A pilot vehicle, also called an escort vehicle, is an automobile used to escort oversize load transportation and convoys of large vehicles. Pilot cars are provided by licensed and insured companies that specialize in convoy escorts. On some loads, escort duties are also performed by police vehicles.
Pilot car drivers are trained professionals who specialize in driving these vehicles and are contracted to escort the load through parts of the approved route as determined by the locality. A pilot car driver works with the driver of an oversized truckload to ensure the truck reaches the destination safely. The pilot driver travels in a separate vehicle, in front of or in the back of the truck, looking to warn the public of traffic changes or obstacles due to the truckload. The person driving the car can communicate with the truck driver via CB radio, alerting the truck if there is anything up ahead on the road.
A pilot car has eye-catching signs that warn other drivers that an oversized load is following or is ahead. These signs are usually accompanied by amber flashing lights and bright flags. These cars are also equipped with emergency toolkits such as maps, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits. Pilot cars typically have height poles, so bridges and overhead obstacles can be tested for clearance based on the truck’s height. This is a safe way to transport these loads, and safety on the highway should be an utmost priority.
Each state has different requirements for owning and operating pilot cars. The permitted route as authorized by the locality determines if a pilot car needs to be in front of the load, behind the load or both. Some states require permits to operate pilot cars or specific operational equipment which needs to be certified. This functional equipment includes flags, cones, orange vests, fire extinguishers, flashing lights, and other equipment.
Florida honors pilot car certifications from Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Pilot drivers in Florida must be at least 18 years old. In addition, it’s required to complete an eight-hour defensive driving course provided by the National Safety Council or have a Class A, B, or C commercial driver’s license. You must be Florida qualified or qualified by a state with equal or stricter guidelines. These documents should be available upon request as a pilot car driver. In Pennsylvania, pilot cars need to have specific insurance coverage requirements.
We have an ample database of professional Pilot Car companies, and our network of escorts has great heavy haul experience and competitive rates. To learn more or to get help in coordinating your Pilot Car requirements, don’t hesitate to contact Reliable Permit Solutions, LLC