Viewing posts categorised under: Risk Management

Farmers Share the Top 3 Challenges Facing Agribusiness

Posted September 11, 2018 by Administrator

Small and medium size agribusinesses now experience significant challenges from the local level all the way up to the global stage. They must stretch to meet the growing demand to feed the global population while adhering to unforgiving emissions regulations. This means trying to grow more food on less land to reduce their ecological footprint. To understand these challenges better, CASE IH conducted a survey at the Ag Connect Expo to find out farmers’ biggest concerns. By learning about farmers’ diverse needs, the agriculture industry is better able to innovate and develop technological solutions. Some of the biggest challenges farmers face include:

  1. Meeting the worldwide need for food. As economies boom and populations proliferate, it is becoming harder for farmers to keep up with production demands.
  2. Managing the dearth of land. With less land available, prices are skyrocketing. Farmers need more land to keep up with global demands for food, but purchasing the property is cost prohibitive.
  3. Mandates and regulations. The government issues new regulations in an effort to improve safety and reduce the effect of farming on the environment. However, this means farmers must be ready to pivot and change business operations without disrupting production or increasing costs.

Other concerns farmers identified included the stability of global markets as well as the advancement and use of bio-based fuels. When asked which of the above concerns will affect their farming operation in the immediate future, government regulations was the top response. Nearly one-third of farmers anticipate that government regulations will affect their business in the next year. Tied for the second top issue, about one-quarter of farmers named the lack of land and resulting price increases as well as the instabilities of the global marketplace as their next biggest concerns.

Despite these challenges, an astounding 89% of farmers expect their operation to expand within the next five years. If you anticipate that your farming operation will grow in the near future, you will need to address the above concerns in order to succeed. Part of business planning is identifying and managing risks that can prevent your farm’s success. Contact the experts at Cline Wood to learn how we can help you reduce risk on your farm.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Distracted Driving – Keep Your Focus on the Road Ahead

Posted August 16, 2018 by Erin

Deadly rear-end highway accidents continue to be on the rise – but they can be prevented – and we have resources to help you!

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,450 lives in 2016 alone.1 Our Cline Wood University webinar entitled “Keeping Your Focus on the Road Ahead”, presented by Mike Bohon – Safety Representative, Great West Casualty Company, focuses on this critical topic, the consequences of distracted driving, and details how to prevent these types of accidents. We strongly encourage your Safety Director and drivers to review this webinar at your earliest opportunity via our website here, along with other great information located on our Safety & Claims Resources page (click on the University tab, then select Safety & Claims Resources in the drop-down). Thank you for your dedication to safety!

 

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This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

How to Manage Financial Risk on the Farm

Posted June 26, 2018 by Administrator

Managing a farm is a risky venture. Farmers can encounter production problems, environmental hazards, and financial risks. In fact, recent years underscored just how dramatically farming finances can fluctuate. From 2011 to 2014, farm income averaged $105 billion annually. By the close of 2015, this number plummeted to $56 billion. In an environment where profits can decrease by almost half in a short span of time, farmers need a solid plan in place to survive economic difficulties. The following suggestions can help farmers stay afloat during periods of financial uncertainty.

  1. Always pay attention to the little things. In prosperous times, it’s easy not to worry about the small stuff. A few extra dollars here, not getting the best deal there—it’s not concerning when cash flow is positive and ledger margins are in the black. However, when crunch times strike without warning, these behaviors will make a difficult situation worse. Making every dollar every day count can be the difference between surviving an economic downswing and folding under the pressure.
  2. Develop a reliable accounting system. Farmers can’t hope to build a successful agribusiness if they don’t track their finances with an appropriate system. Investing in enterprise accounting software can help farmers manage accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing, payroll, and more.
  3. Don’t rely on the value of the land. When the value of goods and services goes down so too does the value of land. Not only that, but land is not a liquid asset. Farmers can’t easily convert land into cash, and a rapid sale can result in a loss of profits. In addition, banks are less than impressed by real estate as a means of repaying loans. Instead, farmers should focus their efforts on products and services that generate cash so they can pay down debt.
  4. Make decisions. When the economy begins to turn, family businesses such as farms often feel the squeeze before major organizations operating on huge margins do. Many farmers feel crippled by the fear of making a wrong financial decision. However, inaction can prove much more lethal to a family farm than action can. For example, lenders will grow frustrated and less willing to work with farms that skirt their inquiries than those that at least respond. A willingness to navigate an uncertain future is much better than remaining frozen during an economic storm.

