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Posts Tagged cars

Clarification of flagging and flagger certifications.

What is flagging? What flagging certifications am I required to have?

What is flagging?

A “flagger” or “flagging” is a person on a construction site or zone who controls the flow of traffic. Flaggers maximize the flow of traffic while protecting motorists from accidents when the normal flow of traffic is interrupted due to construction, accidents, shipments or anything else that is disruptive to the normal operation of traffic flow in a location. Most states require any person that acts as a flagman or flagging and controls traffic to be certified by that state to ensure they operate within the guidelines set forth by that particular state. A permit is usually required to temporarily control traffic in any location. However, some circumstances require immediate action, thus obtaining a permit isn’t probable. In this type of circumstance it is expected of the individual who decides to control the traffic have the mandatory certifications as well as appropriate equipment to do so. Since over-dimensional shipments have a higher probability of potentially creating a temporary situation where traffic may require a flagger to ensure the safety of motorists some states do require pilot car and escort vehicle operators to be properly certified by them and carry the tools required to do so with them when operating. In this article we’ll have a look at what states require and expect of pilot car and escort vehicle operators while working in their states.

What flagger certifications am I required to have?

Flagger paddle.

Standard flagger paddle stop/slow sign.

Every state we know of requires flagger certification for individuals and companies who intend on controlling traffic or acting as a traffic controller. Many community colleges offer affordable flagger certification classes that are approved by the state. Most flagger certification classes that we are aware of take a minimum of 40 hours of classroom time. If you are interested in becoming a certified flagger or traffic controller the best place to get more information is from the department of transportation or the department of motor vehicles. They should be able to provide you with contact information for state approved flagger certification programs. It is very important for anyone considering controlling traffic at any time to become certified as it is against the law to control traffic without proper authority. You may be able to contact your local police department for assistance in getting connected with a state certified flagger certification program if you are unable to get in contact with the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Department of Transportation. If you would like more information on obtaining your flagging certification or which states require certain certifications you can visit our regulations pages for more information.

 

 

What is the proper way to flag traffic?

Flagging traffic is a pretty straight forward thing to do. Obviously you want to protect yourself so you’re not accidentally hit by any oncoming vehicles. Outside of that you want to follow basic standard procedures which seem to be fairly universal anywhere you go. You definitely want to make sure that the motorist has a good distance to see you in advance. We suggest a minimum safe distance of about 300 feet. This allows approaching traffic to have sufficient distance and time to reduce speed before they approach you. In urban areas where speed limits are lower you may not need to have such a long distance so use your best judgement.

Stand with your body facing the traffic on the edge of the road but not on the curb. So you should be just right outside of the traffic lane. Always stand in a location where you can see and be seen by approaching motorists.

If you just need to slow the traffic down position your flagging sign so the word slow are facing the oncoming traffic. Never wave or sign when using the sign always hold it up right towards the oncoming traffic so they can see the word slow. It needs to be clear to the motorist exactly what you are wanting them to do. The drivers should never have to guess what you want them to do so never wave your your sign. Simply hold it up straight and firmly with your body facing the traffic.

If you need to slow the traffic down so you can then stop them you will want to make sure your sign is facing them with the word stop on it from me nice clear distance. Let’s for instance say you are chasing 120 foot long load and the turn radius will require the truck to almost come to a complete stop in order to make the turn then you are probably going to decide the traffic needs to come to a complete stop. In some cases you can use your freehand by holding it up in one position with your palm facing towards the oncoming traffic. This should instill confidence in the motorist that you are protecting them by wanting them to stop and that you are clearly paying attention to them. Always be very courteous and very brief. You will find over all being candid towards motorists pays off as they appreciate what you are doing for them.

Now let’s say do you want to get the traffic moving again. You may decide if they need to move slowly to use your slow sign. In this case with your body facing the traffic flip your sign so the word slow is facing the oncoming traffic with your body. With your freehand you can also wave for them to proceed. Once you get the traffic flow going again simply lower your sign so it is upside down and below your waist. It’s also a good idea to consider holding your sign below your waist with the flat side facing the traffic so they don’t see either of the words slow or stop.

Keep in mind that some states may require you to set up as many as three safety cones or triangles and in some conditions even road flares near the position where you will be flagging from. So it’s a very good idea to have your flagging certification so you are aware of the laws and can abide by them. This article covers just the basics and is by no means to be anticipated under any circumstances as state law. Each state has a specific set of rules and instructions that will need to be obeyed. Make certain you are familiar with the flagging and traffic control laws in the state you are operating in.

 

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

PiloTrac is a live pilot car system and FREE for carriers.

Pilot cars of the future.

PiloTrac

That’s right! PiloTrac saves oversize trucking companies valuable time and money. As you can see on the map above pilot car locations are posted exactly where are right now as well as where they will be in the future. What this does in enables trucking companies to see where they are located when it comes time to them needing one. In the past this wasn’t anywhere close to the efficiency of the PiloTrac system. Trucking companies resulted to a network of pilot car companies that at times would have to send a pilot car from hundreds of miles a way in order to meet the needs of the carrier. This resulted in millions of miles wasted every year due to the lack of communication that the PiloTrac system offers.

To see dates in the future simply click the date on the calendar on the lower right hand side below the map. It’s that easy! Click on any desired pin and their contact information is displayed. Visit PiloTrac now and discover how much easier you company can operate.

 

 

 

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