Skip to content

New pilot truck service launched

Estevan Escorts, at your service
Estevan Escorts
Barrie McMillan has truck, will pilot. A second unit was in the process of being prepared when this photo was taken on May 25.

Estevan – Looking at a looming layoff, Barrie McMillan decided the time was right to strike out on his own and start his own pilot truck service.

So with fresh decals on his truck, lights, D (for “dimension”) sign, fire extinguisher and first aid kit, he fired up operations in late May. A second truck, to be run by owner-operator Cecil Munro, was in the process of being kitted out.

“I figured there should be a proper service for pilot cars in Estevan; not a hot shot, but strictly pilot cars,” McMillan said at the Tim Hortons, where his wife., Rhonda is in management.

Rhonda does all the admin work for Estevan Escorts. “She might be driving once things get busy,” he added.

Using smaller vehicles to guide larger ones is nothing new to McMillan. “I’m a tugboat captain,” he said.

“I’m a 150-ton ticketed skipper. I used to run barges down the B.C. coast, from Victoria to Alaska. With tugs I travelled all around (Vancouver) Island.

I moved out here because the work got dry five years ago. We weren’t getting enough work,” he said.

McMillan trucked seafood on Vancouver Island when he came off the tugs.  

Munroe said, “I have done pilot service in the past with Sams; Baxters. I’ve done hotshot and delivery.

“Things slowed right down. I still have a courier business on the side,” he added.

McMillan said, “We were laid off with the (spring) breakup.”

They made the decision to go ahead with this new venture at that time. They knew some people are looking for pilots, and there’s a constant flow of trucks hauling oversized loads from the U.S., passing through the area.

So McMillan got his truck rigged up with lights, signs, and all the associated safety gear he would need. Munroe’s truck was next on the list, when the pair spoke to Pipeline News in late May. Both drive Dodge 1500 pickups.

McMillan has had his fitted out with an auxiliary 400 litre tank to provide extra range.

“The truck is totally equipped,” he said. This includes radios, both handheld, and hardmounted.

There the possibility of adding a pole on the truck to ensure clearance for high loads.

“The truck is ready to go,” McMillan said. “Now it’s push time. We’re a serious pilot truck business. We’re in this for the long haul.”

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks