A 2018 Western Star 5700XE delivered the official Michigan state Christmas tree to the state Capitol building on Oct. 27.
The 5700XE, which was showcased at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show in September, traveled from Atlanta to Stephenson, Michigan, so the 61-ft. white spruce could be loaded onto a flatbed trailer.
The truck was driven from the Upper Peninsula to Lansing by Denny Olson, a longtime logger. Olson, whose usual vehicle is a 1990 Western Star 4964, said the aerodynamic 5700XE, which is designed for over-the-road applications, is a revelation.
The 5700XE is equipped with a Detroit DD16 engine with a Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission, a 82-in. High Roof Stratosphere sleeper configuration, and sports the Western Star 50th anniversary red-and-white paint job with wings on either side of the cab.
This is Olson’s 16th year delivering the state tree, a project of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association and the Michigan Association of Timbermen. The tree was lit as part of a holiday ceremony and parade on Nov. 17.
Olson, 71, who is known throughout the Michigan logging community, worked with D&K Truck Co. in Lansing and UP Truck Center in Quinnesec to arrange the logistics of the haul.