In any heavy haulage exercise, escort services are required. The escort service serves to support the haulage exercise to ensure smooth and safe transport of the cargo from one point to the other. An escort service comprises of several support vehicles that move together with the haulage fleet, offering different services along the journey. Read on to see what these services are and what their importance is.

Check the road surface for safety hazards

Travelling ahead of the pack, one of the escort vehicles monitors the road surface to identify any risky areas that might pose a hazard to the hauling truck (the truck with the cargo). This escort vehicle is supposed to look out for hazards such as steep bumps, potholes, wet/muddy ground and any obstacles on the ground such as rocks and tree branches.

This vehicle clears such obstacles from the road to ensure smooth passage of the fleet. Where the road has fixed challenges such as potholes, the team in this escort car warns the fleet in advance and identifies detour solutions to ensure safe passage.

Check height obstructions

An escort vehicle is also supposed to look out for any height-related hazards on the road. This refers to any obstacles that may prevent the smooth passage of the hauling truck. This vehicle travels with a fixed vertical pole that is as tall as the highest point on the haulage truck. This pole enables accurate identification of vertical obstacles such as electricity wires, tunnels and overpasses. For obstacles such as wires, a crane is used to lift and allow the convoy to pass. For fixed obstacles such as overpasses, an alternative route has to be used.

Control traffic

Escort vehicles during heavy haulage also play the vital role of controlling traffic. This is important to warn road users of the slow moving convoy and the wide load onboard. One or two vehicles (one at the front and another at the back) are used for this. These vehicles signal oncoming traffic to slow down and overtake with care. These vehicles are also used to block off traffic where sections of the road have to be closed. The escort vehicles serve as buffers, preventing errant vehicles from colliding with the hauling truck.

Provide standby trucks

Lastly, a heavy haulage fleet may also consist of one or two spare trucks for contingencies. Such trucks serve to replace the hauling truck should any damage or mechanical problems arise. Sometimes, the hauling truck is replaced periodically so that it can be serviced and used at a later time. The number of standby trucks used depends on the haul distance and the difficulty of the load.

Depending on your cargo size, weight and dimension, a heavy haulage company like SC Heinrich & Co Pty Ltd can best advice on the escort service you need to ensure safety on the road.