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2018 National hot dog day

2018 National hot dog day.

The term “Negative Nancy” is one we’ve all heard and are familiar with. A term most of us distance ourselves from but in reading about Loves Travel Stops free hot dog Wednesday the first thing you have to wonder is how much does that cost? If Loves is offering services to “factor” money to trucking companies (for a fee which is usually 2-4%) for fuel, freight bills, etc.  – why in the heck are they being so nice paying for all of this free beef and where does it come from?  Well it was a relief to learn from the Schwab Meat Co. which is interestingly enough also based out of Oklahoma. Good move there! Loves has 460 travel center locations. If each location dishes out an average of 600 hot dogs that’s 276,600 hot dogs that had to be cooked and dished out with condiments offered. So let’s see, if 1 hot dog weighs 3.5 ounces that’s 60,375 pounds of hot dogs which wholesale roughly cost $26,000.00. Plus condiments, electricity, napkins and labor we can double that to $52,000.00. Let’s say promotion was in-house but required some printing which at best give us $100,000.00.

free hot dogs

Today is National Hot Dog Day! Loves is giving them away free! Image credit.

A free dog is might just be a good dog.

Well, we’ve gotta say hat’s off to Loves for loving their customers. We’re pretty sure they’re going to have to give more away than our projection shows but in the end all companies need to promote themselves. Doing so on National Hot Dog day is a good idea in our book and this writer was glad to hear they were sourced locally. We thank you Loves and suggest looking at the possibility of giving away some free fuel to our fellow trucking companies and drivers in the future!

 

 

 

Oh boy! The big FMCSA news.

FMCSA releases a mandated “Corrective Action Plan” for the CSA program.

FMCSA news.

Cutting through the commentary here are the nuts and bolts. The actions the FMCSA stated it will take in its 10 page corrective action plan will include:

  • Moving forward to develop and test an IRT model. That model will be used to inform the agency’s work, with opportunities for public input. As recommended by NAS, if the new IRT model performs well, it will replace the existing SMS. FMCSA will not substantively modify SMS while we are testing the IRT model “to ensure we have a stable comparison to evaluate effectiveness.”
  • Agreeing that more frequent and more detailed Vehicle Miles Traveled data from motor carriers would reduce the need for FMCSA to use substitute values and would improve the quality of the data in SMS. FMCSA currently only collects carrier VMT data every two years. Access to this data, by State, on a monthly basis is not currently feasible, but the agency will continue to identify possible sources for this important data.
  • Agreeing that additional information about carrier operations might improve the agency’s analysis and identification of non-compliant motor carriers. However, the collection of this data would come at a cost, and the benefits are unknown.
  • Agreeing that there could be benefits from making MCMIS data available to researchers and carriers. As a result, the agency’s first effort will be to improve data availability. FMCSA will develop a web page where researchers, carriers, safety consultants, and the public can obtain simplified MCMIS data snapshots.
  • Gathering public input from motor carriers, insurance companies, and shippers regarding the ways in which the public uses SMS data. Using the data collected in these public listening sessions, FMCSA will scope and complete a study specific to the issue of percentile ranks and the usability of public scores.
  • Once IRT modeling is complete, FMCSA will evaluate the use of absolute measures for set intervention thresholds. Absolute measures and percentiles are products of the SMS system. At this time, it is not known how these would be affected once the Agency completes the modeling recommended by NAS. Therefore, FMCSA defers action on this recommendation until it is confirmed this would be relevant.

Everyone is giving this new agenda the big thumbs up. Sorry to say but we’ve only got our big finger up as none of this helps out a niche industry operating within a over regulated industry already mandated with curfews, holiday restrictions and travel time restrictions. So, you get nothing and you get to like it folks.

Brokers may want to drive part time.

Freight Brokers may want to start driving part time.

With the demand for more truck drivers owners of trucking companies can now be more picky about who they haul for. The age old cry of freight brokers are crooks may be coming to an end as technology progresses. With demand for drivers and internet technology maturing in years to come the freight broker may be a job position of the past such as a “wheel maker” or “spear maker”. While wheel and spear makers are still needed with automation there just not in high demand. trucking industry crunch

The trucking industry is taking some hard hits.

We’re hearing it everywhere. CNN recently published a story about Cheetah trailers and how Chinese companies are violating it’s copyright design on their own trailers. Cheetah trailers haul shipping containers. Chinese manufacturers simply buy one, study it, mass produce it and start exporting them cheaper. They’re also made cheaper but that’s another story. New HOS regulations are hitting truck drivers hard. If you can’t driver you can’t make money and if you can’t make money driving why bother? What’s left is the fleet owners, small trucking companies and the owner operators. Put a broker in the middle of all of this combined with internet technology and what do you get? You get smaller companies that have the ability to network with buyers, manufactures and anyone else that needs transportation.

A new dawn is being born.

The oversize and heavy haul industry have already dumped the freight broker. In fact, from inception trucking company owners realized the liability was simply too high. A broker with a $10,000 bond (or even $50,000) isn’t much to hang your hat on if the shipment costs $55,000 to ship. Not only that the broker want’s everything he/she can get which is $5,500 at 10% or $6,600 at 12% which are both claimed industry standards. That’s a WHOLE LOT OF MONEY! So in the case of dry van shipments let’s say that number is 90% less or the line haul is $5,500. Well $550 or $660 is still a WHOLE LOT OF MONEY! What is going to happen next inevitably is the trucking companies will have to crunch the numbers in between profit and inflation and combined with technology that need will be met. Good-bye brokers. It’s inevitable. Trucking companies are continue to look for more and more direct customer freight.

