Simplify Your Oversize/Overweight Loads
Pilot cars are required to accompany a permitted vehicle as outlined in this paragraph and as specified in the permit.
Length. If the total length of the vehicle or combination, including a load on the combination, exceeds 90 feet, or if a load extends more than 15 feet beyond the rear of a combination, a pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle on all highways to warn and direct traffic, especially in lane change areas. The pilot car may temporarily lead the permitted vehicle to direct traffic while the vehicle or combination is negotiating a sharp or right angle turn.
Width. If the total width of the vehicle or combination including any load exceeds 13 feet:
1) A pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle to warn and direct traffic, when operating on highways having two or more lanes which carry traffic in the same direction as the permitted vehicle.
2) On highways having only one lane which carries traffic in the same direction as the permitted vehicle, a pilot car shall precede the permitted vehicle to warn and direct traffic.
3) A pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle when accompanied by a police escort.
Height. If the total height of the vehicle or combination, including a load, exceeds 14 feet, 6 inches, a pilot car shall precede the permitted vehicle by 1,000 feet to 3,000 feet on all highways, to detect critical overhead obstructions by means of a height pole or other height sensitizing device. Affected public utilities shall be notified by the permittee at least 24 hours prior to the permitted movement to arrange for the relocation of affected wires.
Weight. Pilot car requirements for overweight movements shall be as follows:
1) If the permit requires the permitted vehicle to travel over bridges at reduced speeds, a pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle to warn and direct traffic while the permitted vehicle is traveling at reduced speeds.
2) If the permit requires the permitted vehicle either to be the only vehicle on a bridge span or to occupy more than one lane while crossing a bridge, pilot cars shall precede and follow the permitted vehicle on each such bridge which supports two directional traffic. A pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle on each such bridge which supports one directional traffic.
Urbanized areas. Pilot cars shall precede and follow an oversize permitted vehicle operating within an urbanized area during hours of darkness. A permitted vehicle not capable of maintaining 40 m.p.h. on limited access highways within an urbanized area may be authorized to operate on limited access highways within an urbanized area only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., when accompanied with a following pilot car.
Nonurbanized areas. If the permitted vehicle or combination cannot maintain a minimum speed of 40 m.p.h. on limited access highways, a pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle to warn and direct traffic.
Pilot cars shall maintain visual and two-way radio contact with the permitted vehicle or combination during movement, except for intermittent interruptions which are not under the driver’s control, such as terrain or traffic interruptions.
Head lamps and rear lamps of a permitted vehicle or combination travelling with pilot car escort shall be illuminated during movement.
Pilot cars shall be equipped with one or two flashing or revolving amber lights, in accordance with sections 4572 and 6107 of the act (relating to visual signals on authorized vehicles; and designation of authorized vehicles by department) and § § 15.2 and 173.3 (relating to types of authorized vehicles; and display requirements). The flashing or revolving lights shall be continuously operated during movement.
Whenever the rear running lights, stop lights, turn signals or hazard warning lights required by the act are obstructed by the load on a vehicle or by a towed vehicle or its load, lighting equipment shall be displayed on the rear of the towed vehicle or load equivalent to the obstructed lights or signals.
1) Clean yellow warning signs at least 7 feet wide by at least 18 inches high and containing only the words ‘‘OVERSIZE LOAD’’ in black letters at least 10 inches high with a 2-inch letter stroke, shall be mounted on the front of the permitted oversize vehicle and on the rear of the permitted oversize vehicle or load, unless otherwise specified in the permit.
2) When a pilot car is required, a clean yellow warning sign at least 5 feet wide by at least 1 foot high containing only the words ‘‘OVERSIZE LOAD’’ in black letters at least 8 inches high shall be mounted on both the front and the rear of the pilot car.
3) When the load has been removed and the vehicle is no longer oversize, all ‘‘OVERSIZE LOAD’’ signs shall be removed or covered.
Points of excessive length (including an overlength vehicle or combination or a load extending more than 4 feet beyond the rear of a combination) and width, including an overwidth vehicle or a load extending beyond one or both sides of a vehicle or combination, shall be marked with clean, plain, red or fluorescent orange warning flags, at least 18 inches square.
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