All That's Trucking

Christmas Tree, Trucking's Image Make Way to Capitol for Holidays

November 3, 2014

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The special 75-foot white spruce from the Chippewa National Forest and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is loaded onto a heavy duty trailer – expandable to 80 feet – and coupled to a Kenworth T880, Kenworth’s flagship heavy haul vocational truck. Photo: Kenworth
The special 75-foot white spruce from the Chippewa National Forest and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is loaded onto a heavy duty trailer – expandable to 80 feet – and coupled to a Kenworth T880, Kenworth’s flagship heavy haul vocational truck. Photo: Kenworth

(Corrected) Now that Halloween is over, many people's thoughts are already turning to Christmas.

Even before Halloween, last Thursday, more than 300 people celebrated the harvesting of the 2014 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree near Cass Lake, Minn., before it was loaded onto a tractor-trailer for a special tour on its way to Washington, D.C.

The Minnesota Trucking Association has been helping in the logistical planning of hauling an 80-foot plus tree to America’s capitol.

“This is a great opportunity to show people how essential the trucking industry is," says MTA President John Hausladen. "Hauling this tree is just one example of what trucking does for America.”

After the ceremony, the 75-foot white spruce from the Chippewa National Forest and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe was loaded onto a heavy-duty trailer – expandable to 80 feet – and coupled to a Kenworth T880, Kenworth’s flagship heavy haul vocational truck.

This T880 has a special design incorporates a U.S. Capitol night image, brightly lit and decorated Christmas tree, 2014 Capitol Christmas Tree official seal, and logo of Wille Transport, a long-time Kenworth customer based in Cohasset, Minn. An owner-operator and a company driver with Wille Transport will pilot the Kenworth T880 – and a Kenworth T680 Advantage with 76-inch sleeper, respectively – during the more than 30-stop tour.

The T680 Advantage will transport 70 smaller Christmas trees donated by the Minnesota Tree Growers Association. Those trees will decorate the inside of the U.S. Capitol building and other federal sites throughout Washington, D.C. The T680 Advantage also will bring 10,000 ornaments created by children and others from Minnesota communities to adorn the Capitol Christmas Tree and the smaller trees.

PeopleNet and ALK will provide real-time tracking of the Capitol Christmas Tree as it travels from the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota to the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. via the website www.capitolchristmastree.com.

Costs are paid for in part by the U.S. Forest Service, while costs for the tree's transportation and special events are covered by in-kind services, donations and overall support both locally and nationwide. MTA has donated $5,000 to help cover the costs of the tree’s transport.

The Capitol Christmas Tree will be lit by Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a special ceremony in early December. House Speaker John W. McCormack began the Capitol Christmas Tree tradition in 1964.

Kudos to the Minnesota Trucking Association, Kenworth, Wille Transport, PeopleNet, ALK, Eaton, the Truckload Carriers Association and others in the trucking industry for helping to maintain a national tradition while putting trucking's best foot forward.

(Corrected to include Truckload Carriers Association rather than Trucking Moves America Forward.)

Related:

Photo: Kenworth
Photo: Kenworth

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Deborah Lockridge

Editor-in-Chief

All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.

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