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New Hampshire Pilot Cars / Escort Vechicle Requirements

When Escort Vehicles are Required

(a) The number of escort vehicle(s) required for manufactured housing, modular buildings, and building components shall be as provided in Tra 304.13(g). 

(b) No escort shall be required for a vehicle and load with: 

  1. An overall width of less than 12 feet 0 inches; 
  2. An overall length of less than 90 feet 0 inches; and 
  3. A rear overhang of less than 15 feet 0 inches, provided that load marking flags are displayed as required in Tra 304.15. 

c) An applicant for a permit under Tra 304 shall be required to furnish one non-police escort vehicle for an oversize vehicle, object or vehicle and load, if: 

  1. The overall width is equal to or greater than 12 feet 0 inches and less than 14 feet 0 inches; 
  2. The overall length is equal to or greater than 90 feet 0 inches; 
  3. The overall height is greater than 14 feet 0 inches; or 
  4. There is a front or rear overhang of equal to or greater than 15 feet 0 inches. 

(d) An applicant for a permit under Tra 304 shall be required to furnish a second non-police escort vehicle for an oversize load or hauling vehicle if the vehicle and load have a combination of a rear overhang of 15 feet 0 inches or more and a width of 12 feet 0 inches or more. 

(e) If the vehicle and load are 100 feet 0 inches or more in length, one state police escort vehicle, in addition to any non-police escort vehicle required under (c) or (d) above, shall be required, unless the state police determine that weather conditions, visibility, traffic flow, or other conditions do not compromise safe movement. 

(f) If the overall width exceeds 14 feet 0 inches, a total of 2 state police escorts shall be required, including any state police escorts already required under (e) above. 

(g) No more than 2 non-police escorts shall be required under (c) and (d) above, but any state police escort(s) required under (e) or (f) above shall be in addition to any required non-police escort(s). 

(h) If the movement requires highway closure or closure of a portion of a highway, 3 state police escorts shall be required, provided that any state police escorts already required under (e)-(f) above shall be included in counting the 3 state police escorts required under this subparagraph (h). 

i) The permit office shall determine the number of non-police and state police escort vehicles required to safely effect the required traffic control of any move, taking into consideration the safety of the public, the characteristics of the specific route, anticipated traffic, and the reduction of the likelihood of damage to roadside objects. If the permit office determines that the number of escort vehicle(s) required under (c)-(g) above is inadequate for these purposes, the permit office shall require sufficient additional non-police or state police, or both, escort vehicle(s) to safely accomplish the move. 

Escort Vehicle Requirements

A non-police escort vehicle shall be a motor vehicle the size of a compact car or larger, registered and inspected, with the following equipment installed: 

1. An operating, top-mounted, flashing or strobe amber light visible for 1000 feet in all directions; 

2. A 2-way radio using the same frequency as the 2-way radio in the vehicle it is escorting allowing contact with the permitted vehicle and all escort vehicles, including state police, at all times; and 

3. Two warning signs shall be displayed during the move on the front and back of the vehicle or one sign above the roofline where it is visible from the front and rear meeting the following standards: 

  • The sign shall contain the legend reading “OVERSIZE LOAD” in black letters not less than 10 inches high of a 1.4-inch stroke on a yellow background; 
  • The sign shall be made of durable material unaffected by moisture; and 
  • The shape of the warning sign shall be varied to fit the escort vehicle, with a minimum size of 5 feet 0 inches wide and 12 inches high. 

The following shall apply to the operation of an escort vehicle(s): 

  1. The driver shall maintain 2-way radio contact with the permitted vehicle and all escort vehicles and shall keep the permitted vehicle and other escort vehicles, including state police, in the line of sight at all times; 
  2. All drivers shall operate escort vehicles with headlights turned on in the low beam position at all times; 
  3. When one escort is required, the driver shall position the vehicle to precede a load on undivided highways and follow the load on divided highways; 
  4. When 2 escorts are required, one escort shall precede the load and the other shall follow the load; 
  5. When traffic following a permit move has accumulated to 7 or more vehicles because of the permitted move, the driver(s) shall yield the right-of-way at the nearest accessible, safe location for these vehicles to pass; and 
  6. When crossing a bridge on a 2-way highway, when the bridge width is 24 feet 0 inches or less, the police escort shall stop all traffic while the load is on the bridge.

Source of information: 

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