A pilot car driver, that’s the dude or lady you see out in front of those prefab houses and oversized trucks on the highway. Not the most exciting driving job out there, you’re usually cruising at half the speed limit, but it’s good work if you can get it. Modern technology may put a dent in manufacturing and shipping, but it’ll be awhile before you can use a 3D printer to build a wind turbine or a load of lumber, so this is actually one of the more secure jobs you can get behind the wheel. Add this to the fact that fewer and fewer young candidates are showing interest in the trucking and shipping industry, and you’re looking at how to drive in every state and a lot of work to choose from.
So, what does it take to get a job like that? Technically, it doesn’t require any trade school, you don’t need a special license like a bus driver does, all it really takes, legally speaking, is a clean driving record and a current license. You can probably go ahead and apply right now, but… if you really want an edge over the competition, you can go ahead and take your driving education to the next level.
The main thing recruiters are looking for here is safe drivers. This means that taking advanced courses like defensive driving can look very, very good on your resume.
Because a pilot car driving job does not require any specialized training or degrees, that means that all you really need to do to get started is… well… find someone who’s willing to pay you to drive out in front of their trucks. Job boards like Indeed.com and Monster can help to point you in the right direction, and Pilotcarmanager.com exclusively lists pilot driving jobs. These boards are a great resource, but they list jobs from all around the country, and not everybody looking for a driver posts to them. Take a look around these websites for work, but make sure to check out trucking companies in your area, as well. Or if you have any friends who drive trucks, let them know that you can lend a hand if they ever have an oversized load they need to haul. You can get to know all the truck drivers in your area and let them know you offer “friend rates” if they’re ever looking for a pilot driver to get them down the road safely.
When someone is looking for a pilot driver, the first thing they’re likely to do is go onto Google and type in “pilot drivers in (city),” so one way to secure work as a pilot driver is establish a brand for yourself. If you have a car and a website, you can sell yourself as the “premier pilot car service in (your city here).” Of course, you might want to wait until you have a couple of paychecks under your belt before you do this, or you’ve at least done a ride along with a driver (preferably not somebody your business is going to be competing with). There’s no training-on-the-job when you’re announcing yourself as the guy to go to for this kind of work.
It’s unlikely you’re going to be getting a new assignment every single day as a pilot driver because they call them oversized loads for a reason: They’re bigger than usual. It takes a lot of networking and salesmanship to secure jobs for yourself. Most pilot drivers have some other form of income, and pilot driving is how they pick up a little extra cash when they can. Be patient, be persistent, and you’ll find the work you’re looking for.