Western Star Delivers Michigan State Capital Christmas Tree

November 29, 2017


LANSING, Mich. – (Nov. 29, 2017) – A special load demands a special truck.

That’s why a 2018 Western Star 5700XE delivered the official Michigan state Christmas tree to the Capitol building on October 27, 2017.

The 5700XE, which was showcased at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show in September, traveled from Atlanta to Stephenson, Michigan, so the 61-foot white spruce could be loaded onto a flatbed trailer.

Western Star 5700XE Delivering the 2017 Michigan State Capitol Christmas Tree

The truck was driven from the Upper Peninsula to Lansing by Denny Olson, a long-time logger and champion of Western Star trucks. Olson, whose usual vehicle is a 1990 Western Star 4964, said the aerodynamic 5700XE, which is designed for over-the-road applications, is a revelation.

“That is some beautiful truck,” he said. “It’s not a logging truck, but I can’t think of a more impressive vehicle to make the delivery in. The tree always draws attention, but this year the truck is also drawing the spotlight.”

The 5700XE is equipped with a Detroit™ DD16® engine with a Detroit DT12® automated manual transmission, which together give the truck even more power to transport the heaviest of loads. The truck, which has an 82-inch High Roof Stratosphere sleeper, sports a striking Western Star 50th anniversary red-and-white paint job with wings on either side of the cab.

Western Star 5700XE Delivering the 2017 Michigan State Capitol Christmas Tree
Western Star 5700XE Delivering the 2017 Michigan State Capitol Christmas Tree

“Everywhere the truck goes, people and other drivers want to take a closer look,” Olson said.

It was only fitting that a Western Star deliver the Michigan state tree. The engine, transmission and axles were built in-state by Detroit Diesel Corp., a Daimler Trucks North America subsidiary located in Redford, Michigan. The 5700XE combines industry-leading aerodynamics and efficiency with Western Star’s legendary toughness into an ideal package for owner-operators and small to medium fleets in truckload/LTL, bulk, refrigerated, long-haul and manufacturing applications. It features a 126-inch BBC with a set-back front axle and is available in a range of spacious and lightweight sleeper configurations.

This is Olson’s 16th year delivering the state tree, a project of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association and the Michigan Association of Timbermen. The tree will be lit as part of a holiday ceremony and parade on November 17.

Olson, 71, who is known throughout the Michigan logging community, worked with D&K Truck Co. in Lansing and UP Truck Center in Quinnesec to arrange the logistics of the haul.

“We’re proud that Western Star made this important delivery for the state of Michigan, and even more excited that Denny Olson was behind the wheel,” said Mike Guarino, on-highway segment manager for Western Star. “We know that Michigan’s white spruce was in the best of hands.”

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