Managing finances on tight margins isn’t easy, but Cline Wood can help. As a top provider of agribusiness insurance, we go beyond providing coverage. We work with agribusinesses to understand their risks and implement strategies to manage them during difficult times. Contact us today to learn how we can help your agribusiness.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

How to Reduce the Likelihood of Sexual Harassment in Agribusiness

Posted June 13, 2018 by Administrator

Sexual harassment isn’t an issue that is unique to farming. However, the conditions common to farming present a significant number of opportunities and the victims often lack resources to make it stop. A significant portion of the problem occurs when farmers contract out their labor rather than hiring their workers directly. These farmhands are often unfamiliar with harassment laws or don’t know their rights. They also fear retaliation for speaking out so they remain silent.

How to Recognize Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment isn’t always overt, as it can be verbal as well physical. It can occur before, during, or after working hours when a supervisor or co-worker makes unwelcome advances while operating within the scope of employment. Examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Unwanted sexual commentary, jokes, written notes, or derogatory remarks of a sexual nature
  • Unwanted and intentional touching of a sexual nature or on an intimate area of the body
  • Wielding a position of authority to extort sexual favors in exchange for a promotion or preferential treatment

Any sexual action that creates a hostile work environment opens an employer up to a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Employers’ and Supervisors’ Obligations to Farm Workers

Any authority figure on the farm needs to take pains to avoid committing harassing behaviors as well as identify and correct inappropriate employee conduct. Supervisors who fail to put a stop to sexual harassment can be held liable in a lawsuit for tolerating offensive behavior. As such, all farming operations need to have a complaint procedure that allows victims to report harassment without fear of retribution. Employers should also include at least one female employee as a complaint receiver as many female victims don’t feel comfortable reporting to a male.

Farms should also implement clear disciplinary guidelines for sexual harassment claims. By following procedures every time, employers can eliminate the perception of discrimination or preferential treatment. Employers should also follow up on any reports of harassment to ensure it actually stops. When cases of employee sexual harassment make it to the courtroom, judges consider if the employer learned about the problem as soon as possible, how the employer addressed it, and what steps the employer took to prevent it in the future.

Protecting Employees and the Farm

Farming operations accused of creating a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment can find themselves at the center of an expensive lawsuit. Farms often operate on tight budgets, and a lawsuit can be enough to shut it down permanently. While taking steps to prevent sexual harassment in the first place is key, farmers can also invest in insurance to protect themselves and their agribusiness. Contact Cline Wood to learn more.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

5 Serious Risks for Poultry Farms

Posted May 28, 2018 by Administrator

There are several risks involved with poultry farming. However, infection disease is the biggest and most concerning. That is why poultry farmers need to practice good biosecurity to reduce incidents of disease. The following are the most common sources of disease in poultry farming.

  1. The stock itself. The fowls can carry and transmit disease, dead birds in particular. Poultry farmers need to be careful when disposing of deceased animals to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Farmers should also take care when moving poultry stock from one area of the farm to another as this represents another opportunity for the spread of disease.
  2. Vehicles and farming equipment. Famers can unwittingly spread contagions by transporting and using contaminated equipment. For example, if a farmer transported dead birds in a wagon and then loaded that same wagon with feed later, disease may infiltrate the feed.
  3. The animals’ feed. Continuing with the above, feed can transfer disease in several ways. In addition to transporting feed in a contaminated vehicle, rodents can infiltrate it and leave behind disease. Farmers should take great care when transporting and storing their feed to prevent infection.
  4. People on the farm. Farmers may think only visitors pose a risk for spreading disease, but this is not the case. Any workers or individuals who live on the farm are also a threat. Anyone can transfer disease from their shoes as they come and go on the farm.
  5. Water. This is the main source for the spread of disease. Any feces that make it into the water can contaminate it and infect animals across the farm.

