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How Much Extra Do Pilot Cars Cost for Oversize Load Transport

Oversize load transport can be complex and expensive, requiring special permits and additional vehicles, such as pilot cars, to ensure safety and compliance with regulations. Pilot cars are an essential part of any oversized load transport operation, and their cost can vary dramatically based on the size and type of load, and the distance traveled. Understanding the cost of pilot cars and other factors affecting the total transport cost is essential to keeping expenses down while ensuring a safe and compliant journey. This article will explore pilot cars for oversize loads and how much extra they cost.

What Are Pilot Cars?

A pilot car is a safety vehicle that travels in front of and/or behind an oversize freight shipment. Numerous factors determine how many pilot cars are necessary for a given shipment, but their primary purpose is to alert drivers when they are near an oversized load.

Some load types transported using pilot cars include telephone poles, bulldozer shipments, generator transports, crane hauls, mobile homes, and more.

That said, it’s not the only thing they do. To guarantee a smooth delivery, pilot car drivers coordinate with each other and the truck driver. For instance, a truck’s lead pilot car must alert the driver to any potential threats to the cargo along the route.

There is no hard and fast rule on how many or what kind of pilot cars must accompany any given shipment. For example, to assure visual clearance of the loaded height before the truck and load pass underneath, over-height shipments may, in some cases, require pole cars (a type of pilot car fitted with an extended pole on the front.

Which Situations Require Pilot Cars for Oversized Shipments?

Without complete details, it is impossible to establish whether or not pilots or escorts will be necessary for your consignment. These determinations are made locally and depend on several factors, including the weight and dimensions of your shipment, the condition of the road you’re driving on, the time of year, and more.

However, in most cases, pilot cars are required when the width of the shipment is greater than 12 feet, the laden height is greater than 14 feet, or the overall length is greater than 90 feet. Each U.S. state specifies the number and placement of escort vehicles required when a load’s length, width, or height exceeds predetermined standards. If you need additional information about your situation, be sure to speak with a reliable equipment transportation service.

Rules and Regulations Regarding Pilot Cars

Since heavy haul transport companies routinely handle large, oversize, and supersize cargo, they are familiar with state regulations regarding pilot cars.

When it comes to escort cars, the rules and regulations vary from one state to the next. The minimum number of pilot cars mandated by law varies by state and other considerations related to the load.

Requirements of Pilot Cars for Oversize Loads

Escort vehicles for oversize loads must have two amber lights mounted on the roof that strobe and rotate. They also require an oversize load banner mounted on the front bumper or roof with visible lettering. The cars also need a height pole to protect against overhands and low bridges. Lastly, these cars should have two-way communication devices so the load driver and car driver can communicate.

Getting Escort Vehicles for Oversize Loads

Setting up an escort for your oversize/overweight freight shipments doesn’t have to be complicated. In most situations, you won’t even have to make arrangements; many excellent transportation companies have established ties with pilot car service companies.

Most of the time, your transportation provider will be able to assist you with this, assuming that they have prior experience with handling movements of this nature. Trucking companies always use reliable, tried-and-true pilot car operators, whether they are in-house experts or compiled from a nationwide database.

Cost of Pilot Cars

Cost of Pilot Cars
Expect to pay a higher rate per mile to acquire escort services for your freight. How much you end up paying depends on a variety of things, including but not limited to the size of the shipment, the length of haul, demand and supply in the destination and origin locations, weather, and the lead time provided.

With this and other factors considered, you can reasonably expect to spend an additional $2 per mile for escort services. However, a good transportation service can give you a more precise estimate of the cost of pilot cars.

Heavy Haulers Final Thought

Hiring pilot cars for oversize loads may seem a little daunting, but you don’t have to go at it alone. Consult an expert to discuss your transport requirements and let them help you get a pilot car service provider at the lowest possible fee.

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