Pilot Vehicle Operation

Truck Operation for Loading, Weighing and Delivery of Aggregate
June 2, 2017
Safe Handling of Hazardous Materials
June 4, 2017

Job Description

This guideline describes safe methods of operating a pilot vehicle for traffic guidance.

Hazard Identification

Personal Injury

  • Crushing, muscle pull/strain, slip, trip and fall.


  • Equipment accidents/incidents, struck-by.


  • Visibility, weather.


  1. Pre-Job Planning
    1.1 Field assessment of the area to be piloted should be done to develop a Traffic Control Plan, and to determine acceptable turn around areas. The plan and route should be documented and communicated to all Pilot Vehicle drivers and to the involved flaggers.
    1.2 A vehicle circle check of the Pilot Vehicle should be completed before use. Any deficiencies should be brought to the attention of the supervisor so repairs can be scheduled.
    1.3 The Pilot Vehicle shall be equipped with a rotating or flashing light, a pair of red flags and a CS-32 sign stating “Pilot Vehicle – Follow Me.”
    1.4 A communication system should be in place with the flag people – radio, hand signals etc.
    1.5 A rotation should be established to switch or relieve drivers to prevent fatigue/exhaustion.
    1.6 No passengers should be in the pilot vehicle while piloting traffic unless for training or transportation purposes.
    1.7 The Traffic Accommodation Supervisor shall ensure appropriate work zone signing is in place.
  2. Operating Practices
    2.1 The Construction Supervisor or Traffic Accommodation Supervisor shall coordinate the Pilot Vehicle activities with flagging operations at each end of the piloted section.
    2.1.1 The desirable maximum waiting time when stopping and holding motorists in a queue at a work area is 6 to 10 minutes.
    2.2 The flagger releases the queue of vehicles when the Pilot Vehicle is ready to escort the traffic through the work area.
    2.3 The Pilot Vehicle shall not travel faster than 60 km per hour and should reduce speed when passing workers and/or equipment.
    2.4 When a flagger is holding a queue of vehicles at a flag station, no vehicles will be allowed to jump that queue and bypass the line of vehicles. This includes all construction vehicles and trucks loaded with material.
    2.5 As the Pilot Vehicle approaches the flagger holding the queue of oncoming traffic, the driver should:
    2.5.1 Slow down and move to the right side of the road if possible.
    2.5.2 Stop on the shoulder at least 35 metres in advance of the flagger.
    2.5.3 Release the traffic in a safe manner, coordinating with the flagger.
    2.5.4 Turn around safely, proceed to pick up and guide the adjacent traffic queue.
  3. Flagger Positioning
    3.1 The first flagger will normally be on the right shoulder, stopping traffic in the lane.
    3.2 The Pilot Vehicle guides traffic to the second flagger at the end of the piloting zone, who is situated on the opposite side of the road, with his back to the Pilot Vehicle, holding the oncoming lane of traffic.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • As required by Contractor Safety Policy.

Tools / Equipment

  • As required by Contractor Safety Policy.

Related Safe Operating Guidelines

List relevant Contractor S.O.G.s that are available, such as:

  • Backing Up
  • Working around Overhead Power Lines
  • Working Around Ground Workers
  • Sweeping Operation