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Pilot car operators loadboard

Pilot car operators loadboards and more.

Pilot car operators load board.

Photo courtesy of D.J.’s Pilot Service, Cotton Valley, LA

If one we’re to manage and operate a pilot car company why would one promote the use of brokers or a loadboard operated by brokers? Are brokers needed in the truck escort and pilot car industry? Well, let’s have a look at the industry as a whole. Before the internet and loadboards the only way a truck driver hauling an oversize or over dimensional load could hire a pilot car (or truck escort) company was to either hit the yellow pages or call down a list of numbers they had collected over the years. During this time pilot car brokerage companies were desperately needed in order to organize the industry and keep things flowing. If you we’re a pilot car company operator or manager your entire existence as a successful company was dependent on someone to give you more runs.

Oversize trucking and the early times.

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Photo courtesy of RockportKY.com

Then the start of the internet came. During this phase of the pilot car and truck escort industry the early days didn’t change much. Every pilot car company on the planet started building websites hoping that someone would call them with lots of work. But guess what? For most companies this didn’t happen. Why? Well the first reason is because the pilot car brokerage industry was already established. Why wade and search through web crap when all you had to do was pick up the phone just like you’ve always done? Whether or not the broker had a loadboard didn’t matter as long as one: the load got covered and two: the pilot car company took the run after the brokerage company took their percentage. One has to realize there’s not a lot of money on the table to begin with. If the run pays $1.25 to the broker and they take only 10%, that only leaves about $1.12 a mile for the pilot car company. Not real lucrative for the pilot car company operators. But we all have to eat. A small hand full of truck escort and pilot car companies did flourish during these start up days as they were internet savvy and could get their pages to show up in the first results of the search engines. However, the pilot car brokerage industry had long before discovered that advertising was everything. So they put way more effort into building their websites to maintain their positions within the industry and guess what? It worked. Still today,  20 years after the internet was born the pilot car and truck escort industry is not fully developed. They’ve got plenty of loadboards for pilot cars but the majority of the runs on them are brokered runs. A huge vast majority of the the work available to pilot car company operators and managers is from loadboards that are run by brokers.

Working with the tools you have.

Pilot car company directory system.

A directory that will suit all pilot cars is here. Not!

Getting up to speed and catching up with technology. Many companies gave it their best shot at running pilot car directories including us. It was an honest effort but there remained a problem. With a list, no matter how you organize it, shake it up or whatever; randomly, alphabetically, last edited – someone always has to be at the bottom of the list. Not to mention all of those who are in the middle. While this was a good effort to organize the industry it was not the solution. While it did open up the industry exposing more pilot car companies directly to the oversize and over dimensional trucking industry carriers it didn’t fix the problem. It was totally random, unorganized and not energy efficient as you may have just hired a company but in many cases there was also another pilot car company that had an available driver just a few miles down the road. The industry cried for a true loadboard to be built but the technology required to do it was cost prohibitive. So while a website may have called their service a “pilot car load board” service all it really was, was a list of runs primarily posted by brokers. The same old game.

A solution for the pilot car industry is born.

new-pc

Live posting and positions that are location based.

Finally, help arrives. With WideloadShipping.com being smack in the middle of the game we realized that something had to be done to fix this. Not because there was a basket of money to be made because there simply isn’t – the industry is too small and there aren’t enough companies to make huge amounts of money. Not only that many of these pilot car companies that do exists are running at cut rates because they are forced to take runs that are brokered (which do pay less no matter what side of the fence you’re on) because that’s mostly what is readily available to them. We knew that some sort of position based technology was going to be required. Whether it involved some program that tracked cell phones on a map or involved sending a text message to some elaborate system, position based technology was going to be the final answer. Not only to balance out the pilot car and truck brokerage industry but making it run more efficiently. After spending months of research on the internet and dealing with computer program developers as well as speaking with hundreds of pilot car companies  PiloTrac was finally born. The concept was on the table in the summer of 2012 and the actual build started in April of 2013 which eventually cost over $60,000 and was not released until November 23, 2013. What PiloTrac did for the pilot car industry was by enabled the directory to be displayed on a map instead of a list. So you can see the home base of every pilot car and truck escort company in North America displayed on a live Google map instead of a list. Thus making the industry more efficient by being able to actually see where the company has equipment located in relationship to where you need service. Pilot car and truck escort companies can also post their available locations live as well so oversize trucking company drivers and dispatchers can see where pilot car companies have equipment available at today as well as in the future. Yes, into the future. Here’s how it works. Let’s say a pilot car company takes a load to Kansas City that will deliver in 8 days. That pilot car company manager or operator can post that pilot car being in that location on that day so oversize trucking dispatchers can see them and book them for usage on the day they need them. They can post available runs to a loadboard type system just in case something comes up and if they can’t cover a run they’ve already committed to and they can also share credit information with each other. This is much more efficient and will also help tilt the table in the direction of favoring pilot car companies as trucking companies will be able to contact them directly.

Loadboards for pilot cars and brokerage companies.

