The snow shovel thread

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by dr wogz, Feb 14, 2019.

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  1. Feb 14, 2019 #1

    dr wogz

    dr wogz

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    Jut that.. if you routinely shovel the fluffy white stuff..

    We just got a dumping, and pondered a few things about shoveling snow.. Obviously while shoveling!

    Does handle length make a difference? I would think that a shovel's shaft should be sized to the individual, so that the load can rest in a 'sweet spot' and not put shoulder out of joint. I cut about 6" off one a few years ago, and swear it was an improvement. I keep forgetting to do it again!

    I was also shoveling a path for the oil man (oil furnace). And I was trying to think of an efficient way to shovel a long path, a trench so to speak, for him. I ended up 'canoe paddling' the path / trench. Hold the shovel like a canoe paddle, and "stroke".. do twice, then take a step to the right (or left) worked pretty well. (Again, handle length would have helped a bit here..)

    When you're scooping and tossing onto a snow bank, do you scoop & toss in one motion? Or do you scoop, take a little swing back, then heave on the snow bank? or do you more or less lift & roll the shovel to dump the snow..

    I also have a 'pusher' type shovel, one that's a section of a cylinder. (When you push it just right, you get the snow rolling onto itself!) I find with this type of shovel, I tend to push, then lift, and I use my leg, just above the knee as a pivot to get 'er up 'n over the snow bank..

    plastic or metal shovels?!
     
  2. Feb 14, 2019 #2

    MClark

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    What's a snow shovel?
     
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  3. Feb 14, 2019 #3

    smugglervt

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    Husqvarna snowblower
     
  4. Feb 14, 2019 #4

    muddymooose

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    I still shovel my driveway because I enjoy the occasional challenge and physical effort is a character builder. At least that's what I was raised to believe. Anyway I typically start with a push-n-toss motion along one edge. Basically your "paddle" method. I try to avoid taking a scoop, pausing, and then throwing because it seems inefficient.

    If the snow is less than 3" or so I'll just push the rest across the driveway in the opposite direction with modest tossing as necessary. If it's more than than 3" things get real and it involves a lot more "paddling."

    I use a square plastic shovel with a metal edge and maybe a 4-5' handle. I'm not sure if it's ergonomically ideal but it gets the job done.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  5. Feb 14, 2019 #5

    JJSR

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    I like using your standard long handle square nose shovel. With those "snow shovels" ya tend to scoop up more and tire yourself out well before I get to the end of the driveway. Plus it's easy to paddle, scoop, break ice and throw.
     
  6. Feb 14, 2019 #6

    Wallace

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    I always get the lightest/flattest all plastic snow shovel I can find. Easier on the back and the plastic edge self sharpens in use. The neighbors snowblower is fantastic also;)
     
  7. Feb 14, 2019 #7

    Exactimator

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    Growing up we had two shovels. A light aluminum blade with a shallow curve and a heavy steel one in a quarter circle. It was really rusty but thick and solid. Both had straight wood handles.

    The aluminum shovel didn't have a good enough edge to clean down to the pavement, but it was great for lifting the thick snow. I would stand with my right foot forward and use my right thigh as a fulcrum. Scoop, step forward with my right foot and pivot the shovel over my thigh, throwing the snow onto the grass.

    Once most of the snow was cleared. We ran the heavy steel blade shovel down the walk or driveway to scrape down to the pavement Then we scattered snow melt pellets.

    Winter of 93 we got so much snow the piles were over my head. That was a scoop, pause to get firm footing and heave the snow up onto the pile.

    I've never seen a shovel like the heavy steel one we used in any store.

    At any rate, the techniques worked well and we took pride in having the cleanest sidewalks around (way cleaner than any snowblower would do) and I decided after doing it for many, many years I'd had enough, moved to L.A. and then San Diego and it's been 21 years and I still don't miss winters or snow.
     
  8. Feb 14, 2019 #8

    dhbarr

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    All aluminum, push-along-ground to break it up, second heave is up and over. It's got a rhythym to it, or at least it did half a decade ago the last time I tried it.

    The pause/pivot is because the thrust breaks the icy bottom crust, and that angle is no bueno for a lift.
     
  9. Feb 14, 2019 #9

    Steven

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    Yard maintenance crew is the only way to go. Let THEM find a rhythm.
     
  10. Feb 14, 2019 #10

    Zeus-cat

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    I use two shovels. One has a long straight handle that I use to push snow. The other has an ergonomic handle that I use for scooping. The handle starts out straight, then drops down and then straightens out again. You don't need to bend over so much to scoop. A LOT easier on the back.
     
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  11. Feb 14, 2019 #11

    TimothyG

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    1006058_3435805711185_28127063_n.jpg It depends on the snow your shoveling. I've shoveled snow on top of pikes peak at 20' deep. A good square shovel about 3.5' in length with a perpendicular handle forged in Ireland pre 1930 was best. Light snotty crap it doesn't really matter. We cut squares of snow from windy point so dense you could stack it like wood just throwing it off to the side. Best of all you could do this all in a T-shirt and shorts wearing boots. I just use walmart crappy shovel for clearing my sidewalk section now though. Cheap and if I forget it outside and it walks away I don't get too upset.
     
  12. Feb 14, 2019 #12

    georgegassaway

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    I find this type of handle to be the most convenient.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Feb 14, 2019 #13

    MALBAR 70

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    I like to use this guys method, it truly does make shoveling much easier.


     
  14. Feb 14, 2019 #14

    DAllen

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    Watching that video I thought, "man someone should make a handle thats in the same shape as when he's gripping the rope." Oh wait, they already did and he has one in the video lol.

    I mean I guess if you'd rather hold on to a rope rather than what would I would think to be a more comfortable handle knock yourself out. Look at his hand positions. Almost identical.
    Shovel.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  15. Feb 14, 2019 #15

    MALBAR 70

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    It's the flexibility of the rope that makes the difference. I've used the "crooked handle" shovels and still find the rope method easier to use. I"ll admit I was quite skeptical the first time I saw it and didn't try it right away, once I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

    This is more like the method I use:
     
  16. Feb 16, 2019 #16

    georgegassaway

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    I know this is about shovels. But here's what I had to deal with Friday. Well, pics are after I used the snowblower on the driveway, again. Some parts were drifted up to 18" deep, a lot was a foot deep. There's also some areas above two feet but not on the driveway.

    The real **** is how much snow fell since the last time I used the snowblower Tuesday afternoon to remove the 7" or so of snow that fell Monday night to Tuesday mid-day. NONE. By Wednesday morning when I went to work, wind had already blown some snow into the cleared part of the driveway. Was still OK to drive on when I got home Wednesday afternoon. Thursday, forget it, lots of wind. Whole driveway had drifts across it, as though I never removed any (and worse than it was before I removed any). I didn't have to go to work Thursday or Friday, and didn't need to get out. Have to go in Saturday morning, so before sunset I got out the snowblower and cleared the driveway yet again. And if the wind kicks up much, the SAME snow is going to drift into the driveway yet again. Wish it would at least get above freezing by a degree or so to melt a little bit to skim over as ice and stop needing to remove snow from the driveway from Tuesday's snow.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Feb 16, 2019 #17

    DAllen

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    We here in the lake effect area refer to that as February. Or January, or December, sometimes March, occasionally April/November...
     
  18. Feb 18, 2019 #18

    Dipstick

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    Cheap and light plastic. My preferred method is to drive over it repeatedly and wait for our infamous "chinook" wind here in Southern Alberta. Not working out that well this year :(
     

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