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Sim Sanitation:

Garbage truck drivers across the United States recently had the chance to put their safety skills to the test in a high-tech simulator training session. The simulator, designed by Alexandria, Va.-based MPRI, consists of three flat-panel monitors that surround the driver and a bank of realistic truck controls. Two simulators are housed in a tractor trailer. The trailers were part of a 12-city, 28-day safety tour sponsored by the National Solid Waste Management Association, with assistance from a grant from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The simulator, which can be programmed on the fly, is capable of generating a range of scenarios and conditions, including rain, snow, dense fog, and even 200 mile-per-hour winds that blow the truck off the road like a dry leaf.