Why Pilot Cars are Needed for Oversize Load Transports

2013 Hagie 204 SP Cutter secured on trailer for transport
September 29, 2020 Natasha Post 0 Comments

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Pilot cars are often used when shipping oversize loads through interstate roads as a legal requirement. They could be SUVs or pickup trucks that are either in front or behind the trucking tractor hauling an overload or a superload. The primary purpose of pilot cars is ensuring that the oversize load arrives at the destination safely and timely. The drivers riding these cars are professionally trained to ensure safe and smooth delivery of the load through highways and city roads, as well as keeping the public and other road users safe from the truck hauling the overload.

Pilot car drivers riding in front of the towing tractor informs the truck driver about the state of the road. For instance, warning the trucker about heavy traffic ahead, presence of turns and bridges, or anything else that the trucker should be aware of in good time. The escort car also warns motorists about the incoming wide vehicle. If faced with heavy traffic, the pilot cars are authorized to stop other cars and guide the truck safely towards its delivery location.

" Also, if the oversize load you are shipping is incredibly high, the escort car may be attached with a pole the height of the load. It allows for the testing of overhead obstacles as well as bridges for clearance."

That is not everything that pilot cars do. The drivers are also responsible for making sure that the expert shipping the oversize load does not violate the traffic laws when moving into a new state. They also guide the truck through safe switching of lanes, turns, and crossing bridges.

Hauling a 2013 Hagie 204 SP Cutter on a lowboy trailer

Pilot Car Equipment for Smooth Coordination with Drivers

Tractor Transport is aware of all the necessary pilot car equipment that we must get before we start towing your oversize load. They include clear and catchy signage to let other drivers know that there is an oversize load ahead or behind. There are also bright flags or flashing lights that are easy to notice from afar. All our pilot cars must have a CB radio for efficient communication between the truck driver and the pilot car driver.

Pilot cars also come with safety equipment such as first aid kits and quality fire extinguishers for emergencies. Also, if the oversize flatbed load you are shipping is incredibly high, the escort car may be attached with a pole the height of the load. It allows for the testing of overhead obstacles as well as bridges for clearance.

State Requirements for Pilot Cars

Different state transports have varying state requirements for escort cars needed during the towing of oversize loads. The rules set may depend on the weight, the dimensions of the oversize load, and the size of the trailer used. For instance, if the width of the oversize load exceeds 14 feet, two pilot cars may be required; one behind the truck, and the other one in front of it.

There are states that require pilot car drivers to be certified before they are on the road. The necessities for certification include insurance, a valid driver’s license, fire and safety certificate, drug testing, and DOT certification. Drives should also have top-notch traffic control skills.

Dispatching Pilot Cars During Oversize Load Towing

The time needed to dispatch a pilot car when shipping an oversize load varies from one state to another. Other factors that come into play include the vehicle’s demand and the type of pilot car required at the time. It might take a few minutes to a couple of hours.

As shipping companies look for pilot cars, they also care to know about the state requirements for the heavy equipment. These include the number of pilot cars required, and whether the vehicle should be in front or behind the oversize load.

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