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«PILOT/ESCORT VEHICLE OPERATOR HANDBOOK JANUARY 2015 PRESENTED BY: The Technical College System of Georgia Table of Contents Chapter 1 Pages 4-10 ...»

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The Technical College System of Georgia

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Pages 4-10

Program Basics

Required Equipment

Optional Equipment Chapter 2 Pages 11-17 Functions & Duties Chapter 3 Highway Operations Pages 18-31 Chapter 4 Pages 32-45 Emergency Operations Chapter 5 Pages 46-49 Escort Vehicle Operation Defensive Driving Other Information Pages 50-53 Checklist Contact Information



CHAPTER 1  Program Basics  Required Equipment  Optional Equipment





Escort car services benefit all parties involved in the transportation of over-dimensional loads: the manufacturers themselves, the trucking companies transporting the load, the general motoring public, and all other drivers and pedestrians on our highways. The following industry best practices are recommended, and

this is accomplished by, among other ways:

1. Increasing overall safety of the traveling public;

2. Increasing the safety of the people involved in the movement of the Overdimensional load.

3. Preventing damage to the highway system;

4. Preventing damage to the load being transported;

5. Preventing or minimizing delays to the normal traffic flow;

6. Reducing accident/loss rates thereby holding down insurance costs;

7. Encouraging uniform escort operations.

Above all else, we must remember that:

"Your safety, the safety of your crew, and the safety of the motoring public are more important than any transporting operation being performed."

General Requirements The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) administers a program to certify Oversize-Overweight load escort vehicle drivers as required by O.C. G.A. §32-6-28(a)(8), effective July 1, 2010. The program is also described in GDOT Board Rules 672-2-.06 to include instruction in safe and effective escort skills, examination that documents course comprehension, and a system of recognizing drivers certified by this or

another state. General requirements are that an escort driver must be:

1) Certified by another state's approved program, or

2) A Georgia law enforcement officer, or

3) A person who meets one of the following requirements:

a) Is at least 21 years of age, or

b) Is at least 18 years of age with a Class A commercial driver's license, or

c) Is at least 18 years of age, has been employed as an escort driver for at least one year, and is sponsored by his/her employer for entry into the certification program and completes all certification requirements prior to July 1, 2011; and

4. Possesses a valid driver's license without restrictions other than for use of corrective lens and has a driving history without conviction of driving while impaired or reckless driving in the previous 12 months. Certified pilot/escort drivers must have a valid driver’s license from the state or jurisdiction where the driver is a resident; and

5. Possesses documentation of completion of a defensive driving course approved by the National Safety Council or an equivalent course.

6. Has successfully completed eight classroom hours of a GDOT oversize-overweight escort vehicle operator course with certification exam score of at least 80 percent (80%) correct and has received consequent certification by the Department

Revocation of Certification

Certification shall be revoked during its effective period for any of the following:

1. Failure to satisfy requirements or failure to give required or correct information on the application.

2. Violation of rules established by the certifying state. Failure to operate a motor vehicle safely. Evidence of performing the duties of an escort driver in a manner with the potential to cause an accident, personal injury, or damage to property.

3. Suspension, revocation, cancellation, or denial of driver’s license. The certified operator must notify GDOT, Oversize Permit Unit, in writing within 5 days of suspension, revocation, cancellation, or denial.

4. Accumulation of 15 points against the driver’s license of the certified vehicle operator within 24 months (combined in any of the 50 states).

If certificate is revoked under this section, subsequent certification as an oversize-overweight load escort vehicle operator shall require reapplication, satisfaction of program prerequisites, and requalification through the training program.

Revocation of Certification - appeal process An individual whose certificate is revoked may within 15 days following notification of the adverse action make a written appeal to the GDOT Administrator of the Oversize Permit Unit for review of the revocation. The Administrator shall review circumstances surrounding the revocation and make a recommendation. The Administrator may set aside or affirm the loss of the oversize-overweight load escort vehicle certification. The individual appealing will be advised of the final disposition of the action within 21 days following the receipt of the appeal.

How to Become Certified

For information review the requirements provided on the GDOT website:

http://www.dot.state.ga.us/doingbusiness/permits/oversize/Pages/default.aspx Additional information or questions, contact the GDOT Oversize/Overweight Permit Unit: Georgia Department of Transportation Oversize/Overweight Permit Unit Attn: Certified Vehicle Escort Program 935 E.

Confederate Ave, Building 24 P.O. Box 17937 Atlanta, GA 30316 (404) 635-8176; (888) 262-8306 The one-day training and testing workshop is conducted by the Technical College System of Georgia. The workshop is offered periodically throughout the year at locations throughout the state.

