So you want to be a snowplow driver? Good luck learning how in July, or any month without snow.

For many jurisdictions there’s often little chance for prospective drivers to get hands-on practice before an area’s first storm arrives. The same goes for keeping their skills fresh in the off season.

Some state and municipal governments are turning to L-3 D.P. Associates, which offers a snowplow driving simulator. In the middle of the scorching summer the company drives its trailer around the country so that drivers can use its simulators. The software can be customized to offer city or rural driving, and a range of road conditions. With an element of realism provided by three video screens, a steering wheel and some other controls, it’s about the best practice a driver can get without any snow on the ground.

“I think it’s particularly helpful for folks who are relatively new to snow. They haven’t been through significant plowable snow,” said Dave Hundelt, an engineer with Arlington County, Va. “We have enough turnover that we have several new drivers every season. Something like this gives them a leg up for their first year driving a plow.”

Arlington began using the technology in 2014 after wanting to revamp its training program.

Hundelt’s drivers go through four days of training, and spend about a third of their time in the simulator. He said it’s superior to sitting in a conference room and viewing PowerPoint slides.

L-3 says its snowplow training business has doubled in size over the past five years. A University of Utah study found that drivers who went through a simulator program were less likely to get in accidents.