Pilot Car Brokers and Load Boards
Pilot Car Brokers and Load Boards
Driving a pilot car is a great way to offer safety on the roads. It’s a position where you alert drivers to oversized loads and help oversized hauls get to their destination in good time.
Are you searching for new methods to find pilot car loads? Without clients to fill the week, you aren’t going to make the money you want for doing your job.
However, it can be challenging to get started as a pilot car operator. If you don’t have a network already, you may not know where to look. That’s why we want to share everything you need to know to find jobs and loads so you can get out on the road and do what you’re passionate about.
Use Pilot Car Loads
Do you need to find loads fast, without searching the entire Internet? If so, you need to try Pilot Car Loads. It features an all-in-one load app specifically created for pilot car drivers, trucking companies, pilot car companies, and trucking brokers. It also features a 30-day free trial so you can see if it offers what you need.
When you sign up, you have access to a nationwide load board with new leads every day. Trucking brokers and companies can post for free and you get load notifications sent to your phone as soon as they are posted. It doesn’t matter what mobile device you use since the app is available for iOS and Android.
Rather than sifting through tons of jobs that might be gone, use Pilot Car loads to meet your needs. Get access to all the loads in your area and start making more money using your skills as a pilot car driver.
Search the Internet
One of the common ways to pick up pilot car jobs is by searching right on Google. Use keywords related to your pilot car job desires and see what comes up. You’ll likely get thousands of pages to browse through that may offer pilot jobs for those in your area.
However, it can be challenging to sift through all the search results. Some of them may not offer jobs at all. Others may not have the most reputable loads. It’s important to do some research before taking on a pilot car job to make sure it meets your expectations and needs.
Do Some Networking
Another method of finding pilot car jobs is networking. This can be done offline, online, or both. On an offline basis, get involved with others who are in the same line of work. They might have recommendations about what kind of places are useful to find jobs nearby. Once you know some people who are looking for work, introduce yourself, and you could have a steady stream of jobs.
Online, consider job platforms like LinkedIn. You can find others who need pilot car drivers or those who do those jobs. You might be surprised by how much you can learn if you put yourself in the path of those who are in this line of work. Browse blogs, social media profiles, and other content.
Pilot Car Certifications and Training Required by State
Pilot Car Certifications and Training Required by State
Depending on the state you live in, there may be specific training requirements and certifications needed before you drive a pilot car. This isn’t the case for every state, but 14 of them have specific guidelines for pilot car drivers. Knowing what is required ensures you meet regulatory requirements when you carry out your job in various locations.
Many states also honor and accept certifications for other states. Below, we’ll talk about the requirements by state and which states they reciprocate with. This will ensure you have met all requirements before heading out to help with a load as a pilot car driver. If you live in any of the 14 states below, make sure you know the requirements and are following them.
As of now, there are no state certificates specifically honored or accepted in Alabama except for their own.
Drivers need to be at least 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license. In addition, it’s required to have completed an escort flagging or pilot driving course that meets or exceeds the required course within 12 months of a course being made available.
Arizona accepts pilot car certifications from Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
Pilot car certification is required in Arizona. However, certification can come from another state listed above. After taking training classes, applicants need to pass a written test on traffic control and best practices with a score of 80% or above. Once that is complete, a certification card will be issued and the driver’s name will be listed in a statewide database.
The certifications from Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington are accepted in Colorado.
Colorado requires pilot car certification for drivers. Certifications from the states listed above can also be used in place of a Colorado version. Several documents are needed to be a pilot driver on highways in the state. These include a valid certification, CDOT rules and regulations, a pilot escort and oversize map, vertical clearances map, bridge weight limit map, hazardous and nuclear material route restrictions map, and proof of insurance in the amount of at least $1,000,000 combined single limit or commercial liability insurance. You must have a driving record free of alcohol or drug-related offenses and no moving violation penalties assessed at six or more points.
Florida honors pilot car certifications from Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Pilot drivers in Florida must be at least 18. In addition, it’s required to complete an eight-hour defensive driving course provided by the National Safety Council or have a Class A, B, or C commercial driver’s license. You must be Florida qualified or qualified by a state with equal or stricter guidelines. All of these documents should be available upon request as a pilot car driver.
Georgie accepts Arizona, Colorado, and Utah certifications but the same doesn’t apply backward. However, reciprocity from both ends applies to Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Washington.