Now, to address the question about brokers being needed in the pilot car industry. Yes they are. They are an absolute essential part of the entire oversize and over dimensional trucking industry. Not every company can have a contact in every place nor can they book themselves every single run they make with PiloTrac. However, the percentage ratio of pilot car runs that are brokered is simply way too high. The industry needs to even itself out with the pilot car companies dealing direct with the majority of the runs that are available –  not just a hand full of brokerage companies.

Your comments are welcome below.

Maryland State Shipping Regulations

Maryland State Shipping Regulations

Maryland state shipping regulations, limitations, rules and laws for the trucking of oversize and heavy haul loads over the roads and highways in the state of Maryland.

 If you would like to share your knowledge with others please do so at the bottom of this page.

 

Maryland oversize regulations.

Legal Loads.

Length: 65’ (48’ trailers) (53’ allowed on Interstate only with 41’ kingpin).
Overhang: 3’ front and 6’ rear maximum.
Weight: GVW 80,000
Tandem: 34,000
Width: 8’ on non designated highways – 8’6” on designated highways.
Height: 13’ 6”

Routine trucking permits.

Length: 120’
Weight: Less than 110,000 lbs
Width: 16’
Height: 14’ 6” – high pole required!

When you are required to have pilot cars.

Length: Over 120’
Weight: Over 110,000 lbs.
Width: Over 13’ requires 1 pilot car in front. Over 14’ requires 1 pilot car in front and 1 pilot car in rear.
Height: Over 16’.

Travel times and restrictions.

Times that you are not allowed to travel within the state or Maryland with oversize or heavy haul loads:

Daylight hours are defined as one half hour after sunrise and one half hours before sunset. You may not travel on Sunday. Saturday travel is permitted in till noon. Maryland state DOT has different curfews that have to be followed in areas with high traffic densities. Typically these hours are from 9 AM in till 3:30 PM. No travel is usually allow between these hours. The state of Maryland has many toll bridges and tunnels that may charge additional fees. You should contact the Maryland Transportation Authority (US-50:410–537–6601, I95: 410–537–1150, FC Key Bridge: 410–537–7600). Traveling on any of these toll roads bridges or tunnels. Always be sure to check your physical permit for curfew times. Especially if you are in excess of 45 gross tons 100 feet in length or over 12 feet wide. If you are over 14 feet by you will not be permitted to travel between the hours of 9 AM and 3:30 PM on any highway. Travel is not permitted on any of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Maryland state DOT permit office for oversize and heavy haul loads is closed on the above-mentioned holidays as well as Martin Luther King Day, Columbus Day, election day and is also close on the day after Thanksgiving but travel is not restricted on these days.

Maryland DOT contact information.

Information and links for oversize and heavy haul shippers:

Maryland State Highway Administration
Office of Traffic Safety, Oversize and heavy haul division
Hauling Permits Unit
7491 Connelley Dr.
Hanover, MD  21076

E-mail: mdmotorcarrier@sha.state.md.us
Phone:  800-846-6435 or 800-543-4564
Fax: 410-787-2863 or toll free fax: 800-945-3416

Hours: are Monday thru Friday 7:30 am to 4:30 pm (closed noon to 1 o’clock).
NOTE: Single trip permits are valid for 5 days and costs $30 – you can view their fees. Also Maryland has a designated area for pilot cars which you can view here.

 

The information contained in these pages is research information primarily for use by oversize and overweight trucking company drivers, dispatchers and pilot car companies. While every effort is put into maintaining the accuracy of this information you must absolutely verify this information with the Maryland State DOT Permits office before commencing movement.

 

 

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Illinois State Shipping Regulations for oversize and heavy haul.

Illinois State Shipping Regulations for oversize and heavy haul.

Shipping laws, regulations, limitations and rules for shipping oversize and over-weight loads over the roads and highways in the state of Illinois.

Illinois

The great state of Illinois official seal.

Please share your expertise or knowledge of Illinois state shipping regulations with other visitors below.

Trucking and pilot car location system:
Locate trucking companies and pilot cars in Illinois.

Locate specialized trucking companies in Illinois.
Locate pilot car companies in Illinois.
Order oversize trucking permits.

Legal load limits in Illinois.
Illinois DOT legal load size & weight limitations.

Legal Loads.
Length:  65’ overall length maximum.
Width: 8’6” on interstate and other designated highways, 8’ on non-designated highways.
Weight:  GVW 80,000,  Single 20,000, Tandem 34,000,   Tridem 42,000
Height:  13’6” is the maximum allowed height for legal loads.
Overhang:  3’ front in the front and 3’ off of the rear of trailer.

Routine oversize shipping, trucking and transport permits.
Oversize and overweight trucking permits that are routinely issued by the state of Illinois.

Length:  Up to 145’ long. Anything longer see superload section below.
Weight:  Single 24,000, tandem: 48,000, tridum: 60,000, Quadem: 60,00 gross, 5 Axles 100,000 lbs., 6 Axles 120,000 lbs., 7 axels: 120,000, 8 axles: 120,000 lbs.
Width: 14’6” (any load over 16′ will require special admin approval before permit is issued).
Height: 15’ (any load over 16′ tall requires a route survey).

