Pilot Car Driver
Data from U.S. Department of Labor
What do Pilot Car Drivers do?
Mobile homes, pipes, wind turbines, and log trucks all have two things in common: They’re typically transported on large trucks, and they may bulge off the sides or the back of those trucks. The trucks that hold them must move slowly, and they often must take up more than one driving lane. Drivers don’t like to be surprised by large, slow-moving trucks, so a Pilot Car Driver drives a bit ahead of a large truck, with lights flashing, to notify others that something big and slow is coming.
If you’re a Pilot Car Driver, you may own your own company and drive your own car, or you may work for a pilot car company and drive the company’s car. Either way, you spend a significant amount of time in that car, and you think of it as your home away from home.
You start a typical workday as a Pilot Car Driver by plotting the route the truck will take. You then set out on your trip with the truck behind you. You turn on your flashing lights, keep a few car lengths between you and the truck, and drive very slowly, even when the roads are clear and flat. While bombing down a hill may be fun, losing your truck in your dust could cost you your job.
Throughout the trip, you stay in contact with the Truck Driver via walkie-talkie or cell phone. You stop if they need to make repairs or go to the restroom, and they do the same for you.