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||Contact: Randy Martin, Director, Workforce Training -
Workforce Training Rolls Out Truck
LEWISTON - On Wednesday, Lewis-Clark State College's Workforce Training Program
unveiled the latest addition to its catalog of learning opportunities. Instructors,
administrators, media and business representatives crowded into the small building that
houses the simulator at the North Lewiston facility, eager for a demonstration.
President Dene Thomas took a turn at the wheel, with instructor Les Williams coaching her.
The experience included all the sound effects of a truck on the road, including the harsh
grinding of unmeshed gears when Thomas missed a downshift from 10th gear. KOZE Radio
reporter Avery Ash also hit the road, cruising along easily until Williams upped the
The simulator, $45,000 worth of sophisticated computerized equipment purchased with a
grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, can help would-be drivers get the feel of
various road conditions and equipment combinations--before they get behind the wheel of
the real thing.
The simulator is the only one of its kind in the area and will allow LCSC students to
train on more than 100 makes of truck tractors with various equipment pairings (engines,
transmissions, tire sizes, etc.), different loads and varying road grades.
Randy Martin, Director of the Workforce Training Program, hopes the simulator and
opportunities it provides will help the area economy by giving displaced workers another
educational option. It will also allow the program to provide initial training in a safe
The simulator won't replace on-the-road driving experience, but it will allow student
drivers to train on grades like the Lewiston Hill without actually having to negotiate the
steep hill the first time out, Martin said. He also noted that the simulator will teach
drivers how to shift and maintain speed in a way that optimizes fuel economy.
LCSC's truck driver training program graduates around 200 students each year. Dave Cook,
Regional Vice President for Swift Transportation, a trucking company with offices in
Lewiston, commented,"This is a wonderful thing. It saves on fire hydrants, stop
signs...and will save wear and tear on the equipment." He continued, saying,
"It's pretty exciting for the school to have this. They've wanted it for a long time.
LCSC puts out a lot of fine drivers and we hire a lot of them."