Colorado-based carrier to haul U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in T680

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020: 

Apex Transportation will haul the 2020 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree with a Kenworth T680 from western Colorado to Washington, D.C., in early December.Apex Transportation will haul the 2020 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree with a Kenworth T680 from western Colorado to Washington, D.C., in early December.

Colorado’s Apex Transportation to haul Capitol Christmas Tree in Kenworth T680
Colorado-based Apex Transportation will use a Kenworth T680 to transport the 56th U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from western Colorado to Washington, D.C., in early December.

The truck is equipped with a 76-inch sleeper and the Paccar Powertrain, featuring the 455-hp Paccar MX-13, Paccar 12-speed automated transmission and Paccar 40K tandem rear axles.

It also sports the Kenworth Diamond VIT interior, premium Kenworth GT703 seats, predictive cruise control, Kenworth Nav+HD system, a liftable lower bunk and a stowable upper bunk, and Kenworth TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics.

The 70-truck carrier Apex will transport the tree from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests in western Colorado to its final destination on the on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Apex Transportation was founded in 1996 and is a leader in Colorado flatbed trucking and specialty transportation services.

This year’s theme for the haul is “Experiencing Your Nature.” Choose Outdoors, a non-profit organization that works with the U.S. Forest Service on promoting outdoor recreation and public access to federal lands for recreation, assists with coordinating the annual tour. Coloradans are expected to contribute up to 10,000 handmade ornaments, capturing Colorado’s colorful scenery and culturally rich and diverse populations.

Hyliion teams with Idealease to offer short-term hybrid-diesel powertrains for testing
Idealease Hyliion 2020 08 19 14 37Electric powertrain provider Hyliion has partnered with Idealease to offer hybrid-diesel-powered Class 8 trucks available for short-term lease as a means to test the technology. As part of a national tour taking place through the end of the year, Idealease customers can operate an International LT Series chassis equipped with Hyliion’s hybrid-diesel powertrain, which the company says reduces fuel consumption, cuts emissions and reduces operating costs.

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The system being tested is a retro-fit powertrain that Hyliion says can be installed on “most major Class 8” vehicles.

The International LT Series test units available for leased are also equipped with the Dana S23-175 drive axle and the SPL driveline, as well as a Hyliion APU. Dana and Hyliion partnered earlier this year to develop electric powertrains for Class 8 trucks.

Trucker earns Highway Angel wings after helping erratic driver who crashed
A North Carolina-based truck driver for Smith Transport was named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for helping an erratic driver who crashed into a highway median.

Kirk ShepherdKirk Shepherd

Kirk Shepherd was traveling on I-76 near Knightstown, Indiana, on June 3, when he saw a car driving erratically, swerving back and forth across the road for several miles. He called 911 because he said he was afraid the driver would cause a wreck and injure someone.

Then the car suddenly “sped up like a bullet out of a gun, leaving a cloud of dust along the median,” Shepherd said. He could only watch as the driver hit the guidewires along the median.

“He tore four posts out of the ground and that stopped him,” Shepherd said. “His front bumper came off and the hood was crumpled. I stopped on the right shoulder, right across from where he wrecked.”

He crossed the highway to check the driver, who Shepherd believes was in shock from the impact.

“I tried to get him out of the vehicle, but he wouldn’t take his left hand off the steering wheel,” Shepherd said. “Flames and smoke started coming out of the side of the hood.”

He went back to his truck to grab his fire extinguisher as two other men pulled the driver out of the car and to safety. When officers arrived, they checked the driver’s vitals and realized the driver was high on something. “A deputy hit him with Narcan and that brought him back.”

For his willingness to help, TCA presented Shepherd with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decals. Smith Transport also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel. EpicVue sponsors the TCA Highway Angel program.