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What is a height pole?

WHAT IS A HEIGHT POLE OR HI-POLE?

A height pole or high pole or hi-pole is a measuring device that is precisely attached to the front of a pilot car vehicle that is used to measure the height of overhead obstructions during the transport of over-dimensional (tall) shipments by oversize trucking companies. North American states and provinces have laws that regulate and mandate when a height pole is required in order to transport over height shipments within their jurisdiction. To be in compliance with these pre-determined requirements trucking companies must determine if the shipment they wish to transport will require a height pole pilot car or a lead escort vehicle with a height pole installed before applying for a oversize trucking permit.

pilot car truck equipped with a height pole.

Pilot car with height pole attached.

The photograph illustrated here is a typical example of what a pilot car vehicle might appear like when equipped with a height pole.  You can clearly see the measuring device affixed to the front of the vehicle as it is very tall. A height pole is typically made out of sections of fiberglass that are adjustable to meet the requirements by each state/province the shipment will be transported through. Typically the height pole will be adjusted to a height that is 6 inches (or 15.24 centimeters) taller than the shipment is when loaded onto the shipping trailer. Then once the actual transport of the item takes place the pilot car equipped with the height pole will proceed in front of the over-dimensional (tall) load being transported. If a driver of the pilot car equipped with the height pole (hi-pole or high pole) hears the fiberglass height pole hit any obstructions in the path of the shipment the operator will then immediately notify the driver of the truck transporting the shipment informing of the obstruction in order to prevent any damages to the shipment or the obstruction. When a height pole is properly mounted to the escort vehicle it is connected to the frame. If the height pole does happen to strike any objects the sound heard by the pilot car is very loud and distinct thus alerting the driver of the obstruction. It has been noted as recently as 2015 in excess of 169 million dollars in overhead obstruction damages were caused during that single year in the United States alone. So having these safety measures in place is most definitely in the best interest of everyone from the tax payer, to the safety of the motorists and the owner of the shipment being transported as well as the transportation company.


The importance of installing a height pole correctly.

There’s no such thing as cutting corners when installing a height pole on your pilot car. It’s extremely important it’s directly connected to the frame of your pilot car for two reasons:

  • Ensure it is sturdy, stable and not going to fall off of your vehicle.
  • So you can hear the sound it makes if it hits any obstruction. To do so properly it must be attached to the frame.

In order for the pilot car vehicle operator to properly hear the sound created by the height pole if a obstruction is hit it is imperative the device be properly and securely mounted to the vehicle in such a manner the bracket holding it is connected to the frame of the pilot car vehicle. In order to obtain the absolute highest quality from installing this device you may wish to make certain you are not adding sub-supports for your height pole when designing your attachment method.

Suggested methods of attaching a height pole.

While there are many different way to install a height pole on your pilot car vehicle we strongly suggest you locate a heavy-duty bumper grill made from heavy tubing such as you might see on law enforcement vehicles. If you are able to locate a front bumper/grill protector attachment you then have a few options:

  • The first would be to cut the top portion of the bumper guard off so your height pole can easily slide in/out of the pole. Make certain you devise a method than locks it in no matter how you decide to attach it.
  • The second option would be to locate a small piece of pipe the base of the height pole snugly fits into and weld this onto the bumper grill attachment.

This will require some planning, designing and fabricating on your part in order to weld the pipe in place so it stands perfectly vertical but well worth it if you wish to work with shipments that are over-height.

The bumper grill works so well due to the fact it usually connects with two bolts to your vehicle. The tubing these are constructed out of is not only heavy-duty but very close if not the same as the base of most height poles. So not only do it properly but efficiently as well.

Why is it so important to connect high poles to the frame of pilot car vehicles?

A good quality sound must be made if any obstructions are hit with the pole. You want to consider all of the other noises that occur when you are operating your pilot car vehicle. You’ve got the sound of your engine, the sound of your tires on the road as well as any 2-way radio chatter. Other sounds such as sirens, trains, air-planes etc. are frequent as well. Because the height pole is so important make sure if it does strike something overhead it clearly makes a loud sound. This will  instantly alert the operator by being indistinguishable from any other sounds or background noises.

