“The People’s Tree” is on its Way to Washington D.C. Thanks to Truckers
Red River, NM – The 2019 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, also known as “The People’s Tree,” was harvested last week and is now on its way to Washington D.C. thanks to truckers and many within the trucking community.
The cherished national tradition began in 1964 when Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack (D-MA) placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn.
This year, the 55th U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested from Carson National Forest on November 6.
The 60-foot blue spruce is 68 years old and will be transported by Artesia, NM-based Wilbanks Trucking.
“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 Trucking Services.
“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.”
Wilbanks’ drivers Josh Garcia, Brum Stephens, and Josh Rice were nominated by their peers and selected by company leadership to drive “The People’s Tree” along the more than 2,000-mile journey.
For the sixth straight year the truck drivers will be operating a specially decaled Kenworth.
However, this is the first year the truckers will be driving a W990.
“Kenworth is proud to once again play a part in delivering the ‘People’s Tree’ to our nation’s capital,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “The cross-country tour offers the opportunity for people to see this national symbol of celebration, and the Kenworth W990 is the right truck for this important job.”
The national tour will begin on Monday, November 11.
“The People’s Tree” will visit 25 communities across the U.S. before arriving in Washington D.C. on November 25 where it will grace the mall of the United States Capitol Building.
Along the way, well-wishers will have a chance to sign banners on the sides of the truck, learn more about the Carson National Forest, purchase U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree merchandise and more.
To learn more about the 2019 tour, click HERE.
The tree will be lit by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, on Wednesday, December 4, during a ceremony on the West Front Lawn beginning at 5 p.m.
It is open to the public and free to attend.
The tree will be lit from nightfall until 11 p.m. each evening through January 1, 2020.
Such an endeavor would never be possible without the assistance and generosity of many within the trucking community.
This year’s transportation partners include: Kenworth Truck Company, Wilbanks Trucking Services, LLC, Spireon, Inc., Hale Trailer, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Great West Casualty Company, Meritor, TravelCenters of America, and the Truckload Carriers Association.
Images are provided courtesy of James Edward Mills
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Transportation Nation Network’s original series trucking show, Truckerville, gives you an inside look at what it takes to safely harvest, transport, and deliver the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.