Joe Hicks is a champion truck driver and 11-year veteran of XPO. He works alongside his family in Providence, Rhode Island – including three sons who will soon follow their dad on the road, thanks to XPO’s professional driver training.
Friendly, funny and quick to laugh, the Hicks crew is a staple of the Providence team. Joe’s four sons – Joey, Anthony, Billy and Dave – all work the dock. Their New England accents can be heard day and night in the loading area, but that will soon change: Joey, Anthony and Dave are about to climb into tractors of their own. They just passed their road tests and will be graduating from XPO’s driver school at the end of this month.
Path of a Champion
When Joe Hicks first competed in the Rhode Island Truck Driving Championship in 2010, he made it all the way to Nationals and was named Rookie of the Year. Eight years later, Joe has four state Grand Championships to his name, including the 2018 title.
Despite their father’s skills behind the wheel, three of Joe’s sons didn’t plan on driving when they joined XPO; they just liked the environment. “It’s a good company,” says Joey, who was still in school when he started at XPO four years ago. “I already knew some of the guys my dad works with. They’re good people.”
Anthony agreed with his older brother and was more than a little envious of his paycheck. “I was working at a pharmacy making minimum wage. I saw what Joey was earning and couldn’t wait to join XPO.” He started on the dock two years ago, followed by Billy and Dave last October.
Unlike his siblings, Dave joined XPO knowing up front that he wanted a commercial driver’s license. “We didn’t have the driver school here yet,” he explains, “so I enrolled in an outside program. XPO was great – they adjusted my dock schedule so I could go to class and get my CDL.”
Then came word that XPO was opening a driver school in Providence. At 19, Billy was too young to enroll, but Joey, Anthony and Dave were ready. Dave even left the outside program to take advantage of XPO’s hands-on training and free tuition. “I got more time in a truck on my first day at XPO’s school than I did in two weeks at that other place,” he says.
Although Joey didn’t come to XPO seeking a CDL, his father’s success changed his mind. “I wanted to get my own place,” he says. “We grew up in a nice house. We always had what we needed; we had a good life. I wanted to be able to start a family and buy a house of my own.”
Anthony isn’t looking to buy a house just yet, but he likes the opportunity that driving offers. “I was tired of living paycheck to paycheck. I wanted to settle down and start a real career, to start working on my future. So that's what I did.”
Joe senior loves being one of five Hicks family members at the Providence location. “When kids get older, they naturally move away from their parents. I get to see my kids every day!” He admits that being both a father and a coworker can be tricky. “I'm not their boss. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m at work and can’t play the parent role. It’s a bit difficult, but it’s worth it."
His sons agree. Anthony remembers the conversations his family would have about the future, and he’s proud of where the Hicks men have landed. “My father used to push us to keep our options open,” he remembers. “Every dad wants his kids to have opportunities, and that doesn’t always mean doing the same thing he does. But I’m so glad I chose this path. I'm glad I'm following in his footsteps and becoming an XPO driver.”