Transportation has always been a part of Tim Hick’s life. When he was a young boy, Tim would watch airplanes, listen for the blare of a train’s horn, and wave at truckers as he rode with his parents on the highway. Even now, ask him what his favorite movies are, and he’ll tell you the two DVDs he owns: Top Gun and Smoky and the Bandit.
When Tim turned 19, he put that love for transportation to good use by enlisting in the United States Air Force. He served his country for eight years and left the Air Force with experience as a Staff Sergeant (E-5), Aircraft Structural Maintenance/Corrosion Control Technician (7 level), Branch Safety NCOIC.
With almost a decade of experience working in one side of transportation (planes), Tim was interested in switching to trucking. “When I left, I had that same love for all things transportation I did when I was younger,” said Tim. “When I started driving, I just transitioned from one thing that I loved to another.”
But Tim didn’t just fall into a career in trucking. He researched to find the carrier that fit his job preferences. Tim explained, “After I left the Air Force, I did a ton of research to find the company I wanted to invest in. I knew that choice would make a huge impact on how my professional life would develop, and I didn’t want to go in without preparation.”
What he found in that research was Con-way Truckload’s top-notch equipment and competitive pay. Those two qualities convinced him to take the job, but the coworkers reinforced his decision to make Con-way Truckload home. “The people here at Con-way Truckload make all the difference. Driving can be hard because you can be on your own for long periods of time, so when you hear a friendly voice on dispatch or people greeting you by name, you know that someone has your back, even when you’re physically far away.”
Tim’s research has paid off. Since starting his driving career at Con-way Truckload, he has become the Driver Advocate and serves as the Voice of the Professional Driver. His role as the Driver Advocate is to sponsor retention initiatives, track driver turnover, and manage retention systems. He works with all levels of management including departmental, corporate, and executive. The scope of Tim’s responsibility includes an emphasis on retention while promoting a safe working environment. Tim spends the majority of his time conversing directly with other drivers.
During his tenure with Con-way, Tim has driven over a million miles, received three Driver of the Month Awards as well as the coveted Driver of the Year Award. He was nominated twice for the Quarterly Leader Award, QLA, and became a QLA winner. He was named a QLA President’s Award winner and recently, Con-way honored Tim with the highest employee recognition possible: The Constellation Award.
“There is no doubt that my success at Con-way goes back to my time in the Air Force,” said Tim. “Veterans have a put-your-nose-to-the-grindstone mentality that makes us the perfect drivers. Whatever the mission is, we complete it. Now, the mission is to deliver safely and on time.”
As a Driver Advocate, Tim puts a special emphasis on delivering goods safely to new drivers. He advised, “New drivers need to open the lines of communication. Ask questions. Ask for help if necessary. Slow down, and take in the trucking experience in small pieces to become an expert at what you do.”
Tim is a valuable part of the Con-way Truckload family and an excellent example of how veterans flourish in the trucking industry. We thank you for your service, Tim, both as a member of the Air Force and as a member of the trucking industry.