Haul out the jolly! A Kenworth Capitol Christmas

Haul out the jolly! A Kenworth Capitol Christmas

Move over Santa, there’s a new sleigh in town. You can keep your 12 reindeer, this massive delivery is being hauled by an 18-wheeler, more specifically, the Kenworth T680.

Hardy Brothers Trucking was selected to be the official carrier of the 2022 Capitol Christmas tree. Representing the company was the husband-and-wife driver team Ed Kingdom Jr. and Deb Kingdom. From November 5 to November 18, the couple took the Capitol-Christmas-tree-to-be on a scenic route making their way from Fletcher, N.C., to the nations capital (with a couple of stops along the way).

From left, Ed Kingdon Jr. and Deborah Kingdon, Ricky Watts, director of driver training, and Dale Norman, director of sales and marketing.

The Next Generation 76-inch mid-roof sleeper equipped with the PACCAR Powertrain was the truck for the job, delivering the 78-foot tall Red Spruce, nicknamed “Ruby” to D.C. The truck also featured the new Kenworth digital mirror system, LED lighting, and advanced driver assistance systems, including Lane Keeping Assist and Torque Assisted Steering.

With holiday-centric pit stops in North Carolina and Virginia, local community members were able to celebrate Ruby’s arrival and send-off, officially marking the start of the Christmas season.

So let’s take a (virtual) road trip to from Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina to the Capitol and let the holiday festivities begin!

Here’s where we start: The Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. Harvested on Nov. 2, Ruby was hoisted into the air and situated onto the truck’s trailer.

After she was securely strapped in, Ruby was ready to hit the road for her 14-day tour.

“It was a challenge at first getting comfortable with understanding how much room you need to maneuver such a long truck-trailer combination, especially in the small towns we visited, but we learned quickly,” Ed said. “We mapped out our route ahead of time and the state patrol who escorted us along the way helped us out a lot.”

Nov. 5

After making a quick stop at Western North Carolina Agricultural Center (WNC Agricultural Center), Fletcher, N.C., it was time to head west.

Nov. 6

Next on the map is Murphy, N.C. A town situated in Cherokee County about four hours west of WNC Agricultural Center. Here, the holiday spirit was contagious.

Despite his best efforts, even the Grinch got in on some of the holiday fun!

Locals even had the chance to deck the haul and leave their mark (see what I did there?).

Nov. 8

After visiting the students and community of Watauga High School, Boone, N.C., Ruby made her way to Newton, North Carolina.

Nov. 9

After heading north, the Kenworth T680 arrived at Veterans Memorial Park, Mt. Airy, N.C. Here, Ruby got to take a break and pose for some pictures.

Nov. 14

After a brief visit at some of Fort Raleigh’s historical sites in North Carolina, it was time to cross into Virginia for the very last stop.

Nov. 14

At the Suffolk Visitors Center in Suffolk, Va., Ruby was celebrated by locals and sent off for the last stretch of her journey.

Nov. 18

I guess you could say the team of the Hardy Brothers Company, Ed Kingdom Jr. and Deb Kingdom, and the Kenworth T680 delivered the spirit of Christmas to the Capitol. But the fun’s not over yet!

The moment you’ve all been waiting for… After being placed and decorated on the Capitol’s West Lawn, Ruby was ready to make her final debut. Now we can all have our ‘Buddy the Elf’ moment!

Nov 29

If a pictures worth a thousand words, I’ll let these ones do the talking.

From left, J. Brett Blanton, Architect of the Capitol and spouse Michelle Blanton; U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry (North Carolina), First Lady of North Carolina Kristin Cooper and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper; official tree lighter Catcuce Micco Tiger (Coche), fourth grader and member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, North Carolina; U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; U.S. Representative David E. Price (North Carolina); U.S. Representative Deborah K. Ross (North Carolina) and Senator-elect Ted Budd (North Carolina).

Happy Holidays!

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