The art of escorting for a safer harvest


_Do you need to be accredited? _

Main Roads WA recommends pilot drivers be trained and accredited. If you are subject to an oversize permit, you have to be accredited.

_Do farmers need an accredited pilot when moving harvesting machinery along a road? _

Towed agricultural implements such as hay balers, comb trailers, clover harvesters, field bins and augers do not need an accredited pilot - they come under the Road Traffic (Towed Agricultural Implements) Regulations 1995.

But other vehicles must comply with the Road Traffic (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 2002.

_What about self propelled harvesters? _

Self-propelled harvesters require a permit from Main Roads WA and an accredited pilot if it is more than 3.5 metres wide.

_How far in front do I need to drive if escorting or piloting? _

You need to be far enough in front to give enough warning to oncoming traffic. Take into account the road geometry, traffic speed, visibility and other driving conditions.

Unless specified on the permit, on a single lane carriageway with only one pilot vehicle, the pilot vehicle must travel in front of the load.

Bigger vehicles need more pilots - a standard oversize load vehicle requires one pilot vehicle if it's between 3.5m and 4.5m wide. Two pilot vehicles are required for vehicles between 4.5m and 5.5m wide.

_What permits are needed to move machinery at harvest? _

Outside of the Perth metropolitan area, you do not need a permit for a towed agricultural implement vehicle.

However, if you are travelling within the metropolitan area, get a permit from Main Roads.

Main Roads permits are generally needed if the motor vehicle is more than 2.5m wide, 4.3m high and 12.5m in length, 19m long for a combination or if it exceeds the prescribed mass limit.

If the motor vehicle is built in excess of the allowed dimensions, such as an agricultural self-propelled machine and is oversize only, you need to apply to the Department of Transport to licence the vehicle and for an exemption notice.

If the motor vehicle is over the allowed dimension and mass limits, you need to apply to Main Roads for a permit.

_What about moving machinery at night? _

It depends on the location, vehicle dimensions and the type of vehicle. You can move towed agricultural implements at night. Other vehicles depend on the permit.

_What sort of penalties are you up for if you do not obey the rules? _

Penalties of up to $2000 apply to offences that are not mass related.

Failing to comply with a mass limit may attract penalties up to $6000.

Full details of relevant penalties can be found in the Road Traffic (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 2002.

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