Advanced Minnesota and Hennepin Technical College announce pilot/escort driver certification training - - The Pilot Independent

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Advanced Minnesota and Hennepin Technical College announce pilot/escort driver certification training

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Advanced Minnesota has announced that it now offers pilot/escort driver certification training.

Advanced is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and Hennepin Technical College (HTC) to offer a training program designed to certify overdimensional load pilot/escort vehicle operators to the standards set by the new law passed by the state of Minnesota in 2010 and adopted in late 2012.

“Our goal is to communicate the new industry rules and regulations and to present current pilot/escort driver best practices and guidelines relating to safety,” said Erik Gohl, Industrial Safety coordinator for HTC’s Customized Training Services.

Gohl said that Minnesota lawmakers deemed this a necessary law for public safety reasons.

“Oversize loads are getting bigger and becoming more frequent on Minnesota highways. The qualification bar for pilot/escort drivers, including law enforcement personnel, has now been raised,” he stated.

Essentially, if pilot/escort drivers want to continue to do business in the state of Minnesota they now have until January to become trained and certified by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. It’s the law. Their vehicles, in addition, will need to meet certain requirements. Peace officers performing pilot/escort duties will also now be required to undergo specific pilot/escort training before they can engage in those duties.

“As a trucking company that specializes in oversize load movements, we truly believe that if people are properly trained and certified to operate a pilot/escort vehicle, our roadways would be much safer. Moving large shipments is dangerous; the people that help move these loads must understand the required equipment, safety measures, and best practices,” noted Justin Brevik, equipment services manager for Perkins Specialized Transportation Contracting in Northfield.

Colonel Kevin P. Daly, chief, Minnesota State Patrol, concurs with the importance of obtaining the new certification. Addressing future students of the certification course, he stated, “Your job as a pilot/escort professional is essential to the safe transport of over-dimensional loads on Minnesota’s highways. The importance of your role in this activity cannot be overemphasized.”

The law specifically directs the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) system, working in conjunction with the Minnesota State Patrol (MSP), to develop and conduct this training. MSP tasked two colleges in the system, Hennepin Technical College (HTC) and Advanced Minnesota to develop and teach the curriculum.

Through Advanced and HT Customized Training, the new certification training for civilian pilot/escort drivers is now ready to begin, with classes conveniently being scheduled all over the state of Minnesota. State law mandates the cost of civilian pilot/escort driver certification classes to be $180 per participant. Classes will last approximately eight hours. Advanced registration for the classes is required. Drivers will need to provide a current Minnesota driver record (no older than 30 days) with their registration.

For information about the program, contact Mike Knapp at (218) 322-2459 mike.knapp@advancedmn.org or Erik Gohl at (952) 995-1346 erik.gohl@hennepintech.edu

Advanced now integrates five existing custom training and continuing education programs at Hibbing Community College, Mesabi Range Community and Technical College, Itasca Community College, Rainy River Community and Technical College, Vermilion Community College, and a district-wide initiative known as Arrowhead University upper division programming partnerships, into a region-wide, interdependent operation that retains direct client access and program delivery on the NHED college campuses. Part of Advanced Minnesota’s mission is to meet the increasing demand by regional business and industry for qualified workers as well as to provide a single point of contact for all clients seeking customized training and continuing education programming.