Superload information:
Illinois DOT superload information.

Length: Any load that is longer than 145′ is considered a superload.
Width: Any load that is in excess of 14′ 6″ in width is considered a superload.
Height: Any load that is in excess of 15′ 6″ in height is considered a superload.
Weight: Any load that exceeds 120,000 lbs on any standard axle configuration whether it’s a 6,7 or 8 axle configuration or not is considered a superload.
Overhang: Contact them as this varies depending on route.
Notes: Spacing between steer and first tandem must be more than 8′ 1″. The spacing before the first axle and the trailer must not exceed 18′ 6″.  All axle spacings combined must not be less than 43′ 6″. Superload permit processing times vary. Expect delays. Before requesting a route you are expected to do as much research on your own as possible. They will refer you to: GettingAroundIllinois for construction zones and other closures. 

Permitted travel times and restrictions in Illinois:
Illinois travel times and restrictions for oversize loads.

Travel is permitted from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset  Monday thru Friday and ½ hour before sunrise until 12PM on Saturdays. Loads that are overweight only may travel 24/7 on all days of the week (make certain it is not documented otherwise on your permit before doing so). No travel is permitted on Sundays unless you are below the routine permit standards of no more than 115′ in length, 12′ in width, 13′ 6″ in height (sunrise to sunset rules apply).  No movement is permitted on the major holidays: New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Travel stops at 12PM on the day before any of these holidays. The Illinois oversize load permit office is closed on MLK Day, Lincolns birthday, Washingtons birthday, Columbus Day, Election Day, Veterans Day and on the day after Thanksgiving. However, travel is not restricted on these days. Always refer to your permit for approved travel times.

Required shipment, truck and trailer markings:
Truck, trailer and shipment required signs, banners and flags.

A rotating amber light must remain on at all times mounted on top of the cab and be visible from 360 degrees from a minimum of 500′ in direct sunlight. If your overall length is more than 80′ in length you are required to have one amber light over the cab of the truck and one amber light no more than 10′ from the rear of end or trailer/load at the highest point that is practicle. Oversize load signs must be a minimum of 7′ in width x 18″ in height, have a yellow background color with black lettering no less than 10″ in height x 1″ thick – we have recently heard 12″ tall x 2″ thick so please clarify and comment below if you know which is correct. Flags are required at all 4 corners of the load and front of truck and are to be safety red in color and no less than 18″ square. Shipments over 75′ in length, 10′ in width or 14′ 6″ in height are required to have signs. Signs must be placed on the front and rear extremities of the truck, trailer or load.

When pilot cars are required:

Length: If over 110′ in length you are required to have a minimum of 1 pilot car and in some places 2 pilot cars (higher traffic density or certain times of year). If over 145′ (150′ in some very rural areas) in length you are required to have 3 pilot cars –  yes 3. If over 175′ in length a police escort will be required.
Width: Up to 14’6” requires 1 pilot/escort vehicle. Over 16’ requires 2 pilot/escort vehicles. Over 18′ in width will require a police escort. 
Height: Up to 14’ 6” 1 pilot/escort vehicle, over 16’ requires 2 pilot/escort vehicles. Over 18′ in height will require a police escort.
Weight: No requirements as long as you can maintain minimum speeds. However on bridge moves that require all other vehicle traffic to be removed will required appropriate number of pilot cars which is a minimum of 2 and possibly 3 with police escort. All areas are different and require evaluation.
Note: If you exceed any two dimensions, then you are required to have an additional pilot car. So if you’re over 14′ 6″ tall and 14′ 6″ wide you would be require to have 2 pilot cars.  

Required pilot car certifications:

Cars, vans or trucks may be used as long as gross weight of pilot car vehicle is rated at no more than 8,000 lbs. Pilot car driver must be 18 years of age minimum with a valid regular drivers license. Pilot cars must have a rotating or flashing amber light mounted on the top of the vehicle (no specs as of time of writing 2014). Must display red flag at all 4 outer most points of the vehicle and have “OVERSIZE LOAD” signs that are a minimum size of 5′ wide x 12″ tall and have black lettering no less than 8″ in height. Must have radio and be in constant communication with the driver transporting the shipment at all times. Must have $500,000 per occurrence combined insurance that covers property and body.

How to apply for trucking permits:

Illinois Department of Transportation – DOT
Bureau of Traffic, 2300 S Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL  62764

Email: dot.permitoffice “at” illinois.gov
General inquiry phone: 217-782-6273
Phone: 217-785-1477 or 800-252-8636 within the state.
Fax: 217-728-3572

Note: Fee varies depending on dimensions and miles traveled. Permit is valid for 5 days.

Hours: from 8 AM until 4:30 PM

Central Time Zone

 

The information contained in these pages is research information primarily for use by oversize and overweight trucking company drivers, dispatchers and pilot car companies. While every effort is put into maintaining the accuracy of this information you must absolutely verify this information with the Illinois State DOT Permits office before commencing movement.

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