What is an Escort Vehicle?
Escort car vehicles go with heavy haul transportation. They are also known as “pilot cars.” Escort/pilot vehicles are public safety vehicles. They are threatening devices to warn the public of a possible danger as well.
Generally, escort/pilot vehicles have a CB radio or other two-way radio to connect with each other. This coordination is key, as the positioning of the escort/pilot vehicle can change. For example, if traveling on a two-lane road, the single escort will position itself in front of the load. However, on a four-or more-lane road, the escort positions itself behind the load.
Please note that depending on the size of the load, the load may require more escorts. Usually, this means one escort in the front and one in the rear.
For overheight or overwidth trucks, one escort vehicle will drive 2500 ft. to 1 mile ahead of the truck. This is to ensure the road ahead can accommodate the oversize dimensions of the truck. Generally, this lead vehicle is equipped with a long pole that juts upward from the front bumper. The length of this pole reaches six to eight inches above the height of the load of the truck. Drivers can also adjust the poles to simply be the tallest part of the load within a convoy. Because of this pole, the truck or convoy can be warned and stopped long before an accident occurs if it strikes any overhanging objects such as bridges, overhead signs, or power lines.
Escort/Pilot Car Equipment
An escort car normally carries a noticeable “OVERSIZED LOAD” sign that cautions other roadway occupants that a heavy load is following. Usually, escorts also have flags and flashing lights that catch the eye of others on the road. Finally, they will typically have a CB radio for connecting with the trucker driving the oversized load. These pilot cars also carry maps and emergency equipment, such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits, in case unforeseen circumstances occur to arise.