Beluga Airbus Super Transporter.

The Beluga Airbus Super Transporter.

Don’t sell your truck and trailer just quite yet.

While the Beluga Airbus super transporter certainly looks like it could put a lot of folks out of work the of it reality is a little different. The Beluga is currently used primarily for transporting other air-crafts and air-craft parts. If a shipment we’re to fit in this monstrosity it would definitely need to be a time sensitive shipment as the amount of jet fuel consumed just to get off of the ground would probably exceed the cost of transporting the same item over the road. Test flights are being done now with a commercially approved version expected to be released at the end of 2018.

airbus super transporter.

While the Airbus Supertransporter looks like it might put a crunch in trucking industry the reality of it is much different. Price to own one: 183 cool million dollars.

Fact: The Airbus Beluga A300 600 supertransporter is the world’s most volumetrically cavernous aircraft. It certainly looks like a Beluga whale!

  • Dry weight is 86 tons or 172,000 pounds.
  • Max payload of 94,000 pounds or 47 tons.
  • It can ship loads up to 123 feet long, 23 feet wide and 23 feet tall.
  • Load/unload time is 20 minutes.
  • Travels 567 miles per hour (mach .07) at an of altitude of 35,000 feet.
  • It’s fuel capacity is 15,600 gallons.

Airbus Supertransporter being loaded from the front:

Airbus super transporter.

The nose section lifts up as well as the tail in order to load/unload freight. The lift on the tarmac is rated at a 100 ton lift capacity.

There’s plenty of room for cargo and couch room in here:

Airbus supertransporter inside.

 

The newest version is the larger XL is based on an Airbus A330. The whale-themed livery was chosen a poll of all 20,000 Airbus employees. Of six choices, the smiling whale received 40 per cent of the votes to win. The BelugaXL will now undertake ground tests before first flights planned later in 2018.

Read more: http://www.traveller.com.au/first-airbus-beluga-xl-freighter-unveiled-with-whale-livery-h1269o#ixzz5KhfNAkFH
Follow us: @TravellerAU on Twitter | TravellerAU on Facebook

 

Reference: https://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/look-see-inside-airbus-beluga-8496882 and photo courtesy: https://flyawaysimulation.com/downloads/files/3674/fsx-airbus-a300-600st-beluga/

June updates on regulations information.

June updates on regulations and information, volume, production.

We hope that you are reaping the rewards of our 14+ years of industry service. We’re asking for your input on our regulations pages but more on that below. As you know freight volumes are up and increasing so it’s always a wise idea to follow the loadboard for your next direct customer. If you happen to be busy or stuck on the road and prefer to monitor your loadboard account via Apple or Android phone it’s pretty easy to install the APP via iTunes or Google Play – just search the term “WideloadShipping.com” and install it to your device.

Regulations updates and user comments

The main reason we are sending this quick note however is to let you know the Rules and Regulations pages have been updated for 2018 and we’re averaging around 1400 visitors on these pages 24 hours a day. With this much web traffic depending on our data we’d like to ask anyone viewing them that may have additional information to add please do so by using the quick comment form at the bottom of each page. You can add comments in a single click from any computer or device. We value and appreciate your valuable input and comments on these pages as it give our viewers (and us) more information. While the regulations have a lot of information there is constantly updates and more info you may wish to see featured.


Banner advertising information

Another opportunity we’d like to offer you is the ability to advertise on these pages. Our standard fee due to the amount of exposure you’ll get is $240 a month for a basic banner ad (this is about 90% cheaper than Google Adsense). However, for those interested in placing banner ads we’re having a sale this week for 40% off. That’s correct! We’ll place your banner ad on each of the State/Province oversize and heavy haul regulations for $144 a month. So if you’re currently running an ad campaign or thinking about it now is a real good time to implement it as our web traffic will be at its highest (14+ years online tells us so) until the beginning of the New Year. We offer full support and can even show you how to create your own customer banner (.gif file or moving images on it) for free. Just send a note and we’ll set you up. Our directory of carriers is wise and affordable as well (create account).

Silver investing a production volumes?

Web traffic isn’t the only thing that is up these days, so are freight volumes. We sure hope you’re getting your getting a nice slice of that! While we’re all catching up on maintenance and bills from the winter consider this do your absolute best to save money. While advertising in the right place will probably earn you more money do it wisely. Also, while we’re not investment strategists and have never proclaimed to be investing in silver seems to be a good idea. Here’s a decent page to follow for more information on investing in silver. Also, if you want a good source for purchasing it (it’s affordable) we highly suggest using the Bullion Vault to make purchases as they have spot prices and are reliable world wide. Why silver? Well, technology is advancing at a very high rate daily. So is production. While gold is great silver prices are not only affordable (as low as $16.42 per ounce on 06/12/18) but there’s a production shortage as mines are producing less). So, this is only what we consider a safe option. In no way are we conveying to you we are professional precious metal speculators.

Silver bullion.

Investing in silver is affordable and more than likely a very good idea. Production volumes are down and demand is increasing daily.

The main purpose of this post however is to remind you all just how much a quick comment at the bottom of our regulations pages helps others. We thank you for your input! Let us know if there’s anything we can do to make our service better for you.

Safe travels and in the kind words of Joe Overlease “don’t take cheap freight”!

Important dates for heavy haul, oversize and pilot car drivers.

Important 2018 dates for heavy haul, oversize truck and pilot car drivers.

2018 -While many oversize and heavy haul shipments are restricted from travel due to travel times, weather and other restrictions it is important to keep up with holidays and other important events. Many holidays and some events will have travel restrictions for oversize and heavy haul shipments so it is very important for truck drivers as well as pilot cars to be aware of these dates. Below is a list of the important dates for 2018. You may wish to print this page for future reference.

