Operate Your Own Pilot Estort Business
Because of the slump in the economy many pilot car operators have quit the business causing a shortage of pilot cars in certain rebounding areas. This would be a good time to get into the business and get started on establishing a reliable customer base. Truck drivers that haul these loads appreciate pilots that take good care of them and will use them anytime they are in their area. You will be of little use to them though if you’re unsure of things and basically relying on them for every move. They will most likely throw your business card away at the end of the trip. I hope this information will assist you should you decide to buy a bmw car covers. I will say at this point that if you’re not one of those people that can drive long hours, go awhile between potty stops and meals, you better think twice about being a pilot car escort. Don’t let me scare you off. I just want you to understand that piloting is a lot like truck driving, not everyone is cut out for it. That is a good thing though it reduces the field of competition. It can also be a fickle business because of price cutting by other pilots. They eventually put themselves out of business but they are an irritant just the same.
There is basically two parts to the business, Manufactured Housing and Super Loads. Super loads consists of anything from boats to giant cranes. Recently because of the interest in wind generated power the business of transporting wind generators has boomed. Each part of the giant towers requires a truck and pilots. Most of these hauls requires a front and rear pilot. It is the same for manufactured housing depending on the width and length of the house or half house being transported. Each state has its own regulation concerning loads and pilot car operators. I will list an email addresses in part 2 that will direct you to the information for your area. As I mentioned above your success in the business will depend largely on how well you do your job. The more you impress the driver the more he or she will use you. A dependable vehicle is an absolute, it doesn’t have to be new just reliable. You will want it to send the truck driver a professional signal. Proper lighting, signs, a good CB radio, high pole, etc. These are all the hallmarks that will keep you as a pilot of interest to the drivers. Repeat business is a growing business for you.
The drawback to the pilot car business is that it is not steady, you will have down time between loads. This of course depends on where you are located and how many other pilot cars are operating in your area. I know pilots that are always busy and I know some that are hardly busy. If you are thinking about getting into the business do some research. Find out whats going on around you. Are there any plants building manufactured homes close by? Hang out at truck stops to see what moving through. This will help you determine if there is enough work to merit going into the business. There are some hoops to jump through should you decide to go for it. For sure you want to have everything ready before soliciting any business. Premature business card distribution will get you into trouble. These drivers need you immediately most of the time. They are not going to want to hear that your not quite ready yet.
Probably the most important assets to you and your growing business is to know the wide load truck routing in your area. You will also want to be familiar with overhead clearances such as overpasses, Railroad Trestles, bridges, etc. Electrical and cable TV wiring can often be to low this is something else you need to keep in mind. Rule of thumb if an electrical wire has to be lifted that is not the pilots obligation but rather the utility companies. If it is a cable TV wire you can lift it for the driver if you choose to do so. Knowing what construction is going on in the area is also very important. You will be piloting loads that exceed road widths and construction zones often restrict those widths even more. This may call for off routing on a wide load detour, do all you can to know where these detours are and how to navigate them. The drivers will be very impressed with you when you get them through a congested situation without incident.
How much can you earn? Of course this depends on how much you work. I doubt though that I have ever netted less than $250.00 per day this would be a base figure and it would go up from there. There are runs called pull outs that only pay $50-75.00 they usually require about an hour of your time. I should mention that there is a difference in how you get paid depending on whether you are piloting a heavy haul or manufactured home. You will find that truckers pulling manufactured homes will pay at the end of the trip. Heavy haul truckers will ask for your bill and your check will come in the mail most of the time withing 30 days. This is ok if you can afford the wait. Most of these companies are reputable and will get your money to you as promised. Also heavy haul companies sometimes pay expeses such a meals, lodging and stand by time. You will hardly find this from truckers pulling manufactured homes. If you do a good job the driver will often treat you to a meal especially if you put them on to a good eatery. I will discuss equipment needed, job training, and the theory of the business in my next article, Pilot Escort Business Continued.