Farmers can take several steps to prevent the spread of disease. Implementing common sense biosecurity measures such as not allowing vehicles into the production area, situating production areas far from water sources, treating all drinking water before allowing animals to ingest it, and utilizing freezers for managing the disposal of dead poultry. There is no one simple method for preventing disease on poultry farms, but following the above practices can help. Contact the experts at Cline Wood to learn more about reducing risk on your poultry farm.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Improving the Bottom Line for Agribusinesses

Posted May 14, 2018 by Administrator

Proper budgeting allows farmers to estimate their costs and profits for an upcoming production period. A solid budget will help farmers make decisions about their agribusiness as well as calculate their ability to achieve financial goals. These goals can include paying off or reducing debts as well as saving enough to make significant purchases for the farm. Budgeting is vital to completing business objectives because it provides a baseline. Without this reference point, farmers cannot hope to make improvements to their operation.

How Do Successful Farmers Budget?

The following are strategies prosperous farmers employ when managing their budget:

  1. Set goals. Budgeting should not be about breaking even. Budgeting allows farmers to visualize and achieve goals with a realistic margin. Goals can be short-term, such as producing more than the previous years, or they can be long-term, such as retiring within the next half-decade. Farmers who approach budgeting with a purpose will be better equipped to manage their agribusiness from year-to-year.
  2. Use budgets for daily management. A budget isn’t a one-and-done deal; it’s a living document that requires nurturing. Farming situations change and budgets should reflect this. Budgets allow farmers to make decisions such as planning for expenditures, making arrangements that will affect the next generation on the farm, etc.
  3. Make smart marketing decisions. Marketing in farming is not the same as marketing for a traditional office job. Farmers have to make decisions on when to sell crops, grain, etc. to ensure they remain in the black. While many companies approach marketing as a means to get rich quick, farmers use it as a method to avoid going in the red. Agribusinesses operate on thin margins and need to use their budgets to make sales decisions that keep their costs and profits in balance.

Budgeting is an effective part of risk management for farmers. In an industry that is often at the mercy of the weather, farmers need to take command of their budget to monitor the factors they can control. If your farm is struggling to manage its risks, Cline Wood can help. Contact us to learn more about assessing your risks and implementing strategies to mitigate them.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Four Categories of Critical Agribusiness Risk

Posted March 12, 2018 by Administrator

Farmers and farmhands expose themselves to several risks on a regular basis. Some of the top threats include heat-related illnesses, vehicle hazards, fall hazards, and more. By familiarizing themselves with these risks, farmers and their workers can ward off injuries.

Heat Risks

Heat illnesses can prove lethal; however, they are 100% avoidable. Many farms are hot and humid, which puts workers at risk for heat exposure. Heavy lifting or wearing heavy protective gear can compound this risk so it is important that workers take the proper precautions to protect themselves from heat illnesses. Farmers and workers need to ensure they stay hydrated and rest often in the shade. Dehydration happens faster than many realize, so workers should try to drink water every 15 minutes even if they do not feel thirsty.

Vehicle Hazards

Vehicle injuries account for a significant portion of farming accidents every year. Farm tractors, harvesters, and ATVs all cause accidents on farms. Rollovers are one of the most lethal farming accidents. Equipping vehicles with roll bars or roll cages whenever possible can help save lives. Other safety measures include wearing a seatbelt, prohibiting passengers from riding in farming equipment, and only operating vehicles on the appropriate terrain (e.g. do not operate ATVs on streets or paved roads).

Fall Hazards

Fall hazards are not unique to farming. However, compared to other industries, farming experiences a much higher rate of fall-related injuries. To mitigate this risk, farmers need to take three steps. Identify fall hazards, assess the likelihood of an injury occurring from each hazard, and implement control measures to eliminate or minimize the risks. Examples of control measures include eliminating the risk, substituting the risk with a less hazardous option, isolating the risk to minimize the number of employees that must interact with it, utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize the effects of the risk, and more.

Grain Bins and Silos

Compared to the above, grain bins and silos may not seem so threatening. However, these structures can combust, cause engulfment, or dust exposure. Of those three, engulfment is most likely to prove lethal. Moving grain acts like quicksand and can engulf workers, sometimes resulting in suffocation. Establishing procedures such as never walking across moving grain can eliminate this threat.

