Dennis P. Wilcox
Training and Technical Communications Professional

Transportation Safety Compliance Training

Minnesota Pilot/Escort Driver Certification Training

January 5, 2013

Classes begin in January and are currently being scheduled for all of 2013 at convenient sites all over the state of Minnesota.

All Minnesota Pilot/Escort Driver Certification Training by Dennis Wilcox is conducted through the Customized Training Services department of Hennepin Technical College, Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Click Here to Download Course Flier for Registration Information

You can also contact Dennis for more information: He co-developed/co-produced the training course and is one of the course's primary instructors.

Certification must be achieved by January 1, 2014. But don't wait until the last minute next fall to attend. Class sizes are limited. There may not be room for training if everyone waits until next November or December to attend!

Here is what it's all about:


You see them on the highway all the time. Trucks pulling oversized loads. They're big, long, wide. Many loads are so wide they take up almost two lanes and are sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Accompanying them are vehicles, usually front and rear, known in the business as pilot/escort vehicles. Sometimes they even have law enforcement escorts at very front and rear.

Before now pretty much anyone with a driver's license and just about any kind of vehicle could set up and operate a pilot/escort business in Minnesota. Required were only a sign somewhere on the vehicle stating "Oversize Load" or "Wide Load" and maybe a flashing amber light on top. Minnesota law enforcement personnel performing pilot/escort duties, usually Minnesota State Patrol officers, generally have had no special training relating to escorting oversize or supersize loads.

This has all changed.

If pilot/escort drivers want to continue to do business in the state of Minnesota they now have until January 2014 to become trained and certified by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. It's the law. Their vehicles, in addition, will need to meet certain requirements. Peace officers performing pilot/escort duties will also now be required to undergo specific pilot/escort training before they can engage in those duties.

Minnesota passed a law requiring pilot/escort driver training and certification, along with training of law enforcement personnel engaged in escorting duties, in 2010. The rules promulgated by this law were adopted on Dec. 24, 2012.

The law specifically directs the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) system, working in conjunction with the Minnesota State Patrol (MSP), to develop and conduct this training. MSP tasked two colleges in the system, Hennepin Technical College and Advanced Ed (formerly known as Mesabi Range Community & Technical College), to develop and teach the curriculum.

Training for civilian pilot/escort drivers is now ready to begin, with classes conveniently being scheduled all over the state of Minnesota.

State law mandates the cost of civilian pilot/escort driver certification classes to be $180 per participant. Classes will last approximately eight hours. Advanced registration for the classes is required. Drivers will need to provide a current Minnesota driver record (no older than 30 days) with their registration.

Minnesota lawmakers deemed this a necessary law for public safety reasons. Oversize loads are getting bigger and becoming more frequent on Minnesota highways. The qualification bar for pilot/escort drivers, including law enforcement personnel, has now been raised.


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