Driver’s Training

This training is required for all staff who will be operating a Philmont-owned vehicle during the upcoming season. An in-person skills course will need to take place to complete this training.

Please review all of the sections below and complete the test. This is an “open book” test which can be taken as many times as possible to meet the required score. 

Please watch the video below featuring Steve Clark, Philmont Chief of Security and slides put together by the security and motorpool departments. 

Some of the slides do contain a lot of text and move quickly. Please be prepared to pause as needed to review information.

Please remember, among other things, the driver of any vehicle is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the vehicle is in safe operating condition before leaving
  • The well-being and safety of themselves, all passengers, pedestrians, and bystanders
  • Proper use and care for the vehicle they are driving

This responsibility is not passed on to any passenger or other person no matter their experience, positions, or department.

Please watch the video below featuring Jeremy Gruver, Philmont Motorpool Foreman as he discusses care and basic maintenance of Philmont vehicles.

According to the National Safety Council, most drivers spend less than 1% of their driving time backing up, but about 25% of all collisions take place while a vehicle is backing up. Many of the areas driven on and around Philmont have a variety of obstacles and hazards which, if not navigated well, can lead to vehicle damage, injury, or even fatalities. Safe and experienced drivers can do the following to help mitigate these risks while backing and navigating obstacles:

  1. Think ahead
    • Don’t back up or navigate obstacles unless it is necessary
  2. Park defensively
    • Back into parking spaces or use a pull-through location to prevent having to back into a road
  3. Know and prepare your vehicle
    • Ensure vehicle is operating properly (use walkaround checklist)
    • Adjust seats & mirrors
    • Know blind spots
    • Know clearances
    • Know which way to turn the wheel (especially with trailers)
  4. Check the environment
    • Obstructions
    • Low-hanging objects
    • Bumps
    • Drop-offs/cliffs
    • Depth of water, mud, or snow
  5. Use ground guides or spotters whenever possible & safe
    • Use standardized hand signals (not verbal instructions)
    • Ensure spotter is positioned correctly (behind driver’s side mirror)
    • Drivers may stop every few inches and spot for themselves, if a competent spotter is not available
  6. Practice in a safe, controlled environment
    • Using mirrors and/or back-up cameras
    • Without using mirrors and/or back-up cameras
    • With and without spotters

The vehicle driver will be responsible for training any potential spotters in their vehicle. If you will be regularly driving with the same team, it may make sense to train them ahead of time, but often this ends up being a quick on the spot orientation. Please become familiar with the procedures in the video and handout below.

Vehicle Backing Hand Signals

Vehicle Backing Safety Fact Sheet

You may have already reviewed this content in other trainings. If so, you may move on to the next section.

All vehicle operators at Philmont Scout Ranch are required to have at least a basic understanding of the proper use of two-way radios. Please read through the document below familiarize yourself with these operations and procedures.

Philmont Two-Way Radio Use


  • All vehicles are required, when the channel is clear, to 10-8 when the vehicle is en route to a location and 10-7 when they have arrived
  • Listen to the radio for at least a minute prior to transmitting to ensure you are not “stepping on” another transmission
  • Unless it is an emergency, wait until both units involved in a conversation say they are “clear” or “standing by” prior to transmitting
  • Ensure the correct channel/repeater are selected for the location you are transmitting from
  • Hold the PTT button down for a couple seconds to allow both the radio and the repeater to key up prior to talking

This information will be reviewed with your supervisor during the drivers training practical.

Please review the important resources below pertinent to driving at Philmont.

2021 Summer Philmont Road Closures

One More Second Driver Code of Conduct

Please complete the test below to complete the online portion of this Philmont training. Once you complete the test you will be emailed a certificate of completion which includes your score. You will need to retake the test until you recieve a score 250 of 300 or higher. This certificate should then be uploaded into WorkBright prior to your arrival on the ranch.

You can open this test in another window/tab by clicking here.