Behold! The Kenworth T680 Next Gen delivers the Capitol Christmas Tree (A photo gallery)
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Behold! The Kenworth T680 Next Gen delivers the Capitol Christmas Tree (A photo gallery)

Jason Morgan is the content director of Fleet Equipment.


Hauling an 84-ft. White Fir from Northern California to Washington D.C. doesn’t happen overnight. The fine fir’s journey toward being the bright holiday light in the national’s capitol starts early (System Transport, the flatbed division of Trans-System Inc., headquartered in Cheney, Wash., was chosen as the hauler in June) and once underway, the press releases about its tour across the country come often.

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But here at Fleet Equipment, we love a good reveal. So we’ve saved up the best images we’ve received along the way for our own virtual photo gallery tour. So I dedicate this post to the fine folks at System Transport, Kenworth and everyone on the road that made it happen.

Drum roll, please.



1-Loading the capitol-christmas-tree-
I don’t think that would fit in my yard, but it’s not going to my yard. It’s going to the U.S. Capitol Building front lawn.
It’s Oct. 29, and the System Transport team prepares for a 3,300-mile run to Washington, D.C., making 17 community celebration stops in towns, cities and national parks along the way. From left: Bill Brunk (driver), Rob Heskett (COO), Ryan Heskett (Rob’s son), Jerry Gardner (driver), Robert E. Lee (driver), Mike English (driver), John Schnell (driver), Terry Jefferson (driver), Joel Eggert (mechanic), Jeremy Bellinger (driver)
Breathe deep, Capitol Tree. That’s a zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell truck idling next to you. Any bets on when one of those could make the 3,300-mile run? I’ll go on the record: 2040.
Joshua Tree meets Capitol Christmas Tree.
The New Mexico Veterans Memorial spans 25 acres and is a prime spot to pay respects to our veterans. If you don’t know much about the museum, conference center, amphitheater and memorial park, it’s definitely worth the click.
I also stop at every Bass Pro Shop I see on a road trip.
A quick stop at the Kenworth Chillicothe manufacturer plant for the Kenworth crew to take in the sights of their hard-working rolling iron in action.
Even the big guy in red was impressed with the Kenworth T680 Next Gen.
In 2021, The PACCAR MX-11 engine can now be spec’d with a higher horsepower rating of up to 445 HP at 1,700 lb.-ft. of torque at 900 RPM. The PACCAR MX-13 engine can be spec’d up to 510 HP at 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,000 RPM. No idea what that equates to in reindeer power, but some reports spotted Santa running the numbers on a napkin after the tree event.
This is the first time that fully LED headlamps are available as an option on the Kenworth T680 thanks to the Next Gen. And they hold their own in fantastic holiday light display.
There’s nothing like pulling up to your destination after a long trip. That’s doubly true when you’re hauling a tree that would make Clark Griswold green with envy.
On a personal note, it’s a chore just to get a family of four to trudge out to the Christmas tree lot, pick an tree and strap it to the roof of the family hauler, so hats off to System Transport, Kenworth and everyone involved on a job well done. From left: Rob Heskett (System Transport COO), Jodi Massey (Choose Outdoors), LeRoy Cyr (Six Rivers National Forest), Nancy Henderson (Six Rivers National Forest), Dennis Williams (System Transport CEO), Jeremy Bellinger (System Transport driver), Lonnie Epley (System Transport director of maintenance), and Bill Brunk (System Transport driver).
Worth it.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Fleet Equipment Magazine