Important dates for heavy haul truck drivers and pilot car companies.

Know holiday dates so you are in full compliance with travel restrictions in the state you are traveling in.

2018 New Year’s day, Monday, January 1.
2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 15.
2018 Groundhog Day, Friday, February 2.
2018 Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, February 14.
2018 Presidents’ Day Monday, February 19.
2018 Ash Wednesday, Wednesday, February 14.
2018 Daylight savings time begins, Sunday, March 11.
2018 St. Patrick’s day, Saturday, March 17.
2018 Palm Sunday, Sunday, March 20.
2018 Good Friday, Friday, March 30.
2018 Easter Sunday, Sunday, April 1.
2018 Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13.
2018 Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 19.
2018 Victoria day (Canada), Monday, July 2.
2018 Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4.
2018 Rosh Hashanah, Sunday October 9.
2018 Patriot day, Tuesday, September 11.
2018 Yom Kippur, Tuesday October 11.
2018 Columbus Day, Monday, October 8.
2018 Thanksgiving day, Monday, October 8.
2018 National Boss Day, Tuesday, October 16.
2018 Halloween, Wednesday, October 31.
2018 Daylight savings time ends, Sunday, November 4.
2018 Election day, Tuesday, November 6.
2018 Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11.
2018 Thanksgiving day, Thursday, November 22.
2018 Christmas day Tuesday, December 25.
2018 New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31.

If you are a heavy haul truck driver or a oversize load truck driver as well as a pilot car or escort vehicle operator take note of these important 2018 dates. They may effect your travel times.

Multi state permits, regional permits. NASTO, SASHTO, MAASTO & WASHTO regions.

All USA regions are overseen by AASTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)

Multi state permits, regional permits. 2018 NASTO, SASHTO, MAASTO & WASHTO regions.

(formerly: NASHTO, SASHTO, MVCSHTO & WASHTO)

USA MULTI-STATE PERMITS AND REGIONS.

USA MULTI-STATE PERMITS AND REGIONS FOR NASHTO, SASHTO, MVCSHTO AND WASHTO.

Have you ever wondered about multi state permits or regional permits? What is AASTO, NASTO, SASHTO, MAASTO or WASHTO? How can I learn from this information to help me? If you are involved in oversize or heavy haul trucking and travel through multiple states this is good information to learn about. It can save you time and money when obtaining over-dimensional and heavy haul trucking permits.

As you can see from the map of the United States certain states have created a type of partnership which has been divided up into regions. It is important to know that all of the regions together are overseen by “AASTO” which is an acronym for: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Region 1 or “NASTO” consists of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont and Rhode Island.
Region 2 or “SASHTO” consist of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Region 3 or “MAASTO” consist of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Region 4 or “WASHTO” consists of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Region 1 – NASTO (Northearstern Association of Highway Transportation Officials)
It should be noted that while NASTO has been divided as a “region” not all states have completely agreed to be fully implemented into the NASHTO agreement. So, here is what you have to work woth for the time being: for non-divisible overweight, oversize and over dimensional shipments within the New England Transportation Consortium (NETC) including Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire Rhode Island and Vermont, multi-state permits may be obtained for shipments and loads that are within these size and weight limits.
Maximum weights: 108,000 pounds on five actual units. 120,000 pounds on six or more actual units. You should know that special axle weight and axle spacing requirements of the NETC (read or download) must meet their specific configurations.
Maximum height: 13’6″ or less is the maximum height allowed.
Maximum width: 14’0″ or less is the maximum width allowed.
Maximum length: 90’0″ is the maximum linked allowed.
Note: If You are transporting a modular or mobile home there is a provision that may allow you to have an additional overhang of 6 inches maximum for roofing or window eaves. If the shipment you wish to transport is greater than any of the above limitations you will be required to obtain your oversize or heavy haul permits from each individual state.

Region 2 – SASHTO (Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)
This particular region is fairly straightforward and will issue multi-state permits provided the shipment does not exceed any of the following maximum limitations.
Maximum weights: The overall GVW must not exceed 120,000 pounds. No more than 12,000 pounds on the steer actual or 20,000 pounds on any single axle or 40,000 pounds on any tandem axles. For axle groupings of three or more the limit is 60,000 pounds. If you have questions you can call 804-786-2787 for more information. If the shipment that you wish to transport exceeds any of these limitations then you will need to contact each state individually to apply for your oversize or heavy haul trucking permits.
Maximum height: The maximum over all height allowed is 13’6″.
Maximum width: The maximum with is 14’0″ overall and must not have any overhang.
Maximum length: The maximum length is 100’0″ which includes all combinations as well as overhang. No distance of over than 51’0″ of axle spacing from outer axles.
Note: As long as you do not exceed any of the following maximums the SASHTO region is fairly easy to obtain multi-state oversize and heavy haul trucking permits from. As noted above you can direct any questions you may have about the SASHTO region by calling 804-786-2787.

Region 3 – MAASTO (Mid America Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)
We’re having difficulties obtaining the exact maximums for these states at the time of publish. We will update this as soon as we get good information from this association.

