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Warning for Overdimension Vehicle Pilots

15 January 2004

PR 010/04

Warning for Overdimension Vehicle Pilots

The recent tragic accident between a stock truck and a British tourist's vehicle is a reminder all drivers of agricultural vehicles to take care on the road. Summer brings many visitors to rural areas at a time when specialist agricultural vehicles such as tractors, spreaders, harvesters, balers and silage wagons that exceed the standard vehicle size limits have to travel.

This creates a hazard that has to be carefully managed and that's where oversize load pilots come in. The load pilot's primary focus is to warn approaching road users of the oversize hazard. As a general rule if the agricultural vehicle and/or trailer is over 3.7 metres in width a pilot is required, although if traveling at night, the threshold for requiring a pilot is 3.1 metres.

The C-Grade Pilot Category has been replaced by a new Class 2 Pilot category. It is now mandatory for all pilot vehicles to display adequate warning and information concerning the oversize hazard to approaching drivers. All pilots must be certified prior to 31 January 2004.

The certification is a simple code explaining the principles and basic methods of providing traffic control. Included is a questionnaire that will enable a Class 2 pilot to become certified by a relatively cheap and convenient test. The $19.95 fee for the Class 2 certification includes: the Load pilot driver code, the test, test assessment, and for those that pass the course, a pilot certificate.

Farmers and agricultural contractors taking vehicles on the road that need to be piloted are urged to ensure that they and/or their staff gain certification before the end of the month.

Application forms for pilot certification can be obtained by faxing the Overdimension Permit Issuing Agency (OPIA) Fax: (06) 350-2393 or phone 0800 OVERSIZE (0800 683 774).

ENDS


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