Georgia pilot car drivers must be instructed in effective and safe escort skills through an examination that documents a comprehensive course. Escort drivers must be certified by Georgia or another state or be a member of law enforcement. Drivers must be 18 years of age with a Class A commercial license or 21 or older. A valid driver’s license is required without restrictions other than for corrective lenses and no convictions of driving recklessly or impaired in the last year. You must have documentation of a defensive driving course and complete an eight-hour course with an exam score of 80% or better.
Minnesota offers reciprocity to pilot car certifications from Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington,
A certified pilot escort is required under Minnesota statutes. Certifications from the states listed above are also accepted. A driver training course must be completed and an exam passed. Drivers must be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle being driven. The initial course costs $180 and an additional four-year certification is available for $90.
In North Carolina, full reciprocity is available with Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Washington. However, certifications are accepted from Colorado, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.
North Carolina requires pilot drivers to be certified after taking an eight-hour course. The initial certification lasts for four years after the issue date. To apply, complete the course and submit an Escort Vehicle Operator Application to the Oversize/Overweight Permit Unit’s office within six months of completion. A certified driving record must also be submitted. New requirements involve submitting documentation of a defensive driving course approved by the National Safety Council.
New York does not accept certifications from any other state in the country.
In order to qualify as a pilot car driver, you must be 21 years of age or older. You will need a valid New York driver’s license or a license from the state you are a resident of. The final step is to pass the Escort Driver’s Certification Test. Visit a DMV office that offers the test to complete your application and take the written test. If you pass, you will be certified to offer pilot car services.
Oklahoma offers reciprocity with Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Caroline, Utah, and Washington.
You will need to be certified by the DPS to be a pilot car driver in the state. You also need at least $1,000,000 in insurance coverage for property damage or bodily injury caused while operating a pilot vehicle. To get certified, you will need a copy of your driving record and certification of insurance. Classes are typically eight hours long and provide all the information you need to pass a test to become an escort driver in Oklahoma.
Pennsylvania accepts certifications from Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. Colorado and Utah are also accepted as part of the RSA Network.
Pennsylvania requires pilot car operators to be licensed and certified. Those who wish to be certified must be at least 21, have experience escorting loads, and have a valid driver’s license. The course is eight hours and requires a driver to pass a written exam. Other documentation needed includes the completion of a defensive driving course and a flagger training course.
Pilot car driver reciprocity is provided to Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Washington by Utah.
Being licensed and certified is required for pilot car drivers in the state of Utah. The course covers rules on oversize load movements, escort operations, flagging maneuvers, planning and communication, vehicle positioning, rail grade crossing safety, routing techniques, and insurance coverage requirements. After the course is completed, a 40-question test is provided with fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, and true and false questions. Students must get at least 80% to be certified.
In Virginia, the following states have reciprocity: Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington.
As of 2014, Virginia enacted a law requiring a driver training course for those who wish to act as pilot car drivers. Successfully completing the course is required before you may take a knowledge test at a Virginia DMV center. Other requirements include being 18 years old and having a valid driver’s license.
Right now, Wisconsin does not list specific states that have reciprocity or certification acceptance available.
All pilot drivers in Wisconsin must be at least 18 years of age and have an operator’s license valid in the state. It is required to complete a course and pass a test to be certified as a driver. A defensive driving course must also be completed. It is illegal to act as a pilot car driver without these prerequisites. All documentation must be available to show to authorities if needed.
States with reciprocity in Washington include Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia.
Washington legislature requires a certification for pilot car operations who accompany extra-legal loads. The driver must have a Washington state driver’s license and a pilot vehicle certificate. Other states listed above can act as a Washington certification. All laws and requirements must be followed while driving. Drivers must complete an eight-hour course and get at least 80% on a written test to qualify.
The 14 states above have certifications and training specifically for pilot car drivers. This is a way to ensure the safety of those carrying loads, those acting as pilot car drivers, and anyone else on the road. Many of the requirements are similar but it’s important to know what is required in your location.
While the other 36 states do not have required certifications, this is likely to change in the future. As more people look for safety measures, certification is a solid option. If driving a pilot car is something you plan to do in the future, make sure you understand the requirements in any states you operate!
What Is a Pilot Car?
The most common use of a pilot car is as a way to guide a truck with wide, heavy, or oversized loads of freight.
Also known as escort vehicles, pilot cars can also be used to support and guide airplanes on runways, convoys of huge vehicles, and cars moving through construction sites.
This article will delve into how pilot car drivers are helpful with moving large freight and when they might be needed.