Region 4 WASHTO (Western Association of State Highway Transportation Officials)
The WASHTO region operates seamlessly for the most part for regional permitting and multi-state permitting of over size and heavy haul loads. As long as you are within the maximum limits as well as restriction below you will have no problem in obtaining your multi-state or regional heavy haul or over dimensional load permit.
Maximum weight: The maximum overall weight allowed is 600 pounds per inch of tire width or 21,500 pounds per single axle. 43,000 pounds per tandem axles and 53,000 pounds per triedem axle configurations with a wheelbase that is no less than 8 feet but no more than 13 feet. 160,000 pounds gross weight maximum.
Maximum height: The maximum overall height allowed is 14 feet.
Maximum width: The maximum overall width allowed is 14 feet. Projection from either side of the trailer in the state of Arizona is limited to a maximum of 3 feet on either side of the actual trailer. Except for loads that are less than 12 inches thick above the bed of the trailer. These are limited to 2 feet of maximum projection on either side of the trailer.
Maximum length: The maximum overall length allowed is 100 feet.
Notes: This is where it gets a little tricky as not all states can agree on everything such as overhang: maximum amount is 3 feet in the front and or 20 feet in the rear except for Arizona and Nevada and Utah which state if you are over 10 feet of overhang in the rear you must travel during daylight hours only. If you are in Arizona you can only travel on Monday through Friday during daylight hours. You should also know once you have filed for a permit you will not be eligible for a refund, credit or any kind of substitution. There is no movement allowed when road hazards exist such as ice, snow or frost or if the visibility is less than 500 feet. However the state of Washington allows for 1000 feet of visibility and the state of Texas allows for 2/10 of a mile visibility due to snow, fog, smoke or other conditions. If the shipment wit is in excess of 8’6″ or the overall linked is over 80 foot, except Arizona and Texas where the restriction applies to all movement under permit and Idaho where the carrier makes the determination. However, enforcement may restrict travel. As far as speed limits permitted loads may move at the posted speed limits except for in the state of New Mexico you are limited to a maximum of 55 mph. In Montana you are permitted to drive 65 mph during the day and night on the interstate and 60 mph (if posted) on non-interstate roads during daylight hours,  however 55 mph maximum on non interstate roads during night time travel.

State Certifications for Pilot Cars & Escort Vehicles.

2018 State Certifications for Pilot Cars & Escort Vehicles. Which states require pilot car certification?

Some states require pilot car and escort vehicle drivers to be certified operators before operating within their jurisdictions. If you are considering operating a oversize load truck escorting service you will be required to have certain “certifications” in each of the following states. For details on each of the states requirements as of 2018 this is a great place to start your research.

Oversize load.

Typical oversize load that does not require a pilot car vehicle. However, shipments slightly wider may required a pilot car in some locations.

Arizona – Colorado – Florida – Georgia – Louisiana – Minnesota – Nevada – New Mexico – New York – Oklahoma – Virginia – Washington

The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASTO) in conjunction with the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration released the National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices,  specifically chapter 6(F) which applies to pilot cars and escort vehicles (also see; pilot car_and escort_best_practices_guidelines). Any escort vehicle or pilot car vehicle shall carry the following equipment items at all times when escorting a over dimensional, heavy haul or otherwise extra-legal shipment.

1. One two-way electronic communication device which enables the pilot car or escort to communicate directly with the driver of the extralegal shipment.
2. One 105 pound fire extinguisher or to 5 pound fire extinguishers.
3. One stop go paddle sign reflective for night movement no less than 18 inches across or tall with letters no less than 6 inches in height.
4. One night reflective safety orange vest shirt or jacket.
5. One handheld red flag no less than 18 inches square.
6. To oversize load banners that are yellow with black lettering (no minimum size specified. See below or state laws for state(s) working in.
7. One hardhat.
8. Three reflective triangles or 18 inch traffic cones.


We do strongly suggest any individual or company operating as a pilot car or escort vehicle be outfitted with the minimum requirements. For your convenience see the list below, or you may visit our pages on “Starting a new pilot car company“.

The basics:

  • 1 professional mileage book with room for notations and 1 journal book. Keep good logs and summary daily.
  • 5 – 36″ orange road cones with two strips of safety reflective tape at the top.
  • 5 – 12″ orange road cones (day use) with at least one safety reflective strip at top just in case (night use).
  • 1 – safety colored yellow or orange reflective safety jacket and 2 reflective safety vests.
  • 8 roadside reflective triangles no less than 16″ tall.
  • 1 dozen up to date flammable safety road flares. Write expire date in your journal book for later reference.
  • 4 red safety colored flags no less than 18″ square on 1/2″ wooden dowels.
  • 2 yellow signs reading “Oversize Load” no less than 12″ tall x 5′ wide with lettering 10″ tall and 1 5/8″ thick.
  • 1 – 2-way radio. We suggest a high quality CB radio with very high quality antenna.
  • 2 fire extinguishers. 1 – 2.5 lb and 1 – 5 lb dry chemical type or higher rating.
  • 1 safety colored red or fluorescent hard hat with reflective safety tape.
  • 1 very good all inclusive first aid kit. The more you spend the better. Familiarize yourself with everything.
  • Stop/Slow safety paddle sign no less that 24″ the same shape as a stop sign with a 5′ handle.
  • 2 flashlights that run on a minimum of 2 DC batteries with extra batteries.
  • 1 heavy duty set of jumper cables. The best pair you can buy.
  • 1 jump box with charge meter indicating level of charge. A jump box is an external battery used for starting vehicles.
  • Chains for all 4 wheels of your vehicle for snow covered passes or iced roads.
  • 2 two way radios fully charged with 2 fully charged batteries.
  • 1 GPS with good up to date quality mapping software that allows you to create way-points and also a good USA road atlas.

