Our younger readers will be familiar with vehicle simulation through playing video games, which provide a realistic interpretation of driving cars, planes and other vehicles. However, simulation has been regarded as an essential training tool in educational institutions and in business for many years to train pilots, and drivers of trucks, trains, trams and other vehicles.

Now, for the first time in Ireland, a John Deere simulator is in operation to train forest harvester and forwarder operators. Last week, Andrew Doyle launched this new initiative in Ballyhaise College along with a new forest machine operator training programme.