Industry forecaster FTR held an eye-opening Webinar recently, to discuss the effect regulatory drag is having on trucking industry productivity. Between the 1930s and mid-90s, trucking regulations actually increased productivity by 150%. Now, they’re having the opposite effect. FTR is tracking 21 regulations that will further reduce productivity if and when implemented.

During the Webinar, FTR’s Noel Perry made the grim prediction that trucking will have to double its hiring activity by 2018 just to offset productivity losses resulting from regulations. Never mind the lack of new entrants or the increasing average age of today’s drivers. An improvement in the economy could create an unprecedented supply shortage. It’s a major concern. You can read a more detailed report here. For now, here’s Noel putting into words what the industry is facing:

“We are asking the industry to increase the number of people it hires by about double, so this is a very big deal. Even if our quantification is off by 30%, it doesn’t change the conclusion,” Perry said.  He said when the proposed regulations – including an EOBR mandate – are implemented, “It will be an unprecedented assault on the hiring capability of the industry.”

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • They have been saying for 20 years that we are going to a truck driver shortage but truck wages keep going down in real spending power and the insurance makes it so long time drivers with their own trucks can no longer afford insurance and plates at todays low trucking rates. The government in ont need to do the same Mb and take over truck insurance and also set truck rates for these surplus loads that nobody will be able to cover and a load board only then can we talk about the need to train and hire more trucks drivers most are doing other jobs that pay more per hour than driving truck today