If you approach a state such as Louisiana, New Mexico or Utah which require pilot cars to stop and pay for a inspection at the port or entry (prior to leading or chasing a load) and you don’t have the minimum tools listed above, wave goodbye to your money and the permit as you’ll be denied and rightly so.  A pilot cars primary duty is to ensure the safety of the motorists. If you don’t have the basic tools required then you’re not deemed safe to operate in the capacity of a pilot car.  Below we will cover the specific details required by pilot car companies in order to become certified in the states that have certification requirements.

Details of State Certifications required for Pilot Cars. Which states require pilot car certification?

Oversize firetruck being shipped.

Firetruck being shipped with signs and flags.

If you are researching and looking for a list of the states that require specific pilot car certifications you have found it.  Below is the list of each state requiring special certification for pilot cars and escort vehicles as well as some details about the type of certifications that are required, where to obtain them, fees, etc. Please feel free to add any comments to share with others at the bottom of this page.

    1. Arizona.

      The state of Arizona does not observe daylight savings time. Arizona pilot car certification: the state of Arizona says that pilot car companies or escort vehicles must maintain a certificate of certification that verifies the pilot car and operator successfully completed a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) program. Arizona does recognize equivalency programs completed in other states however the pilot car or escort vehicle operator must file an application in order to operate within Arizona State jurisdictions. For more information contact the Arizona motor vehicles division at phone number: 602-771-2960 located at 1225 N. 25th Ave., Phoenix, AR 85009. Office hours are from 8 AM until 5 PM mountain time Monday through Friday. You can read more about the Arizona pilot car regulations, requirements, permits, etc. on our regulations pages.

    2. Colorado.

      The state of Colorado requires that pilot car or escort company operators have a Colorado State Certification card when working with in the Colorado state jurisdiction. Colorado does recognize certificates received from other states such as Florida, Oklahoma, Washington or Utah as well as the SC&RA. If you do not have any other state certificate endorsements you may contact RSA Network, Inc. by phone at: 801–838–8199 to inquire about testing for your Colorado State Certification. For more information about Colorado regulations, requirements, permits, etc. visit our regulations pages.

    3. Florida.

      The state of Florida requires that pilot car or escort companies operators have to have Florida State certification or FDOT authorization. The state of Florida does recognize programs completed bike pilot car drivers from the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. In order to legally operate in the capacity of a pilot car or escort vehicle driver/company, you must obtain a certificate of completion by the Florida Department of Transportation pilot/escort training class. This class is offered by the Florida technology transfer Center. Inquiries by phone: 352-392-2371 or e-mail: 12assist@ce.ufl.edu. One portion of the Florida State Law requires successful completion of a National Safety Council 8 hour defensive driving course qualified by the state of Florida (or equivalent) by one of the above listed states as the same. So if you have already completed a similar course your credit may be transferable. Re-qualification is required every 4 years and this can also be done by contacting the University of Florida, PO Box 116587  Gainesville, FL  32611-6587.  You can read more about the Florida pilot car regulations, requirements, permits, etc. on our regulations pages.

    4. Georgia.

      The state of Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) requires pilot car or escort company operators to complete the Certified Escort Vehicle Program. In addition to this you are required to have a “amber light permit” when operating a pilot car or escort vehicle within Georgia state lines. If you obtain a “amber light permit” AND have completed a pilot car and/or escort vehicle certification program through any of the following states: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Utah or Arizona you will more than likely be approved with proof of completion. The Georgia DOT also reciprocates directly with North Carolina, Florida and Oklahoma pilot car certification programs. If you have any questions for the Georgia Oversize Permit Unit you may contact them directly by phone: 888-262-8306.  You can also read more about the Georgia state pilot car regulations, requirements, permits, etc. on our regulations pages.

    5. Louisiana.

      All escort and pilot car operators who wish to travel through or work in the state of Louisiana are required to obtain a Louisiana Approved Escort Vehicle Permit. Escort vehicle operators and pilot car company operators can obtain a Louisiana state escort vehicle permit at Louisiana weigh stations. These permits can also be obtained online at www.dotd.la.gov. Look for the quick links section on the right-hand side of the webpage and click on truck permits. Once you’ve reached the permitting electronic routing bridge analysis selection then select submit application for annual permits and will get a list of annual permits on that page. The escort and pilot car vehicle permit portion will give you two options for submitting the application. You can submit it online or print the PDF form and fax the completed application to the truck permit office at: 225-377-7154. Any questions you may have pertaining to escort vehicle and/or pilot car driving permits and be addressed by calling: 800-654-1433 or 225-434-2345 and selecting option 1. You can also read more about the Lousiana state pilot car regulations, requirements, permits, etc. on our regulations pages.

    6. Minnesota.

      All escort vehicle and pilot car operators who wish to travel or work in the state of Minnesota are required to be certified. The good old state of Minnesota has two different types of escorts. Civilian escorts and peace officers. Learn the difference between the two. The state of Minnesota recognizes escort vehicle and pilot car operator certifications from the following states Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington state. Currently Minnesota requires drivers of pilot cars and escort vehicles to hold a current Minnesota State patrol certification. When working within this state all pilot car companies and escort vehicle operators must travel with a copy of their certification. If you are a escort vehicle or pilot car operator with certification already in the state of Colorado Florida North Carolina Oklahoma Utah or Washington you will be allowed to escort over dimensional loads within the state of Minnesota however you must have Minnesota insurance for the vehicle the driver the signage delighting and all safety equipment requirements must be met. For more information you can contact Erik Gohl at: 952-995-1346 fax: 952-995-1331 or visit their website:  www.hennepintech.edu/cts/pages/1233 who is the pilot car and escort driver class administrator at Hennepin Technical College,  customized training services located at: 13100 College View Dr., Eden Prairie, MN 55347. You can also read more about the Minnesota state pilot car regulations, requirements and permits on our regulations page.

