Tower Crane Simulator

Overview
Customer Stories

Tower cranes are the workhorses of the high-rise construction site, and are among the largest pieces of equipment in the industry. 

With mast lengths exceeding a hundred meters, their safe operation requires a command of best lifting practices as well as dealing with the unique challenges of weather conditions and mast and boom deflection under load.

 

 

Operation requires focus, stamina, and excellent hand-eye coordination.

By methodically working through the Tower Crane training module exercises, trainees acquire valuable experience and important operational information that prepares them for—and complements—learning on a real tower crane:

  • Learning about tower crane operations on a high-rise city construction site
  • Understanding the operation of the tower crane, including slewing, trolley, and hoist
  • Working at heights (requires good eyesight and depth perception) from the perspective of the tower crane cab
  • Handling typical load types in high-rise construction, such as rebar, concrete buckets, construction materials, and fly-forms
  • Understanding the effects of wind and weather conditions on crane operations
  • Learning to control hook and load pendulum with long cable falls
  • Understanding how mast and boom deflection affects lift operations
  • Understanding the use of hand signals and working as part of a lift team
  • Understanding load charts and using the load-moment indicator (LMI) on a tower crane

 

Vortex Tower Crane Simulator Vortex Tower Crane Simulator

 

Tower Crane Training Module Learning Program

The Tower Crane training module features progressive learning exercises—from beginner to advanceddesigned to gradually build student skill and confidence:

  • Understanding the controls, start up and shutdown
  • Load management (LMI) configuration and alarms
  • Hook and load management and pendulum control
  • Working in adverse wind and weather
  • Unloading materials on the worksite
  • Moving loads within the building site
  • Erecting steel structures and concrete panels
  • Changing part of line with pulley block
  • Working at different heights and longer hook lines
  • Concrete forming exercises
  • Practice CCO zigzag corridor and barrel test courses

 

Students learn the fundamentals of standard top-slewing tower crane work, including load charts, blind lifts, and 2-part and 4-part-of-line operation. They'll also learn the fundamentals of safety systems including anti-2-block, lower limit switch, and trolley limit switch. The student also learns how to work with the crane LMI as well as understand its functions and react to alarms.

Vortex training modules include an integrated heads-up display (HUD) to guide operator trainees through training exercises. The HUD includes work sequence information for the operator, contextual messages, and a list of performance metrics updated in real time.

The Tower Crane Training Module gives trainers objective insight into student performance and abilities. Student exercises can be recorded and played back for after-action lift team performance review. Trainers can measure key student performance metrics such as:

  • Tasks completed and time
  • Pendulums and load or hook collisions
  • Rough load handling
  • CCO test violations
  • Instructor comments and bookmarks

 

Vortex Tower Crane Simulator

The optional student management system allows instructors to generate reports from crane training sessions, and review current and past performance.

 

Best-in-class Simulation

The Tower Crane Training Module provides the most realistic simulation-based training on the market. This ensures that students can transfer their skills directly from the simulator to the real world. There is no risk of negative training as with other game-based simulators.

Simulation of the crane is built on proven Vortex dynamics. Just as in real life, the simulated mast and jib bend and torque according to the weight of the load, dynamic movements, and actual crane characteristics.

All rigging and hoisting cables are simulated from the load to the drum using actual engineering properties, so that they behave appropriately as lines are placed under tension or the load is released.

This means that all loads pendulum, snag, and collide just as they would in the real world, providing valuable experience to students without endangering them or others. Cables will collide with worksite obstructions and the crane boom.

Vortex simulators provide leading worksite visuals; the view from the cab accurately matches the view inside a real crane.

An in-cab LMI is displayed on a touch screen mounted to the right of the operator chair, and displays key operational information as well as additional controls. Operators configure and learn LMI operation just like the real crane.

Trainees experience lifelike visual and weather effects such as rain, snow, cloud cover, and fog which can affect operator visibility.

Load shadows, which are critical for depth perception, are accurately simulated for time of day. Wind loading on the crane, cables, and load are all simulated, and operators can be challenged with difficult wind conditions. Worksites include hazards and distractions as well as other workers and equipment.

 

Supported Vortex Hardware Platforms

The Vortex Tower Crane Training Module supports different hardware configurations to meet your budget, space, and training requirements:

  • Desktop simulator with game controls
  • Vortex Trainer with single display
  • Vortex Master with one, three, or five displays and optional 3DOF motion.

 

All Vortex hardware is designed for maximum durability and reliability, to protect your training investment.

Learn more about our crane simulators.

 

More resources

Download the Vortex Tower Crane Training Module datasheet now

 

Here's how we've helped just a few of our clients. For more information on these stories, or to obtain additional client references, contact us at any time.

