Illinois State Shipping Regulations for oversize and heavy haul.

2021 Shipping laws and regulations for shipping oversize and over-weight loads 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.

Locate specialized trucking companies in Illinois.
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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 the 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 the 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 refer to the 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 a 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 the 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, Lincoln’s birthday, Washington’s 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 practical. 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 the 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 require an 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 required to have 2 pilot cars.  

Required pilot car certifications:

Cars, vans, or trucks may be used as long as the gross weight of the 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 driver’s license. Pilot cars must have a rotating or flashing amber light mounted on the top of the vehicle. Must display a red flag at all 4 outermost 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. A 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.

illinois-state

How much does oversize trucking pay?



How much does oversize trucking pay?

One has to ask themselves that doesn’t know, just how much does oversize trucking pay? Is a driver for a oversize trucking company paid more money? How much more? (want to invest in yourself – have a look).

How much does oversize trucking pay?

Does shipping oversize loads pay more money? If so, how much more do they pay?

There are a few different ways to look at it. From the perspective of a driver of a truck that works for a oversize load trucking company and how much he gets paid or you are the owner of an oversize trucking company. Which one gets paid the most? Well let’s have a look at it.

  • If you are a truck driver and specialize in shipping oversize equipment and machinery then yes you are probably going to get paid more money as this is a specialized field. However, you need to consider a few things.
  • Did you go to oversize trucking school or take any classes?
  • How much experience do you have with cranes, oversize loads and machinery?

Also, there are other things to consider like the seasons of the year and are of the frost laws in effect? Or how is the economy? Just these two questions alone can factor in a huge variable is far as someone’s salary or pay is concerned. If the weather is bad and the frost laws are in effect then you know there’s going to be a shortage of specialized freight. Meaning, you won’t have that much work. So while you may be getting paid more per mile or hourly, you may have more downtime as well. A good example for the economy was for the year of 2016. Check out some of the predictions that we’re made vs. what occurred. Consumer spending is down. The uneasiness that is being created by the elections that will be held later this year has the average person being tighter with their money. With that said, manufacturing will be down so manufacturers will not be looking to expand and possibly purchase new specialized and oversize equipment. Equipment that will not need to be shipped. Before you think it, of course frost laws involve only heavy haul freight. But if these carriers don’t have work they will look for it in the next place they can – specifically targeting oversize loads which will again create a shortage. This will in turn effect how much you get paid – whether you’re the owner, the operator or both.
Now. Speaking solely for the owner of a oversize trucking company and payments. Yes payment is the key word. Remember that owning a specialized trailer is going to cost you more money meaning your monthly payments are going to be higher and your insurance is going to be higher too. So unless you have a huge customer database getting paid more money might prove to be difficult. While you will get paid more money for the jobs that you do, will you be able to keep that truck loaded with oversize loads?

So hopefully that answers your question. Yes. A truck driver or owner operator does get paid more money for hauling oversize loads. Oversize loads pay much more per mile. The wider it is the higher the rate is. The key to that question is does the owner of the truck and trailer have the customer database to support it?

Here is a break down of average trailer type driver jobs and what they pay:

Oversize load truck driver pay average: $73,000 – $120,000 (top 10%)
Oversize Loads – Truck drivers pulling oversize loads have quite a bit more to do than just load the product and hit the road. You have to have specialized oversize load permits, routing that determines the exact roads you will drive and in many cases a lead, chase or high pole pilot car or truck escort driver to escort the shipment in order to protect motorists. Plus as mentioned above you have to have quite a few years in the truck before a oversize trucking company will consider hiring you. Also consider there are a huge amount of trailer types ranging from a flatbed, step-deck, rgn to a perimeter frame deck and about 20 other types in between those above. You will be required to know exactly how to operate these trailers in order to get hired on as a oversize truck driver and paid more money.

Flatbed trailer.

How much do different types of truck drivers earn each year?

Flatbed truck driver pay average: $47,890
Flatbed Trailers – Freight can vary greatly from heavy equipment, finished products and even industrial machinery. Flatbed truck drivers must secure their loads using special strapping equipment. Many loads are required to be tarped with huge water proof heavy tarps protect against weather. These tarps are heavy and hard to work with for the average person. Flatbed freight usually pays more money when compared to refrigerated, dry van shipments. Flatbed drivers usually require a little more training on how to properly secure a shipment to the deck of the trailer.

