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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.

 

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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.

Pilot cars oh pilot cars

Pilot cars oh pilot cars

Pilot Cars

Are you looking for a pilot car company?

If you are in need of a pilot car company to escort your oversize shipment we’ve created the PiloTrac system to assist you in doing just that. Not only will it show you where pilot car companies are located but it will show you where they have pilot cars located live in real time. Pilot car companies simply post their existing available locations and they show up on our live map. It’s very easy to use and only takes a few click. If you would like to locate pilot cars in North America you can see how easy it is below:

Pilot Cars

Our system makes it easy and efficient for both pilot cars and users. Simply choose the pin that is closest to where you need service and give them a call. It’s that easy!

Our history with pilot cars has evolved.

Over the years the needs of pilot cars and trucking companies has evolved. The amount of effort spent locating the right pilot car company takes a lot less. Thanks to technology oversize trucking company dispatchers, owner operators, etc. aren’t required to “data mine” and call all over the place trying to locate a company that is the closest to their shipment. With PiloTrac it’s simple; instead of a pilot car company directory that shows you where the company is based out of we’ve designed a system that allows the pilot car drivers to post their actual locations. Not only where they are today, but where they’ll be in 10 days from now. This way shippers can locate them based on where they are at and not where they are based out of. Have a look for yourself. Below is a picture that is typical of what you will find when searching for a escort for your oversize load:

Locating pilot cars and escorts.

Here we have a excellent example of what it took to locate pilot cars in the past.

North America, Alaska, Canada and Mexico

Alabama pilot cars:
Birmingham, Alabama
Huntsville, AL
Mobile, AL
Montgomery, AL

Alaska pilot cars
:
Anchorage, Alaska
Fairbanks, AK
Juneau, AK

Arizona pilot cars:
Flagstaff, AZ
Kingman, AZ
Phoenix, Arizona
Tempe, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Yuma, AZ

Arkansas pilot cars:
Fayetteville, AR
Hot Springs, AR
Little Rock, Arkansas
Pine Bluff, AR

California pilot cars:
Bakersfield, CA
Beverly Hills, CA
Fresno, CA
Los Angeles, California
Mendocino, CA
Malibu, CA
Oakland, CA
Palm Springs, CA
Redding, CA
Sacramento, CA
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California

Colorado Springs, CO
Denver, Colorado
Greeley, CO
Steamboat, CO
Vail, CO

Hartford Connecticut, CT
Middletown, CT
New Haven, Connecticut
Newport, CT

Washington, D.C.

Dover, DE
New Castle, DE
Wilmington, Delaware

Fort Myers, FL
Jacksonville, Florida
Miami Florida, FL
Orlando Florida, FL
Pensacola, FL
Tallahassee, FL
Tampa , FL

Americus, GA
Atlanta Georgia, GA
Columbus, GA
Macon, GA
Savannah, GA

Boise Idaho, ID
Nampa, ID
Lewiston, Idaho
Pocatello, Idaho

Chicago, Illinois
Marion, IL
Springfield, IL

Fort Wayne, IN
Gary, Indiana
Indianapolis, IN

Cedar Rapids, IA
Des Moines, Iowa
Dubuque, IA
Ottumwa, IA
Sioux City, IA

Kansas City, Kansas
Leavenworth, KS
Topeka, KS
Wichita, Kansas

Lexington, KY
Louisville, Kentucky

Billings, MT
Great Falls, Montana
Helena, MT
Missoula, MT

Lincoln, NE
Omaha, NE

Fernley, NV
Las Vegas, Nevada
Reno, NV

Manchester New, NH
Portsmouth, NH

Atlantic City, NJ
Avon, NJ
Clinton, New Jersey
Franklin Lakes, NJ
Jersey City, New Jersey
Newark Airport, NJ
Elizabeth, New Jersey

Albuquerque, NM
Clovis, NM
Las Cruces, NM
Roswell, New Mexico

Albany, NY
Buffalo, New York
Long Island, NY
New York City, NY
Quoge, NY
Rochester, NY
Southampton, NY

Charlotte, North Carolina
Fayetteville, NC
Greensboro, NC
Raleigh, NC

Bismarck, North Dakota
Fargo, ND
Grand Forks, ND
Minot, ND

Portland, Oregon
Salem, OR
Eugene, OR
Medford, OR
Bend, OR

Baton Rouge, LA
Marien, LA
New Orleans, LA
Oakdale, LA
Shreveport, LA

Bangor, ME
Mars Hill, ME
Portland, Maine

Baltimore, Maryland
Bethesda, MD
Salisbury, MD

Boston, MA
Braintree, MA
New Bedford, MA
Quincy, MA
Springfield, Massachusetts
Worcester, MA

Ann Harbor, MI
Detroit, Michigan
Grand Rapids, MI
Pontiac, MI
Saginaw, MI
Traverse City, MI

Duluth, MN
Minneapolis, Minnesota
St. Paul, MN
Rochester, MN
St. Cloud, MN

Biloxi, MS
Hattiesburg, MS
Jackson, Mississippi
Tupelo, MS

Columbia, MO
Kansas City, MO
Springfield, MO
St. Louis, Missouri

Philadelphia, PA
Bedford, PA
Pittsburgh, PA

Dallas, Texas
Austin, Texas
Houston, TX
San Antonio, TX

WideloadShipping.com carriers can most definitely benefit from using the PiloTrac system as it’s free. For more information on that topic see our earlier article.

