready Replica Controls Pedal Unit with the very same shape and toe-down/heel-down action of real hydraulic excavator pedals. Having these pedals will enhance the overall effectiveness of your excavator operator training program and reduce your training costs, by helping trainees learn the hands-and-feet coordination required to operate real hydraulic excavators. (If you choose to not have pedals, the joysticks alone can be used as travel levers.)

Possible Setups

Excavator simulator tabletop setup
Excavator simulator tabletop setup with 3 screens
Excavator simulator tabletop example
Here are three possible arrangements, one with a single display in front that is wall-mounted, one with three displays in landscape mode and one with three displays in portrait mode.

Custom Travel Cases for Replica Controls

Portable equipment simulator travel case
Stacking portable equipment simulator travel cases
Portable equipment simulator travel case on wheels

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 Operator Chair with industrial controls offers a superior simulation experience to train Backhoe Loader operators thanks to an authentic operator seat with consoles for the left and right hands, and an adjustable steering column. All are mounted on an industrial platform with casters, for easy portability.

The industrial steering wheel is mounted on a column that telescopes and easily pivots to numerous angles and it includes three industrial pedals.

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
Excavator simulator with operator chair and 1 screen
Excavator simulator with operator chair and 3 screens
Excavator simulator with operator chair example

Here are three possible arrangements, one with a single display in front, one with three displays and the other with three displays in portrait mode.

Key Features

  • Authentic industrial operator seat, with 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 joystick controls

  • Full steering column with pivot and telescope capabilities

  • 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: 385 lbs. (175 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

  • 120 VAC/60 Hz, 220-240VAC/50 Hz

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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