Rear dump, end dump trailer.

Dump truck driver pay average: $24,500 – $52,000
Dump Trucks: Driver pay for dump truck drivers and/or other construction type vehicle drivers can range widely from employer to employer and actual dump truck type. Ranging from end dump, belly dump and even tip trailers these drivers are usually paid an hourly rate depending on exactly what the company does.

Standard refrigerated trailer.

Refrigerated truck driver pay average: $38,996
Refrigerated Trailers – One of the advantages of having a refrigerated (or reefer) trailer is that the driver can ship various commodities ranging from dry goods (as discussed below), refrigerated/frozen freight and even ship all three at the same time if using a bulk head which consists of movable temporary foam walls. However, you have to keep in mind that a refrigerated trailer requires a motor to power the refrigerated unit on the trailer. When you factor into the equation the maintenance and fuel costs of keeping this extra unit going it hurts the bottom line numbers of your profit. Truck drivers who pull refrigerated trailers are paid just a little bit more than dry van operators.

Dry van truck driver pay average: $36,230
Dry van trailers: Loads will vary from toilet paper to diapers or packing materials and even onions if the trailer has vents in it. Watermelon and pumpkins can be shipped in a dry van as well weather permitted. Drivers in this field require little training other than passing the test to have a CDL endorsement on your drivers license.

Food service truck driver pay average: $60,000 +
Food Service industry: Food service industry drivers make deliveries to restaurants and other food related establishments. This can be a lucrative, high profit operation depending on the client that is being delivered too. A good portion of food service drivers are home every night and enjoy good pay. The work can be physically demanding as each driver must unload his trailer by hand.

LTL truck driver pay average: $62,000
LTL (Less than truck load): LTL drivers make many pick-ups and deliveries on a regular assigned route. Some LTL drivers may also have a regular shuttle route to move truckloads but are often home every night. The profit for LTL companies is higher than long haul companies and allows them to pay higher wages to their drivers. These are highly sought after positions within the trucking community.

 

Notes: Geographic locations can play a huge factor in how much a truck driver can ear. Such as a company based out of Kentucky would pay less than a trucking company based out of New York.
Trucking companies that have a smaller corporate structure such as long haul trucking companies tend to have a higher turn over rate than large corporate drivers. Typically this is due to management which is much less likely to violate work law than a smaller company. Laws governing how many hours are worked in a day as well as commission based jobs that pay per mile.

We’d love to hear from you. Do you have any ideas, questions, comments of concerns? Perhaps you have in-depth knowledge you can share with others. Please don’t be shy as we like to hear from our viewers and our viewers like to hear what others have to say so share it below!

Brokers may want to drive part time.

Freight Brokers may want to start driving part time.

With the demand for more truck drivers owners of trucking companies can now be more picky about who they haul for. The age old cry of freight brokers are crooks may be coming to an end as technology progresses. With demand for drivers and internet technology maturing in years to come the freight broker may be a job position of the past such as a “wheel maker” or “spear maker”. While wheel and spear makers are still needed with automation there just not in high demand. trucking industry crunch

The trucking industry is taking some hard hits.

We’re hearing it everywhere. CNN recently published a story about Cheetah trailers and how Chinese companies are violating it’s copyright design on their own trailers. Cheetah trailers haul shipping containers. Chinese manufacturers simply buy one, study it, mass produce it and start exporting them cheaper. They’re also made cheaper but that’s another story. New HOS regulations are hitting truck drivers hard. If you can’t driver you can’t make money and if you can’t make money driving why bother? What’s left is the fleet owners, small trucking companies and the owner operators. Put a broker in the middle of all of this combined with internet technology and what do you get? You get smaller companies that have the ability to network with buyers, manufactures and anyone else that needs transportation.

A new dawn is being born.