How to start a pilot car company.

If you’d like to succeed at starting and owning your own pilot car company in 2019 we’re here to motivate you and show you how.

Over the last 3 decades we’ve had hundreds of people contact us and inquire about starting a pilot car company of their own. Regretfully, we were focused on other industry related tasks and didn’t realize our industry would have a shortage of pilot car companies in the not so distant future. Various reasons contributed to the shortage we have today ranging from great job security in a niche industry to the fact each state/province has different regulations with no standardized instructions.

Our company perspective changed about a year ago when someone jokingly shared a youtube video link with us that depicted a guy stating he could earn an extra $500 a day using his vehicle as a pilot car. He went on to explain how he preferred to be at home, enjoy an occasional whiskey drink with a cigar and living on steaks. I think you can search for it and purchase their armchair, whiskey steaks recipe for about $350. They were a little vague about things like regulations, insurance, safety equipment, a business license and stuff but I’d like to personally believe there was a silver lining in there somewhere.

Being a “lifer” in logistics it became immediately clear our company would need to get involved with helping others obtain affordable pilot car driver training or the entire industry as a whole was going to be effected by this shortage.  Clearly someone was needed to step up and write a realistic, affordable plan for those interested in starting a profitable and properly functioning pilot car company. Not only teach folks the basic ropes but even offer it for a more than fair price which is difficult as most of the information is considered proprietary in a very niche industry which has provided our families incomes for our entire lifetimes. However, with the huge pilot car driver shortage we currently have in North America someone is going to have to inspire and direct others.

After operating for over 15 years online right here we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do what we do best. Help people. So, we designed a detailed package that we feel is very inclusive hoping it will steer folks in the right direction that are interested in starting their own pilot car business. While we do have to charge for our time we feel the price is very affordable considering what we’re providing you with: inside information on exactly how the industry works and what you will be required to have and expect to get your pilot car company in business and rolling down the road.

How to start a pilot car company.
Our business insider on how to successfully start and maintain your own pilot car company will give you
precisely what you need to

For $149.00 we give you the information you need to get your company up and running successfully. Clearly our industry has a shortage of pilot car company business owners and operators. We need for you to succeed.

Below are just a few highlights of the direction we try to point you in.

Pretty much every state is going to want you to register your business with a minimum of a DBA or “doing business as”. You may decide you would rather start a corporation (Inc.) or a limited liability company (LLC.) once you get going but a DBA may be the right choice for you depending on the laws in your state. We suggest you speak with a licensed attorney about what entity is best for your business as each persons circumstances are different. There are many factors to consider like taxes, marital status, joint incomes, the amount of money you bring into your household and of course liability. With a DBA you can get your pants sued off of you in the unfortunate event you made a decision that resulted in property damages or worse caused bodily injury to someone. Have you ever heard some one say: “you can sue my company but please don’t sue me”? Well, if your corporation or LLC is properly set up and you are working for it then it would more than likely be the corporate body bearing the responsibility resulting from your actions. But again – consult a professional attorney in your state. Once you’ve determined your best option  you can move on to things like considering obtaining your flaggers license and dealing with any state insurance and training qualifications that may be required. What we teach in our “How to start a pilot car company” kit is explain all of the ins and outs that are necessary to get your idea off of the ground and get you into our industry. There is ALWAYS a shortage of good, professional pilot car companies.

We teach you a few ins/outs with emphasis on owning and operating your own pilot car company.

