BELLEVUE, Wash, Nov. 19, 2015 – On Dec. 2, U.S. Speaker of the House John Ryan, R-Wis., will be looking up at a 74-foot tall Lutz Spruce, located on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. With a flip of a switch, the tree will come alive with thousands of LED lights and 4,000 ornaments. It will be the official welcoming of the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree and the kickoff to the holidays. It’s a tradition that began in 1964 by House Speaker John W. McCormack.
Getting the tree to the Capitol is a multi-week process spearheaded by Kenworth with the assistance of PacLease, which custom spec’d a Kenworth T680 to handle the 3,000-mile trek from the West Coast to D.C.
“It’s the second year we’ve provided Kenworth with the Christmas tree truck, and it’s a privilege to be involved,” said Michelle Harry, PacLease’s director of marketing. “We worked with Kenworth, as we do with all of our customers, to custom spec the truck for the job at hand. As the Kenworth T680 and Capitol Christmas Tree heads east, we have our network of PacLease locations ready should any assistance be needed.”
The Kenworth T680, with 76-inch mid-roof sleeper, is being driven by John Schank, a Lynden Transport driver, and the Alaska Trucking Association’s 2014 driver of the year. Schank has driven more than 5 million miles in Alaska, where the tree was originally cut from the Chugach Mountains.
The T680 is spec’d with a fuel-efficient 485-hp PACCAR MX-13 engine with 1,650 lb-ft of torque, and it’s matched with an Eaton Fuller Advantage® 10-speed automated manual transmission. The truck also features PacTrac, PacLease’s telematics system, which integrates Kenworth TruckTech+ to enhance vehicle diagnostics and help optimize truck uptime and productivity.
Last year’s Christmas tree truck – a Kenworth T880 with 52-inch mid-roof sleeper, found a home right after the tree was delivered to the U.S. Capitol. “It went into a full-service lease with Ziron Environmental, based in Chicago,” said Harry. “The spec’s matched up with what they were looking for in their operation.”
“It’s very special to have the T880 that delivered our nation’s Christmas tree in our operation,” said Brian Ziron, who founded the company in 1989. “Once the T880 was back from D.C., we had PacLease add a wet kit and it was ready for service. We use the T880 to haul a 6,000-gallon tanker used to vacuum out contaminated fuel and oil.”
According to Ziron, while the T880 no longer features the special Capitol Christmas tree graphics package, all those who drive the truck know its heritage. “And so do many of our customers,” said Ziron. “We’re very proud to have this truck in our fleet – knowing it made a special delivery in its first life.”
As for who will put the Kenworth T680 into service after it delivers the Capitol Christmas Tree in December, Harry said it won’t be just one customer. “The special truck is going to our Dallas PacLease location and will be put into our rental fleet. I can tell you it will be the highest profile rental in the country – no other truck will have its pedigree and history. Our rental customers will have a nice story to tell.”
About PacLease and PACCAR
PACCAR Leasing Company (PacLease) is one of the fastest-growing commercial truck leasing companies in the transportation industry. PacLease has independent and company-owned full-service leasing locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia. PacLease provides customized full-service lease, rental and contract maintenance programs designed to meet the specific needs of customers. A combination of reliable, custom-built trucks and complete service offerings allows customers to maximize the value of their transportation resources.
PACCAR Leasing is a part of the financial services group of PACCAR Inc, a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. PACCAR shares are traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market, symbol PCAR, and its homepage can be found at www.paccar.com.