The oversize and heavy haul industry have already dumped the freight broker. In fact, from inception trucking company owners realized the liability was simply too high. A broker with a $10,000 bond (or even $50,000) isn’t much to hang your hat on if the shipment costs $55,000 to ship. Not only that the broker want’s everything he/she can get which is $5,500 at 10% or $6,600 at 12% which are both claimed industry standards. That’s a WHOLE LOT OF MONEY! So in the case of dry van shipments let’s say that number is 90% less or the line haul is $5,500. Well $550 or $660 is still a WHOLE LOT OF MONEY! What is going to happen next inevitably is the trucking companies will have to crunch the numbers in between profit and inflation and combined with technology that need will be met. Good-bye brokers. It’s inevitable. Trucking companies are continue to look for more and more direct customer freight.

Preparation for eating healthy on the road.

Preparation for eating healthy on the road.

Part 2.

Preparing for healthy eating on the road.

It’s Mr. Miles here sending out warm wishes and safe travels again!

The last time we chat (see; part 1.) we talked about eating healthy foods and what that can do to your overall well being – both mental and physical. It’s important to always have an idea of what you’re putting in your body and what that can mean. No one wants to feel sluggish and lack energy when getting a  load down the byways and highways. Let’s talk about preparing for healthy eating on the road as it will take some effort but with a little bit of effort can become routine. Now that you’re aware of some of the health implications of “quick food” there are almost endless and countless healthy options and alternatives to consume when you’re away from home. So, let’s slip this rig into overdrive and start breaking down how you can cook up tasty treats and chow down in no time!!!

Storing food and preparing meals is a lot easier than it sounds when you’re away from home. Since your ride is essentially your home for long stretches of time, you have to treat it that way.  Of course a mini-fridge is a big bonus but if you don’t have one, get a good camper cooler that runs on 12 volts – there super efficient which means easy on your battery and alternator. Plus, it’ll pay for itself quicker than you may think if you’re not seeking ice every day. Even without a fridge, you can still whip up some mean dishes that pack plenty of punch. Where the real fun starts in “Flavor Town” is with creativity and low energy consumption. Ever consider how much heat your engine produces? More on that later but heck, blenders are even a possibility. Who doesn’t want a fresh strawberry smoothie to start your day?

Health food for professional drivers.

Non GMO is always a plus! Professional drivers need a healthy, very well balanced and nutritious diet when on the road. Productivity, awareness, decision making and energy all play a role.

 

Smart storage of your smart food.

Where do you store your food? That all depends on your rig space, but there’s room – trust me. That’s the beauty of storage containers. They take up little to no space and are as convenient as they come. On the floor, in your seat, or in trunk or sleeper bunk there are always spots to secure your food. Cereal, pasta, breads and canned goods can all be at your disposal with the help of containers.

Now of course perishable foods need to be kept cold, but proper storage of your food and ingredients can be simple and very effective. The freezer Ziploc bags are my very first choice when it comes to ensuring my food is stored safe and well preserved. You can call me cheap but I’ve even washed these out and re-used them before. Costco has great deals on them (as low as .03 per bag). The Betty Crocker storage containers sold at Dollar Tree  are second on my list and are cheap. They’re also great for storing grapes, watermelon, blueberries, pineapple – basically any kind of fruit or vegetable can maintain its flavor and freshness is these modern marvels of creation. With just two items you’re on your seriously on your way to many a side dish or main course. Plus you’ve got storage. Just like Emeril says: Bam!!!! Don’t forget to go easy on the salt and try your best to make sure those veggies non-GMO. Many genetically modified foods are missing important components of complex vitamins, can cause allergies and all kinds of disorders – possibly even cancer!!! Also, to keep your mind and body in tip-top shape, stay away from gluten. It’s best avoided and can turn your stomach and insides into a carnival ride you don’t want to be on! The bumpy road has enough potholes and danger areas. Don’t make your gut an up-and-down roller coaster

Aluminum foil is another weapon that can turn a boring Monday into creations that would even have 5-star chefs doing a double take. Seriously. The uses are endless with this master invention. Don’t have a portable burner or stove? No problem. Throw some potatoes, carrots and onions, to go along with seasonings and your choice of lean beef, pork or chicken, wrap it in foil and place it on your manifold. Look who’s got engine stew in no time!!!

While mentioning “master inventions” I found this photo on the web. Now these folks have the right idea:

flatbed trailer next to mobile home

These folks aren’t going to let anything get in their way when it comes to a nice home cooked meal and enjoying it. Even with snow on the ground!

