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Training is at the heart of Co4x4RnR, and we are dedicated to preparing our members for the missions we handle.  Without training, safe professional operations would be impossible.  You will notice that recovery skills courses do have a cost associated with them, however they are deeply discounted and subsidized for members.  All of our other courses are taught by qualified trainers, but are available free of charge to our members.  Our current curriculum includes a task book with four credentialing levels.  Increased training and certifications are required with each level, and can be completed in about 6-12 months depending on course availability.  Questions regarding training should be addressed to our Head of Training -



Recovery Skills

About Your Recovery Trainer

We could not be more pleased than to have secured Mr. Matt Balazs, of On Trail Training as your Colorado 4×4 Rescue and Recovery, Recovery Skills Trainer.  Matt is a I4WDTA Certified Trainer, of which there are only about 70 worldwide.  Matt has 30 years off road experience, 13 as a professional guide and has led about 1500 commercial trips taking around 9000 guests off road.  Matt is a Certified Tread Trainer with Tread Lightly, President of Stay The Trail and a Wilderness First Responder.  He is also a permitted outfitter with the National Forest Service.  Matt has trained under instructors that have trained every special forces unit out there including Secret Service Presidential Protection Detail.  Colorado 4×4 Rescue and Recovery can not think of a more qualified individual to lead our training, and is thrilled to have him as a supporter of this organization.

Training our membership is imperative to the success of our organization. What sets our service apart is our quick, professional, and skillful response to a clients need in the backcountry. By training our members in a manor that increases their awareness, skill set and professionalism we will be able to provide the best service we possibly can.

Our 2018 training curriculum will cover many aspects of off-road recovery. While we plan to add additional classes in years to come, Recovery Skills I will be our core skill class, and is critical to our success. This class will be provided multiple times throughout the season, on trails in the Pike San Isabel Forest. Classes will be a full day, 8 hours with breaks including a group lunch.

Training Photo Album
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the Photo Album

Recovery Skills I (Full Day) 

Basic Members - $75

Advanced Members - Free with 1 year dues

Recovery Leader Duties

  • Team Set Up
  • Team Managemnet
  • Leaders on Scene Responsibilities
  • Communication

Scene Assessment 

  • Environmental Hazards
  • Traffic Control
  • Scene Safety

Stuck Assessment

  • Why is the vehicle stuck
  • Damage Potential
  • Recovery Force Calculation

Recovery Planning

  • Static vs Kinetic
  • Equipment Selection
  • Equipment Inspection and Care
  • Recovery Point Selection
  • Predicting Vehicle Behavior

Recovery Equipment


  • Proper Use and Care
  • Steel vs Synthetic
  • Closed System vs Open System
  • Safety Zones
  • Rigging
  1. Single Line Pull
  2. Off Angle Pull
  3. Double/Triple Line Pull
  4. Use of Kinetic Recovery Rope (Bubba Rope) With Winch
  5. Multiple Winch Recoveries

Attachment Devices

  • Choosing Suitiple Recovery Points
  • WLL vs SLL vs Ultimate Breaking Strength
  • Bow Shackles
  • Hooks
  • Soft Shackles
  • Chains
  • Receiver Shackles

Hi Lift Jack

  • Use and Maintenance
  • Lifting and Cribbing
  • Lifting and Casting
  • Winching
  • Accessories

Strap Recoveries

  • Tow strap vs Recovery Strap
  • KERR (Kinetic Energy Recovery Rope)

Traction Aids

Field Expedient Repairs

  • Useful Tools
  • Tire Repair
  1. Plug
  2. Reseating Bead
  • Limp Home Techniques
  1. Broken Axle
  2. Hydro Lock
  3. Dead Tow
  4. Improvised Fixes

Recovery Skills II (Full Day) 

Basic Members - $125

Advanced Members - $75 with one year dues

Recovery Skills II, is currently being held at Ram Off-Road Park.  This location allows us to put vehicles in truely compromised situations and not block 4x4 trail or FS access.

Skills II focuses on the deployment of the skills and fundamentals learned in Recovery Skills I, and is completely hands on.  Starting at the Scene Assessment, and ending with a completed recovery we perform 6-8 scenarios start to finish.  Utilizing both our trainers equipment as well as yours, this course allows for as close to real world training as possible, and has been extremely well received by our members.  Advanced members may apply their annual $50 Training Voucher to this course. 

Curriculum for Skills II is very dynamic, and is tailored to the members in attendance.

An Instructional Video from our Recovery Skills Trainer Matt Balazs

Driving and Communications

  1. Basic communication and driving skills (C/D1)

  2. Communication Skills

    SMS Callout Texts

    Facebook thread and response
    Response team chat
    Phone etiquette with RP
    Radio best practices, types, limitations

    •   HAM
    •  CB
    •  FRS
    •  GMRS
    •  What not to say

    Dispatch and updates

    Driving Skills

    Seating position, use of hands, mirrors
    Safe driving practices
    Situational awareness, divided attention, multitaskingSpotting techniques and communication
    Trail etiquette
    Vehicle dynamics

    •   Hairpin turns
    •  Shelf roads
    •  Tire placement

    4WD vehicle capabilities§ 4HI/LO

    •  Traction control devices
    •  Clearance
    •  Tires (type, load range, pressure)

    Advanced driving skills (D2)

    4-hour course on vehicle dynamics, situational awareness, vehicle capabilities (4HI/LO, traction control devices, clearance, tires), safe driving practices, evaluating environmental and trail conditions, guiding/spotting, analog/digital navigation tools/skills, and self recovery.

    Advanced communication skills (C2)

    4-hour course in CB, FRS, GMRS, and HAM; APRS operation, radio manipulation, repeater access and usage, topography, HT vs. mobile vs. ground station; effective field communications with team members and command.


Leadership for trail leaders (L1)

4-hour CO4x4RnR leadership skills course


The Co4x4RnR SAR-ES Team trains at minimum once a month, in areas including incident command, mission coordination, person extraction via 4x4 vehicle, large area vehicle based search, communications support (either voice or tracking of other assets via APRS) and back country access support when other teams need or want assistance accessing an difficult area. 

See Search & Rescue-Emergency Support for minimum qualifications needed to join this team.

Classes are ONLY Available to our Members
If you are interested in Taking one of our Classes PLEASE look at our Membership Information Page and then Sign up as a Member.

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