Does Your Freight Require a Pilot Car Escort?

pilot car escort, pilot car, escort carDepending on the nature of your freight, your machine transport might require one or more pilot cars. When does a carrier require such escort services? We’ll explain the ins and outs of pilot cars and their general purpose.

What Is a Pilot Car?

The term “pilot car” refers to an escort car that accompanies an LTL truck or other carrier. A pilot car is usually a pickup, SUV, or van that accompanies the truck, either in front of it or behind it; sometimes an escort vehicle is necessary in both positions. People who operate pilot cars are trained professionals who do this type of work for a living. Escort car drivers are also in constant communication with the carrier driver during the journey.

The Role of Pilot Cars

Pilot cars may drive ahead and warn the carrier of potential street closures, accidents, or obstructions up ahead.

The pilot car’s job is also to alert surrounding motorists that the carrier is carrying extremely heavy or wide loads. Pilot vehicles may have signs at the rear warning drivers to maintain a safe distance.

Pilot Car Requirement Laws

Does your outbound shipping require a pilot car escort? The laws differ, depending on the states your freight travels through. If your carrier passes through California, for example, then it requires one pilot car if loads exceed 12 feet in width. Other states might require pilot cars for both the front and rear if the trailer load is more than 14 feet wide. If the load exceeds a certain height limit, then escorts might require a special vehicle called a “height pole car.”

Depending on the state of travel, pilot car operators may require licensure. This includes the states of Washington, Florida, and New York.

We Make Carrier and Pilot Car Arrangements

As freight brokers, Machine Transport determines the appropriate carrier for your needs. We also help you determine whether escort vehicles are required. Pilot car escorts ensure safe and timely arrival of your freight.

Machine Transport and Freight Escort Brokers

Serving U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico