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Depending on the size and type of load, and whether the tractor-trailer is traveling on a divided or non-divided highway, heavy haulers may have one or two escort vehicles. It’s the task of an escort vehicle to help drivers of oversize loads to avoid any hazard that may be on the road.

Escort vehicles are an essential safety precaution for transporting oversize loads through areas that could potentially present a danger to the public, such as high traffic areas, narrow bridges, or if the tractor-trailer needs to change lanes. They have authorization to stop traffic and direct the movement of the oversize load. In some instances, local police escorts may also be used in addition to the escort vehicle, depending on the load.

Every state has a variety of rules and regulations governing escort vehicles and when they’re required. Escort drivers must have a Florida State certification or FDOT authorization. An escort vehicle is also a highly visible signal to other motorists that an oversize load is on the road and they need to take appropriate precautions.

In Florida, escort vehicles are required to carry a two-way communications device enabling the escort driver and heavy hauler to communicate. They also carry a variety of other equipment, such as a fire extinguisher and reflective signage that meets certain specifications, reflective triangles, and other equipment as determined by state and federal regulations.

Some states that heavy haulers may pass through requires escort vehicles to stop and pay for an inspection. They have a highly specific and itemed list of equipment that escort drivers are required to carry.

Safety is the number one priority for escort drivers. They work closely and in conjunction with heavy haul drivers to ensure safety. They communicate with drivers to warn them if there are any hazards or obstacles that could present a danger, ranging from construction work and narrow bridges to accidents, traffic backups, and the need for lane changes for the safety of the load and other motorists.

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