Pilot Car Industry Remains Unregulated
(June 17, 2020)
- It helps move cargoes of any size and weight from anywhere to anywhere in North America, but the pilot car industry remains largely unregulated. In interviews this week with Today’s Trucking, stakeholders spoke of a multitude of problems, foremost among them the absence of unified rules in an industry that generates revenues of just under US$1 billion annually. Ontario is the only Canadian province that has a certification regime for pilot cars, known as the Certified Superload Escort (CSE) program. That means drivers escorting superloads must be certified. Carriers also have the option to use certified pilots in place of police to stop and/or direct traffic when necessary in the performance of their duties. “There’s no real regulation in Ontario on who can be a pilot car,” said Scott Mooney, owner of Transpo Pilot Cars of Guelph, Ont. He said under current rules, “any Joe” with a light on the roof and a sign saying, “OVERSIZE LOAD” can just drive down the road and offer pilot services. Louis Juneau, president of Nova Permits and Pilot Cars, based in Quebec City, Que., is also critical of the Ontario program. “Ontario went the other way around for some reason, instead of implementing a generic certification for all the oversize loads,” said Juneau. The apparent lack of regulation and oversight have led to a proliferation of companies offering vehicle escort services at cutthroat prices. “Like every other market, people are trying to undercut their competitors’ so you have to be careful with whom you are working,” he warned.