In the olden days these silver fir logs were transported in huge rafts from the Rhine tributaries in the Black Forest to Amsterdam for the shipbuilding industry (giving the tree its German nickname of “Dutch pine”). Now long timber is used mainly as a construction material – for roof trusses, for example. “Rafters are generally longer than ten metres and need to be made from a single piece of wood,” explains Rudolf, whose grandfather worked in the timber transport business before him. “The logs I transport are up to 20 metres long. So at the sawmill they can choose the best pieces from the big logs for their beams.” So saying, he unloads his logging truck at Sägewerk Müller in the Rench valley in the Black Forest foothills – quickly and safely, just as you would expect from a virtuoso crane operator.