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Idaho Pilot Cars / Escort Vechicle Requirements

When Escort Vehicles are Required: 

Pilot/Escort Vehicle Travel Requirements and Vertical Clearance of Structures Idaho State Highway System


Route Color

Overwidth  only

Number and location of pilot cars

Overlength only

Number and location of pilot cars

Overlength and width

Number and location of pilot cars

 

8’7”-10’

1 Front

Over 75’

1 Front

Over 75’

8’7”-12’6”

1 Front

1 Rear

10’1”-12’6”

1 Front

1 Rear

 

8’7”-12’

N/A

Over 100’

1 Front

Over 100’

8’7”-12’

1 Front

12’1”-14’

1 Front

12’1”-18’

1 Front

1 Rear

14’1”-18’

1 Front

1 Rear

 

8’7”-15’

N/A

 

 

 

 

15’1”-18’

1 Rear

 

Pilot/Escort Vehicles

Pilot/escort vehicle(s) shall be furnished by the permittee and shall be either passenger car(s), truck(s), or vehicles authorized by the Special Permit Office, however shall not exceed 16,000 pounds. The truck(s) used as pilot/escort vehicle(s) shall not be loaded in such a manner as to cause confusion to the public as to which vehicle is the one under escort. Vehicles towing trailers shall not qualify as pilot/escort vehicles. 

Loads Over Sixteen Feet High. Height poles are required in the front of the pilot/escort vehicles leading all loads over 16 feet high with a non-metallic height pole deployed. 

Pilot/Escort Vehicle Sign Requirements

Oversize Load Signs. All pilot/escort vehicles while escorting an oversize load shall display a sign on the roof top of the vehicle having the words OVERSIZE LOAD. Such signs shall not be displayed and shall be considered illegal except when the pilot/escort vehicle is actually piloting/escorting an oversize load. 

Dimensions. 12 inches high by 5 feet wide and 8 inch high letters, 1 inch stroke width, and black letters on yellow background.  

Pilot/Escort Vehicle Lighting Requirements 

Multiple Lights. Flashing or rotating amber lights displayed on the pilot/escort vehicle shall be mounted at each end of the required OVERSIZE LOAD sign above the roofline of the vehicle and be visible from the front, rear, and sides of the pilot/escort vehicle. These lights shall meet the minimum standards outlined under oversize vehicle and/or load lighting requirements and shall be on at all times during escorting movements.  

Single Light. As an alternate, a pilot/escort vehicle may display one rotating or flashing amber beacon visible from a minimum of 500 feet, mounted above the roofline and visible from the front, and rear, and sides of the pilot/escort vehicle. The light shall be on at all times during escorting movements. 

Light Bars. Light bars, when in use shall display amber colored lights meeting the minimum visibility requirements, found in IDAPA 39.03.03, “Rules Governing Special Permits – General Conditions and Requirements,” Section 070. 

Pilot/Escort Lights On During Movement of Escorted Load. The pilot/escort vehicle’s headlights and taillights shall be on while escorting the permitted load. 

Pilot/Escort Vehicle Equipment

Required Equipment to be Carried in a Pilot/Escort Vehicle. A pilot/escort vehicle shall carry the following items of equipment when piloting/escorting an over dimensional vehicle and/or load:

  • Standard 18 inch STOP and SLOW paddle sign. 
  • Three bi-directional emergency reflective triangles. 
  • A minimum of one five pound B, C, fire extinguisher. 
  • An ANSI Class 2 or 3 safety vest, shirt, or jacket either orange or yellow, which must be worn by the operator when working out of the vehicle during daylight hours. 
  • An ANSI Class3 safety vest, shirt or jacket either orange or yellow, which must be worn by the operator when working out of the vehicle during nighttime hours. 
  • Two spare oversize load signs for escorted loads meeting the size requirements of Section 300 
  • Non-conductive non-destructive height pole with a flexible tip on the front of the pilot/escort vehicle for determining vertical clearances (when required). 
  • Valid drivers license. 
  • Two-Way Radio. 
  • Hardhat. 
  • Flashlight (operable). 
  • First Aid Kit. 
  • Two-Way Radio. On all movements requiring a pilot/escort vehicle, both the towing unit and the pilot/escort vehicle(s) shall be equipped with two-way radio equipment licensed under Federal Communications Commission regulations adequate to provide reliable voice communication between the drivers thereof at all times during the movement of the piloted/escorted vehicle and/or load. Transmitting and receiving capabilities of the radio equipment used shall be adequate to provide the required communication over a minimum distance of one-half mile separation under conditions normally encountered along the proposed route. 

Pilot/Escort Vehicle Placement

Front Pilot/Escort Vehicle. The movement of an oversize vehicle and/or load may be preceded by a pilot/escort vehicle on those sections of highway where the vehicle and/or load cannot travel within its proper travelway lane. 

Rear Pilot/Escort Vehicle. As authorized by Section 49-940, Idaho Code, when the width of a load obstructs the driver’s view to the rear so they cannot see 200 feet behind them, a rear escort shall be required to accompany the oversize load and to communicate with the driver of the permitted load concerning impeded overtaking traffic for the purpose of providing passing opportunity. 

Advance Pilot/Escort Vehicle. A third pilot/escort vehicle may be required when the load is of such extreme dimensions for the route of travel as to require holding opposing traffic at turnouts and intersections to provide for passage of the load. 

First Movement from the Forest. A pilot/escort vehicle is not required on the first movement from the forest of tree-length logs or poles if the overall length does not exceed 110 feet. Secondary movements must comply with the requirements stated on the Pilot/Escort Vehicle and Travel Time Requirements map.

Spacing. Approximately 1,000 feet shall be maintained in rural areas between the piloting/escorting vehicle and any oversize load. This spacing may be reduced in urban areas when necessary to provide traffic control for turning movements. 


Source of information: https://itd.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Permit_Manual.pdf 

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