Unfortunately, we created a “loadboard” within the PiloTrac system however pilot cars were confused by it so we decided to remove it. They expected all of the oversize trucking companies to post their loads rather than “click and call”. More on that release can be found here.

Here a look at our earlier system.

What exactly is a pilot car?

Anytime you hear the word “pilot car” (differs from Honda Pilot) it is referring to a vehicle that either leads (pilots) or follows (chases) oversize or heavy haul shipments. It is acting as a “escort” for trucking companies that are hauling shipments in excess of the legal maximum size or weight determined by the state it is being shipped within. Trucking companies that specialize in oversize and heavy haul freight typically have a very powerful tractor unit combined with a trailer that is usually flatbed oriented in order to accommodate the item being shipped. Typical items are large tanks, airplanes, passenger and cargo jets, wind energy parts, rocket parts, etc.

Drivers of pilot cars are usually certified by a state training class and have knowledge of the roads and bridges they are travelling on in order to ensure the shipment is not blocked by any bridges or utility obstructions however the state usually determines the routing. At times if the state has difficulties with the routing they may require a route survey be completed prior to authorizing the shipment to proceed with movement. In this case the pilot car company will be required to use a height pole and determine the best route for the shipment and submit it to the state for approval which allows for the oversize shipping permit to be approved so the actual transport of the item may proceed.

The pilot cars primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of motorists first and second to protect both public and private property.

Pilot cars need to relax

Pilot cars need to relax!

There’s no doubt about it that the winter time is hard on a pilot car company. This is one reason why pilot car companies need to be wiser with there money when they do have it. Put that money away for the lean season. When winter time and the early spring months come, you’re going to need it!

the slow time of the year

Right now is a very busy time for us. From ad campaigns to developing software and making sure all of our carriers are happy we’re just flat out busy right now. In the midst of this one can’t help but to notice a few things.
As every year the pilot cars have it real tough at this time of the year. It appears that everyone is running (in every direction they can run) and most are unsatisfied with their results with the exception of the true veterans of the industry. We’ve had pilot car companies sign up in the dead of winter this year only to demand a refund within 30 days or so. Our basic service is $4.16 a month! When there’s no freight running there simply isn’t any. This is the equivalency to shooting your company in both feet (at the same time). One thing to consider is we’re not a brokerage supported website nor do we wish to perpetuate the industry in this direction. Our objective is to connect pilot car companies direct with carriers – not people skimming nickels and dimes (per mile) in a unregulated industry. While we don’t support freight brokerage either at least they are required to have a bond and a Federal MC#. Frost laws, the economy and what we refer to as “chaotic theory” all play a factor in determining freight volumes. This year is no different than any other and the official “boom” will happen sometime between the first of May and as late as the end of June just as it does every year.
Prepare for the slow times of the year.
When a pilot car company (or any company for that matter) is stressed out and having a hard time and decides to leave a company as heavily armed as WideloadShipping (online for almost 15 years, top of the search engines, has the trucks doing business on site and takes almost 2 million hits a month during peak months) because they are frustrated during the slowest months of the year they are like any other human being. They are going to think thoughts like “oh, they don’t like me as I quit using them” or “i’m embarrassed because I acted poorly in an email I sent to them” or even worse think they actually got ripped off. Whatever the scenario for $4.16 a month there is no way under the moon and the stars a company can go wrong on a deal like that for more than 20 reasons but here’s a quick 10:
  • You’re getting your name in the marketplace cheaply.
  • Not only that but ask yourself why are the trucking companies here?
  • Our site has so much history it is a trusted site.
  • We place exceptionally well in all related terms so customers can find you.
  • If you have your own website just the link from ours to yours is worth over $300 a yr.
  • Again, as far as popularity you are also connected to your Facebook account.
  • You are linked to your Twitter account.
  • You are linked to your Google account.
  • You are linked to your Google+ account.
  • You are linked to your YouTube account and can show your videos.

This is just a few of the more positive items rambled off real quickly. If we wanted to brag it wouldn’t be very hard. The point is, we offer a very affordable value oriented service and if just one company get’s left behind in all of the years of effort we have put into the heavy haul and oversize trucking industry we are not doing our jobs properly.

As far as pilot car companies are concerned it certainly isn’t where our company get’s it’s bread and butter for sure. Count the pins in the map then just assume each customer has a premium account (which they do not). You will quickly see this is a labor of love and we do it for our carriers, not financial gains as the money just simply isn’t there folks.
If you are one of the companies that has had a hard time with the new pilot car system you can rest assure we are not harboring any feelings towards you and if anything are looking for your presence so we can service our carriers. Send us an email so you can get your account back on track and learn how the system can work for you. Even if you don’t prefer to live post at least get your permanent home base pin is in its proper location and your listing not only looking good but reading well also. Save your money, be smart with your spending and add a few years to your life by relaxing. This slow time too shall end.

#oversizetrucking #heavyhaul #pilotcars #truckescort #shippingquotes #truckingquotes #equipmentshipping

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