Office of Operations Freight Management and Operations


This best practices guidelines document summarizes the material found in the 2016 Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operators Training Manual. The 2016 Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operators Training Manual is the result of extensive research, review, and analysis of existing pilot/escort vehicle operators (P/EVO) training materials, laws and rules relevant to P/EVOs, incident reports, and case studies and other information focused on the movement of oversize loads.

Contributors to this best practices document include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Freight Management and Operations, the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, along with the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association. Other contributors include P/EVOs, other professional associations, permitting officials, education professionals, transportation officials and engineers, insurance industry representatives, and enforcement officers. Additional guidance for the contents of this document was received from Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials, Mid-America Association of State Transportation Officials, and many State department of transportation representatives, and others participating in the FHWA- sponsored Pilot/Escort Best Practices Working Group.

The Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operators Training Manual, its companion Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operators Study Guide, a P/EVO training presentation, and these Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operators Best Practices Guidelines are available to State agencies, training providers, and others involved in the training and certification of P/EVOs. Each of these documents can be used individually or in combination, and are available at no charge from FHWA's website. The format of these materials offers flexibility to meet the needs of the pilot/escort operators, from one- or two-car companies to more complex multi-state operations.

Learning how to be a P/EVO is similar to most other professions—individuals learn how to do the job primarily by doing it, but they must start with a basic understanding of how things work. The purpose of this document is to concisely present basic principles of pilot/escort operations. It is not possible to include detailed aspects of these operations, just as it is not possible to make highly specific laws and rules, not only because of the substantial differences among States with respect to pilot/escort operations, but also because of the seemingly infinite variety of oversize loads themselves. Add the elements of weather, the variety of roadways and traffic conditions, and the varied levels of experience and preparedness among the load movement team, and one can quickly understand the statement: Moving oversize loads is a prototypical proposition—that is, every move is different.

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