Why Pilot Cars Are Used for Wide or Heavy Loads
A pilot car is used as a safety mechanism for trucks moving heavy, wide, or oversized freight. Professionals specialize in pilot driving and do work across the country. Pilot drivers understand the process of moving items over states, cities, or the entire country. They know how to move large loads safely for the freight, drivers, and roadways.
- A pilot driver has a variety of responsibilities. These include:
- Making sure travel is safe for both the truck driver and those on the roadway with them
- Preventing any damage to important or expensive freight
- Avoiding accidents and the increased insurance rates that come with them
- Coordinating moving obstructions like signals, signs, and wires when needed
- Preventing any damage to infrastructure and roads while moving
- Avoiding traffic, managing traffic flow, and preventing delays when possible
You’ve probably seen pilot cars when you are out on the road. They might be cars, pickup trucks, or SUVs that drive behind or in front of a tractor-trailer with an overweight or wide load. While driving is part of the job, the list above gives evidence that there is a lot more to the process than just that.
When you drive around, you might have noticed clearance signs near tunnels or weight signs before going onto a bridge. For the average person, these signs don’t mean a lot. However, with tall or wide freight, the warnings are very important.
The pilot car driver who leads the big truck looks for potential traffic, accidents, obstacles, and interference. Next, they share those things with the truck driver to determine what steps to take next. Pilot car drivers can even assist trucks with switching lanes without compromising the safety of other drivers.
Common Equipment Used on Pilot Cars
Most pilot cars will have easy-to-see signs that alert drivers that an oversized load is behind or in front of it. Flashing lights are common, as are bright flags that catch drivers’ eyes. In addition, a pilot car driver will have a CB radio to communicate with the person driving the truck with the large load. Maps and emergency items like first aid kits and fire extinguishers are also often on pilot cars.
Height poles and other equipment for pilot cars will also be on hand if the freight is very high. If the tunnel, overpass, or cables touch the height pole on the pilot car, the driver will be alerted and a new route will be chosen to avoid harm or damage to the truck and its load.
Requirements for Pilot Car Drivers
Every state has different requirements for pilot cars. These can also vary based on the size of the load. Some of the things that may vary by location include the following:
- Insurance coverage
- Flags, lights, and signage
- Use of one or two pilot cars
- Required operational equipment
- Use of a height pole if freight is tall
- Whether pilot cars are behind or ahead of trucks
It’s important to check the pilot car requirements and oversize permits based on the state to avoid legal issues, accidents, or damage. Having a pilot car available can cut down on the chance of damaging a load or running into unnecessary delays.
Pilot Car Equipment Requirements & Full List
List of Pilot Car Equipment with Requirements
Pilot cars are responsible for escorting vehicles carrying oversized loads on our nation’s highways and interstates. Signage attached to the car or truck indicates a vehicle behind or ahead carrying an oversized load, and flashing yellow lights catch the attention of other drivers.
However, did you know that there are other requirements in terms of pilot car equipment?
In this post, we’ll explore the full list of pilot car equipment requirements so that you can be prepared. We’ll also discuss where to buy pilot car equipment, different requirements per state, and other important topics.
Let’s begin with the vehicle. What can you drive as a pilot vehicle? Most states stipulate that you can use any passenger car or truck that is between 2,000 and 26,000 lbs., although some states only stipulate minimum weight requirements.
Some states also mandate the wheelbase dimensions. For example, New York requires vehicles to have a wheelbase of at least 100 inches. Not sure if your vehicle meets state minimum requirements? Check with your state’s department of transportation (DOT) or equivalent or a resource like the National Pilot Car Association.
Pilot Car Equipment Requirements
Now that we’ve discussed the vehicle itself, let’s turn our attention to the equipment you’ll need to legally use it as a pilot vehicle. The standard list looks something like this:
- 18-inch Stop/Slow Paddle – Note that most states have a minimum size requirement for the text on the paddle. For instance, Florida requires that the text be no smaller than six inches.
- Amber Beacon Light – You’ll need at least one spare amber beacon light for use with your pilot car. Pilot car lights provide visibility and attract the attention of other drivers. Note that pilot car lights come in many forms, and modern vehicles usually use a light bar, rather than individual lights.
- Reflective Triangles – Most states require that you carry multiple reflective triangles (9) in case of a breakdown.
- Class II ANSI Safety Vest – You’ll need to always wear an orange safety vest, even when inside the pilot vehicle.
- 18-inch x 18-inch Red Oversized Load Flags – Your vehicle will need three (3) of these flags and they should be displayed prominently on the vehicle.
