Saskatchewan recently implemented a more rigorous training program for new semi-truck drivers, which is leading the way in standardized training development among prairie provinces.

"We spearheaded that, we invited those provinces to come here and meet with us and worked out the whole training program” Minister responsible for SGI, Joe Hargrave said Wednesday. “everyone had to tweak a little bit but we all came to the 121 and a half hours.”

The roll out did cause one unexpected interruption.

Many new Saskatchewan drivers started the process of getting their license earlier this year, in hopes of beating the March 15 implementation of the new legislation. Many were unable to write the exam as SGI could not facilitate the volume of people looking to get licensed.

The government has agreed to extend the grace period to April 30, and those who can’t meet the new deadline will have to restart the process under the new legislation.

Rana Hameed is a truck driver instructor in Regina, and says while he still has students needing to write the exam under the old rules, the new requirements have not been good for business.

“I’m saying we have 75 per cent less students from before the new legislation, we have 75 per cent less and this is a really big issue," Hameed said, “The biggest problem is money, financial institutions are trying to help the students but the provincial government should be coming forward to help the students also.”

Hameed says his business has received interest, but says most potential students are deterred by the thousands of dollars in registration costs.