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How to Start a Pilot Car Business | Become a Pilot Car Driver

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How Do You Start a Pilot Car Business?

Over the last few decades, hundreds of people have contacted us to inquire how to start a pilot car business of their own and become a pilot car driver. After attempting to deal with all of these inquiries, we decided that the best thing to do was create a standardized instruction guide or road map. 

After operating for over 15 years online, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do what we do best. Help people. So, we wrote a detailed guidebook to help everyone interested in starting their pilot car business. While we have to charge for our time, the price is very affordable, considering 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 business started.

Get a Step Closer To Starting Your Pilot Car Company

After a long wait,  we have complied a simplified guidebook that explains everything you need to know before starting a pilot car company, including the requirements and laws applying to different states. With this, you get closer to starting your dream job. You can now purchase our affordable guidebook below. 

NOTE: You will get the latest copy of a purchased eBook in your email anytime we make new updates.



A Highlight of What To Expect in Our Guidebook

Generally, every state will want you to register your business with a minimum of a DBA or “doing business as.” You may decide to start a corporation (Inc.) or a limited liability company (LLC) once you get going, but a DBA may be the right choice depending on your state’s laws. We suggest you speak with a licensed attorney about the entity best for your business, as each person’s circumstances differ. There are many factors to consider, like taxes, marital status, joint incomes, the amount of money you bring into your household, and liability. With a DBA, you can get sued if, in the unfortunate event, you made a decision that resulted in property damages or, worse, caused bodily injury to someone. Have you ever heard someone 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, it would likely be the corporate body bearing the responsibility resulting from your actions. However, consult a professional attorney in your state. Once you’ve determined your best option, you can move on to things like obtaining your flagger license and dealing with any state insurance and training qualifications that may be required. 

We Teach You How To Start and Operate Your Own Pilot Car Company

  • How to figure out the best business model to start a pilot car company.
  • Insurance requirements for pilot car companies and issues to consider.
  • How to choose a vehicle that meets the minimum requirements 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 do 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 professionally to protect motorists.
  • Invoice template examples and creating them. So your new pilot car company can get paid quickly.
  • What is expected of pilot car vehicle operators? From the 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 based on geographic location.
  • Online strategies on how to get your name out there and develop a serious online presence at an affordable cost.
  • Basics of how to perform a route survey.

29 Responses

  1. Hello,
    I live in IL. Is there a link you can send me so I can get the minimum basic certification training? I understand these classes are 8 hours, I’m having trouble finding an online escort pilot training class.

    1. We offer a publication to help you start a pilot car company. We suggest you start with this and use it as a “road map” to get you started. Good luck!

  2. I see you are currently offering 50% off the training…. I tried to purchase, but the price is still $149.

  3. Can you tell me How is the course presented? Videos? Reading material? Both? What is the length of the training? Also, what type if income (typical rate) can be expected from this ?

    1. It’s not a course. It’s about 17 short and sweet pages that detail exactly what you will need to do to get started and how to do it. I hope this helps you in your decision.

  4. I am interested in starting my own company with an experienced pilot person, but I need some personal experience first.
    I could buy all the equipment and required insurance. Owning these items will not do me a lot of good with out experience, correct?

    How do I go about getting experience, to back up my certification, woith a reputable company?

    Searching on line for a “job” has me left wondering where to go.

    1. Good question Michael. Just the other day I was speaking with a group of colleagues about problems within the pilot car industry as we do have a huge need for more good companies. We were talking about route surveys exclusively and overhead obstructions (169 million in damages reported in 2016). A lot of folks looking to get in the industry don’t take the time you clearly have to fully think this all through. It makes sense; follow a truck with some lights on, a sign, and get paid. But the truth is the job pilot car operators have is much more complicated. In this conversation we were speaking of a shipment over 14′ tall and the state required a “route survey” to be performed prior to approving the permit for the shipment to move. So a pilot car company was hired to go and find the best route. The shipment hit one of the overpasses.

      Fault: One of three ways here: 1. The pilot car company did not properly perform the route survey as hired to do either by faulty equipment or lied. 2. The shipment height loaded on the trailer was incorrectly measured. 3. The wheel ruts in the highway differ in each lane as well as most overpass structures (they’re curved) and this distance was not compensated for.

      Probability says there’s a 66.6% chance this hit the desk of the pilot car companies insurance company and nobody would not want to be on either side of this desk.

      I’d love to say I could endorse a particular class or program but at the end of the day it would more than likely need to be backed by some financial agreement as they’d pay us for the referral (not going to happen). There’s really only one way you can learn this and it’s the same way I did. Start doing it. Pay attention/listen/watch. Stay within your limitations. Always be honest. Grace.

      Afterthoughts: I don’t recall the name but recently spoke with a few guys that had started their company with old cop cars. The cars were fully equipped “all pro” and I bet each car didn’t have more than 5 grand put into it. These guys were pretty determined so i’d bet being scrappy/smart and the likes they had like 3 grand tied up in each rig. No biggie you’d think but the kicker was they both had height poles installed as well. Pretty impressive considering to just go get a custom mount made would be like $800 and then a pro pole like $700. I bet these fellas scratched to buy used poles on ebay or craigslist for $200 each and bought a $69 welder at Harbor Freight and went to the funky part of town to get the metal but for the brackets for $150 for both. What’s that $690 vs $3g. Go! Go!

      Then while they were looking to grow they were also looking to learn. So instead of the telecommute head nod on anybody that called them, they seemed to be staying within 2-4 states and focusing more on wideloads that were simple – under 16 feet, not overly long or tall.

      This “prototype” so to speak is how I would get in if I was determined to. I should mention the pilot car startup package we sell (not a promotion). Seriously, if you dive in and follow the directions and resources it gives you it’s well worth the money. We pretty much give it all back to you if you make it by giving you free listings and promoting folks that made it and it worked for.

      Good luck, thanks for your comment and we’re always here to support our industry.

      1. Hey I have a question. In this starter kit will it include at least the licenses we need or certifications? Also training classes ? (If needed by law)

        1. No. We show you what to expect and where to get it. Our package puts everything together for you and takes the guesswork out of setting it up. We point you directly to what you are looking for.

    2. I would love to teach people how to escort 🙂 I am getting back to escorting and need a light rack better lights and few other things if anyone has some for sale.

  5. I’m considering this as well, but when I go to PayPal via Buy Now it doesn’t knock off the $20 of $129. How do I get the coolest part?

    1. I will check the wording. Our normal price is $149 so the $129 is $20 off. Thanks for the comment and let us know if you need any additional info.

  6. Hello,
    I’m considering starting this business, but not sure how lucrative it would be. I’m in NW Ohio currently. Is it a business that a Couple could run and be able to make a decent income?

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