Toledo showcases new streets department simulator

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    Tim Plath, public service safety and training manager for the city of Toledo, demonstrates a new heavy equipment simulator.

    The Blade/Ignazio Messina
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  • Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson Tuesday showcased the city's newest $155,000 high-tech gadget — a simulator to train heavy equipment operators.

    Toledo City Council voted 12-0 on Sept. 6 to spend $155,000 for the excavator wheel loader, backhoe, and crane modules simulator.

    The mayor, speaking at her first public event since her loss for re-election last week to Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz, said the device would ultimately save taxpayers money.

    "By improving the skill level of all of our employees, we will be able to improve productivity and reduce costs, which will make us a more efficient city," the mayor said.

    The city's Streets, Bridges, and Harbor division has up to 46 heavy equipment operators.

    "With this simulator system, [the city] can build a training program to improve the skill level of all city heavy equipment operators and also allow other positions like maintenance workers ... to be able to enter into the program to gain the skill level for a possible promotion," the ordinance approving the purchase stated.

    "Using simulators for training lowers equipment fuel costs and reduces wear and tear on expensive equipment," it said.

    The purchase from CM Labs Simulations of Montreal, Canada, includes one year of maintenance and training.

    Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com419-724-6171, or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.