Escort vehicles are used by people carrying oversized loads to conduct reconnaissance missions and warn other road users of an oversized load. In Australia, vehicles carrying an oversized load must have escort vehicles. Read this article to learn more about escort vehicles and how they operate.
What Makes an Escort Vehicle?
The operating principle behind any escort vehicle is visibility. As such, the car should have emergency lights attached across its top. Further, it should have a warning sign at its front and rear. Most escort vehicles will also have additional warning signs at their side. Most heavy haulage companies prefer to use 4×4 pickup trucks or SUVs as their escort vehicles. The reason behind this is that the trucks are more visible to other road users compared to saloon cars. Oversized loads may be delivered to areas with rough terrain. 4WD vehicles have a high ground clearance and will therefore not suffer underneath damage or get stuck.
What Else Do They Do?
For the heavy haulage company, the escort vehicle provides more than warning services. It also provides transport services for personnel such as engineers and mechanics escorting the oversized load. It carries safety equipment such as cones, safety triangles, winches, spanners and essential spare parts for the heavy haulage truck, such as water pumps, filters, lubricants and fuel. Escort vehicles are the first to respond to any emergencies that may occur on the road. As such, they must have first aid kits and emergency contacts to local firefighters and the police.
How Do They Help Other Vehicles?
As reconnaissance vehicles, the pilot cars will conduct a road inspection to identify challenges such as low-lying bridges, poor weather and traffic jams. If the oversized vehicle has a high load, the pilot vehicle travels ahead with a pole that is the same height as the load. The pole will help the team know if the heavy haulage truck can pass through bridges. In urban areas, the pilot team will identify suitable turning points for the heavy haulage truck.
What Else Goes into an Escort Vehicle?
So, supposing you need to hire or build an escort vehicle, what considerations should you make? Below are some tips.
Check state law to determine what equipment you require in the vehicle. Enquire whether you need permits for the car and drivers. Escort vehicles must be in perfect mechanical condition. Avoid trucks with leaking engines, braking or transmission problems. Consider vehicles with aftermarket kits to help you navigate through rough terrain.
Escort vehicles help maintain road safety during the transport of oversized goods. The drivers of the escort vehicles must be experienced in the transportation of oversized loads. For more information about escort vehicles, reach out to a professional near you.