What the Certification Training and Testing Program will entail The workshop will consist of four main parts: Escort Driver Requirements Skills Training Defensive Driving Testing A minimum score of 80 percent (80%) on the test given at the end of the workshop will be required.

Testing and Certification Fees A company check or money order made payable to The Technical College System of Georgia in the amount determined by the college system.

Notification of Test Results; Re-testing The workshop instructor will grade the test and notify the Permit Unit of the scores.

The applicant must submit a copy of their certified driving record and documentation of completion of a defensive driving course approved by the National Safety Council to the Permit Unit. If all requirements of the program are met, a wallet card certification will be sent by the Permit Unit, usually within 15 days of completion of the class.

Should the applicant fail to pass the test with at least 80% on the first try, he or she may arrange to retake the test one more time at the GDOT Oversize Permit Unit’s main office location. Please contact the office for details on test re-takes (404) 635-8176.

Effective Dates and Enforcement After July 1, 2011, all drivers operating escort vehicles must be certified. Active enforcement begins on October 1, 2011.

Change of Address or Name; Replacement Certificates If you have a change of name or address, or your Escort Driver Certificate is lost, stolen, or destroyed, you may be issued a new certificate by contacting the GDOT Oversize/Overweight Permit Unit within 30 days.

Expiration and Renewal Certificates will be valid for four years from the date of issue. At least two months before expiration date, contact the GDOT Oversize/Overweight Permit Unit to obtain procedures for renewal.

Tillerman Operations Tillerman operations should not be performed by the pilot/escort driver or by a passenger in the pilot/escort vehicle that is escorting the oversize load.

Reciprocal Agreements The GDOT Administrator of the Oversize Permit Unit may arrange reciprocal agreements with other states that demonstrate the course materials meet the minimum requirements outlined by the U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration publication FHWA-HOP-04.028, Best Practices Guidelines. A list of reciprocal states may be obtained from the Department’s website at http://www.dot.state.ga.us/doingbusiness/permits/oversize/Pages/default.aspx

A vehicle is oversize/overweight if any of the following conditions exist:

Width is greater than eight feet six inches (8'6").

Height is greater than thirteen feet six inches (13'6").

Weight is greater than 80,000 lbs (20,000 lbs. single axle, 34,000 lbs. tandem axle) Or gross weight greater than the maximum allowable weight according to the federal bridge law.

Length is greater than 100 feet (varies). Including overhang.

A legal 53 foot semi trailer combination with no overall length limitation is allowed on federally designated highways/STAA vehicle routes.

Any dimensions found to exceed the legal limits will require an OS/OW Loads Requiring an Escort An escort driver is required if stated on the OS/OW permit. Generally, one or more escorts are

required when:

1. Front escort for width in excess of 12' for all over-width permitted movement on two lane/two way traffic highways and as a rear escort/amber light on multi-lane highways or as determined and stated on the permit documented by issuing agent. Loads more than 14 feet 8 inches wide including 16 feet wide are required to be accompanied by two escort vehicles, one in front and one in the rear, on two-lane highways. A rear escort only is required on interstate highways.

All loads more than 16 feet wide or for loads not defined above are required to be accompanied by two escort vehicles, one in the front and one in the rear, on all roads and highways. GDOT may require a police escort.

2. Front pole car escort vehicle equipped with a height pole indicator for over-height in excess of fifteen feet six inches (15'6") for entire route of travel. 15 Feet (15’) or greater requires a Vehicle Front Escort with a height sensor when traveling through larger cities where traffic signals may be encountered.

3. Rear escort/amber light for length in excess of 75'. A rear escort is required for length exceeding 100’ but less than 125’. Front and rear escorts are required for overall length in excess of 125'.

4. Superloads escorts will be determined on a case by case basis.

5. Multiple escorts may be required for a combination of over-dimensions.

6. Additional escorts may be required for any vehicle/vehicle combination with individual consideration of width, length, height, weather, geographical location or route of travel as determined by issuing agent.

Special Rules: 16' Wide Manufactured Homes, Modular buildings, and Houses These moves in excess of 16' wide are a special extension of oversized permitting rules. While each

permit will specifically list the special requirements, general requirements will include:

Travel times: Monday through Saturday only (plus holiday restrictions), with hours limited to 9 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. for most house moves and unless otherwise designated on the permit. Exceptions to the times for house movements will be considered if the hauler provides a written request from all local governments or police/sheriff offices along the proposed route(s).

Application for the movement of a house shall be made at least 72 hours prior to the time of movement with the prior approval of the local utilities affected.

Special Rules: Superload Escorts Superloads are a special category of permitted loads. Specific instructions will be dictated on the permit - read

it carefully. A superload is defined as:

• Weight in excess of 150,000 pounds gross weight

• Weight in excess of allowable weight over low limit/posted bridge

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