Becoming a Pilot/Escort Driver in South Australia requires a bit of thought and consideration, here are some helpful tips on getting started.
SA does not have an Accredtation Scheme in place for Pilot/Escort Drivers at the moment, but is is under consideration by The New Regulator.
If you are lucky enough to be employed by a Company that uses their own Pilot/Escort Drivers and vehicles, then skip Paras 1 - 5.
1. Discuss with a reputable Pilot/Escort Contracting Company as to the viability, do a Business Plan
2. Talk to your Accountant about which is the best way to setup and operate;
a. Individual or Business or Company (pros and cons)
b. Banking, Invoicing, Purchases, Accounting Practices, etc
c. Who's going to do your Bookkeeping (you, wife, partner, bookkeeper, accountant, etc)
3. Means of Communications, e.g.,
a. mobile phone - for taking job bookings and general communications
b. laptop, notebook - emails, web access for road & route information, electronic record keeping such as Guides, etc
4. If you already own a vehicle, assess;
a. will it be suitable for the work you are planning, e.g., working on the bitumen or driving offroad out to the mines, etc
b. is it going to be reliable, free of breakdowns, 50,000kms plus each year is a regular mileage for pilots
c. fuel is going to be a big expense - diesel and petrol/gas are the prefered
5. Otherwise consider a new vehicle
6. If you are going to be away overnight or more, consider setting up living quarters in the vehicle, cheaper than staying in a Motel
everynight. There may be occassions that you are not anywhere near accommodation and meals, best to start off with the basics and
add as you go. To fully set up an existing vehicle could cost over $5,000, depending on your needs
7. If you are operating as a Individual/Business/Company, you may not get paid for jobs completed up to 30 days, sometimes more! This will mean that you will need some financial reserves to pay for operating costs up to 60 - 90 days (this could be up to $5.000)
All Systems are go
8. SA does not have a Pilot/Escort Accreditation Scheme in place, for further information, go to SA Department of Transport Website
Read the Booklets, the Pilot is equally responsible if the load and route is not complient
9. Register you vehicle as a Commercial Vehicle (if required)
10. Advise you vehicle Insurer as to the operational purpose of your vehicle
11. Arrange for - $20 million cover is the norm
Up and Running
12. If you don't any customer/s, register yourself with a reputable Pilot/Escort Provider, ring around and ask other Pilots
who is the best to work for.
13. Have a look at the National Pilot Vehicle Drivers Association (NPVDA) website, , this association keeps you up to date with what is going on around the industry and Gov't Notices. The NPVDA is a good source of Industry information through its
Newsletters and Government Notices.
South Australia Pilot Accreditation Information