Mammoet
Mammoet Assures PTC Operator Safety with Vortex Simulator
Crane Service Industries
Crane Service Industries Provides Top-notch Training with Vortex
Crane Institute of America
Crane Institute of America Improves Training with Vortex Simulator
Keyano College
Keyano College: 9 Vortex Simulator Benefits
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
SAIT Training Program Engages Student Operators with "Transformational" Vortex Simulators
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station: Success with Vortex
IUOE Local 14
Vortex Simulator an "Incredible" Addition to IUOE Local 14's State-of-the-art Training Center
IUOE Local 400 Montana
IUOE Local 400 Montana Acquires Vortex Crane Simulator
Safety Resources Unlimited
SRU Prepares Crane Operators for OSHA Regulations
Keyano College
Keyano College Develops Tower Crane Training Program
NC Services Group
NC Services Group in Alberta Builds Skills with Vortex
Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

Vortex Simulator an "Incredible" Addition to IUOE Local 14's State-of-the-art Training Center

February 22, 2017

Local 14 is always on the lookout for new and innovative training tools, whether it be a new hi-tech rotating telehandler, spider crane, or excavator, or smart display technology in the classrooms.

However, it wasn’t until Tom Gordon, the Local's Co-Director of Journey Person and Apprenticeship Training, sat in a Vortex simulator from CM Labs Simulations at a Kentucky trade show that Local 14 considered adding a new simulator to the Training Center.

"I was never a big simulator guy," says Gordon. "It just wasn't something I thought was that valuable. But once I got on the Vortex simulator, I realized what a great tool it could be for us here."

Download the full story now

Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station: Success with Vortex

June 10, 2016

In terms of power output, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station has been the USA’s largest nuclear plant since 1992. 

The plant’s objective is to lead the industry — not only in terms of raw output, but also in knowledge, training, and employee engagement: Palo Verde has learned through experience that the safest plants are also the best operating plants.

"With that mandate in my back pocket," says Palo Verde Rigging Training Instructor Bob Armstead, “I’m looking to provide the most effective training possible. I am not going to spare any expense for training in any way, shape, or form.”

Indeed, preventing lift incidents is a constant focus for the former (retired) USAF Airman. Like every lift professional in the US nuclear sector, he was particularly troubled by a March 2013 incident at Arkansas Nuclear One that involved the collapse of a lifting rig being used to move a 600-ton main generator stator. The failure resulted in one fatality and several injuries.

Download the full story now

Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

SAIT Training Program Engages Student Operators with "Transformational" Vortex Simulators

February 08, 2016

As Associate Dean at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Polytechnic in Alberta, Jim Szautner has seen all kinds of student operators.

For some, heavy equipment operation is a calling. For others, it's an opportunity that's knocking at the right place and time.

And for others, it's an intimidating, back-against-the-wall prospect.

"This might be the first time some students are coming back to school in a number of years," says Jim — "their secondary experience might not have been super positive, so they might not have a lot of confidence coming in to the post-secondary environment."

In the case of these students, the Vortex Simulators are part of a "transformational experience" that Jim believes is central to the SAIT experience.

"Once they get on the Vortex Simulator," Jim says, "and gain the confidence that they can do it, it's actually quite amazing to watch — they surprise themselves and do far better than what they thought they were capable of.”

Download the full story now

Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

Keyano College: 9 Vortex Simulator Benefits

September 01, 2015

Located in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Keyano College provides specialised training to more than 2,800 full-time students and over 13,000 part-time students.The college offers a wide variety of programs, including certificate programs such as mechanical construction trades preparation, the heavy equipment technician trade, and power and process engineering.

Keyano College's Vortex Simulators are a valuable teaching tool for tower crane operation training, as well as training for mobile crane, crawler crane, and excavator operations.

Leslie Howlett is Keyano College's Mobile Simulator Instructor — "mobile" being a reference to the Vortex Simulator, not to him, although his career has taken him from Newfoundland to Alberta via Afghanistan and an array of other locations. With over 20 years of experience as a trainer, he's conditioned to seeing everything as a teaching opportunity.

Everyone's got their reasons for using a Vortex Simulator. Leslie shares his.

Download the story now

Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

Crane Institute of America Improves Training with Vortex Simulator

May 05, 2015

"The underlying cause of most accidents," says Jim Headley, "is a failure to properly train and qualify personnel. That's why I want to provide the very best, the highest-quality training out there. I want to make sure we're helping the people in the field as best we can."

Jim Headley is president and director of Crane Institute of America (CIA). CIA has trained or certified over 100,000 equipment operators, inspectors, supervisors, trainers, riggers, and other safety personnel since 1987.

Find out how CIA uses a Vortex Simulator to improve its operator training program — download the story now.

Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

Crane Service Industries Provides Top-notch Training with Vortex

March 23, 2015

Crane Service Industries (CSI) trains for all lifting activities, including aerial and platform lifts, with a particular focus on cranes and crane operator certification.

To enhance its training program, CSI purchased a Vortex Trainer, CM Labs' table-top simulator, with a boom truck software training module. As a result, CSI has improved training delivery, and increased training throughput – all with reduced maintenance and fuel costs.

Download the full story to find out how [PDF]

Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

Mammoet Assures PTC Operator Safety with Vortex Simulator

March 11, 2015

"That crane," says Mammoet's Mark Oterdoom, "is 100% our design and 100% our responsibility. So the training has to come from us. As far as liability goes, we need to know we've covered everything that could go wrong. That's why we have the simulator." 

That crane is Mammoet's platform containerized twin-ring crane (PTC) 140/200 DS. The PTC has a lifting capacity of 3200 mT and a range of up to 205 meters. It is the biggest crane of its kind, and takes up to six weeks to set up before the first lift gets underway.

The simulator is a Vortex simulator from CM Labs Simulations. It simulates the PTC 140/200 DS for trainee operators of the large cranes...

Download the full story now [PDF]

Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

NC Services Group in Alberta Builds Skills with Vortex

September 26, 2012

With a fleet of over 150 cranes, NC Services Group (NCSG) is one of the most important providers of lift and heavy-haul services to major oil and gas companies in Northern Alberta.

NCSG recently purchased a 5-display Vortex Simulator with a motion platform, instructor console, and mobile and crawler crane modules.

The Vortex Simulator will allow NCSG to assess operators hired for specific projects, and to maintain the skills of the existing workforce.

Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

Keyano College Develops Tower Crane Training Program

September 21, 2012

Keyano College is one of Alberta’s leading trade schools.

As a progressive training institute, Keyano embraced the use of simulators for training several years ago, starting with simulators to train mining equipment operators.

Keyano has recently purchased two Vortex Simulators for Tower, Mobile, and Crawler crane operator training.

Keyano is currently developing a complete tower crane operator training program around the Vortex Simulator platform.

Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

SRU Prepares Crane Operators for OSHA Regulations

March 27, 2012

Located in Oklahoma, Safety Resources Unlimited (SRU) provides training, consulting, and inspection services throughout the United States. SRU services a variety of industries utilizing material handling equipment with training onsite and at its training center to accredited NCCCO standards and in accordance to OSHA regulations.

In order to expand its training program, SRU recently acquired a Vortex crane simulator to better prepare trainees for the NCCCO practical exams. It allows apprentices to get more stick-time, improve their confidence, and provide the experience necessary for the real job.

Vortex simulators allows both apprentices and skilled operators to acquire unique skills in a fraction of the time it would take on the real job. In addition, it allows them to get ready for the unexpected by allowing them to experience and learn from job site incidents in a safe, simulated environment.

SRU will receive delivery of a Vortex simulator complete with 2 large-screen HD displays and a 3DOF motion base. With its hot-swappable control design, the simulator is versatile enough to allow training on both mobile and crawler cranes. It is fully loaded with many training scenarios for both routine and difficult lifts.

The Vortex simulator will allow SRU to deliver a higher quality of training to its students and better prepare them for the challenges on the real jobsite.

Construction
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Tower Crane Simulator | Customer Story

IUOE Local 400 Montana Acquires Vortex Crane Simulator

April 16, 2010

The Montana Operating Engineers (MTOE), affiliated with Local 400 of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), recently acquired a Vortex Crane Simulator. MTOE will add to their existing crane training program by providing simulation-based training for union members, helping them acquire important and comprehensive skills, which will result in more experienced operators and safer working conditions. As well, the Vortex simulator allows students to gain easy access to realistic machine training without the cost and environmental impact of operating actual heavy equipment.

With the Vortex Crane Simulator, IUOE apprentices and operators will learn how to use the equipment in increasingly challenging training exercises. High-resolution virtual worksites, realistic crane and load dynamics, authentic crane controls and challenging heavy-lift exercises provide students with rich operational experience. To accelerate learning, exercises feature navigation aids, performance metrics, and a playback review mode for team evaluation purposes.

Instructors can introduce equipment failures, difficult weather conditions and other challenges to teach students to properly and safely react to situations that may arise on a worksite.

"We are eager to provide simulation-based training to our members, so we are pleased to be working with the Vortex team," said Quinton Farr, Director of Training, Montana Operating Engineers Apprenticeship and Training. "The Vortex Crane Simulator provides the benefits we targeted for our crane operator program: to bring our training into the 21st century, to increase operator safety, to green the program, and to do all this as cost-effectively as possible."

Download the full press release now


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