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California Pilot Car Information

Need a Pilot Car?

Need a pilot car? Call

(623) 594-4082


Quick note! if entering the state of Arizona with an oversize load on the weekend…

**Note: Loads over 11' wide will be required to have one escort to travel from 3 a.m. to noon on weekends, and loads 15' high and over will need an additional escort with height pole. This is if you plan on entering Arizona during the weekend, don't get stuck at the scales, Call ahead and request an escort.


California Road Conditions
(916) 445-7623 / (916) 445-1534 (Conditions)

CALIFORNIA PILOT CAR REGULATIONS
When Permit Is Needed
Over 8'6" wide
Over 14' high
Over 80,000 lbs
Overlength-see size and weight manual. Can be downloaded from the Caltrans website (
www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/permits/manual.htm)

Special Information Needed
Name, address
Load description & dimensions
Truck info
Route (add directions to the route- east, west, north, south)
Also need junction onto highways

When Pilot/Escort Vehicle is Required
All loads over 12’ wide-1 or 2 (depending on route)
Length over 85’ to 135’ (over 100’ in LA county & LA city)-1 front/1 rear
Height poles are not a Caltrans requirement. If requested by a permittee, a pilot car will be permitted and identified as a permittee request.
Overhang (front or rear) 25’ or more-1 pilot or more

http://www.dot.ca.gov./hq/traffops/permits/pdf_documents/policy/tpm/19900223%20Appendix16.pdf
http://www.dot.ca.gov./hq/traffops/permits/pdf_documents/policy/tpm/19900223%20Appendix19.pdf
http://www.dot.ca.gov./hq/traffops/permits/pdf_documents/policy/tpm/19900223%20Appendix18.pdf
Must check permit for escort requirements, depending on location; may need escort for under 12' wide.

Pilot car maps may be downloaded from the Caltrans website (
www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/permits/pcmaps.htm)

Times Of Movement
24 hrs a day 7 days a week unless: an escort is required or load exceeds a 2 vehicle configuration or exceeds green loading weight or a detour is needed-- then travel is restricted to 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset
Travel prohibited (unless exempted by permit) on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. If a holiday falls on a Friday or Monday, travel is
prohibited during the weekend.

Curfews: Loads 10’ or move in width are restricted from traveling M-F at the following times:
Los Angeles & surrounding areas 6:00-9:00am 3:00-6:00pm
Sacramento & surrounding areas 7:00-9:00am 4:00-6:00pm
San Diego & surrounding areas 7:00-9:00am 4:00-6:00pm
San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge* 6:30-9:00am 3:30-6:30pm
San Francisco & surrounding areas 7:00-9:00am 4:00-6:00pm
*CHP needed when load is over 15’ wide on 2-lane; 16’ on yellow routes

Requirements for Pilot/Escort Vehicle
A vehicle at least 60” wide
Signs: “OVERSIZE LOAD” sign shall be 48” (min.) from ground; shall be legible at 45 degrees from either side/front & back, Yellow background w/ letters 6” high (min.); brush stroke 1 5/8” (min.)
Lights: Flashing amber warning lights visible 360 degrees
Flags: At least 1 red warning flag on each side of vehicle; must be at least 16” square; must be visible from the front & rear
Additional equipment: 1 “STOP/SLOW” paddle; 1 orange vest/shirt/jacket; 1 red emergency flag (24” square); a 2-way radio/communication device

Requirements for Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operator
No requirements listed

California Highway Patrol Divisions

Northern Division (530) 225-2715
2485 Sonoma St. Redding 96001

Valley Division (916) 464-2090
11336 Trade Center Dr. Rancho Cordova 95742

Golden Gate Division (707) 648-4180
1551 Benicia Rd. Vallejo 94951

Central Division (559) 277-7250
5179 N. Gates Ave. Fresno 93722

Southern Division (818) 240-8200
411 N. Central Ave., #410 Glendale 91203-2020

Border Division (951) 849-5646
9330 Farnham St. San Diego 92123

Coastal Division (805) 549-3261
4115 Broad St., #B-10 San Luis Obispo 93401

Inland Division (661) 824-2408
847 E. Brier Dr. San Bernardino 92408