  • How to figure out what type of business model is best for you to start your pilot car company.
  • Insurance requirements for pilot car companies and issues to consider.
  • Choosing a vehicle that meets the minimum requirements in order to operate legally in the capacity of a pilot car vehicle.
  • States/Provinces that require pilot car vehicle operators to have certifications and where to get them.
  • What NASTO, SASHTO, MAASTO and WASHTO is and what regions they cover.
  • Required equipment (as suggested by the FMCSA) and minimum requirements.
  • How to get set up for the height-pole pilot car industry.
  • How to get customers so your pilot car company can start making money.
  • Tips on how to operate a pilot car in a professional manner to protect motorists.
  • Invoice templates and creating them so your new pilot car company can get paid quickly.
  • What is expected of pilot car vehicle operators from driver and pre-trip safety checks and planning.
  • How to create your own “package” to exchange with trucking companies. What you need and what you need from them.
  • Industry rates and what to charge for your pilot car service.
  • Online strategies on how to get your name out there and develop a serious online presence the right way affordably if not free.
  • The love of a route survey (done correctly).
  • Our contact information for purchasers of our “how to start a pilot car company” and help we can offer you.
  • We show you the real no-joke inside and outs of the industry from well seasoned professionals with well over 100 years of combined experience.

Learn exactly what a pilot car company needs in order to safely operate.

There are laws and legalities that govern exactly what needs to be on board a vehicle that is operating in the capacity of a pilot car company. We bring you completely up to speed on exactly what is required in 2018 from professionals that have over 100 years of experienced combined. Again, it’s pretty easy to get into our industry and make very good money locally and long haul but earning $500 a week easy and starting tomorrow, legally and properly it’s simply not going to happen! However, you can get your foot in the door affordably by following our small course and you can also make a lot more than 500 bucks a week – shoot our top runners make that in a day – seriously! This is NOT AN UP-SALE and we’re not going to spew out a bunch of business names we own. This is real and if you aren’t sure simply type our name (WideloadShipping.com) into the WayBackMachine (internet archive) and see for yourself. This is the end of our 14th year online doing the exact same thing. This site didn’t set for 5 or 10 years until it was developed as we knew what we wanted to do the day we purchased the name. Our point is this: if you want to start a pilot car company and you want to do it right, do it with a company that cares about the industry and has a good, solid, well established name.

To own a successful pilot car company you need to know where to get customers.

In order to properly start any company you need to know where to go in order to get work. In our training kit (How to start a pilot car company) we show you exactly where to go and how to go about getting customers. Not only that but we also show you how to set yourself up where it counts the most so you actually have an online presence and are in the mix with oversize and heavy-haul trucking companies. After all, that’s the business industry we service: oversize, heavy-haul and pilot car companies. Not only that but our industry needs new dependable and reliable pilot car companies so the more we can bring on the better! Think long and hard when considering purchasing our pilot car company business starter kit before trying to just go on your own with web searches and word of mouth. We cut straight to the chase and show you exactly what you will need and where to get it.

Loadboard example.
Our loadboard is full of direct customers looking for quotes from our oversize and heavy haul trucking companies and we know exactly how to put pilot car companies with trucking Co’s.

Order our package “How to start a pilot car company”.

You need to know this. Once you order, we will see your order and email you your Pilot Car Business started with within 24 hours from the time of your purchase. Usually it will only take us a few minutes to fulfill your order but in consideration or holidays, weekends and the fact that we are located in the Pacific time zone it may take a little bit longer. Once your order is received by us we will email it directly to the email address that was used in the order. If for some reason you think your order was not done properly please use this form to contact us (at bottom of page) and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible. We deal with literally thousands of companies each and every week and have very few if any dissatisfied customers.

The coolest part is if you order in 2019 it’s only $149.00 which you will learn easily pays for itself.

NOTE:

 

Divisible load

What is a divisible load?

A lot of the time in heavy haul and oversize trucking the question of divisible loads comes in to question. Many ask what constitutes a divisible load and if my load is divisible or not. We hope to clarify this issue for you so you care clear if your load is divisible or not no matter if it is considered legal, oversize or overweight.

The definition of a “Divisible load” is any vehicle or combination of vehicles transporting cargo of legal and/or oversize/weight that can be separated into units of legal size or weight without affecting the physical integrity of the actual load. Easy examples of divisible loads include: aggregate (sand, soil, gravel, rocks), grain, household items, liquid, pallets, produce, scrap metal, etc. More difficult examples of divisible loads include items such as: conveyor belts, heavy equipment with buckets and blades, wind energy equipment, etc.

