This month’s cool “creation” was built for Dan “Preppy” Knipp of Louisburg, Kansas. Over the years, Dan has had some pretty cool trucks, but this “preppy” driver did not start out trucking. After a few years of farming and then a stint as an investment banker, Dan finally found his home in the driver’s seat. His latest truck, seen here, is a fairly simple unit, but Dan loves it.
Raised on a farm in Ford, KS, Dan (43) was mostly raised by his grandparents, Curtis & Kack Rhineheart, who were farmers. Since they had eight kids and they were all daughters, grandpa, not wanting the girls to work on the farm, was glad to get Dan’s help. At the age of 10, Dan found himself running machines by himself. At one point, Dan ran the whole place, but when he was 21 years old, grandpa decided to sell the farm. He told Dan, “Find something you like to do, because you’re going to do a lot of it!”
Dan got a job at Millard Refrigeration in Dodge City and became a warehouse manager. After moving him to several different locations, he and his wife (Kathrynn) ended up in Kansas City. Two years later, he moved on and started his own investment banking firm. Many of his clients were truckers, and before he knew it, he was ready to buy a rig and go trucking.
When Dan came into the dealership to buy his first truck, he was dressed in a designer suit (hence the nickname Preppy) and he didn’t even have a CDL yet – just a learner’s permit. His salesman, Marty Dudenhoffer, spent the whole weekend teaching Dan how to drive his truck. On Monday, Dan took and passed his driving test in his brand new 1998 Peterbilt. After one of his trucking clients (Kelly Dick) vouched for him, Dan got a job at RL Hannah, a local rock hauler in Kansas City. Dan worked there for 8 years, and for the first time in his life, he understood what grandpa had said – he loved his job.
In 2000, Dan upgraded his ride to a new long hood with a standup sleeper, and then in 2003, he ordered a new truck from Clint. The two of them became good friends, and when it was time to get another truck, he again ordered it from Clint – this one was a 2006 Pete with a cool Clint-style paint job and a flattop sleeper. In 2009, Dan bought a barely-used 2007 Legacy Edition Peterbilt from Clint and ran it until just a few months ago, when it got totaled in a wreck.
Now that Dan was on foot, he needed a new truck fast. Clint pulled some strings at the factory and was able to order him a 2013 Peterbilt 389 glider kit, which arrived just three months later. Working with Odell Trucking, owners Jim & Vicki Odell were nice enough to pull out their “Blacky” show truck from the shed and let Dan use it while he waited for his new truck to be built.
Once the truck came in, Charlie wasted no time fitting it with a 550 Cat 6NZ and an 18-speed transmission. Painted black with an orange frame, the rig also has a car-hauler front axle, Low AirLeaf suspension, and a 285” wheelbase. The guys in the shop also installed one of Clint’s drop visors, a set of WTI fiberglass fenders, straight pipes, and stainless battery boxes. Then, Clint’s dad chopped the air cleaner screens. Overall, the truck is pretty simple, but Dan loves the rig’s understated elegance.
Dan Knipp and his wife Kathrynn have three wonderful children – Dalton (13), Dylan (11), and Kaitlynn (7). Dan said, “Trucking is great for me. I get to deliver to farms and construction sites, and those are my kind of people. They always have a smile on their face and they are always glad to see me.” What “Preppy” doesn’t realize is that when you are a great guy like he is, everyone you meet is happy to see you!