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Connecticut Pilot Cars / Escort Vechicle Requirements

When Escort Vehicles are Required: 

  • Over 14’ high – 1 front pilot with height pole
  • Over 15’ high & 15’ wide-1 front pilot and 2 rear pilots

Divided highways:

  • 12' wide or under,100' long or under, mobile homes 10' wide or under, 80' long or under-no pilot car required
  • Over 12' wide, 120' long, mobile homes under 12' wide – 1 rear pilot car required
  • Over 13'6" wide, over 120' long; mobiles over 12' wide or over 85' long – 1 front and 1 rear pilot car required

Undivided highways:

  • 12' wide or under, over 80' long, mobiles 10' wide or under, or over 80' long – 1 rear pilot car required
  • Over 12' wide, over 100' long; mobiles over 10' wide, over 85' long – 1 front and 1 rear pilot car required

Escort (pilot car) vehicles and flagmen 

(a) When specified in the permit, it is the responsibility of the permittee to provide escort vehicles. Failure of pilot car operators and flagmen to comply with these regulations in properly warning and directing traffic is considered a violation of the terms of the permit. 

(b) Flagmen, in order to warn and direct approaching traffic, must wear a red jacket or vest and use a red flag to direct traffic. 

(c) When a single escort/pilot car is required, it shall precede on two or three lane conventional roads or follow on four or more lane divided roads. When two pilot cars are required, one shall precede and one shall follow the piloted load or vehicle. Exceptions to these provisions are to be specifically stated on the face of the permit. The permit may require additional pilot cars. 

(d) Pilot cars and the OOV shall remain right of the centerline of the roadway at all times except when prevented by the physical limitations of the highway. The use of a pilot car does not grant to the Permittee the right to pre-empt the opposing traffic lane. When it becomes necessary because of physical limitations of the highway to use a portion of the opposing traffic lane, the OOV shall not occupy that lane until it has been advised by the pilot car that the lane is clear of all oncoming traffic. Opposing traffic is not to be stopped except in extreme emergencies. It shall be the responsibility of the OOV to stop safely and wait until the opposing lane is free of traffic before proceeding. Pilot cars shall not be used to tow another vehicle while being utilized as a pilot car. Convoying, or using one pilot car for more than one OOV, will not be permitted unless specifically authorized on the face of the permit. All vehicles or loads exceeding 12 feet in width, or the lane width, will require a pilot car. In some areas a pilot car will be required for loads of lesser width or additional pilot cars will be called for depending on the character of the road and the traffic volume. (e) All OOV’s exceeding 25 feet front/rear overhang measured from the last visible means of support will require a pilot car. Pilot cars will also be required for loads where any part of the vehicle or load will be expected to encroach on opposing traffic lanes due to alignment, lane width, traffic density, etc., or if assistance is needed at on or off ramps in interchange areas. The interval between pilot car(s) and the OOV shall provide the maximum warning to other traffic and shall be adequate to allow traffic to pass each vehicle separately. Pilot cars shall be in accordance with the following requirements: 

  1. VEHICLE SIZE. Minimum width—60 inches; maximum—11 ⁄ 2 ton capacity. 
  2. LIGHTS. Display top mounted flashing or rotating amber light(s), which must be operated at all times while escorting an OOV unless otherwise specified on the face of the permit. Lights shall be visible to the front when leading, and to the rear when following from a distance of not less than one thousand feet. 
  3. SIGNS. Display a top-mounted sign with minimum height of the bottom of the sign 48 inches above the roadway. The sign shall contain the message “OVERSIZE LOAD AHEAD/FOLLOWING,” “WIDE LOAD AHEAD/FOLLOWING,” or “LONG LOAD AHEAD/FOLLOWING” may be substituted for the “OVERSIZE LOAD AHEAD/FOLLOWING” sign. The sign shall be painted with 8-inch minimum height black letters on a yellow background, using a minimum 1-inch brush stroke. Signs shall not be displayed when not escorting an OOV. 
  4. RADIO. Two-way radio communications between pilot cars and the OOV is required.
  5. RED FLAGS. Each pilot vehicle shall be equipped with red hand flag, and a red vest or jacket. These items are to be utilized by the pilot car operator in the event it becomes necessary to park the pilot car and stop or control highway traffic. Flags (18″ square) must be displayed on all corners of the OOV and on the front or rear corners of the escort vehicle whichever is appropriate.

Source of information: 

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