Labor, equipment shortage and Driver Inc. top executives’ concerns

by Today's Trucking

An inability to procure new equipment, the labor shortage, and the ongoing Driver Inc. business model are the top issues facing Canadian fleet executives, according to a new Nanos survey.

The survey, conducted on behalf of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), included 36 senior executives representing companies operating more than 39,000 trucks.

Respondents said they are having to turn down loads as demand for their services exceeds what they can provide. Fleet execs said the supply chain is weaker than a year ago, preventing access to drivers, equipment, and parts.

Thirty-four of 36 respondents cited the labor shortage as their top concern.

Navistar AGV
Fleet execs say they can’t procure new equipment due to supply chain issues. (Photo: John G. Smith)

“It’s been a couple of years that we have been recruiting abroad, and it hasn’t gotten easier; it’s actually been harder. We’ve been waiting for applications for a year-and-a-half. It takes a very long time,” one executive said.

An inability to source new equipment is also an issue. One respondent said: “I cannot buy a truck. I cannot buy a trailer for a couple of years. Trucks will be inoperable, but I still must make payments on them and that is happening today.”

Fleet execs also complained about the Driver Inc. business model, which misclassifies company drivers as independents to skirt certain taxes.

“The Driver Inc. model is one of the challenges that includes a lot of good drivers in (that system) who are being taken advantage. For all of us that remain in a non-Driver Inc. model for employees, we end up paying the (proper labor requirements), such as 10 sick days leave, etc.,” said one frustrated executive. “If the government says [Driver Inc.] is OK, then we will have to change our model as well.”

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.


  • I personally run a small fleet of six highway units for FedEx Ground. We are by Contractual Agreement to hire only drivers on Payroll and to deduct all the Federal and Provincial Employment Taxes. The driver pay is good, the equipment is new and very well taken care of, the company-FedEx Ground is really good to work for , either as a Contractor / Owner operator or as a driver, there is a certain level of respect that you can not really find somewhere else , ( this is coming from someone living in Canada since 1994 and in Trucking in this great country since 1997 ) , Still …the biggest problem for us, not finding proper experienced drivers, is the : Driver Inc. Model.
    95 % of all the drivers I talk to, walk away from it, when I tell them the employment is on Strictly payroll .
    Recently , I just dropped a Route, for which, people in the “outside world “, if I may, would probably cut their own arm off, to have it, and I dropped it Only because I can Not find experienced drivers , willing to go on payroll employment.
    If drivers have an option somewhere else to go and work as a Driver Inc. / as a Subcontractor , I do not really blame them, why would they want to pay 30 % in Taxes , when they can , like they do everyday, get away with most of those taxes, legally for the most part.

  • Bring a min wage of $27/ hrs for a driver with 3 yes experience on payroll plus overtime after 10 hrs / day and double time after 13 hrs based of the elog bring a min for driver Inc of $35/ hrs plus a medical coverage in U S and CA and system to protect and provide for sick and injured drivers to get proper treatment food medical care and temporary housing. This the only to protect truck drivers and make a level playing without bringing cheap foreign drivers that get cheated I live and vol with disabled and homeless people often who are truck drivers or veteran. People know me can tell that work with homeless that I am very well respected among that group and many medical people.