On Monday, the Capitol Christmas tree made a stop in Kansas City, Missouri, as part of its cross-country journey to Washington D.C.
The event was hosted by MHC Kenworth on the afternoon of November 20.
The star of the show was the 79 foot foot Engelmann Spruce Christmas tree (which is also known as The People’s Tree) and the decked-out-for-the-holidays Kenworth T680 that hauls it. Kansas City families who showed up to enjoy the tree and truck were treated to hot chocolate, tree-shaped cookies, and cinnamon rolls as Christmas carols created a festive holiday spirit. While most of the tree is under wraps to protect it from the elements as it make the journey to the Capitol, the top of the tree is lit up for all to see.
Also on hand was the tree’s driver, 70 year old Montana-based trucker Larry Spiekermeier for Whitewood Transport. Spiekermeier has been named Driver of the Year twice by the Motor Carriers of Montana and has over 3.5 million accident-free miles under his belt. Spiekermeier said that he feels grateful to be chosen for the task at hand: “Transporting the People’s Tree is such an honor. This will definitely go down as one of the most unique and memorable hauls of my career.”
Spiekermeier took the time to try out the event’s other attraction — a truck driving simulator from TranSim. The simulation put Spiekermeier’s skills to the test, but his years of safe driving were evident in the way he handled the various dangerous scenarios that were thrown at him.
Drivers who tried out the TranSim simulator got a chance to see how they’d react to various scary trucking scenarios including ice, a tire blowout, and brake failure that forced them to use a runaway truck ramp. One Riverside Transport Inc. driver who took a turn at the simulator told CDLLife that he hoped his boss would buy one of the simulators for the Kansas City, Kansas, terminal.
The Capitol Christmas Tree has many more stops to make on the 3000 mile journey to Washington, where it is expected to arrive on November 27. You can follow Whitewood Transport on Facebook to keep up with the tree on its journey.