Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Escort-Vehicle Driver -- Does Not Exist in Significant Numbers

We all have our own anecdotal experience.  "Wide Load" is the sign that we see on the back of some small car following a very large truck hauling heavy equipment or some wide load.  Those workers move that wide load during daylight hours. We have all seen it.  Certainly that trailing driver is the escort-vehicle driver described in the DOT.  But is that the only job that drivers do, every day, on a full-time basis?   We start with the DOT:

919.663-022 ESCORT-VEHICLE DRIVER (motor trans.) Drives vehicle equipped with warning lights and signs to escort trucks hauling mobile homes on public thoroughfares: Precedes escort and maintains specified distance between pilot vehicle and escort to provide warning to other motorists and to clear traffic at locations. Communicates by two-way radio with truck and other pilot vehicle drivers to coordinate changes in speed and route, emergencies, or traffic congestion. 

GOE: 05.08.03 STRENGTH: S GED: R2 M1 L2 SVP: 2 DLU: 77

Sedentary, unskilled, reasoning level 2.  Sounds simple enough.  Despite the described use of using a radio to communicate, the SCO states that this occupation requires no talking or hearing.  Just a tad inconsistent unless talking and hearing do not include giving and receiving instructions.  

Escort-vehicle driver is a light truck driver occupation (SOC 53-3033).  The OOH describes the group as having typical education requirement of a high school or equivalent education and short-term on-the-job training. Light truck drivers represent over 1 million jobs.  The Employment Projections tell us that 15.7% of incumbents have less than a high school education. 

The O*NET states that light truck drivers have contact with others half the time or more in all jobs.  Light truck drivers work with a group or team in 98% of jobs.  Light truck drivers work full-time in 51% of jobs.  Light truck drivers sit continually or almost continually in 8% of jobs.  

The O*NET Resource Center lists the requirements of light truck driver.  Light truck drivers have on-the-job training one month or less in 69% of jobs.  Light truck drivers do not require related work experience of more than one  month in almost 40% of jobs.  Light truck drivers require a high school diploma or less in 97% of jobs.  

The Occupational Requirements Survey describes light truck drivers as engaged in SVP 6 work in just under 12% of jobs.  We find no description for the other 88% of jobs.  Light truck drivers lift up to 50 pounds at the 10th percentile and up to 70 pounds at the median and above.  Light truck drivers sit 75% of the day at the 90th percentile.  

Escort-vehicle driver exists in the motor transportation industry.  Census and the OES classify Truck Transportation at NAICS 484000.  The OES states that this industry group employs 51,410 light truck drivers.  County Business Patterns describes truck transportation subsector in two groups:  general freight trucking; and specialized freight trucking.  Two-thirds of the jobs exist in general freight trucking.  The NAICS Manual points to specialized freight trucking, local as the correct industry (NAICS 484220).  Specialized freight (except used goods) trucking, local employs 222,047 workers.  The Employment Projections state that 3.4% of truck transportation workers have employment as a light truck driver.  Most workers have employment as heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (59% of jobs).  

We apply the math: 222,047 x 3.4% = 7,772.  That is not the number of escort-vehicle drivers but the maximum number of escort vehicle drivers.  Local specialized freight trucking hauls agricultural products, dump trucks, boats, livestock, and bulk liquids.  Long distance specialized freight trucking hauls automobiles, refrigerated products, liquids, waste, and hazardous materials.  Adding in long distance trucking will increase the number of jobs by 6,150 but requires more significant reductions for other products hauled.  

The data does not support a significant number of sedentary jobs.  The data does not support significant numbers of jobs within the industries appropriate to the DOT industry designation.  There does not exist a significant number of jobs that exist for escort-vehicle driver.  

Anecdotal experience and $4 buys coffee.  It is not reliable evidence upon which to adjudicate a claim worth $250K to $500K in benefits under the Social Security Act.  That is not how reasonable people handle serious affairs.  

I provided links to the original source material.  It would take hours to find all this data even if the searcher knew that the data existed.  For that reason, I recommend  


Suggested Citation:

Lawrence Rohlfing, Escort-Vehicle Driver -- Does Not Exist in Significant Numbers, California Social Security Attorney (February 17, 2021)

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