A special Kenworth W990, sporting a dynamic graphics wrap, was set to transport the 55th U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from the Nov. 6 tree-cutting ceremony in Carson National Forest in New Mexico to the tree-lighting ceremony in early December on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
This year’s theme is “Delivering Enchantment!” On the side of the truck’s hood, the graphics wrap showcases New Mexico’s state flag, along with Ship Rock, a 7,177 foot-high mountain rock that resembles a 19th century clipper ship. On the door and sleeper, the U.S. Capitol Building is shown with a Christmas tree, with the wording: “From the Land of Enchantment to Enchanting the Nation” written above the graphics. The special tree is a 60-foot Blue Spruce.
The W990 is headed from the Seattle area for Artesia, NM, where it will arrive at Wilbanks Trucking Services. The second-generation company, with nearly 200 employees, will use the W990 to transport the tree, beginning Nov. 11, on a 2,000-mile journey to Washington, D.C. with stops at more than 30 community celebrations.
The honor of being selected to haul the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was a pleasant surprise for Wilbanks.
“When we were contacted to see if we would be interested in transporting the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, we were honored to even be considered,” said Shane Phipps, safety director for Wilbanks. “It didn’t take us long to say ‘yes.’ Everyone here is very excited about taking part in moving this special tree. While we’re a company that specializes in heavy haul, we’re also very experienced in moving oversized loads – and the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is just that. Moving the tree will be unique for us, but we’re more than capable. We’ll even be using our own multiple cranes to lift the tree onto the back of the trailer.”
Wilbanks employees Josh Garcia, Brum Stephens, and Josh Rice were nominated by their peers and selected by company leadership to drive the W990.
For the sixth consecutive year, a Kenworth truck will deliver “The People’s Tree.”
“Over the years, we’ve heard how special this trip is for the trucking company making the delivery, and how meaningful the tour is for adults and kids alike when the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree makes its way through all the towns to Washington, D.C.,” said Laura Bloch, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing. “The annual lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is an important American tradition. The tour brings American pride to all those involved, and to all those who see the special tree traveling across America. We’re especially excited that the Kenworth W990 will again transport the tree.”