Loadstar Product Handling VR Training


About Loadstar

Loadstar provides product handling services to a variety of industries, including refineries, chemical plants, barge lines, and terminals. They load and unload all sorts of cargo vessels; railcars, trucks, barges, and ships, operate warehouses and docks, and manage site logistics. Its goal is to be the premier provider of its services in the industry by providing quality service and exceptional employee experience.


Thanks to Saritasa’s work, we could streamline our training processes — it enabled us to have 40 training sessions in an eight-hour day, which is impressive.

They were excited to get on board with our project because it was something they hadn’t done before — they were the perfect partner for us.

Jesse FillingameDirector of Operations, Loadstar Product Handling Services, LLC

Their Challenge

The logistics industry handles business the old-school way. Employees learn in the field, often combatting the elements, in a laborious and demanding job. The work is hands-on and the only effective way to learn is to do it. This puts new employees, who may not have any other experience in the field, at risk when doing hazardous tasks.

In logistics, companies only get paid for the time their teams are in the field. As a result, most companies in Loadstar’s industry don’t invest in offsite employee training. But committed to their seven values, including safety, service, and community, Loadstar wanted to find an innovative way to train their employees.

Our Solution

It started as an early morning conversation about new technologies, but not something the Loadstar team truly thought would be attainable. Virtual reality seemed like the dream solution to the industry’s safety and training concerns, but out of the realm of possibility and likely too expensive to implement. It wasn’t until they contacted Saritasa that the Loadstar team realized their vision could become a reality.

Working closely with Loadstar to keep the project as cost-efficient as possible, Saritasa developed a comprehensive railcar inspection application in virtual reality. The main purpose of the experience was to provide a safe and effective way to onboard new employees through the steps of a railcar inspection. This first project was a test to see how well virtual reality could simulate the actual experience, with hopes of building out additional training modules.

Our Approach

What Saritasa Did

Vision to Product Development

Railcar inspections involve a large number of steps, so creating a comfortable and effective flow through the stages of inspection took careful planning. One of the largest challenges was the translation of terminology – both from Loadstar’s side and Saritasa’s. Our team needed to articulate the possibilities and challenges in virtual reality, while also learning the fundamentals of Loadstar’s industry. Through clear communication and careful planning, our teams put together a step-by-step process for railcar inspections to build in a VR environment.

Safety Training

The primary goal of this initiative was employee safety, with a secondary benefit of the training standardization. Trainees can practice completing all the steps in a standard inspection without the need for additional equipment or trainers. The repeatable nature of a VR training experience ensures all employees get the same level of training. The experience includes both hands-on interaction and visual quizzes.

Realistic Unity 3D Environment

Realism was critical to the success of this project. In order for the simulation to provide a useful foundation for employees, the environment needed to mimic the actual railcar as closely as possible. Our team built a 3D rail station, including a pressurized railcar, and incorporated animations to make it feel as if the employee was actually on-site.

Timing Savings

Current onboarding relies on PowerPoint lectures to drive in the fundamentals before new employees go onto the field. It takes weeks to get employees new to the industry familiarized with over 50 different types of railcars. This training is expected to speed up the initial training process from weeks to days. In addition to onboarding, Loadstar plans to incorporate VR into continued education for current employees.

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