Farmers and workers that familiarize themselves with common hazards can take steps to reduce the likelihood of those risks occurring. Cline Wood can help farmers identify the risks that are unique to their operation as well as what steps to take to mitigate them. To learn more about farming safety, contact us today.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Cybercrime Experts Warn Trucking Industry: Beware IT Vulnerabilities

Posted March 5, 2018 by Administrator

Truck drivers are the most vulnerable element in the freight supply chain because they interact daily with IT systems that use connected mobile devices and vehicles, experts warn. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are specifically a concern, as ELDs can be an entry point for cybercriminals to access a vehicle’s controller area network (CAN) and IT systems.

Researchers stress that there is a need for more cybersecurity, especially when it comes to the human element of transportation. In a study conducted by PeopleNet, “Connected Truck Security: Slamming the Door on Hackers”, considerable concerns were raised about cybersecurity and the more-than three million ELDs deployed in the federal mandate requiring truck drivers to use ELDs.

Consider the case involving a transportation company that lost $340,000 in a single transaction. The crime was started by a hacker that infiltrated the home laptop of an employee. The cybercriminal gained access to the employee’s transactions and correspondence with other workers and was able to misdirect funds. Cybercriminals today are very adept at breaking into automatic bank drafting systems and accessing intellectual property.

Motor carriers should restrict their connected devices, such as tablets, to trusted websites. Cybercriminals can use links in websites to introduce malware to devices. Malware is a code that is downloaded on devices that can read emails, capture passwords and gain other sensitive data.

Experts caution against opening attachments such as Word or PDF files from unknown email senders as these files may contain malware. Stay away from free products, such as a free ELD, which could contain malware that can access your data.

Drivers that access Wi-Fi hotspots through mobile devices and in-cab telematics platforms are vulnerable as well; cybercriminals use hotspots to find and exploit data on connected devices. Once connected to the CAN bus, hackers can control the engine and even disable the brakes.

Even more frightening is the possibility that once a single truck has been compromised, a cybercriminal can use an over-the-air update process to hack into all trucks on the same mobile platform. It is conceivable that a vehicle could be hijacked by accessing its CAN bus remotely, although there is no record of this ever happening in real life.

If a fleet does become a victim of cybercrime, it is unlikely that the FBI will retrieve any lost money, especially if the money has been transferred to an overseas account, as their focus is on tracking down criminals, not tracking down lost funds.

Cline Wood recognizes that protection from cybercrime is a significant component of any business. We are a committed partner in managing the risk cybercrime poses to your business. To learn more about what we can do for you, click here.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Join Us for Grain Bin Safety Week Feb 18th-24th, 2018

Posted February 19, 2018 by Erin

Join Us for Grain Bin Safety Week

Feb. 18th – 24th, 2018

Ag Organizations Partner to Save Lives

Over the past 50 years, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported in the U.S. with a fatality rate of 62 percent. In 2010, at least 26 U.S. workers were killed in grain engulfments – the highest number on record. The most tragic fact of all: grain engulfments are highly preventable.

Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency and Nationwide are partnering with KC Supply Co, CHS Inc., National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) and many others to increase awareness of the dangers of flowing grain and bring visibility to advancements in safety procedures and technology that can save lives through this exciting annual event.

Timed to bring safety awareness to the dangers of grain bins, a period when many farmers and grain-handling operations are planning for the upcoming season, this week-long event will highlight a different component each of the seven days:

  • Sun. Feb. 18: Personal Grain Bin Entrapment Cautionary Case
  • Mon. Feb. 19: How to Stay Safe When Freeing Bridged Grain
  • Tues. Feb. 20: Grain Bin Automation
  • Wed. Feb. 21: Procedures for Safe Grain Bin Entry
  • Thurs. Feb. 22: Choosing the Rescue Tube That’s Right for You
  • Fri. Feb. 23: GBSW 2018 Youth Initiative
  • Sat. Feb. 24: Reduce Grain Bin Fires with Quality Storage Practices

Highlights of the Week

#AgChat

Nationwide, along with partners KC Supply and NECAS, will host #AgChat on Twitter Tuesday, February 20 at 7PM CST. This moderated, online conversation will look at grain bin safety from different angles and generate insight from folks involved in the business of growing food, fuel, feed and fiber. Go to Twubs.com/agchat to view conversation or to tweet during the chat.  The site automatically enters the #agchat hashtag in every tweet and allows users to participate in real time.

