Werner picked to haul 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023:

Werner to haul 2023 Capitol Christmas Tree

Werner Enterprises (CCJ Top 250, No. 13) will deliver a 63-foot tall gift to the nation this holiday season as they transport the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia to Washington, D.C.

Werner was selected as the hauler for this year’s tree at the recommendation of Kenworth Truck Company and based on industry reputation, according to Bruce Ward, president of Choose Outdoors, the non-profit partner assisting the USDA Forest Service in coordinating the annual initiative. 

The tree will be harvested from the Monongahela National Forest in early November, followed by a journey with special events in communities throughout the state before being delivered to Washington, D.C. Werner Enterprises will also deliver thousands of handmade ornaments made by West Virginians, along with smaller trees for military families stationed at Joint Base Andrews donated by presenting sponsor, 84 Lumber. 

“Werner’s selection as the 2023 Capitol Christmas Tree project carrier is truly an honor and testament to our hard work in keeping America moving, no matter the task,” said Derek Leathers, Werner’s Chairman, President and CEO. “The professional drivers entrusted with this prestigious project are highly skilled and embody our core values of safety, service and leadership. They will do an exceptional job carrying out this unique project and tribute to our country.”

Werner drivers Jesus Davila and Tim Dean will do the honors of delivering the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington, D.C., on behalf of Werner, while husband and wife team Steve and Gina Jones will transport the handmade ornaments and 84 companion trees.

A specially-decaled Kenworth 100th anniversary T680 Signature Edition will deliver the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. The T680 is equipped with a 76-inch sleeper and the Paccar Powertrain featuring the Paccar MX-13 engine rated at 455 horsepower, Paccar TX-12 automated transmission, and Paccar DX-40 tandem rear axles. 

Diesel prices up another 14 cents

The pain at the pump continues for truck owners, as diesel prices jumped another 13.9 cents during the week ending Aug. 14, rising to a national average of $4.38.

The Energy Information Administration’s latest update shows the fourth straight week of fairly significant increases. Diesel’s national average has skyrocketed since the week ending July 17, rising 57.2 cents in the four weeks since.

According to EIA, prices increased in all regions last week, led by California, which saw a 17.9-cent increase, followed by the Lower Atlantic region, which saw a 17.5-cent increase.

California remains the only part of the country with prices averaging over $5/gallon, with its average now sitting at $5.52 a gallon, followed by the West Coast less California at $4.71 per gallon.

The cheapest diesel can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $4.10 per gallon, followed by the Midwest region at $4.32 per gallon.

Prices in other regions, according to EIA, are:

  • New England -- $4.37
  • Central Atlantic -- $4.50
  • Lower Atlantic -- $4.37
  • Rocky Mountain -- $4.39 

Cummins, Chevron expand partnership into renewables

Cummins and Chevron announced Aug. 15 an expanded partnership that focuses on lower carbon fuels. 

The memorandum of understanding announced between the companies will now cover liquid renewable fuels such as renewable gasoline blends, biodiesel and renewable diesel, in addition to hydrogen and natural gas. 

"At Cummins, we are working to bring our Destination Zero strategy to life, and we recognize we can't do this alone," said Jennifer Rumsey, president and CEO of Cummins. "Through Accelera by Cummins, we have leading zero-emissions technologies for commercial and industrial applications, and we continue to offer a broad portfolio of engine-based solutions that reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions today. By collaborating strategically with Chevron, we plan to improve access to fuel and infrastructure for our customers, helping grow the availability of alternative and renewable fuels while reducing emissions." 

The companies will contribute to the research, development and global deployment of alternative fuels systems and technologies, Cummins and Chevron said, focusing on developing at scale alternative fuels for the types of vehicles manufactured by Cummins. 

"Achieving a lower carbon future that serves all people requires ambitious innovations and pragmatic solutions that deliver measurable results," said Andy Walz, president of Chevron Americas. "Collaborations like this one with Cummins are intended to make energy and global supply chains more affordable and reliable while helping commercial fleets who use our products and Cummins' equipment to advance a lower carbon world."

FleetPride acquires Washington repair shop

FleetPride has acquired the assets of Integrity Fleet Services, a provider of fleet maintenance and repair services, based in Pacific, Washington.

This acquisition is aligned with FleetPride's growth objectives and will further solidify its position as a leader in the commercial vehicle services industry, the company said.

Integrity Fleet Services has built a strong reputation over the years, serving a diverse range of commercial fleet customers, FleetPride noted. The acquisition will enable FleetPride to enhance its service offerings by working Integrity Fleet Services' expertise and customer-centric approach into its existing operations. Customers will benefit from a nationwide network of service centers and a broader range of solutions.

"Integrity Fleet Services brings truck and trailer service expertise and great talent to our organization," says Mike Harris, FleetPride president of parts and service. "We are excited to welcome Glen [Grader, owner of IFS] and the entire Integrity Fleet Services team to FleetPride. With a service center located in Pacific, Washington, a fleet of mobile maintenance trucks on the road, and our existing parts locations nearby, this creates a winning combination for customers.”