Office of Operations Freight Management and Operations

Summary Outline - Pre-Trip Planning

I. Pre-trip Planning

(Team work starts with acceptance of the load movement assignment)

A. Confirm assignment

  1. Carrier confirmation
    1. Identify load size; width, height, length, and gross weight
    2. Identify axle configuration and steering limitations
    3. Determine carrier’s preferred route of state(s) permit designated route
    4. Determine if load is top heavy/over height
      1. Confirm the presence of top mounted skid boards for over-height loads
      2. Determine if “high route survey” is required
    5. Identify driver’s name, truck number, driver’s cell phone number, CB channel of preference and other identifiers and contact numbers
      1. Select a CB channel that maintains awareness of public information
    6. Identify name and address for point of origin and destination, cross-reference to map
  2. Permit confirmation
    1. Secure copies of the permits, as available
    2. Secure copies of related route surveys, as available
    3. Identify required number and type of escorts

B. Review route

  1. Review route for state prohibitions; size restrictions, on-going construction, dimensional load movement curfews, weightrestricted bridges, height restricted overhead limitations, seasonal restrictions; feasibility and safety
    1. Identify alternate routes as necessary
    2. Complete an initial risk assessment to identify potential hazards and obstructions
  2. Review route for railroad crossings
    1. Assess rail traffic
    2. Review crossing profiles
    3. Review crossings for: change in ascending and descending slope, length of crossing, number of tracks, road condition on the approach and retreat, i.e. straight, turn, curve and instructions for advance or emergency notification
    4. Identify pertinent railroad emergency telephone numbers
    5. Make advance contact with the railroad if in doubt that the load can safely negotiate the crossing or as required by permit or state specific regulations
  3. Estimate daily travel distance
  4. Identify approved interim stops
  5. Identify safe parking and lodging for overnight layovers
  6. Cross-reference route to travel maps or electronic medium
  7. Complete or review route surveys as appropriate
  8. Complete route sheets

C. Review permit

  1. Verify accuracy of load representation, travel dates and time, point of origin and destination, and route designation
  2. Note any route restrictions
  3. Note special equipment requirements
  4. Identify traversed municipalities
    1. Verify municipal permits have been secured
  5. Note required law enforcement escort(s), utility company accompaniment, etc.

D. Check vehicle/equipment

  1. Comply with all state specific and federal vehicle, equipment and safety requirements/certifications
    1. Review the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49, Volume 4, Chapter III, Part 393, Section 393.95 for regulation on emergency equipment
  2. Comply with all other provisions of the law regarding the use, operation and licensing of motor vehicles
  3. Test all operational and safety equipment and ensure cleanliness and serviceability
    1. Lights
    2. Signs
    3. Flags (See CFR Title 49, Section 393.95)
    4. Two-way electronic communications
    5. Protective/safety clothing; reflective vest, shirt or jacket
    6. Stop/Slow paddle
    7. Fire extinguisher (See CFR Title 49, Section 393.95)
    8. First Aid kit
    9. Reflective triangles or cones (See CFR Title 49, Section 393.95)
    10. Vertical clearance measuring device/Height Pole
    11. Maps
    12. Spare/Replacement equipment (See CFR Title 49, Section 393.95)
    13. Flashlight
  4. Perform vehicle maintenance
    1. Check tire condition and pressure and spare tire
    2. Check hoses and fluid levels
    3. Check horn, windows, odometer, battery, speedometer and lights
  5. Verify required vehicle insurance is current
  6. Comply with jurisdictional specific regulations regarding restrictions on vehicle contents and occupants

E. Check pilot car escort

  1. Comply with state escort age requirements
  2. Verify required driver’s license is current
  3. Verify required training has been completed
  4. Review escort job-readiness
    1. Escort is healthy
    2. Escort is free of fatigue
    3. Escort must not display badge, shield, emblem or uniform of color or design that may be mistaken for law enforcement badge, emblem or uniform

F. Prepare contingency plans

  1. Review contingency plans with the carrier and enroute transfer escorts
    1. Plan for vehicle breakdowns
    2. Plan for emergencies (Escort vehicle must not be operated as a law enforcement or emergency vehicle)
      1. Contact with overhead obstruction
      2. Railroad crossing issues
      3. Accidents and property damage
    3. Plan for enroute transfer of escort responsibilities
      1. Assess the feasibility for overlapping escort services in the event a non-stationary transfer of escort services is necessary
      2. Coordinate minimal safety procedures to be completed by two-way electronic communication until a safe stop can be made
      3. Identify the first available/authorized safe area to stop following any non-stationary transfer of escort responsibilities
      4. Identify and coordinate plan with other responsible entities (law enforcement agencies, utility companies, railroads, etc.)
    4. Coordinate and record emergency numbers with carrier

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