It’s still nearly four weeks shy of Halloween, but Kenworth is already prepared for a special Christmas delivery. The company recently unveiled a specially-decaled Kenworth T680, which will transport the 52nd United States Capitol Christmas tree on a cross-country tour to Washington, D.C. The tour will visit 26 community celebrations during the 2,800-mile journey.
After its arrival and set-up on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the tree will be illuminated during a special ceremony in early December that will be presided over by U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. The 80-foot Englemann Spruce will be cut on November 2 near McCall, Idaho, and placed on a trailer designed for the tree.
Following the tree-cutting and send-off at the Payette National Forest Headquarters in McCall, Idaho, the Kenworth T680, equipped with a 76-inch sleeper, PACCAR MX-13 engine, Eaton Fuller Advantage 10-speed automated transmission and Kenworth TruckTech+, will haul the tree to a community event in downtown McCall. The T680’s distinctive decal design features the tree and the U.S. Capitol beneath the words “From Tree to Shining Tree.” Gary Amoth, owner of Gary Amoth Trucking, will be the primary driver of the special T680.
A local Kenworth dealer, Kenworth Sales Co., recommended Amoth as the tree’s driver based on his reputation in the trucking industry in Idaho, according to Bruce Ward, president of Choose Outdoors. Amoth, who started his trucking company hauling agricultural commodities with one truck in 1983, expanded the business into a Twin Falls, Idaho-based full-service carrier with a fleet of more than 100 trucks hauling overseas containers for the drayage market, as well as flatbed and container freight. Choose Outdoors is a non-profit organization that assists the U.S. Forest Service with coordinating the Christmas tree annual tour.
The T680 tour truck will be accompanied by the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck, a Kenworth T680 hauling a 6-ton, 28-foot long replica of an Idaho russet potato. The Great Big Potato Truck was created in 2012 by the Idaho Potato Commission. The hollow potato will carry some of the 8,000 ornaments Idaho school children and other residents crafted to adorn the tree and 70 other Christmas trees from the Payette National Forest.
“It is an honour for Kenworth to participate in this event delivering the ‘The People’s Tree’ for the third year in a row,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “We’re especially proud that two Kenworth T680s will play key roles in completing this important tour, which offers Americans the opportunity to see this national symbol of celebration. Both trucks provide tour drivers comfortable work environments, and their colourful and attractive graphics offer visitors at each stop a strong visual reminder of the origin of this year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas tree.”
The Capitol Christmas Tree Tour will make several stops in Idaho before continuing on through Utah, Colorado, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. It will arrive November 27 at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where it will be uncrated and prepared for its final trip into Washington, D.C., the next day.
For more information, including a complete tour schedule, visit the 2016 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree website, which is administrated and updated by Choose Outdoors. The public can track the truck’s progress at Trackthetree.com.