Frequently Asked Questions about our off road training

image70

How do I register for a class?

 On the Off Road EVOC page and the Civilian Off Road page there is a PayPal button where you can pay via credit card.  For agency people, you can contact us to reserve a spot in the class and the agency can pay later. 

agencies Contact Us to reserve a spot and pay later

How much does a course cost?

1-Day Basic Off Road Course: $320

1-day Basic Recovery Course: $320

2-Day Courses: $640

4-day Instructor Course: $1,280

Vehicle Rental: $100 per day per person


How do I pay?

  

On the Off Road EVOC page and the Civilian Off Road page there is a PayPal button where you can pay via credit card.  For agency people, you can contact us to reserve a spot in the class and the agency can pay later.

Agencies Contact us to reserve a spot and pay later

Where do we meet for our off road training course?

  

The meeting place is the main entrance to Hollister Hills SVRA at 7800 Cienega Rd in Hollister, California. This is about 3 miles from the intersection of Union and Cienega.   Look for the sign at the entrance to the park (not the barn that has Hollister Hills painted on it). Do not simply follow your GPS. This will put you in the driveway of the resident ranger rather than the main office area. Look for the sign!

What time does class start and end?

  • Off road EVOC and agency off road training courses start at 8:30 am and end at 5:30 pm. On the 4-day instructor courses, we try to get you on the road home by 4 pm of the last day.
  • Civilian courses start at 9 am.  and end at 5:30 pm.

Do you provide vehicles?

  

  • For Agencies: You need to train the in the offroad vehicle you will be using in the course of your duties, so bring an agency vehicle. If you need an extra offroad vehicle or cannot bring an agency vehicle, we have vehicles that are stock SUVs and pickups for rent at $100 per person per day. If you are going to be using a Type III rig in the course of your duties, you should bring that type of vehicle. Training in a rented Toyota Tacoma, for example, will not help you learn to drive a Type III. Make sure you have more than ¾ tank of gas when you arrive. 
  • For Civilians: Bring your offroad vehicle in good working order. Make sure you have more than ¾ tank of gas when you arrive. If you are renting one of our vehicles, there is a parking area where we can leave your car for the day. You do not need to pay the park fee. We will give you a parking permit. Vehicle rental is $100 per person per day.  Rental fee can be added to your cart from the page where you register: Off Road EVOC page or Civilian training page.
  • If you are flying in, you will need a rental car at the airport to get you around town and to the training area where we will put you in one of our offroad vehicles. Vehicle rental is $100 per person per day.

I need to stay overnight. What do you recommend?

Here are the best places to stay in town. The Ridgemark Golf and Resort is the most popular, and it is within the allowable nightly rate for agencies.


 Ridgemark Golf and Resort
3800 Airline Hwy, Hollister, CA 95023 

 http://www.ridgemarkgolfclub.com/lodging/ 

 

Fairfield Inn and Suites Hollister

390 Gateway Dr

Hollister, CA 95023

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mryho-fairfield-inn-and-suites-hollister


Hollister Inn
152 San Felipe Road, Hollister, California 95023 

http://www.hollisterinn.com/

What should I bring with me to the class?

  • Wear sturdy boots or shoes with good tread on them.  We also recommend bringing a hat and sunscreen.  Wear clothing you do not mind getting dusty and dirty!  Offroad driving is not clean!
  • We do not provide lunch for the 1-day Basic Course, so bring a lunch and snacks with you.
  • We will provide lunch at the 4-day Off Road EVOC Instructor Course and the 2-day Off Road EVOC Course.
  • We will have coolers with water available at all courses, and we are known to bring cookies!

Are there any prerequisites for this course?

  • No.  For those attending the 4-day Off Road EVOC Instructor course, it is helpful to have some off road or EVOC experience, but not necessary.
  • It is helpful to read the 4x4 Basics Workbook prior to class.  You can read it online by clicking the link below. You can order printed versions (see the link on the Workbooks page of this web site), but you will be given a printed copy at the start of class.

click here to read 4x4 basics workbook

Will my vehicle get damaged?

 After off road training thousands of students since 2003, only two vehicles have sustained very minor damage - each one because the driver did not follow specific instructor direction. Although nobody can guarantee no damage will occur, our emphasis on Mechanical Sympathy will help you learn how to properly drive off road without damaging your vehicle. You will not be driving like the horrible drivers on the TV commercials who abuse their 4x4s!  

What Types of offroad vehicles can be driven in this course?

  

You will need a 4-wheel drive vehicle, or a high clearance All Wheel Drive with traction control systems. Also, stock Ford Explorers and Ford Expeditions are not recommended. These vehicles have very little clearance, and poor axle articulation making them susceptible to getting stuck or damaged. If you have a specialty vehicle like a 4WD Van, or a Mercedes Sprinter Van email us before you come to make sure we can accommodate your needs. We typically add an instructor just for that vehicle since it has certain limitations. 

