Brothers Kyle, Scott and Tyler Blackburn are graduates of XPO’s driver training program. What attracted them to XPO, and how did all three end up working at the same facility?
The youngest of three brothers, Kyle Blackburn joined XPO in February 2009 as a part-time dockworker. “I was working at a sporting goods store and looking for an actual career, not just a job.”
His older brother Tyler came on board a few months later, attracted by the pay scale. “I got an associate’s degree in veterinary technology, and I realized Kyle was making more money than I was,” he says. “I started working part-time at both places. When the opportunity came up with XPO, we were part of the first group of full-time dock hires.”
Kyle and Tyler spent the next year on the dock, chatting with drivers who helped out between routes. “They told me about their opportunities,” Tyler said. “Driving was a chance to further myself in a career.” When a sign-up sheet appeared for the region’s first driver school he jumped at the chance. Kyle was itching to join as well, but had to wait until he turned 21.
Scott worked with NASCAR for 10 years before joining XPO in 2013. He also started as a dockworker, but unlike Kyle and Tyler, he chose to stay on the dock at first. “These guys spent over a year trying to talk me into driving,” he says, gesturing to his siblings. By the time Scott agreed, his brother Tyler had become a driver trainer. Tyler was, in fact, the one who taught Scott how to drive big rigs.
Why did Kyle, Tyler and eventually Scott choose to become drivers? For Tyler, it was easy math. “My decision allowed me to buy a house. As soon as I began my driver training, I went on a house hunt. I purchased before I was even done with school. My degree in the vet tech field didn’t pay me enough to have the nicer things that I would want for my family.”
His brothers agree. “Driving for XPO has actually given me a family outside of work,” says Scott. “It’s given me my wife and daughter. I wasn’t sure I could support a family in my previous job.” The same is true for Kyle, who trained with XPO as a hostler. He maneuvers massive trailers around the relatively tight confines of the Fremont dockyard. “It was an opportunity to buy a house, to have a well-paying job where you’re home every day. You’re not away from family for weeks at a time.”
XPO’s close-to-home LTL routes have become Tyler’s favorite part of the job. “Out and back in the city, or linehauls that are only so many hours away — we get home on time every night. If the work environment was something other than the one here, I don’t know if I’d be in trucking because it wouldn’t fit my family life. But that balance of home and work? It fits my schedule really well.”