Webinar – Grain Bin Safety

On Wednesday, February 21st, Nationwide will host a free, live webinar on grain bin safety that’s open to everyone. Farmers and commercial grain handlers will gain valuable insight into updated safe-work procedures, safety trainings, grain rescue practices, equipment trainings, OSHA standards and more. Space is limited so reserve your spot now. Register here.

Nominate Your Local Fire Department Rescue Tube Contest

Contest period: The contest runs from January 1 to April 30, 2018.

A popular event in conjunction with Grain Bin Safety Week (Feb. 18-24, 2018), Nationwide is again teaming up with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), KC Supply and others to award emergency first responders with grain rescue tubes and hands-on rescue training to help save lives.

2018 marks the 5th year of Grain Bin Safety Week and the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest. Since its inception, the contest has received nearly 2,000 nominations and has awarded grain rescue tubes and hands-on rescue training to 48 fire departments across 18 states. Two of the tubes have been used to save the lives of two farmers.

To enter, provide your name, regular mail and email addresses, the name and address of your local fire department or emergency rescue team, and one page describing how the local fire department or rescue team and rural community would benefit from grain entrapment training and rescue tube, and how they plan to share the tube and training with nearby departments.

Completed nominations can be emailed to agcontest@nicc.edu or mailed to: NECAS, Grain Bin Safety Contest, 8342 NICC Dr., Peosta, IA 52068.

For more information about or to participate in Grain Bin Safety Week in 2018, go to GrainBinSafetyWeek.com.

 

About Nationwide Agribusiness

Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, and its affiliate, Farmland Mutual Insurance Company, are members of Nationwide®. Nationwide Agribusiness, rated A+ (Superior) by The A.M. Best Company, is the country’s #1 insurer of farms and ranches*, and a leading insurer of commercial agribusiness and related businesses in the food, fuel and fiber chain. For more information, visit NationwideAgribusiness.com.

About Nationwide                                                                    

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides customers a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and specialty health services. For more information, visit Nationwide.com.

 

*Source: 2016 SNL Financial Report. Based on statutory data.

For official rules and prize descriptions, visit grainbinsafetyweek.com/contest/rules official

 

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Are Driving Simulators Beneficial for Truck Driving Training?

Posted February 19, 2018 by Administrator

Driving simulators are increasingly being used to train novice truck drivers. Evolving from flight simulators for aviation training, driving simulators represent the newest, emerging training tool for new drivers. Driving simulators are designed to closely simulate actual driving conditions of real vehicles and, as such, they are useful for skills mastery and performance evaluation.

Recent research indicates that skills learned in the truck simulator are easily transferable to a real truck and are learned as quickly – and sometimes faster – than learning in a real truck. The research study, “Transfer of Training in Basic Controls from a Truck Simulator to a Real Truck,” was recognized by the Transportation Research Board as the “Best 2017 Paper.”

The award-winning research focused on the following training segments:

  • Shifting non-synchronized gears
  • Straight-line maneuvers
  • Angle backing maneuvers.

The researchers found that the students that used the simulator were as proficient in straight-line backing and in 45-degree backing as students that were not trained in a simulator environment. All students that were being trained took about the same amount of time to complete the maneuvers.

Interestingly, students that learned gear-shifting skills in the simulation environment learned how to complete their assigned tasks faster than the control group. However, both groups were operating at the same proficiency level within a few days.

In general, most driving simulators have the following features:

  • 180-degree view of the field
  • Graphics software that provides a road view and change weather and traffic patterns
  • Force-loaded steering wheel that gives a feel of different terrain
  • Built-in events like a tire blow-out
  • A mix of truck and tractor configurations
  • A seat, steering wheel, 3 pedals and a gear shift
  • Technology that allows for recording student performance and playback.

Most truck driving training programs that use driving simulators are fans of the technology. However, most programs use experienced truck drivers to teach real-world knowledge and skills. Benefits of a truck driving training simulator include:

  • No real safety concerns
  • No wear and tear on the real truck
  • No fuel use during training activities.

The general consensus is that driving simulation devices are a valuable addition to – but not a replacement for – hands-on training by experienced, in-cab instructors.

Cline Wood recognizes that safety is a significant component of any business. A proper safety program is essential and can have a significant impact on the overall profitability of any commercial business. Clients of Cline Wood are given full access to a broad spectrum of safety services. We are a committed partner in managing your every day risk. To learn more about what we can do for your business, click here.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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