Illinois

 
 
The Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria, lets visitors climb inside the machines for a closer look while computer simulations provide an opportunity to learn how to manipulate the controls.
The Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria, lets visitors climb inside the machines for a closer look while computer simulations provide an opportunity to learn how to manipulate the controls.
Fritz Faerber / AP

Here’s a place where the word caterpillar does not refer to fuzzy little bugs. The new Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria is all about the roaring black-and-yellow machines that dig and lift at massive construction and mining sites. The first thing you’ll experience when you enter is a movie theater built into the bed of a giant truck. At 24 feet tall, the 797 Mining Truck’s theater fits 62 people and shows a short movie about Caterpillar. After the movie, it’s time to hop into the cabs of an excavator, roller, bulldozer and a handful of other giant heavy vehicles. Alongside all the black-and-yellow machines are computer simulators where you can see what it’s like to drive an excavator or bulldozer.

Details: www.caterpillar.com/visitors-center.

Associated Press

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