Planning is preparing. Preparing is planning. Make your meals in advance if you have the time. This saves you money and time. I’m not proposing you don’t go and check out that roadside diner once in awhile but the less you do the more your body will be thankful and your wallet will like your decision to keep the pedal to the metal. The $8.99 tenderloin with a side of greasy fries can find another home in someone else’s stomach. You’ll feel better and even look better by eating right. It’s like anything else; you get out what you put in.

Healthy gluten free pasta with fruit and veggies.

Gluten free pasta is pretty darn delicious and very easy on your digestive system. Give your body the food items it deserves. You might just find it’s even cheaper to eat healthy in the long run.

Last but not least. We gotta keep everything clean. The last thing you need is to be barreling down the road
So keep your gas tank full, your eyes on the road and keep pounding that pavement. You’re a driving machine and you know how to recharge your batteries and the proper fuel you need to keep your engine running as smoothly as possible. Just remember – everything in moderation.

Stay tuned for tons of recipes I have waiting on the back burner that are gonna blow your socks off that won’t blow your budget. They’re easy as pie to make and you’ll be a Master Chef in no time. Now Mel over at the diner might miss some business from you, but old Flo can kiss somebody else’s grits!!!

Happy Trucking. Have something you’d like to add or ask? Feel free to jump in online and comment at the bottom of any of my posts and have your voice heard. NO taxes, NO surcharges and NO fees! If I can’t get you up and running properly I’m certain our readers can.

Keep’n it real and keep’n’ it high and wide!

Mr. Miles for
WideloadShipping.com

Professional drivers can go long and far with healthy foods.

Part 1.

Professional drivers can go long and far, especially on a healthy diet.

Allow me to introduce myself. They call me Mr. Miles. If I may, I’d like to formerly educate you on something that has come a long way in the last 10 years but has seemed to elude the professional driving industry; the topic of driver nutrition. Now before anybody drops this, turns their keys and hits the road running, they need to understand just how important the fuel we put in our bodies truly is. Just like the truck you’re keeping between the lines, our bodies are also high-tech machines that need key ingredients for optimum performance. When we the don’t get these ingredients in the proper ratio things start breaking down.

A breakdown could be just around next the corner if steps aren’t taken to change what we consume behind the wheel. We’re gonna break this down into 3 parts for you The first one just as important as any of the other:

1. AWARENESS

Be aware of the foods that you put in your body

So while your favorite roadside diner probably hooks up a mean plate of biscuits and gravy with fried taters, you can bet 10 to 1 the ingredients they’re using aren’t anywhere near the top of the shelf as profit is the name of the game. These days pretty much everything has wheat in it from flours to breads and about anything that comes in any kind of packaging. The wheat industry is subsidized by the Federal government and every year we grow more than we need. So what do we do with it? – use it as a filler, in everything, including makeup. I bet you didn’t know that the word gluten is a Greek word that means “glue.” My guess was glutton, but the key here is I don’t know anybody that wants to go down that sticky road especially since it leads to LGS or Leaky Gut Syndrome which is known to effect your throat, joints, colon, skin, thyroid, adrenals, mouth and sinus. Kind of sounds like a truck driver. Do I have your attentions now? See for yourself:

Anyway, whether or not you consume it, wheat inflames your intestines. The ancient Greeks knew this and that is why they used “ancient grains” to make everyday breads instead of wheat. Breads made out of wheat we’re used only on special occasions once or twice a year.

So back to our own bodies, essentially what we’re doing is being jolted around the roads and highways with already inflamed intestines which isn’t good for the rest as our neurons are created in our stomachs and nobody wants leaky stomach which is gut sharp and alert. No one wants that feeling of brain drain when that meal you just ate sits like a rock in your stomach. How do drivers out on the road accomplish this goal? It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

How the stoach works and leaky guy syndrome.

Our bodies need fruits and vegetables – non GMO to boot, so our stomach can create the proper neurons that go to your brain and affect the decisions you make. The more and better neurons you have, the better decisions you make.