    7. Nevada.

      All pilot car operators and escort vehicles who wish to work in the state of Nevada must be certified and also obtain a amber light permit. At the time of this writing (May 16, 2018) the state of Nevada Department of Transportation does not have any particular specific certification program for pilot cars. However they do have in place a rather lengthy amber light law. We would strongly suggest that anyone considering escorting loads through the state of Nevada obtain certification in another state with stringent laws such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida or Oklahoma. You will still need a amber light permit to operate a escort vehicle or pilot car with in Nevada state jurisdiction. The amber light law basically states that it is unlawful for any person to mount a flashing amber warning light on the top of the vehicle without a permit from the Nevada Highway Patrol. The Nevada Highway Patrol will issue a permit to mount amber flashing lights on a vehicle upon written request. We suggest that readers such as yourself read our regulations page for the state of Nevada in order to research amber light specs such as how many times it flashes per minute and the distance its visible from. In addition to the amber light law if you anticipate stopping or slowing traffic you must comply to the stringent laws of Nevada state flagman. If it is necessary to warrant approaching traffic, each flagman must be wearing a solid florescent yellow or green material jacket or vest and equipped with a red flag and paddle readings stop in white letters with a red background. The sign must be a standard 18 inch two-sided stop and slow sign and be attached to a 5 foot pole. For further clarification on other items required please see our regulations page for trucks pilot cars and escort vehicles operating within Nevada state jurisdiction.

    8. New Mexico.

      All pilot car and escort vehicle operators working with in the state of New Mexico need to be inspected at the port of entry for a New Mexico certification inspection. You are required to approach the port of entry before any load you may be escorting reaches any scale house upon entry. Once pilot car or escort vehicle operators pull into the New Mexico port of entry you are subject to inspection. The officer conducting the inspection will require you to have two amber lights, oversize escort signs, a two-way radio, fire extinguisher, to outside rear view mirrors, the condition of the tires, three red flares and or reflectors, oversize escort signs and to florescent orange or red flags 12 inch in size or larger as well as a safety jacket and/or vest with a hardhat. The vehicle requirements are a minimum of 100 inch wheelbase, vehicle maximum capacity of 1 1/2 tons, a valid current drivers license and the terms of your insurance policy. Basically, you can expect a full on roadside intensive and thorough review of your vehicle and its equipment. For specific clarifications on vehicle specifications escort vehicle and pilot car operators should refer to our New Mexico state regulations page.

    9. New York.

      All pilot car and escort vehicle operators who intend to work within the state of New York must be New York State certified. To be certified as a escort or pilot car driver it is mandatory for all drivers as well as any persons acting as a flag person who intend on escorting oversize loads on the roads and highways within the state of New York regardless of where they reside obtain New York state certification. From the best of our knowledge no previous certification programs you may have completed will be accepted, credited or otherwise considered. For a list of New York Department of motor vehicle testing locations call 518-486-9748. For more information on getting certified or obtaining the New York certification manual you can call 418-457-1155 or 800-783-1685. We suggest also reading our New York state pilot car regulations, requirements, permits, etc. on our regulations pages.

    10. Oklahoma.

      All escort vehicles and pilot car operators who intend on working within the state of Oklahoma must be Oklahoma certified. The state of Oklahoma Department of Public Safety does recognize certifications and other states that do have a reciprocal agreement with the state of Oklahoma however if the operator of the pilot car or escort vehicle is a Oklahoma State resident they must have Oklahoma certification. The first order of business when operating a pilot car or escort vehicle within the state of Oklahoma is the certificate of insurance. Escort vehicle and pilot car vehicle operators must provide not less than $1 million of combined single limit or per occurrence or both of commercial liability coverage. Your insurance policy must protect the public against loss of life, bodily injury to persons and damage to property or bowls as a result of operating a escort vehicle or pilot car, or of the actions of the escort or pilot car vehicle operator or both. The state of Oklahoma will need to be listed as a certificate holder on your insurance certificate. In order to obtain your certificate from the department of public safety you will be required to take the course and the examination offered by the Oklahoma State University, phone 405-744-6049. The term of this certificate shall be for a maximum period of five years and will expire automatically after the date it was issued you can obtain more information on the certification training program by visiting: www.clgtokstate.com/escort.htm  or for more information about pilot car and  escort vehicle specifications please visit our Oklahoma state regulations page.

    11. Utah.

      All pilot car operators and escort vehicle drivers who intend on operating within the state of Utah must be certified and inspected at the Utah Port of Entry. Pilot car and escort vehicle operators who wish to obtain a authorized certification card may do so by participating in a authorized qualified certification program. A list of authorized instructors can be obtained by calling 801-965-4892. Pilot car and escort company drivers that live outside of Utah may operate as a certified pilot car or escort driver with another State certification credentials provided that the course meets the minimum requirements outlined in the Utah pilot car and escort vehicle training manual the department may decide to enter into a reciprocal agreement with other states provided these other states can demonstrate that their course materials are comprehensive and meet the minimum requirements outlined by the Utah Department of Transportation. Such agreements already exist with the Utah Department of Transportation recognizing the states of Washington, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma and the state of Florida. Any pilot car or escort driver certifications expires four years from the date the certificate was issued and it is is the responsibility of the driver to maintain current certification as well as a minimum amount of insurance coverage of $750,000 for liability insurance.Upon entering the jurisdiction within the state of Utah it is strongly advised that you have a certificate of completion that is valid and current with any of the above mentioned states. You are required to stop at the port of entry when entering Utah state jurisdiction. For more detailed information about Utah state pilot car and escort vehicle requirements please visit our regulations page.