Clarification with oversize or heavy-haul divisible loads. While this is basic rule is considered by each state issuing a trucking permit the general rule of thumb for divisible loads is as follows: Can the item that requires transport be reduced within 8 hours? If it can, depending on the weight and size of the item it may be required to be reduced in order to transport.

 

 

NaviLow bridge height for pilot cars and trucking companies

NaviLow bridge height for pilot cars and trucking companies.

A few years back we realized that we would need to put together some sort of routing software that above many wishes for functionality would have bridge heights and utility obstructions. Bridge weights would be great too but will come in the future. Slowly but surely we’ve been collecting bridge heights on our own as well as got thousands of them submitted from you. We managed to save every single coordinate submitted and today that list continues to grow. With the anticipation of sharing this data someday we even came up with a name for it, “NaviLow”. With the help of technology we are now able to collect this data faster and more efficiently than before which is why we created a free phone app.

With this free ad free app that is available for both Android and iPhone one can click a button that will automatically collect the GPS coordinates. Then select the height of the obstruction and click submit. This will send the height and location data to us pinned to a map that you can’t see called a ESRI map for us to verify. Once verified it goes into our database that we will share with everyone else soon.

Types of overhead data to submit.

We’re looking for all data that crosses over the road or highway. If it crosses over the road or highway or any other route a truck might take then we want to know about it. That includes bridges, power lines, traffic lights, cable lines, fast food and fuel island covers, trees, railroad bridges, you name it we want it. Anything at all over head that may come in the route of a truck.

Using the application in your phone.

First and foremost for your own safety we do not wish for users to use the program while driving. The best thing you can do is to pull over at the overhead obstruction and then submit the data. If not and you have a co-pilot let them handle reporting the overhead data submission. In most (if not all) states and provinces it is illegal to use your cell phone while driving and that includes texting or using apps. The reason we are gathering this data is for public safety and to prevent accidents. Let’s not get hurt while collecting the data either.

At this point we’re assuming you have already went to iTunes or Google Play and downloaded the application. It’s a pretty easy what you see is what you get app. When you push the red button it collects your location data within milliseconds.

Clicking the red button will submit your GOS coordinates.

When you open up the current NaviLow APP in your phone this is the first thing you will see. When you click this red button it collects the Longitude and Latitude data from your location. The next screen will allow you to select the height.

How to select the height of the obstruction.

Once you click the red button and capture the data you will be taken to this screen which will allow you to select the height of the utility (or otherwise) obstruction you are reporting. Simply scroll down to select the proper height. Once selected you are ready to submit it.

Selecting the overhead height.

Once you have completely selected the height data for the overhead obstruction you are reporting your screen will look like this. In addition at the bottom there is a button that says “submit data”. For some reason it didn’t show up on our screen capture but it’s there. Once you click this button of course it will submit the data and you will be completed. Below are a couple of other messages you may see.

Overhead reporting completed.

If you see this you are fully completed with the overhead obstruction utility reporting process and can either close the app or wait until you come across the next obstruction you wish to report.

Location data must be enabled.

Make sure you have location data turned on for this individual application in order to capture your locations and for the application to work properly. If you see this error pop up you will know that location data is not turned on for this app. Simply go into your settings, locate the app and then enable it in order to proceed. You may need to restart the app after doing so.

Terms of service agreement.

This screen is our terms of service agreement (TOS). It is located in the app as well as online. Make sure you agree to these terms before using the app. If you do not agree to them simply uninstall the application from your device and do not continue. The basics of our TOS is that we will respect your privacy and will not share anything other than the data collected with anyone else. You also agree to not use the application while operating a moving vehicle or machinery. It covers liability and usage of the product as well as other legal issues and you are encouraged to read all of it.

We hope that you will choose to participate in the gathering of overhead clearance and obstruction data. This information is good for the industry to have access to and will help reduce accidents as well as damages to both private and public property. If you have any comments, concerns or ideas that you would like to share with us please do so. Eventually in the future we will include more tools in the application and users will be able to see the location of all of the obstructions reported as well as update them and continue to report new ones as well as other functions.