“During my vocational training, you came across STIHL everywhere,” says Robert Ebner (29), forestry professional and timbersports athlete. In our interview, he tells us which STIHL tool he started out with and why the 2013 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS World Championship was such a memorable experience for him.
Robert Ebner (29) from Ottelmannshausen, Germany currently works as a safety instructor at ForstBW, where he coaches employees on occupational safety, working methods and ergonomics. In 2006, Ebner also became a timbersports athlete and now ranks as one of Germany’s best. He was discovered at a STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series (STS) talent-scouting event and has been a permanent fixture of the competition circuit ever since. Robert Ebner has been crowned the German champion several times and was the runner-up at the 2010 World Championship. Even in his spare time, Ebner is never too far from his chainsaw, since he also carves wooden sculptures.
Due to an injury, he had to take a break from his job and timbersports for several months in 2014, which meant that he was unable to compete at the last STS World Championship. Ebner celebrated his comeback to logging competitions at the beginning of 2015.
Robert Ebner (R. E.): It all started, of course, during my vocational training to become a forestry professional. You came across STIHL everywhere. When you hear the name STIHL, you immediately think of quality and robustness. In a word, reliable tools.
My first vocational training instructor had STIHL tools. After a year and a half, I got a new instructor who, for the most part, used chainsaws made by competing companies. At that point, you of course have to decide for yourself which manufacturer you want to go with. So you test the tools to see which ones are better. Due to my experience with STIHL tools, and the fact that I had a good STIHL specialist dealer nearby, my decision was clear.
In 2006, when I started competing in STIHL TIMBERSPORTS, I noticed that the dynamics of the family-owned company were just like those you’d find in a large family. The people who work at STIHL stand behind their products. This experience further reinforced my belief that I had made the right decision.
My first STIHL tool was…
R. E.: My first STIHL tool was… (he pauses to think): a STIHL MS 460. That was the first saw I bought myself. The first chainsaw that I came into contact with was a 026 when I was an apprentice. My first significant experience with STIHL was during my first year in vocational training when we worked as a team to fell a big oak tree.
I am especially proud of…
R. E.: Yes, of course I am proud of my athletic accomplishments. 2013 was a special year in particular. That’s when I competed in the World Championship in Stuttgart and completed my examination to be a forestry professional − that was fantastic. I’m also very proud of being runner-up at the 2010 World Championship.
My personal practical tip:
R. E.: Never forget that before using a tool, you should always read the safety instructions in the user manual first, have your specialist dealer show you how to use the tool, and − this is very, very important − you should always wear the proper personal protective equipment, such as cut-protection trousers, hearing protectors and a helmet.
My STIHL moment:
R.E.: Without a doubt, the entrance to the 2013 World Championship, which was right in front of my doorstep and close to the STIHL headquarters. That was a “home” World Championship for me.