SEATTLE, Nov. 9, 2015 – The 2015 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree made its first tour stop with a community event visit to Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) and Lake Union Park.
The crowd gathered to see the 74-foot Lutz spruce from Seward, Alaska, chosen as the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, the Kenworth T680 76-inch mid-roof sleeper tour truck and specially designed tour trailer.
The tractor-trailer combination will travel 3,000 miles together in the next few weeks to visit community celebrations from Seattle to Washington, D.C. The tree will be lit by newly elected U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Dec. 2, outside the U.S. Capitol building. House Speaker John W. McCormack began the Capitol Christmas Tree tradition in 1964.
The new T680 was made available for the tour by PacLease, which provides customized full-service lease, rental and contract maintenance programs featuring Kenworth trucks. It is the second consecutive year that PacLease has provided a Kenworth truck for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour.
The T680 76-inch mid-roof sleeper is equipped with the PACCAR MX-13 engine and the Eaton Fuller Advantage 10-speed automated manual transmission. The truck also features the new Kenworth TruckTech+ to enhance vehicle diagnostics and to help optimize truck uptime and productivity.
The T680’s distinctive decal design features the Chugach Mountains and the U.S. Capitol beneath a northern starry sky with the words, “From the Northern Lights to Capitol Lights.” It includes the 2015 Capitol Christmas Tree official seal, a comprehensive map of the tour route, and the Alaska state logo of Lynden Transport, a long-time customer based in Anchorage. Its driver, John Schank, has logged more than 5 million miles on the treacherous Dalton Highway between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
“For the next few weeks, the T680 76-inch mid-roof sleeper serves as ‘America’s Truck’ as it transports ‘The People’s Tree’ across the country to Washington, D.C.,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “This new Kenworth configuration provides excellent fuel efficiency and driver comfort with inspirational graphics for those seeing the truck on the road or at the community events.”
During the Seattle event, visitors also signed banners on the sides of the trailer to wish the tree well on its journey, explored the Chugach National Forest Service and Choose Outdoors exhibits, and listened to the Alaska bluegrass band Blackwater Railroad Company traveling with the tour.
In addition, Lynden Transport’s 1954 Kenworth (nicknamed Old No. 27) was connected to a 40-foot Aero Liner trailer that serves as the company’s traveling museum. Inside MOHAI, visitors could see a 1924 Kenworth Logger built just blocks away in Seattle near the start of Kenworth’s 92-year history.
Upcoming tour stops are:
Kenworth Truck Company is a PACCAR company and the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth's website is Kenworth.com.