Always have healthy snack on hand in your rig. It’s a lot easier to munch on those goodies than pulling over. Like my uncle always said – the less time opening the cab door means more money for me. Now that doesn’t mean don’t pull over and rest. And that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge once in awhile and knock down those greasy tenderloins or take that hot beef sandwich to “pound town.” This is about getting into healthy habits. Everyone out there has their go-to staples. Limit those if you can. You’ll feel a lot better. Acid reflux and heartburn are not friends of mine, nor should they be yours.
Processed carbs and refined sugars are out my brothers and sisters. Keep these to a strict minimum. The alternatives are endless – protein bars or shakes, yogurt, cottage cheese, mixed nuts, beef jerky, veggies, fruits and probably most important – water. It’s a lifeline and keeps you chugging along. Ditch the soda and energy drinks – there full of empty calories and won’t sustain you over the long haul.

Now’s here’s the part I don’t like to discuss, but it is reality and the hard truth. Not changing to a healthy routine of eating the right things can lead to a whole host of problems. They’re not pretty. Stroke, cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea are just some of the maladies that you’ll have to deal with if a diet isn’t modified to make your body work more smoothly. Don’t drive on the wrong side of the road. There are warning signs. The good part is a lot of problems associated with what food you put in your body can be reversed. The human body is an amazing instrument, but how you treat it and what you put in it is of the utmost importance.

Also, try to eat four or five small meals a day. There are all kinds of salads and wraps out there to fill the void in your stomach. If you like seafood, salmon is easy to store and eat as well. Pot roast with carrots and potatoes is also a champion choice on my winning Roadmaster squad. There’s only healthy all-star truckers on my roster!! We’re winners and we feel good about what we’re doing.

So the next time you hit up your grocery store, make a list. Shop with your head and your heart. Sometimes your stomach wants to pull the trigger on that Hungry-Man frozen TV dinner. JUST SAY NO!!! Keep your game plan real and stick to the outer aisles – the more you hit the center of the store, the more you will be inundated with junk food in packages.

Stay dialed in for more recipes from the Doctor Miles in the coming weeks that are fresh, ready and easy to prepare!!! I’ll also touch on items and appliances that will blow your mind on what you’ll be able to cook and prepare in your cab. We’ll also talk about ways to keep your body moving with exercise routines that take no time at all. You’ll feel better and I know I will knowing that my road hounds are gettin’ ‘er done!!!

Keep’n it real and keepin’ it wide!
Doctor Miles for
WideloadShipping.com

Read; part 2.

Pilot car operators loadboard

Pilot car operators (loadboard) 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? Yes, but 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.

MabelSBoard640Fr

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 her – N0t!

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, a solution is born. With WideloadShipping.com being smack in the middle of this confusion and carriers demanding some kind of accurate place to quickly locate pilot cars we realized that something had to be done. We needed a solution to keep carriers happy. Not because there’s a basket of money to be made with cranky pilot car companies because there simply isn’t.  The industry is too small and there aren’t enough companies to make significant amounts of money. Not only that many of the pilot car companies running are doing so for cut rates because they are forced to take runs that are brokered (which pay less) 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 would be the only solution. Not only to balance out the ration of pilot cars running direct vs running for a brokerage, but to make the industry run more efficiently with one centralized location for all pilot cars. 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 put on the building 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. It drained us pretty darn good. But, what PiloTrac did for the pilot car industry by enabling a visual geo-location live directory displayed on a map instead of a list was revolutionary. Visitors can see a home base pin for every pilot car and truck escort company in North America displayed on a live Google map. 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 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 operator can then post that pilot car as tentavely being in that location on that day so oversize trucking dispatchers can see them and book them for use either ahead of time or on the fly the day they need them. It’s a win-win slam dunk for everyone involved but will take some time to get everyone on the same page so users should be patient and consider it’s only $1 a week to use. It’s connected to the largest network of heavy haul and oversize carriers in the world so little by little everyone will get used to it. We’ve already heard fantastic success stories and are very pleased with the build overall. Mobile phone apps are available for download on iPhone or Androids so companies posting to the map and change/edit/delete their postings as needed from the road on the fly.

Now, to fully address question the idea of brokers being needed in the pilot car industry. Yes they are. At least for now. They’re still essential to the oversize and heavy haul 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 as it’s simply not a fair way to handle everyone. Diversity and equality is what makes this great nation so great!

Your comments are welcome below.