Today’s heavy equipment is becoming more connected, with embedded technology for collision avoidance and positioning. As all this connected tech continues to advance, construction workers need to become well versed in how to operate next-gen heavy equipment.

To meet this need, Trimble,, Sunnyvale, Calif., announced a new construction grade control simulator that will enable technology dealers to train operators on high-tech equipment. The Trimble Grade Control simulator includes joysticks, a motion platform, a gas pedal, and the Trimble Control Box.

The simulator, which was developed in conjunction with John Deere Construction & Forestry Co.,, Moline, Ill., enables operators to learn how to read 3D design models and experience jobsite hazards, safety situations, and precision control of the dozer blade. The software evaluates operator performance and provides feedback to trainers.

This news comes at a good time, as heavy equipment on the construction jobsite such as cranes continue to become embedded with more technology for collision avoidance and positioning.

Trimble also announced today, in partnership with Manitowoc Co.,, Manitowoc, Wis., a new collision-avoidance solution for cranes. The construction technology combines GNSS (global navigation satellite system) technology with collision-avoidance tools to provide positioning for multiple cranes working on a construction site.

Here is how it works: With the new tech sensors mounted on cranes, exact coordinates can be measured to determine precisely where each part of the crane is located. In the cab, the operator can see obstacles, and if a dangerous situation presents itself, alarms will sound and the tower crane operation can be halted.

This type of built-in, connected technology can help improve operators’ awareness, ultimately leading to increased safety and productivity on the construction jobsite.