How to Become a Pilot Car Driver
By Eric Hammer
Ever heard of a pilot car driver? If you haven't, dont
worry. Its one of those jobs that unless you have a reason
to know about, youre not likely to run across. However,
it is an important job nonetheless and its one you can
easily get if you are interested in it.
Pilot car drivers drive pilot cars. These are cars that travel
in front of wide body trucks which are carrying things such as
mobile homes and aircraft wings. They have flashing lights and
sirens intended to warn traffic up ahead that an especially large
load is heading their way and theyd best clear a path.
Becoming a pilot card driver is not difficult to do either
since there is no requirement for a college degree and in most
states, you dont even need a high school diploma.
Editor's note: The following recent article
from the Bellingham Herald shows that while the requirements
for getting the job are not all that burdensome, the position
does carry a lot of responsibility:
car driver 'horrified' by bridge collapse
How Much Can You Make?
Most pilot car drivers work for themselves in their own companies.
Youll simply need a car and some basic training in order
to do the job. However, if you were to take a job with a pilot
car company, you could expect to earn around $34,000 per year
Working in your own company, you set your own income levels
based on how much work you want to do, however typical prices
are around $200 for the first 100-150 miles and then $1.30-$1.50
per additional mile beyond that.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
If you wanted to make even more money or you were interested
in steadier work (pilot cars are only required for oversize loads),
then you may want to look into being a truck driver in addition
to or instead of a pilot car driver. This way, when there is
no work for you as a pilot car driver, youll be able to
continue to earn a living.
Keep in mind that your job will entail moving ahead of a wide
load truck. This means moving slowly so that the wide load truck
can keep up with you and this also means having maps and knowledge
of the road. Pilot car drivers also need to know how to direct
traffic and of course, you need to be really comfortable in your
car because you will be spending a great deal of time in it for
Qualifications / Requirements
Generally, you need to have a drivers license at the
very least in order to become a pilot car driver. Different states
have different rules regarding further licensure procedures with
some states requiring additional course work or licensure and
others requiring that you merely follow the rules for pilot car
drivers (though its up to you to learn the rules).
Start by talking to a pilot car driver in your area. Most
are happy to discuss the business with someone else who may be
interested and will show you the ropes. Ask if you can ride along
for a few of their jobs so you can get the feeling for the job.
Be sure to check with your new friend what laws (if any) govern
pilot drivers in your state so that you can become fully licensed.
Load Superstore This a store where you can buy all
the equipment youll need to become a pilot car driver.
Basically, youll need special signs and a siren attached
to your car.
- Membership site that lets you find driving jobs.
US & Canada Pilot Cars This a good
place to advertise your new business if you decide to strike
out on your own as a pilot car driver.
Truck Info: Pilot Car Network Another
good place to advertise as a pilot car driver.