Becoming pilot driver (wife)

Discussion in 'Heavy Haul Trucking Forum' started by Iampa, May 28, 2021.

  1. Iampa

    Iampa Light Load Member

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    Not sure this is the place to ask this but, sauce I'm going for my CDL and going flatbed, the wife and I have been talking about her possibly doing pilot work. Ideally I'd be hauling heavy in a couple years. Just trying to see what all is involved in the pilot side. Is it like o/o work and she can use a load board type of thing or are out vehicles company based?
    Appreciate any input you all can provide.
     
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  3. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

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    Depending on state, insurance 2-3k/year.

    May be better to onboard with broker/established to generate work.

    A lot of this depends on your expectations and availability.

    Maybe give a few more details.

    Online exam in Utah covers for most requirements bar NY state.


    Equipment requirements for Utah cover most.

    Like I said - more details
     
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  4. Iampa

    Iampa Light Load Member

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    What more details can I provide?
    From reading I'm seeing she would need as CDL C license, correct?
    Just exploring this at the moment. Came up over breakfast this morning.
     
  5. kylefitzy

    kylefitzy Road Train Member

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    A simple class E (a for hire license) will cover her. It’s the exact same test any 16 year only takes, at least in Missouri.

    a CDL does supersede the required defensive driving class that escorts have to have completed in Florida.
     
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  6. Rooster1291979

    Rooster1291979 Road Train Member

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    I think you’re putting the cart before the horse.

    She can get certified online. Decent vehicle, please no passenger cars, insurance and equipment. Lights, flags, signs, safety equipment and PPE.

    she can hang her own shingle and hunt for work, or become a “company” driver with several escort companies. She could even go to certain trucking companies and run dedicated for them.
     
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  7. 2old

    2old Heavy Load Member

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    I'm going to get out of hauling petroleum products and into a pilot car within the next year. At least that's the plan. I have been exploring the pilot car industry for several years. So what I'm about to say is strictly my opinion and not necessarily required for pilot cars but as a trucker since 1973 and in specific, a tanker operator for 29 years and, having a dad who hauled wide loads for a couple of years, and having a little experience in operating a pilot car way-way back when, here are some of the things which I have begun to put together and what I plan on doing when I join the industry.

    You will need certifications from Utah and if you run New York you will need a New York certification. Google both and get signed up. You do not need a CDL.

    There are specific DOT requirements for pilot cars which vary from state to state. Google them and you are on your way to compliance.

    Choosing a vehicle might give you a headache but there is a lot to consider depending on where you plan to operate and the kind of escorting you intend to do. Lead and chase vehicles are the least complicated and require less robust vehicles. Opinions will vary widely but yes, even a grocery getter will suffice. Then you'll need to outfit it with the DOT required LIGHTS.. SIGNS.. FLAGS.. FULL SIZE SPARE TIRE.. and so on. The requirements are readily available thru a Google search.

    The debate will rage on regarding full size pickup vs. full size van. Both have advantages unique to themselves. And both will likely out last and better serve as a pilot car than a passenger car. It really depends on the kind of escort work you intend to do. If you show up at an oil field in a passenger car to escort a super load you'll likely be considered unprepared.

    I intend to keep small assortments of electrical wire of various gauge sizes and connectors. An assortment of nuts and bolts 1/4 to 1/2 inch. A cordless drill and impact wrench. Tools to include various vise grips, wrenches, sockets, screw drivers and a couple of hammers small and large. An electric fuse assortment and bungee cords short and long and an assortment of hose clamps small and large. I'll also install a power inverter to run chargers and other electric equipment. All of this is in addition to what is required by DOT.


    You'd be amazed at how handy just having a few inexpensive extras like I've listed above can be. They can get you or someone else back on the road quickly.

    I'll be using a full size van. Plenty of room to keep all my stuff and a comfortable place to sleep if the need arises.

    A good CB radio with a noise canceling microphone are essential and a good antenna will be invaluable and are also required by DOT. Keep an inexpensive spare CB in your vehicle. If your radio goes out, having a spare will keep you going. You'll also need a hand held CB radio.

    Good luck my friend. I wish you success in the pilot car industry.
     
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  8. Rooster1291979

    Rooster1291979 Road Train Member

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    One of my permanent escorts drives a Dodge Ram with a 100 gallon slip tank. He will always have work because of that tank.
     
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  9. 2old

    2old Heavy Load Member

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    I'm glad you mentioned the slip tank. I never heard it called that before so I'm gonna assume it's the same thing as an auxiliary tank of some kind. I've been looking at auxiliary tanks (30 gallon) and I figured it would be a must. A 450 mile range is my goal. Thank you for mentioning it.
     
  10. Rooster1291979

    Rooster1291979 Road Train Member

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    The slip tank isn’t for him. It’s for me.
     
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  11. 2old

    2old Heavy Load Member

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    Oh! 100 gallons? WOW that's around 700 pounds. Nice of him to carry all of that for you.

    I'm not that nice lol.
     
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