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Fascinating tech: Sen. Leatherman sees uses for virtual reality training

February 16, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – S.C. Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. got a lesson in virtual reality this week and found it to be fascinating technology.

Leatherman attended the 2019 Florence County Legislative Day reception Wednesday evening at the Columbia Museum of Art. While attending, the longtime senator from Florence was offered the opportunity to try a virtual reality trainer by South East Express.

“I was fascinated,” Leatherman said Thursday afternoon. “It was a very different experience. It was a good experience.”

He added that he immediately thought about the potential uses for the virtual reality training in other businesses. Leatherman also said it is fabulous that such technology exists.

Leatherman said he believed he was told the company used the technology to train forklift drivers. He said South East Express actually is able to show the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that its drivers have been trained.

Leatherman has served in the Senate since 1981 and is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He served as president pro tempore from June 2014 until January 2019 when the position was renamed.

South East Express is just off of Interstate 95 on Cale Yarborough Highway in Timmonsville. It opened 20 years ago to support Honda of South Carolina.

“We have branched out a little, but Honda is our main focus,” said Scott Wilson, president of South East Express. “We are a quiet service company.”

He said South East Express is a logistics company with 285 associates. It started out as a consolidation center for the Honda of South Carolina ATV production plant. It has grown. In its warehouse, it can assemble, take inventory, receive, unpack and repack goods for its customers.

“We handle logistics,” he said. “We handle material coming in from North America and all over the world.”

He said the company breaks shipments down for Honda of South Carolina to make ATVs. He said it uses a lot of handling equipment, and that includes forklifts, virtual reality forklifts and other virtual equipment.

Wilson said the company is a subsidiary of Honda Logistics, which has approximately 10 plants all over North America.