Frequently Asked Questions about our off road training

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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. 

How much does a course cost?

1-Day Basic Off Road Course: $320 for Hollister Hills SVRA

 1-Day Basic Off Road Course: $420 for Ocotillo Wells SVRA / Oceano Dunes


1-day Winching / Recovery Course: $320 for Hollister Hills SVRA

1-day Winching / Recovery Course: $420 for Ocotillo Wells SVRA / Oceano Dunes


2-Day Courses: $640 for Hollister Hills SVRA

2-Day Courses: $840 for Ocotillo Wells SVRA / Oceano Dunes


4-day Instructor Course: $1,280 for Hollister Hills SVRA

4-day Instructor Course $1,680 Ocotillo Wells SVRA / Oceano Dunes

Vehicle Rental: $100 per day per person - limited availability


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.

Refund policy:  Agency EVOC classes:   100% refund if cancelled within 30 days, or we can move you to another date.  Most classes have a waiting list, so if we fill your spot we will process 100% refund regardless of when you cancel.  

 Civilian Classes: 100% refund with 48 hours notice since all these classes have a waiting list allowing us to easily fill your spot. 

Where do we meet for our off road training course?

For Hollister Hills SVRA  

The meeting place is the main entrance to Hollister Hills SVRA at 7800 Cienega Rd in Hollister, California. Set your trip odometer to zero as soon as you turn on to Cienega from Union, then drive 4.9 miles to the main entrance to the park.   Turn right just after the sign that says Welcome To Hollister Hills (not the barn that has Hollister Hills painted on it). Do not turn into any of the day use areas. 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! Just prior to the pay booth, there is a large open area on your right.  An instructor in a green shirt or tan jacket will greet you. We will be there 30 min prior to start time.  If you are there earlier than that, just wait in this area.


For Ocotillo Wells SVRA

Details will be sent out when the exact location is nailed down.

What time does class start and end?

  • All 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. We compensate for that by adding a little time on to each of the other days.  WE START ON TIME!  


WE PROVIDE COFFEE AND TREATS IN THE MORNING

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?

Hollister:

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/


Ocotillo Wells

Borrego Springs is the closed place to stay, which is about 20 minutes from the SVRA.


Borrego Springs Resort Golf Club & Spa

1112 Tilting T Drive

Borrego Springs, California 92004 

 https://www.borregospringsresort.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 Courses, 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. Everyone else needs to bring a lunch and snacks!
  • 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.

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 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! Teen drivers are welcome as long as they have a driver's license.  Due to the nature of the terrain and the potential dangers involved, we cannot accommodate children.  

Are your classes POST Certified?

Yes, our class are POST Certified.  For our civilian friends - this means you will be receiving training reviewed, approved, and certified by the State of California- something no other training company can offer. 

Are your courses NFPA certified?

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

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.

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

Holister

 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. 


Ocotillo Wells

 San Diego Airport (SAN) is the nearest airport, which is about a 2 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 classes Basic Course at Prairie City SVRA in Folsom.  Carnegie OHV Park near Livermore, CA is closed for 4x4 training for the time being.  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.

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 road and you are not on this list, let us know!


  

Alameda County Fire Department

Alamenda County Sheriff

Arapahoe County Sheriff

Arroyo Grande Fire Department 

Atascadero Fire Department

Bella Winery

Berkeley Fire Department

Benicia Fire Department

Bishop Fire

Border Security Tajikistan

Cal Fire

Calaveras County Sheriff

California Department of Fish and Game

California Department of Water Resources

California Mountains Recreation Authority 

California State Parks 

Camp Parks Fire Department

Camp Pendleton Fire Department

Central Fire Aptos

City of Santa Maria

Clark County (WA) Sheriff

Construction Safety Academy

Contra Costa County

Coos County Sheriff’s Dept

Dixon Fire Dept.

Drug Control Agency Tajikistan

East Bay Regional Parks

El Dorado Hills Fire Department

El Segundo Fire Department

Embassy Security for the U.S. Ambassador Tajikistan

Fairfield Fire Department

Forestville Fire Protection District

Fort Hunter Liggett Fire Department

Fort Hunter Liggett Security Activity

Fremont Fire Department

Glendale Fire Department

Graniterock Construction

Hanford Fire Department

Hollister Fire Department

Imperial County Sheriff

June Lake Fire

Kern County Sheriff's Department

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 

Livermore / Pleasanton Fire Department

Los Angeles County D.A. Investigators

Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Police Department

Marine Corp Logistic Base Barstow

Mammoth Fire

Mariposa County Sheriff

Maui Fire Department

Mid Peninsula Open Space District

Milpitas Fire Department

Ministry of Security Tajikistan

Ministry of the Interior

Montecito Fire Department 

Monterey County Sheriff

Moraga Orinda Fire District 

Napa Fire Department

National Park Service

Oceano Fire Department 

Ontario Fire Department

Pacifica Police Department 

PFC Group

PG&E

Piedmont Fire Department

Pinnacles National Monument 

Pismo Fire Department 

Pleasanton Police Department

Russian River Fire Department

Sacramento City Fire Department

Sacramento County Sheriff 

Sacramento Metro Fire Department

San Diego County Sheriff

San Diego Fire / Lifeguard

San Diego Police Department

San Jose Park Rangers

San Jose Police Department 

San Luis Ambulance 

San Ramon Valley Fire Department

Santa Barbara County Fire 

Santa Clara County Fire Department

Santa Clara County Park Rangers

Santa Clara Valley Open Space

Santa Clara Valley Water District

Save Mount Diablo

Sonoma County Parks

Sonoma County Sheriff

Sonoma Fire Department

South Placer Fire Department 

Stanislaus County Sheriff' Department

U.S. Forest Service

United State Embassy Security Tajikistan

United State Geological Survey (USGS)

United States Army

United States Forrest Service

United States Marine Corps

University of California Berkeley Seismological Lab

USA Conservation

Vallejo Fire

Waterloo Fire Dept

White Mountain Fire Protection District

Winters Fire Department

Woodside Fire Department

Wheeler Crest Fire

Yocha Dehe Fire