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South Carolina Pilot Cars / Escort Vechicle Requirements

When escort vehicles are required:

Front Civilian Escorts: A front escort shall be present on all loads or mobile homes that exceed 12 feet in width up to and including 14 feet in width on two lane highways. The Department reserves the right to require a rear escort where it is deemed necessary for safety purposes. 

Front Lead Pole Escort: A front lead pole vehicle/escort shall be present on all loads 16 feet and higher. A route survey, certified as correct by the applicant, shall also be provided with application submittal. 

Front and Rear Civilian Escorts: A front and rear escort shall be present at all times with the following dimensions: 

  • All loads or mobile homes which exceed 14 feet in width up to and including 16 feet in width. 
  • Overall length of 125 feet and greater. 
  • Overhang exceeding 15 feet in length. 

Front and Rear Police/Civilian Escorts: 

A minimum of one front and one rear police (local, county, city, Highway Patrol or State Transport Police) and one front and one rear civilian escort are required for ALL moves over 16 feet wide, except upon written approval from the Department. The front escort is to be a reasonable distance ahead of the move to alert oncoming traffic in sufficient time of the impending hazard ahead.

Escort Requirement

The Department reserves the right to require escorts where it is deemed necessary for safety purposes. A vehicle transporting a load can not also serve as an escorting vehicle. 

Lights: A rotating amber beacon or strobe light shall be displayed on each escort vehicle. Hazard lights cannot be used or substituted for amber beacon or strobe lights. 

Signs: The escort vehicles shall also display a WIDE LOAD or OVERSIZE LOAD sign on the front of the lead escort vehicle. When a rear escort is requited, the sign shall be displayed on the rear of the following escort vehicle. 

Radio Contact: There shall be direct two-way radio communication between the escorting vehicle(s) and the towing vehicle at all times. An escorting vehicle(s) shall not escort or communicate with more than one towing vehicle at a time. 

Escort Spacing: Positioning the escort vehicle with the over dimensional load must be relative to give the traveling public maximum warning and to give the load driver timely and sufficient information to safely maneuver the load. 

  • Rear Escort: 3-4 seconds distance between the escort and the load. 
  • Front Escort: Do not extend the spacing between the escort and the load beyond one-half mile. 

Source of information:  

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