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Alaska Pilot Cars / Escort Vechicle Requirements

When a pilot car or truck escort is required in Alaska:

Width:

Over 10' 6” up to 12' are required to have one pilot car.

Over 12′ up to 14′ are required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot cars or escort vehicles. 

Over 14′ and up to 18′ are required to have 3 pilot cars or truck escorts. 

Over 18′ and up to 22′ are required to have 4 pilot cars or truck escort vehicles.

Over 22' & > rolling road closure are required 5 pilot cars or truck escort vehicles.

Length:

Greater than 85' are required to have one pilot car.

Greater than 100' are required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot cars or escort vehicles.

Greater than 150’ are required to have 3 pilot cars or truck escorts.

Overhangs:

Greater than 10' Less than 20' are required to have one pilot car.

Greater than 20' are required to have one pilot car unless:

Rear greater than 35' are required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot cars or escort vehicles.

Front greater than 60’ are required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot cars or escort vehicles.

Overweight:

With special bridge conditions are required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot cars or escort vehicles.

Height: 

Greater than 17’ are required to have one pilot car.

A pilot/escort vehicle is defined as an extension of the warning system of the oversize vehicle or vehicle with load. The purpose of the pilot/escort vehicle is to provide maximum warning to other traffic and traffic control/flagging. Failure of pilot/escort vehicle operators or flag persons to comply with these provisions in properly warning and directing traffic is considered a violation of the terms of the permit by the permit holder. 

Pilot/escort vehicles: 

Size: May be either a passenger vehicle or light truck not to exceed a gross vehicle weight rating of 19,000 pounds. The requirements of commercial vehicles apply if the pilot/escort vehicle has a GVWR greater than 10,000 lbs. for vehicles used in interstate commerce and 14,000 lbs. for vehicles used in intrastate commerce. 

Insurance: Must carry commercial vehicle insurance. 

Passengers: Shall not carry passengers not authorized by the carrier. 

Tiller man: Shall not act as a tiller man for any load. 

Load: Shall not carry a load that exceeds legal dimensions and/or weight or that obscures signage or lighting requirements. 

Oversize Signs/Beacons: The required pilot/escort vehicle(s) shall be equipped with “OVERSIZE”, “WIDE LOAD” or “LONG LOAD” signs and a roof mounted amber high- intensity rotating, flashing, oscillating, or strobe type beacon which must be visible for a minimum of 500 feet. When a pilot/escort vehicle is required to lead the oversize vehicle or vehicle with load, the “OVERSIZE”, “WIDE LOAD” or LONG LOAD” sign shall be placed on the front of the pilot/escort vehicle. When following the oversize vehicle or vehicle with load, the “OVERSIZE“, “WIDE LOAD” or “LONG LOAD” sign will be placed on the rear of the pilot/escort vehicle. 

Shall precede the oversize vehicle or vehicle with load, unless otherwise stated on the face on the permit, when one pilot/escort vehicle is required. 

Shall precede and follow the oversize vehicle or vehicle with load when two  pilot/escort vehicles are required. 

Shall remain right of the center line of the roadway at all times except when prevented by the physical limitations of the roadway or because specific permit conditions indicate otherwise. 

Shall remain on the roadway until the permitted load has cleared the roadway. 

Must not pre-empt traffic in the opposing lane. Opposing traffic is not to be stopped, except in extreme situations. 

Shall not be used to tow another vehicle while being utilized as a pilot/escort vehicle. 

Pilot/escort vehicle shall carry the following items of equipment at all times when escorting an a vehicle or load: 


  • 18 or 24 inch Stop/slow paddle sign 
  • Three bi-directional emergency retroreflective triangles 
  • One 5 pound B,C fire extinguisher. 
  • A highly reflectorized vest, shirt or jacket. 
  • A first aid kit. 
  • A flashlight with a red cone or lighted wand and extra batteries. 


Flag persons: Flaggers and/or pilot/escort vehicle operators shall complete a State-approved and accepted flagger training. A fee may be involved for this training. Proof of training must be carried when operating as a flagger or pilot/escort vehicle. 

Shall not be less than 18 years of age and capable of carrying out flagging responsibilities in accordance with the Alaska State Traffic Manual regulations. 

Must be wearing a high-visibility or fluorescent orange jacket or vest when out of pilot vehicle. Must be equipped with a “SLOW/STOP” paddle (black letters with orange background/white letters on red background) and a red hand flag. These items are to be utilized by the pilot/escort vehicle operator in the event that it becomes necessary to park the pilot/escort vehicle and stop or control highway traffic. At no time will the "SLOW/STOP” paddle and/or red flags be displayed out of the window of a moving vehicle. The retroreflective clothing shall meet the requirements for flagging activities stated in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices available at http://www.dot.state.ak.us/. 

Radio Communications: Two-way radio communications is required between transport vehicle and pilot/escort vehicle(s). 

Communications shall monitored at all times between pilot/escort vehicles and the transport vehicle during the move, except in properly marked zones where blasting operations are being conducted. 

The power unit/transport vehicle must have an operable CB radio. In addition, all pilot/escort vehicles must have operable communications between each other and the power unit/transport vehicle; company radios are an acceptable form of such communications devices. 

Convoyed off-road, self-propelled equipment shall not require radios as front and rear pilot/escort vehicles are equipped with radios. 

Minimum Distances: All oversize and/or overweight vehicles not in convoy shall maintain a minimum distance of 800 to 1,500 feet from any other oversize vehicle or vehicles with load traveling with pilot/escort vehicles in the same direction on the same highway in rural areas except for push trucks. 

Front pilot/escort vehicles will travel ahead of the oversize vehicle or vehicle with load in rural areas as conditions dictate. 

Rear pilot/escort vehicles will travel behind the oversize vehicle or vehicle with load in rural areas as conditions dictate. 

In urban areas, the distance between pilot/escort vehicle(s) and the oversize vehicle or vehicle with load shall be reduced as local conditions dictate to provide maximum warning. 


Source of information: http://dnr.alaska.gov/ag/Index/PermitsManual.pdf 

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/mscve/permits/forms/General_Information_Sheet.pdf 

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