IRVINE, Calif. — Spireon, a vehicle intelligence company, Monday unveiled the website, www.capitoltreetracker.com, dedicated to providing real time tracking of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it makes its way from New Mexico to Washington.
Since 1970, the USDA Forest Service has provided a tree from a national forest to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building for the holiday season.
This year’s tree hails from the Carson National Forest.
In partnership with the nonprofit, Choose Outdoors, the tree can be tracked with Spireon’s FleetLocate trailer management solution.
Sponsors of the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree and the tour include Kenworth Truck Co., Wilbanks Trucking Services, Spireon, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Great West Casualty Co., Meritor, TravelCenters of America and the Truckload Carriers Association.
The trailer with the tree is being transported by a Kenworth W990, sporting a dynamic graphics wrap.
Following the theme of “Delivering Enchantment,” the 60-foot Blue Spruce was cut on the Questa Ranger District on November 6 and prepared for the 2,000-mile expedition. The tree was then loaded onto a specialty trailer equipped with telematic devices from Spireon’s FleetLocate FL Flex, the centerpiece of Spireon’s Intelligent Trailer Management portfolio, so the public could follow its journey.
The trek will include a series of community celebrations throughout New Mexico and across the U.S. before culminating with the official tree lighting on the West Lawn in early December.
“Spireon is delighted to support the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree initiative, kicking off the holiday season with a beloved tradition,” said Roni Taylor, senior vice president strategy and business development at Spireon. “By live tracking the Christmas tree, we help tell the story of the tree’s journey and bring communities closer as the tree passes through each town on its way to our capitol.”
The honor of being selected to haul the tree was a pleasant surprise for Wilbanks Trucking.
“When we were contacted to see if we would be interested in transporting the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, we were honored to even be considered,” said Shane Phipps, safety director for Wilbanks Trucking Services. “It didn’t take us long to say ‘yes.’ Everyone here is very excited about taking part in moving this special tree. While we’re a company that specializes in heavy haul, we’re also very experienced in moving oversized loads – and the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is just that. Moving the tree will be unique for us, but we’re more than capable. We’ll even be using our own multiple cranes to lift the tree onto the back of the trailer.”
Wilbanks employees Josh Garcia, Brum Stephens and Josh Rice were nominated by their peers and selected by company leadership to drive the special Kenworth W990.
“Over the years, we’ve heard how special this trip is for the trucking company making the delivery, and how meaningful the tour is for adults and kids alike when the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree makes its way through all the towns to Washington, D.C.,” said Laura Bloch, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing. “The annual lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is an important American tradition. The tour brings American pride to all those involved, and to all those who see the special tree traveling across America. We’re especially excited that the Kenworth W990 will again transport the tree.”
“This cross-country trip is an excellent example of the critical role large vehicles play moving people and goods throughout our nation. FMCSA is excited to be part of this effort and we ask the public to do their part in sharing the road safely, especially during the high-traffic, busy holidays,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Jim Mullen.
Spireon’s FL Flex telematics device was chosen because of its modular, versatile functionality and ability to support a wide range of assets. From dry vans and refrigerated trailers, to the specialty flatbed needed to ship such delicate, oversized cargo like the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, Spireon is able to effectively manage and track any type of trailer. GPS tracking of the tree benefits the public as it provides a means for local communities along the tree’s whistle stop route to line the streets and welcome the tree as it passes through.