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PHONE: (775) 629.2000
FAX: (775) 629.2029

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Driver Training and Education

NATC, with it main location in Silver Springs, Nevada, winter test facility in West Yellowstone, Montana and access to numerous additional locations, is able to offer a diverse driver training and education program. With access to over 3,000 acres of proving grounds in Silver Springs, 735 acres in West Yellowstone, and local access to Sand Mountain, local raceways and Lahontan Reservoir, NATC has the ability to replicate most any terrain required for a well rounded and complete driver training program. With over 50 years of experience NATC and its certified instructors are well suited to teach all levels of driver training. Training courses are available for a wide variety of vehicle operating scenarios, including:

  • Private passenger vehicles
  • Tactical and combat military vehicles
  • Tractor trailer combinations
  • Commercial and school busses
  • Law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances
  • Public service vehicles
  • Heavy equipment

NATC has the ability to tailor its driver training and education program to the appropriate needs, goals, and skill levels needed for the specific class being taught and by limiting class sizes NATC offers an intimate environment where students and their instructors work as a team. With NATC's vast resources courses can be taught on:

  • Obstacle avoidance; in varying conditions
  • Terrain recognition
  • Off road driving and rock crawling techniques utilizing NATC's "Leave No Tracks" (TM) concept
  • Winter driving techniques
  • Advance threat avoidance techniques (intended for corporate government, or diplomatic chauffeurs)

Students at NATC are instructed in vehicle dynamics as well as given a thorough description and walk around of the vehicles they will be operating. In addition to the instructors, NATC has a highly skilled staff of engineers and mechanics to keep the vehicles in top working order and provide in-depth information on the vehicles as needed. The cause and effect relationship between equipment failure, driving conditions, and loss of vehicle control are thoroughly discussed to give students the understanding and ability to approach each situation. The information presented in class is tailored based on the type of vehicle being used and the level of each student. Once the classroom training is complete, the students will get behind the wheel to experience and apply, first hand, the techniques covered in their training course. To ensure safety an NATC instructor is present in each vehicle to act as a coach while the student maneuvers through various scenarios. At the completion of each course students will have the knowledge and understanding to apply their newly formed skills in real life situations by using the industry standard techniques developed and taught by NATC.

NATC has a multitude of test courses and trails immediately on-site to demonstrate vehicle dynamics and capabilities. Terrain Profiling gives an in-dept look at how these courses are maintained and structured for each type of teaching event. In addition to the on-site courses, NATC has access to several off-site locations. Winter testing is performed at the West Yellowstone Airport in West Yellowstone, Montana, annually. Here snow and ice driving techniques and general knowledge about vehicle operations during the winter are taught. Courses can be structured for the average driver looking for new skills, to specific driving situations such as snow plow operations, and specialty events for vehicle and tire manufactures. With access to Sand Mountain, a live sand dune 2 miles long, 1 mile wide and more than 600 feet high, soft soil driving techniques and sand terrain knowledge is taught. In addition there is easy access to high altitude vehicle operations in the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges and Lahontan Reservoir, which has 155,000 acre-feet and depths from 5 feet to over 50 feet providing a significant swimming capability evaluation test area. Here both calm and wave (1-2 feet) conditions are represented. In short, NATC is one of the only facilities with the ability to replicate most any terrain required for a driver training and education course.

Some course examples are:

  • 1.8 mile paved oval track and vehicle dynamics area
  • 20-60% natural and man made grades
  • Fording pit and river fording
  • Mud and sand traction
  • Natural and man made V-ditches and irrigation ditches
  • RMS courses
  • Regular and off camber S-turns
  • Double lane change and constant radius
  • 1-10+ rock crawling courses, including the Rubicon Trail
  • Miles of varying roughness courses and trails
  • Virgin and packed snow courses (winter test facility only)
  • Ice lane (winter test facility only)

NATC prides itself in offering students the knowledge, resources, and skill to provide a valuable drivers training course tailored to any need. With vehicles both on-site, for training use, and the ability to accommodate students by using a specified vehicle type, NATC and its instructors will leave students with the confidence only a hands-on training can provide. Drivers training courses have been used to allow the typical driver the confidence to maneuver the road and learn additional skills to become a better driver in any condition, show manufactures how certain types of vehicles react so they may understand and make a better vehicle, demonstrate proper techniques to allow a vehicle improved longevity, effectiveness, and a reduce cost, and to give our military personal an opportunity to maneuver a vast array of terrain, prior to deployment, and ultimately stay as safe as possible behind the wheel. Additionally NATC can structure courses for engineers to aid in their further education of vehicles and tire dynamics in real world operations. Some of NATC's prior training courses have been completed by the U.S. Border Patrol, TACOM, various divisions of the U.S. military, large corporations, and basic skills courses (on and off road) for any person of interest.

For additional information and to setup your drivers training and education course contact the Nevada Automotive Test Center, Program Manager Brett Horachek at 775-629-2000.

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Nevada Automotive Test Center
a division of Hodges Transportation, Inc.
Post Office Box 234, Carson City, Nevada 89702

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