    12. Virginia.

      The state of Virginia does require that all pilot car and escort vehicle operators be certified prior to performing the duties of a oversize or overweight load pilot or escort vehicle operator within the Virginia state jurisdiction. The state or Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does recognize certification programs completed by applicants from the following states: Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington however you must still apply for escort/pilot car operator  certification from the Virginia DMV. It is important for pilot car and escort vehicle operators to be aware they are required to carry their certification document from the state of Virginia with them while escorting any type of oversize or overweight vehicle configurations. You must have a valid drivers license as well. If you are requested by law enforcement or the Department of Transportation enforcement officials you must provide them with certificate program completion documentation. Failure to do so while escorting or piloting in oversize configuration will cause the shipment to be delayed until the appropriate documents are in place or another company with documentation replaces you. For more detailed information about Virginia state pilot car and escort vehicle requirements please visit our regulations page.

    13. Washington.

      And finally last but not the least of our 2018 State Certifications for Pilot Cars & Escort Vehicles update is the state of Washington. The state of Washington Department of Transportation does require pilot car and escort vehicle operators to be certified by them. They recognize programs and certificates from the states of Utah, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Colorado however pilot car and escort vehicle operators who desire to operate withing the state of Washington’s jurisdiction must be issued a official Washington state certificate. You can contact pilot/escort, flagging instructor Michael Blackman at: 509-684-7632 or contact the Washington state Pilot Escort official Jim Wright at: 360-704-6345 or you may visit the official state information page at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/commercialvehicle/ If you would like more detailed information about Washington state regulations, requirements, permits, etc visit our regulations page.

pilot_car_required

Pilot cars or escort vehicles will be required to move a shipment of this size. Some states may require special certification.

State requirements for pilot cars and escort vehicles change from time to time.

It should be noted that state requirements for pilot cars and escort vehicles do change from time to time. The purpose of this page is to provide you with updated information that includes the rules and regulations of the states that do require pilot car drivers and escort vehicle drivers to have special certifications. It should be noted this page was written as a basic guide for pilot car companies and escort vehicle operators to use when researching which states do require certification. We strongly suggest if you are considering operating and any state under the capacity of a pilot car or escort that each state you intend on working in be contacted directly by you before entering that state. Also, in addition to state certifications and requirements always refer to the instructions on the actual permit issued from the state for that particular over dimensional or heavy haul load. The permit should list all responsibilities and detail as well as clarify any additional questions you may have during transit. In closing, remember as a escort vehicle driver or pilot car operator your number one job is public safety.

 

Other interesting information pertaining to pilot cars:

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Washington D.C. Shipping Regulations

2018 Washington D.C. Shipping Regulations.
Washington D.C. district seal

 

Trucking weight limitations.

Single axle: 31,000 lbs. per axle.
Tandem axles: 31,000 lbs. per axle.
Triple axles: 31,000 lbs. per axle.
Quad axles: 313,000 lbs. per axle.
Maximum weights are considered on a case by case basis. They will determine if you are eligible (considering proposed routing) at the time you apply for your permit. No single axle will be permitted to exceed 31,000 lbs.

Truck length limitations:

If you propose to move any shipment with a length that is in excess of 56 feet, you may be required to travel during night time hours only. Again, this is considered on a case by case basis. Any load that exceeds 80′ (feet) will be required to have a front (lead) pilot car (escort vehicle).

Truck width limitations:

Maximum width for legal travel is 8′ 6″. Anything in excess of 8’6″ (inches) in width will be decided on a case by case basis (considering proposed routing). Shipments that are in excess of 12′ (feet) in width will be required to have a lead pilot car vehicle.

Truck height limitations:

Truck height limitations are determined by the overhead clearance of any obstructions that may exists (or are proposed; temp, construction, etc) in the routing proposition you propose. Planning a route that gives you a minimum of a 6″ (inch) clearance is suggested. Any shipment that is in excess of 13′ 6″ (feet/inches) will be required to have a pilot car (escort vehicle) equipped with a height pole

Truck overhang limitations:

If overhang is in excess of 10′ (feet) from the rear of the trailer you will be required to have a lead vehicle as well as a chase.

Truck signs and flag requirements:

Shipments that are in excess of 8′ 6″ (feet/inches) are required to have “wideload” signs affixed to the front and rear of the truck and trailer. No flags are “required”. There are no sign size/letter specifications in the Washington D.C. laws but note they should be professionally printed signs.

Notes:

If you are in a situation where you have excess (extreme) widths and/or heights you will more than likely be required to travel during night time hours.

Pilot car (escort) vehicle requirements (PiloTrac):

No particular type of vehicle is specified in Washington D.C. laws. However, we do suggest a minimum wheel base of 72 inches. Pilot cars (escort vehicles) will be required to have a amber flashing (rotating) light mounted on the very top of the vehicle. We would suggest pilot cars have the minimum requirements by other states such as: slow/stop paddle, professional wide, oversize, long load signs, company name, address and phone on the side of vehicle, flares, safety vest, CB radio and a height pole if the shipment you intend on escorting is in excess of 13′ 11″.

Travel times and restrictions:

Travel is permitted 24 hours a day unless you are in the extreme excess as noted above in height, width and length. Shipments that are wideloads or overheight or over length may be restricted to travel between 10 pm and 5 am. If so you will not be permitted to travel from 7am til 9:30 am and 4 pm til 6:30 pm. During extreme weather conditions travel may be restricted. Weekend travel is allowed as well as weekends. The Washington D.C. permitting office will be closed on the following holidays: New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Goof Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day.

