Christmas is a time of joy and celebration but also of hard work and logistics. Every year, millions of Christmas trees are harvested, transported, and decorated around the world. But how do you deliver a 17-meter (56-foot) tall fir tree from a forest in Paderborn to the German capital of Berlin, where it will adorn the square in front of the Reichstag building? The answer is simple: you use a Mercedes-Benz Unimog truck.
What is a Unimog?
A Mercedes-Benz Unimog truck is a versatile and robust vehicle that can handle any terrain and any challenge. The name Unimog stands for “Universal-Motor-Gerät,” which means “universal motor device” in German. The Unimog was first developed in 1946 as a multipurpose agricultural vehicle but soon found its way into various fields of application, such as military, firefighting, construction, and forestry. Today, the Unimog is produced by Daimler Trucks, a division of Mercedes-Benz, and is available in different models and configurations.
How did the Unimog deliver the Christmas tree?
The Christmas tree delivery was a joint project of the German Forestry Association (DFV), the German Bundestag, and Daimler Trucks. The tree was donated by the state forest of Paderborn, where it was carefully selected and cut down by foresters. The tree weighed about 2.5 tons and had a diameter of 65 centimeters (26 inches) at the base. To transport the tree, a special trailer was attached to a Unimog U 5023 truck, which is one of the most powerful and modern models in the Unimog range. The U 5023 has a 5.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 231 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. It also has a permanent all-wheel drive system, a central tire inflation system, and a high ground clearance of 49 centimeters (19 inches).
The journey from Paderborn to Berlin was about 450 kilometers (280 miles) long and took two days. The Unimog and its trailer had to navigate narrow roads, bridges, and tunnels, as well as comply with traffic regulations and safety measures. The driver of the Unimog was Ralf Imbery, a professional truck driver and an Unimog expert. He said that driving the Unimog was a pleasure and that the vehicle performed flawlessly. He also said that he received a lot of positive feedback and admiration from other drivers and pedestrians along the way.
What happened to the Christmas tree in Berlin?
The Christmas tree arrived in Berlin on November 26, 2021, and was welcomed by a festive ceremony. The tree was lifted by a crane and placed on a pedestal in front of the Reichstag building, the seat of the German parliament. The tree was then decorated with 2,000 LED lights and 600 red and gold ornaments. The tree lighting ceremony took place on December 1, 2021, and was attended by the president of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, and the president of the DFV, Georg Schirmbeck. The tree will remain in Berlin until January 6, 2022, and will be a symbol of peace and hope for the German people and the visitors of the city.
The delivery of the Christmas tree from Paderborn to Berlin was a remarkable feat that showcased the versatility and reliability of the Mercedes-Benz Unimog truck. The Unimog proved once again that it can handle any task and any terrain and that it is a valuable partner for various industries and organizations. The Unimog is a vehicle, a legend, and a tradition that has been part of German culture and history for over 75 years. The Unimog is truly a universal motor device that can make any Christmas wish come true.