For civilian off road training classes, can I have a guest ride with me if they are not driving?

  

Due to the nature of an off road training class, every person is considered a participant when it comes to our insurance, so the usual $320 rate per person applies to all people present. If this other person is someone who would be going with you on your offroad adventures later, we highly recommend they participate in the class. When you are offroad, you will frequently run across situations where you will need a spotter - someone outside the vehicle to guide you over obstacles that cannot be seen from the driver's seat. For this reason, your spotter should get the same off road training. If they save you from even one damage-producing obstacle, they have more than paid for their tuition! 

Are your classes POST Certified?

See the page regarding POST certification of off road EVOC courses by clicking link below.

POST Certification Information

Are your courses NFPA certified?

We often get asked about Driver Operator 1A and 1B certification. Click the link below for detailed information.

NFPA and Driver Operator 1A & 1B Certification

Can you do custom dates or private courses?

Yes! We will do custom off road training dates for groups of 8 students or more. Use the Contact Page to inquire.

Contact about custom dates

I am flying in for this off road training. What airport do I use?

 San Jose Airport (SJC) is the nearest airport, which is about a 1 hour drive from the off road training area.  Even if you are ​renting a 4WD from The Driving Company for use during class, you will need a rental car to get from the airport and for use around town. 

Do you conduct off road training in other locations?

 The Driving Company can conduct off road training in your area if you have a location we can use.  We have trained on location at Camp Pendleton, Fort Hunter Liggett, Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, Pinnacles National Park, Camp Parks, and Frank Raines OHV Park to name a few.  We can also put on a 1-day Basic Course at Carnegie OHV Park near Livermore, CA.  Dave Storton  conducted a 2-phase training project over 2 months in Tajikistan, so anything is possible! Use the contact page to inquire.  We can also incorporate defensive driving and on road EVOC in any 2-day course.

We can come to you - contact us

What agencies have you trained?

This is not a complete list, but these are several of the agencies for whom we conducted off road training, many on an ongoing basis.  We also started teaching open civilian classes in 2017.  If we trained your agency offroad or on and you are not on this list, let us know!


  

Alameda County Fire
Alamenda County Sheriff
Arapahoe County Sheriff​
Atascadero Fire Department
Berkeley Fire Department

Bella Winery
California Department of Fish and Game
Cal Fire
California State Parks
Camp Parks Fire Department
Calaveras County Sheriff
Central Fire Aptos
Camp Pendleton Fire Department
Construction Safety Academy
Contra Costa County

Coos County Sheriff’s Dept
East Bay Regional Parks

El Dorado Hills Fire
El Segundo Fire

Fremont Fire Department

Graniterock Construction

Forestville Fire Protection District

Glendale Fire

Hanford Fire
Hollister Fire
Imperial County Sheriff
Kern County Sheriff's Department

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore / Pleasanton Fire Department
Los Angeles County D.A. Investigators
Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles Fire Department
Mariposa County Sheriff

Mid Peninsula Open Space District
Montecito Fire Department
Moraga Orinda Fire District
Napa Fire
Pacifica Police Department
Piedmont Fire Department
Pinnacles National Monument
Pleasanton Police Department

PFC Group

PG&E
Sacramento City Fire Department
Sacramento County Sheriff
San Diego County Sheriff
San Diego Police Department
San Diego Fire / Lifeguard
San Jose Park Rangers
San Jose Police Department
Santa Barbara County Fire
Santa Clara Valley Water District
Santa Clara County Park Rangers

Russian River Fire

San Luis Ambulance
South Placer Fire Department
California Mountains Recreation Authority
California Department of Water Resources
United States Army
United State Geological Survey (USGS)
United States Marine Corps​​​​
University of California Berkeley Seismological Lab
U.S. Forest Service
San Ramon Valley Fire
Sonoma County Parks
Sonoma County Sheriff
USA Conservation
Winters Fire Department

Woodside Fire

Santa Clara County Fire
Santa Clara Valley Open Space
Save Mount Diablo
City of Santa Maria
Sonoma County Sheriff
Sonoma Fire Department
Stanislaus County Sheriff' Department
United State Embassy SecurityTajikistan
United States Forrest Service Tajikistan
Drug Control Agency Tajikistan
Border Security Tajikistan
Embassy Security for the U.S. Ambassador Tajikistan
Mid Peninsula Open Space District
Ministry of Security (KGB) Tajikistan
Ministry of the Interior

Fort Hunter Liggett Fire Department
Fort Hunter Liggett Security Activity
Maui Fire Department
Marine Corp Logistic Base Barstow
Monterey County Sheriff
National Park Service
Oceano Fire Department
Arroyo Grande Fire Department
Pismo Fire Department 

Vallejo Fire

Waterloo Fire Dept

Yocha Dehe Fire