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Arkansas Pilot Cars / Escort Vechicle Requirements

When Escort vehicles are required: 

Over Length 

One escort shall follow a vehicle with a load of 100 feet or more in length on Interstates, controlled access, and divided highways with four or more lanes, and lead a vehicle with a load of o100 feet or more in length on all other highways.

Two escorts (one leading and one following) are required on all highways with fewer than four lanes for a load that exceeds 115 feet. 

Over Width Vehicles/Loads – Other Than Manufactured Homes 

Except for manufactured home units, on any controlled access, divided highway with four or more lanes, a permitted vehicle or load in excess of 14 feet in width, inclusive of overhangs, clearance lights, eaves, or any other appurtenance, shall be accompanied by one escort vehicle. The escort vehicle shall travel behind the permitted vehicle or load a distance of 200 feet while in continuous travel. 

Except for manufactured home units, on all highways that are not controlled access, divided highways with four or more lanes, the movement of any vehicle, which exceeds 14 feet in width, shall be accompanied by two escort vehicles. One escort vehicle shall precede the permitted vehicle, and one escort shall follow it. 

Except for manufactured home units, on all highways, that are not controlled access, divided highways with four or more lanes, the movement of a permitted vehicle over 12 feet in width but not more than 14 feet in width, inclusive of overhangs, clearance lights, eaves, or any other appurtenance, shall be accompanied by one escort vehicle that shall travel in front of the permitted vehicle. 

Over Height Loads 

Any vehicle or load that exceeds 15 feet in height is required to have one escort vehicle equipped with a clearance bar that extends 6 inches above the permitted height preceding the load, unless otherwise specified on the permit 

If the overall height of the vehicle or load exceeds 17 feet, the mover shall obtain written agreements signed by the owners of overhead facilities (utilities, traffic signals, etc.) along the route and the move shall be accompanied by representatives of the owners or the mover shall obtain letters from the owners indicating they are aware of the height of the over height load and do not desire to have a representative accompany the move.

Additional Escorts 

The Permit Section may require additional escorts in the interest of safety of the motoring public and those persons involved in the movement of the permitted vehicle/load. Additionally, the Permit Section may require one or more vehicles from an appropriate law enforcement agency to accompany the movement.

Escort Requirements

Insurance: The amounts of bodily injury coverage should be in amounts of not less than $100,000 for each bodily injury or death, $300,000 for each accident, and property damage coverage of not less than $25,000 for each accident. ($325,000 dollars minimum combined single limit coverage).

Vehicle: An escort vehicle must be either a truck of not less than 1/4 ton rated load capacity or an automobile of not less than 2,000 pounds gross weight and must be properly licensed under the laws of the State of Arkansas and/or reciprocal agreements.

Identification:  The escort vehicle must have the name and address or telephone number an city of the company/owner of the escort vehicle on each door, plainly legible and visible to the motoring public.  Well known company logos are acceptable.  Logos/Names have to reflect what is shown on the documentation used for proof of insurance that is carried in the vehicle.

Signs: An escort vehicle accompanying an over-dimensional load shall display signs which state "OVERSIZE LOAD" except an escort vehicle accompanying a manufactured home unit shall display signs which state "OVERSIZE LOAD/OVERSIZE (width in feet) LOAD".  An example of the sign is "OVERSIZE 14 LOAD" (rounded up to the nearest whole foot). There signs shall be constructed of a durable material with a yellow background and black letters of a 2 inch stroke and a minimum height of 10 inches.

Safety Equipment:  All escort vehicles must be equipped with a 10 pound Class BC dry or equivalent chemical type fire extinguisher; 4 15-minute burning flares, light sticks or triangles; and any other device required by the Permit Section.

Lighting:  All escort vehicles must have operating either a rotating amber light or a strobe-type amber light. The specific requirements for each type are as follows:

Rotating Light:

  • Incandescent or halogen bulb lamps capable of emitting a minimum of 35,000 total candlepower factory certified.
  • Steady beam of light emitted.
  • Minimum lens height of 6 inches.
  • Horizontally visible from all directions (360 degrees).

Strobe Light:

  • Strobe type light source capable of emitting a minimum of 500,000 total candlepower, factory certified.
  • Flashing light capable of a minimum of 80 flashes per minute.
  • Minimum lens height of 3 and 1/2 inches.
  • Horizontally visible from all directions (360 degrees).

Regardless of the type of light utilized, the mounting of the light shall be on top of the escort vehicle.  In order to ensure 360 degree visibility, the light shall in no way be obstructed from view by any signs or appurtenances on the vehicle.

Flags:  There shall be two solid red flags, 18” square, mounted other than vertical or horizontal atop the escort vehicle (40 degrees to 70 degrees angle preferred).  These flags are not to extend more than 6” on either side of the vehicle and shall in no event exceed 8’0” in width at maximum spread.  Flags shall be mounted in line with the warning lights.

Clearance Bar: For overheight loads, it is required that a clearance bar of some design be attached to the escort vehicles to warn of any clearance problems of the load being escorted.

Communications:  All escort and towing vehicles shall be equipped for two-way radio communication  between vehicles.

Distance:  The escort and towing vehicle shall have a distance of 200 feet between them at all times.

Escort Vehicle Placement: 

  • Any vehicle which is overheight is required to have one escort vehicle which shall travel in front of the vehicle.
  • Any vehicle which requires two escort vehicles, one escort vehicle shall travel in the front and one escort vehicle shall travel behind the vehicle/cargo.
  • Escort placement is specified in Section III, Section V, Section VII, and Section VIII of this manual.
  • The Permit Section may make exception to these requirements.

Traffic Control: Escort vehicles serve as warning of a possible hazard to other traffic.  See provisions of Act 918 of 1991, Arkansas Code Annotated 27-35-213 and 27-35-310 for persons and payload issued overweight or oversize permits to stop and direct traffic in Section I, VII and VIII.


Source of information: http://www.arkansashighways.com/permits/regulations/escorts.htm 

http://www.arkansashighways.com/highway_police/2019%20PERMIT%20RULES.pdf 

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