Why are P/EVOs Important?
Trucks Haul the Most Freight
Inside the United States, moving freight by truck is the most popular mode of transportation, accounting for 63% of all freight transported and totaling over 720 billion dollars – more than rail, pipeline, air, vessel, and all other modes of transport combined. Of that total, moving oversized freight on specialized carriers is one of the most profitable types of transport, but also presents the highest risk and most excessive consequences in the event of an accident.
What are the dangers of an oversized load?
An oversized load presents a unique set of dangers to the driver, including a longer stopping distance, height, clearance and route limitations, increased chances of rollovers and tire blowouts and a 50% higher risk of crashes and fatalities. And while there are basic laws in place to regulate the safe transport of oversized loads, best practices can vary between states, which can sometimes lead to costly accidents such as the 2018 Artillery Road Bridge strike, which caused $1.8 million in damages. Since 2007, the amount of bridge strikes per year has been rising steadily with 3,705 documented instances costing an average of $300,000 per incident. Accounting for billions of dollars in infrastructure damage, fatalities and route obstructions, most of these accidents could have been avoided through proper training and adherence to permitted dimensions and approved routes.
What’s a P/EVO?
Required by law on oversized hauls of a certain size, Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operators (P/EVOs) represent the first and best line of defense available to a truck driver. They have several responsibilities but their primary role is to warn the motoring public of the oversized load and to communicate with the load driver regarding route conditions, accidents and obstructions, and the status of the load itself. A skilled pilot car operator can mean the difference between a successful delivery and catastrophe.
While only 12 states currently require certification, getting proper training teaches an operator not only the basic requirements of the job, but also best practices, legal and equipment requirements and subtle tricks of the trade which cannot be mastered without running the risk of a major, career-defining accident. If you intend to work as a pilot car operator professionally, you owe it to yourself to get the best training available. While we believe every state should require a P/EVO certification to protect against the monumental damages which can result from improperly handled oversized loads (which could be easily done by adopting our program), until certification becomes a unilateral requirement undergoing our training remains the economic alternative to getting stuck with a bill for bridge repair or a downed power line.
Endorsed by the American Association of Safety Councils, our Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operator program is the most comprehensive program currently on the market and the only one approved for a Washington state P/EVO card. Backed by decades of experience, it is recognized in other states, customizable to any state requirements and covers the full extent of pilot car operator responsibilities. Simply put, it is the best way to get your Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operator career underway.
Getting certified is easy: throughout the year, we offer classes in various locations which impart and test you on the pertinent information. Once you are certified, your P/EVO card is valid for three years, after which a refresher course must be taken.
Moving oversized freight can be difficult and fraught with risk, which makes a good Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operator worth their weight in gold. If you intend to become a P/EVO professional, make sure you have the best training and most current information available.