As a P/EVO (Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operator), the cargo’s safety is critical, especially if it is a tall load. According to Simplex Group, the most accessible approach to avoid any problems when moving a tall cargo load is to install a height pole.
The front of the lead escort vehicle is usually the car that has the high hole installed. Here is everything you need to know about a height pole car, its characteristics, the necessary equipment, and how to attach a height pole to your vehicle.
Height Pole Car Definition
A height pole, also known as a high pole or hi-pole, is a measuring instrument that is precisely affixed to the front of a pilot car vehicle and is used by oversize trucking firms to measure the height of overhead barriers while transporting tall cargo.
To carry over-height cargo within their jurisdiction, North American states and provinces have rules that govern and compel the use of a height pole.
Before filing for an oversized shipping permit, trucking companies must assess if the shipment they plan to carry will require a height pole pilot car or a lead escort vehicle with a height pole mounted following these predetermined standards.
Characteristics of the Height Pole
A high pole must be composed of a non-conductive material that is robust enough to endure winds at highway speeds to work at its optimum. A professional-grade high pole must be wholly adjustable and capable of being fitted to the P/E vehicle’s front bumper.
If you run a high pole at night, make sure it’s lit up. For this purpose, many pilots employ LED lights firmly fastened to the front of the vehicle. The light should be bright enough to see the striker’s tip. The upper portion of the height pole needs to be flexible in order to not get damaged if the pole touches something, and it also shouldn’t be able to damage what it touched.
Height poles need to be non-conductive to prevent electrical shock. Professional height poles are adjustable, stable, and tolerant to high speeds. Bolt or clamps can be used to ensure that the fixtures won’t loosen.
High Pole Requirements
Depending on the state in which the business operates, regulations might differ. However, the general requirements state that a height pole car driver must:
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- They must have a current P/EVO certification valid in the state(s) where they work.
- Carry all P/EVO-specific equipment in the state(s) where they work.
- Have primary and secondary communication devices that work.
- Be well-rested and free of alcohol or drugs.
As mentioned above, a height pole car must follow certain regulations regarding equipment. That being said, every height pole car should be equipped with:
- Boots with steel toes
- Hard hat
- A dashcam or a convex mirror (to see the tip of the pole while driving)
- Extra high poles
- Additional clamps, brackets, pins, and screws
- Additional striker tips
- Additional mounting hardware
How to Attach a Height Pole to a Car
While there are various ways to put a height pole on your pilot car vehicle, it is highly advised to choose a heavy-duty bumper grill constructed of hefty tubing, similar to what you’d see on police cars.
There are mainly two methods in which you can obtain a front bumper/grill protection attachment.
The first is to cut off the top piece of the bumper protection so that your height pole can easily slide in and out of it. No matter how you decide to attach it, make sure you create a way that locks it in.
The second alternative is to find a tiny piece of pipe that fits tightly around the base of the height pole and solder it to the bumper grill attachment.
If the pole strikes any barriers, a decent quality sound must be produced. Because the height pole is so vital, make sure it makes a loud sound if it strikes something overhead.
Height Pole Car Tips
Professional height poles are recommended for vehicles due to their durability, flexibility, and adjustability.
When mounting the pole, make sure that the mount doesn’t interfere with a vehicle’s airbag sensor. If installed correctly, the pole shouldn’t disrupt the driver in any way. The mountings should be strong enough to keep the pole in place at high speeds to prevent it from falling.
In many situations, it’s best to have multiple height pole mounts in different areas of your front car to measure the height from different positions within a lane. The driver should be able to see the top of the pole from the driver’s seat. Some mirrors or cameras can help with this purpose.
When the escort is finished, the height pole must be removed or lowered to legal heights.