Coaching and Connection -- Prime Driving Instructor Danny Gibbons Uses Instructor Skills with His Daughters and New Drivers
There’s no doubt that Danny Gibbons is the very proud father of three young, adult daughters. Just ask him and he’ll tell you about their achievements, their college degrees and graduate degrees. He is understandably pleased with what they accomplished and his ability to support them financially because of his job with Prime, Inc.
Danny started driving with Prime almost 11 years ago and then moved into the role of training and coaching new drivers. “I used to coach my girls’ sports activities, so it was just a natural thing for me to help aspiring drivers learn the skills they need to drive a big truck.” In addition to training others, Danny has won a number of awards for his driving skill, including three time “Instructor of the Year” and the “Million Mile Award” for safe driving.
Danny’s specialty or expertise lies in the area of driving a flatbed truck. He said he was drawn to it because flatbeds usually go to more rural or suburban areas, whereas “re-fers” (refrigerated trucks) are more typically bound for big cities. He also enjoys the challenge of hauling different or unique roles. One of his most unusual or challenging loads was a 35,000--40,000-pound motor.
Danny knows a lot about 18-wheelers, but he also is pretty savvy when it comes to kids. Over the years, he has developed a number of strategies for staying connected with his daughters. One year one of his daughters developed a map of the U.S. with one that displayed all the places he driving for Prime with string and tacks. At the end of the year he was pleased to receive the map in a more permanent form as a gift and tribute from her.
Of course, Danny, has also made it a practice to stay in regular communication with his daughters. “Can you see the moon tonight?” he’s asked. “What does it look like?” He said that looking at the same moon at the same time helps a dad and child to feel closer, even when their hundreds of miles apart. He also suggests having a “special song” so that every time a child hears it, she remembers, “My dad is thinking about me.”
Prime Good Dads is all about helping fathers be more engaged and connected with their kids “for the long haul.” Driving a long-haul truck has its challenges and fathers obviously miss their families, but Danny Gibbons is proof that a dad can stay “engaged” with his child even when he can’t be present physically. Our hats are off to him and many other drivers like him. Thanks Danny!