Alaska pilot car rules regulations and requirements

The Alaska pilot car rules, regulations, and requirements are as follows:

All pilot car companies that operate in the state of Alaska must abide by the laws, rules, and regulations set forth by the Alaska DOT or AKDOT. Alaska pilot car rules, regulations, and requirements.

Pilot car operator requirements:

  • Operators of pilot cars or truck escorts must be flagger certified by AKDOT. You can take the course online by following this link, fee for Alaska certification is $95.
  • Flaggers must be a minimum of 18 years of age and capable of carrying out flagging responsibilities in accordance with Alaska State Traffic Manual Regulations.
  • Pilot car or truck escort operators must be wearing high visibility or fluorescent orange jacket or vest while working.

NOTES: Passengers are not allowed in pilot cars or truck escort vehicles. Pilot car or truck escort operators are not permitted to operate as tillerman on any shipments within the state of Alaska.

Pilot Car Vehicle Equipment Requirements:

  • The size of the vehicle being used may be either a passenger vehicle or light truck not to exceed unladen weight of 18,000 pounds. If the GVWR of the pilot car or truck escort vehicle exceeds 10,000 lbs, the requirements of commercial vehicles apply to the operator of the pilot can or truck escort vehicle.
  • 1 CB radio maintaining communication with all parties involved in the transport of shipment. Pilot cars are permitted to use 2-way radio devices provided they are capable of keeping all parties involved in transporting the shipment are in constant contact with one another.
  • 3 emergency bi-directional retro-reflective road triangles.
  • 1 – 5 lb. B. and C. type (or better) fire extinguisher.
  • 24 inch (minimum) stop/slow paddle sign mounted on a handle or pole.
  • 1 safety-colored reflectorized jacket, vest, or shirt to be worn by the driver while operating.
  • 1 flashlight with red safety cone and current dated extra batteries.
  • 1 complete first aid kit.
  • 2 hand flags with handles safety red in color with a minimum of 12″ in each direction, square.
  • All pilot cars or truck escorts are required to be equipped with

    “OVERSIZE LOAD”, “WIDE LOAD” or “LONG LOAD” signs and a roof-mounted amber high-intensity 

    rotating, flashing, oscillating, or strobe type beacon which must be visible from a minimum distance of 500 feet. When a pilot car or escort vehicle is required to “lead” the oversize shipment truck, the “OVERSIZE LOAD”, “WIDE LOAD” or LONG LOAD” sign shall be placed on the front of the pilot car or escort vehicle. When following or running “chase” the oversize shipment or truck with the load, the “OVERSIZE“, “WIDE LOAD” or “LONG LOAD” sign will be placed on the rear of the pilot car or escort vehicle.

  • In addition to these items, we also suggest that all pilot car or truck escort operators have a variation of the safety tools and materials inside of their pilot car vehicles.

Pilot Car Vehicle Paperwork Requirements:

  • Pilot cars or truck escorts are required to have commercial vehicle insurance.

When a pilot car or truck escort is required in Alaska:

Length: loads that are longer than 85′ requires 1 pilot car or escort vehicle. Loads that are longer than 100′ are required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car or truck escorts.
Width: 10′ 6″ to 12′ requires 1 pilot car or escort vehicle. Over 12′ up to 14′ are required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car or escort vehicle. Over 14′ and up to 18′ are required to have 3 pilot cars or truck escorts. Over 18′ and up to 22′ are required to have 4 pilot cars or truck escort vehicles. Over 22′ in width is required to have a rolling road closure with 5 pilot cars or truck escorts.
Height: pilot cars or truck escorts equipped with a height pole are decided on a case-by-case basis depending on the route you desire to travel.
Weight: unlike most other states AKDOT may require you to have 2 pilot cars or truck escorts for being overweight depending on your desired route. Special bridge conditions, centerline stradling, and more may require you have them. See the link below under notes for comprehensive information.
Overhang: over 10′ but less than 20′ requires one pilot car or the escort vehicle. It is possible to use an extended light bar instead of a pilot car or truck escort but only up to 20′ of the rear. If over 20′ you are required to have one pilot car or truck escort. If over 35′ off of the rear or 60′ off of the front you are required to have 2 pilot cars or truck escorts.
NOTE: all of the above information can be contingent upon special bridge conditions,  route, stradling centerline, and even times of the year. For clarification also see the AKDOT oversize and overweight permit regulations manual (.pdf).

Permitted travel times for pilot cars and truck escorts:

Travel is permitted one half-hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset from Monday through Saturday. Saturday travel is only until 12 noon if it falls under during daylight hours. Overall shipments that are under 10′ 6″ wide, 16′ in height, or 85′ in length, and have legal overhang are permitted to travel from Monday through Saturday during daylight hours. Shipments that are oversize are allowed to travel at night as long as they meet special lighting and taping requirements. Call AKDOT for details. 

Urban area peak hours: 7-8 AM and 4:30-6 PM no travel is permitted. Sterling Highway, Kenai Spur Rd, and Kaliforski Beach Rd. are closed from 6:45-9 AM and from 2:15-4:30 PM during the school season for shipments in excess of 14′ in width. The junction from Glenn and Parks highway North to Palmer and Wasilla is closed from 6-8 Am, 11:30-1 PM, and 4:30-6 PM on weekdays for loads exceeding 14′ in width. If you exceed 18′ and plan to travel Glenn, Parks Highway, or Ketchikan you are not permitted to travel 7-8 AM, 12-1 PM, or 4:30-6 PM. This is the basic rule. Your permit will list the exact restrictions once approved and issued.

Frost and thaw laws: in effect on all major routed through Alaska and typically are in effect from mid-March until mid-June. Learn more about frost and thaw law restrictions.

Holidays: no travel is permitted on the weekends of the following holidays: Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day.

Alaska DOT (AKDOT) contact information for pilot car drivers.

Alaska road conditions:  866-282-7577 or 800-478-7675 within the state.
Alaska state police office: 907-428-7200
Oversize permits office: 907-341-3200 or 800-478-7636 within the state. (Website link below click on CVCSC)
Trip permits office:  see above.
Fuel permits office: 907-269-6642

Alaska Department of Transportation
Division of Measurement Standards CVCSC – click to visit. Main transportation website – click here.
11900 Industry Way, Bldg. M
Anchorage, AK  99515
The AKDOT permit office is open on Monday through Friday from 8 AM-5 PM

Notes: Oversize and overweight trucking permits are generally valid for 3 to 5 days unless special conditions apply.

Pacific Standard Time Zone

If you have any additional information or comments please share them with our other viewers by commenting and the bottom of this page. We thank you for doing your part to help pilot car operators.

If you need to locate a pilot car company in the state of Alaska click here.

If you have obtained permits for a carrier (from anyone ever) in any state that carrier is already “set up” in that state. It’s cheap and easy to simply order them yourself. You give them the same information you do to the permit companies. Save thousands, learn how with DIY Permits.

The information contained on this page is for general reference purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure its accuracy it is possible this page may contain mistakes or outdated information. You must verify any/all information with the state of Alaska before attempting to move or transport anything oversize, over-weight, over-height, over-length, or otherwise. This information is provided as-is. It is intended for use by professional pilot cars or truck escorts working with oversize and overweight trucking company operators and managers. You must adhere to any rules, regulations, laws, or instructions documented on your physically approved permit.

Alaska pilot car rules, regulations and requirements.



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