- 10-lb. Fire Extinguisher – You’ll need a 10-lb. fire extinguisher (fully charged and within the required date range) within your vehicle in case of emergencies. Note that some states require more than one fire extinguisher. For instance, Florida requires that you carry two (2) five-lb. fire extinguishers, but New York requires just one 10-lb. extinguisher.
- Reflective Traffic Cones – You’ll need three (3) 36-inch reflective traffic cones to help warn other drivers in emergencies.
- Oversized Load Banner – Your vehicle will need an oversize load banner at the front and rear (you’ll need 2). Note that most states require that the lettering measure at least 10 inches, but you should check with your state’s DOT for relevant minimum text size. You can purchase pilot car sign kits that include oversized load banners, as well as red caution flags.
- Hard Hat – Pilot truck drivers are required to always wear a hard hat. Note that some states may specify a particular color (orange is common).
- Flares – In case of emergency, you’ll need to carry roadside flares that burn for at least 15 minutes. Most states require that you have at least eight (8) of them.
- 24-inch x 24-inch High Pole Flag – Also called a stick flag, this measures 24-inches high and wide and must have weighted tips.
- CB/Handheld Radio – You’ll need an operational radio for communication with the load-carrying truck, as well as other team members. Handheld radios are usually acceptable.
- Flashlight – You’ll need an operational flashlight for emergencies.
- Spare Batteries – You are required to have spare batteries for your flashlight and other uses.
- First Aid Kit – Pilot car equipment includes a fully-stocked first aid kit. Make sure to check the expiration dates on medicines regularly and replace them as necessary.
- Traffic Wand – Most states require that you carry a six (6) inch red or orange traffic wand in the pilot car. The wand attaches to the end of the flashlight and helps with directing traffic. Note that some states require a nine (9) inch cone instead.
- High Pole – You don’t always have to operate a high pole, but if in a situation where you do, make sure it is non-conductive and that you can easily set measurements accurately.
Other Important Escort Equipment
In addition to the required equipment listed above, you’ll find some “nice to have” items that will keep you safer on the road. For instance, make sure that your vehicle has a spare tire and a jack. It’s worth upgrading from the travel jack the automaker included from the factory, too.
If you’re operating in a state that requires pilot car drivers to be certified, you’ll also want insignia such as patches that highlight that you’re a certified pilot car driver/escort.
Note that some states require you to have signage on your vehicle that includes the business name and the phrase “certified escort” or some variation of that.
What About Used Pilot Car Equipment?
You can usually purchase used pilot car equipment online or from other operators at a discount compared to new equipment. However, avoid buying used first aid kits.
It’s also important to inspect any used equipment thoroughly before purchasing it for signs of damage, discoloration, or wear that might compromise its operation.
Where to Buy Pilot Car Equipment?
You can buy pilot car equipment in many places. Amazon is a great resource if you know what you’re looking for, but there are other options.
Barney’s is one of the best-known names in the pilot car equipment industry and operates Pilot Car Superstore, where you can buy everything from light bars to sign racks to fit a variety of different vehicles. AMC Pilot Car Supply is another site worth exploring for your pilot car equipment needs.
With the list of pilot car equipment above, you should be well on your way to having everything you need to be successful in this field. Make sure to check your state’s DMV/DOT for specific equipment requirements and updates.
Once you have the required equipment check our portal for available pilot car loads.
Top Benefits of Becoming a Pilot Car Driver
Thinking about becoming a pilot car driver? Here are a few of the top reasons our drivers love their jobs.
1. Work where you want, when you want
Pilot Car drivers love creating their own schedule and the flexibility the job provides them. You can travel across the United States or stay local to your region. Pilot Car Loads’ job board ensures our drivers are able to easily find new jobs that fit their schedule. Become a Pro Member to get these opportunities right to your phone!
2. Certification is easy!
While state requirements vary, training to become a pilot car driver is quick and efficient, meaning you’ll be prepared and securing jobs in no time! There are several training programs and schools to check out if you are looking for help in getting started.
3. Control your earnings
Pilot Car drivers are compensated based on how often they drive and the length of their trips. Trips with more mileage can result in hefty payouts! Pilot Car Loads’ job board helps you receive alerts to pick up the best jobs. This puts you in the driver's seat- there is no limit on the amount you can earn.
These are only a few of the many reasons to learn more about becoming a pilot car driver. It is a growing profession with demand from several important industries.
What are your favorite parts about being a pilot truck driver?