The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is no small task to transport, and this year’s 78-foot-tall red spruce from the National Forests in North Carolina is no exception.
Just like most things, this massive tree gets hauled on a truck. But who is up for such an enormous task? Each year, a carrier is selected to transport a tree from its cut-down location to its installation location on the Capitol Building lawn in Washington D.C., including a two-week media tour along the way.
This year, the honor goes to North Carolina-based, Hardy Brothers Trucking, a family-owned company that’s been in business since 1965. This special load was entrusted to husband and wife driver team of Harold “Ed” Kingdon Jr. and Deborah Kingdon and hauled on a Kenworth T680 Next Gen.
While the tree had to be delivered by November 18 to be set in place by November 30 for the official tree lighting ceremony, the drivers set out on a 14-day course with over a dozen stops in communities in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland to spread some holiday cheer before reaching their final destination in Washington D.C.
“What we’re hauling is a joy, a coming together… communities are making decorations for the tree itself and for the companion trees. We’re part of bringing that enthusiasm and joy for the season to Washington, D.C. and from North Carolina,” Ed said.
This trip was extra special for Ed who spent 7 years as active-duty military based in D.C. During that time, he dreamed of driving a truck and seeing the U.S. after his retirement from the miliary. It took him about two years to convince Deborah, but after they each got their CDL they found a home at Hardy Brothers.
This journey required a lot of coordination, dedication, and hard work, and Ed and Deborah, along with Hardy Boys trucking proved up to the task.