Developing new construction equipment or modifying an old model requires large investment in reengineering and testing. This paper presents a virtual operator model that can be used to (1) control, test and evaluate virtual construction equipment before building the prototype, (2) autonomously control the construction equipment after being built. Furthermore, the virtual operator model is adaptive to properly control different models of the same machine. The operator model is useful in evaluating a new machine design and predicting its performance in applications under realistic conditions as a real human operator would operate it. Using this model, potential problems can be identified in early design stage, hence reducing the costly prototype testing stage of the machine development.