 

Washington District of Columbia Department of Traffic
2nd floor, Potomac Bldg.
614 H Street, NW
Washington, DC  20001

Office hours: 9 am to 3 pm EDT
Phone: 202-442-4670
Website: http://www.EEOT.EC.gov

 

Washington D.C.flag.

Preparation for eating healthy on the road.

Preparation for eating healthy on the road.

Part 2.

Preparing for healthy eating on the road.

It’s Mr. Miles here sending out warm wishes and safe travels again!

The last time we chat (see; part 1.) we talked about eating healthy foods and what that can do to your overall well being – both mental and physical. It’s important to always have an idea of what you’re putting in your body and what that can mean. No one wants to feel sluggish and lack energy when getting a  load down the byways and highways. Let’s talk about preparing for healthy eating on the road as it will take some effort but with a little bit of effort can become routine. Now that you’re aware of some of the health implications of “quick food” there are almost endless and countless healthy options and alternatives to consume when you’re away from home. So, let’s slip this rig into overdrive and start breaking down how you can cook up tasty treats and chow down in no time!!!

Storing food and preparing meals is a lot easier than it sounds when you’re away from home. Since your ride is essentially your home for long stretches of time, you have to treat it that way.  Of course a mini-fridge is a big bonus but if you don’t have one, get a good camper cooler that runs on 12 volts – there super efficient which means easy on your battery and alternator. Plus, it’ll pay for itself quicker than you may think if you’re not seeking ice every day. Even without a fridge, you can still whip up some mean dishes that pack plenty of punch. Where the real fun starts in “Flavor Town” is with creativity and low energy consumption. Ever consider how much heat your engine produces? More on that later but heck, blenders are even a possibility. Who doesn’t want a fresh strawberry smoothie to start your day?

Health food for professional drivers.

Non GMO is always a plus! Professional drivers need a healthy, very well balanced and nutritious diet when on the road. Productivity, awareness, decision making and energy all play a role.

 

Smart storage of your smart food.

Where do you store your food? That all depends on your rig space, but there’s room – trust me. That’s the beauty of storage containers. They take up little to no space and are as convenient as they come. On the floor, in your seat, or in trunk or sleeper bunk there are always spots to secure your food. Cereal, pasta, breads and canned goods can all be at your disposal with the help of containers.

Now of course perishable foods need to be kept cold, but proper storage of your food and ingredients can be simple and very effective. The freezer Ziploc bags are my very first choice when it comes to ensuring my food is stored safe and well preserved. You can call me cheap but I’ve even washed these out and re-used them before. Costco has great deals on them (as low as .03 per bag). The Betty Crocker storage containers sold at Dollar Tree  are second on my list and are cheap. They’re also great for storing grapes, watermelon, blueberries, pineapple – basically any kind of fruit or vegetable can maintain its flavor and freshness is these modern marvels of creation. With just two items you’re on your seriously on your way to many a side dish or main course. Plus you’ve got storage. Just like Emeril says: Bam!!!! Don’t forget to go easy on the salt and try your best to make sure those veggies non-GMO. Many genetically modified foods are missing important components of complex vitamins, can cause allergies and all kinds of disorders – possibly even cancer!!! Also, to keep your mind and body in tip-top shape, stay away from gluten. It’s best avoided and can turn your stomach and insides into a carnival ride you don’t want to be on! The bumpy road has enough potholes and danger areas. Don’t make your gut an up-and-down roller coaster

Aluminum foil is another weapon that can turn a boring Monday into creations that would even have 5-star chefs doing a double take. Seriously. The uses are endless with this master invention. Don’t have a portable burner or stove? No problem. Throw some potatoes, carrots and onions, to go along with seasonings and your choice of lean beef, pork or chicken, wrap it in foil and place it on your manifold. Look who’s got engine stew in no time!!!

While mentioning “master inventions” I found this photo on the web. Now these folks have the right idea:

flatbed trailer next to mobile home

These folks aren’t going to let anything get in their way when it comes to a nice home cooked meal and enjoying it. Even with snow on the ground!

Planning is preparing. Preparing is planning. Make your meals in advance if you have the time. This saves you money and time. I’m not proposing you don’t go and check out that roadside diner once in awhile but the less you do the more your body will be thankful and your wallet will like your decision to keep the pedal to the metal. The $8.99 tenderloin with a side of greasy fries can find another home in someone else’s stomach. You’ll feel better and even look better by eating right. It’s like anything else; you get out what you put in.

Healthy gluten free pasta with fruit and veggies.

Gluten free pasta is pretty darn delicious and very easy on your digestive system. Give your body the food items it deserves. You might just find it’s even cheaper to eat healthy in the long run.

Last but not least. We gotta keep everything clean. The last thing you need is to be barreling down the road
So keep your gas tank full, your eyes on the road and keep pounding that pavement. You’re a driving machine and you know how to recharge your batteries and the proper fuel you need to keep your engine running as smoothly as possible. Just remember – everything in moderation.

Stay tuned for tons of recipes I have waiting on the back burner that are gonna blow your socks off that won’t blow your budget. They’re easy as pie to make and you’ll be a Master Chef in no time. Now Mel over at the diner might miss some business from you, but old Flo can kiss somebody else’s grits!!!

Happy Trucking. Have something you’d like to add or ask? Feel free to jump in online and comment at the bottom of any of my posts and have your voice heard. NO taxes, NO surcharges and NO fees! If I can’t get you up and running properly I’m certain our readers can.

Keep’n it real and keep’n’ it high and wide!

Mr. Miles for
WideloadShipping.com

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