Tips on sharing the road with oversized loads and a pilot vehicle

In Queensland, a pilot vehicle is needed to accompany a heavy oversized load if the load is wider than 3.5m. The wider the load the more likely it will need a pilot car not only in front, but also one behind as well. This makes for a convoy of vehicles on the road that can slow up traffic and cause frustration among drivers, particularly on hills and narrow roads.

It is important to understand that pilot truck services not only keep other road users safe, but they also ensure that the driver of the oversized truck is kept informed of any potential hazards on the road. These include roadworks, low bridges, overhead branches or traffic lights, breakdowns, narrow roads and heavy traffic.

Your best strategy when faced with a heavy load and an accompanying pilot vehicle is to slow down, move over to give the truck extra space if needed, always give way and respond quickly to any instructions or gestures by the driver of the pilot car. Here are a few more tips that will help you to safely navigate around heavy loads that are escorted by pilot truck services.

Stay out of the blind spots: The biggest blind spot for an oversized truck is on the passenger side and it extends for the length of the truck and sideways for two lanes. Sitting in the left hand lane therefore, means that the truck can’t see you and can’t anticipate your moves. It is always best to drive on the right hand side of the truck, remembering that they have a blind spot just behind the cab or alternately at a safe distance behind the truck. This is one of the reasons why a pilot car is so important, because they can let the driver know that you are in their blind spot, ensuring that they don’t move into your lane.

Following behind an oversized vehicle: The safest distance to follow behind an oversized truck depends on your speed, but you need to stay at least the length of truck away, because this is another blind spot for truck drivers. In general, if the truck is travelling at 60km/hr, you need to be at least 75m behind, because your stopping distance at that speed is 73m. At 100km/hr, your stopping distance is 157m, so you need to be at least 160m behind the truck for safety. This is usually not a problem if a pilot vehicle is following an oversized load, because they will keep their distance behind the truck.

If you need the services of an oversized load specialist and pilot truck services in Brisbane, call Forrest Logistics on 0407 759 483 or get a quote online today.