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Take your shovel, be it snow, grain, digging, or whatever
kind of scoop you use while standing upright; tape a rope
to the base of the blade where the handle attaches and
then to the other end of the handle. Grasp the rope in one
hand and the handle in the other hand. Now you can push,
lift and throw with both hands. This is very similar to
the "The Ultimate Snow Shovel" previously presented by
'Bob Wade'. The difference being the attachment to the
upper end of the shovel handle.
I use this trick whenever I have some serious shoveling to
do. In my humble(?) opinion, the best time to learn how to
use the shovel crane is when your back is already sore.
That way you are not going to habitually bend over while
shoveling. I call it a shovel crane because the look of it in
use reminded me of a dredging crane.
I use tape because it doesn't damage the handle of
someone else's shovel. First, to attach the rope to the
handle at the blade end, lay the rope along the top of the
handle with a few inches extending over the blade past the
point where you are going to tape it. Wrap the rope and
handle a few times with tape as close to the blade as is
feasible. Fold the extra bit of rope back over the tape
wrapped section and run a few more wraps around all of it.
Second, measure your rope. Run the rope along the top of
the handle and fold it over the end. Grasp the rope and
handle together so as to hold the rope in place at the end.
Lift the shovel by the rope with your other hand. Adjust
the length of the rope so that the shovel blade is at the
correct working height and angle for scooping and moving
material when you are standing upright and both arms are
relaxed. You may be surprised by how little slack is needed
in the rope. - Some years ago, I read about how to properly
use a shovel. The key point is to lift as little as possible.
Leave the loaded shovel close to the ground as you swing it
from the pick up point to the dump point. Also, if possible,
simply turn the shovel over at the dump point instead of
flinging the load. - Third, secure the rope at the right
length with a few wraps of tape. The rope should be folded
over the end so that tape secures it to both top and
bottom sides of the handle. On a shovel with a D handle
the rope would be folded over through the loop of the D so
it doesn't interfere with your grip. On other types of
handles you would grip over the taped end or under the
rope closer to the blade. Fourth, get any excess rope out
of the way somehow. Now you have a shovel crane.
In use you stand up straight. You can push horizontally into
a pile with both hands. You can drop the rope and push the
shovel into the ground with your foot, pry a clod loose,
then grab the rope, to lift without bending your back. You
can use the rope to extend your reach. You can lift and
swing a fuller scoop with less effort. For high lifting you
bend your knees and slide your hand further down the
rope. Digging a trench is now easier to do from above than
from down in the trench. You might lengthen the rope for
deep, narrow trenches.
There are two difficulties to be aware of. One, use a soft
rope or gloves to avoid abrading your hands with heavy
use. Two, those fuller scoops are often poorly centered on
the shovel blade and thus prone to tipping. With an
ordinary straight shovel handle you may need a stronger
grip with your upper hand. A D or T handle should be fine.
Maybe some day a shovel manufacturer will start selling
shovels with loops to secure a rope to. Until that day, you
and I will have to save our own backs with a simple shovel
PS You can make it fancier if you want to!
The Ultimate Snow Shovel
[xaviergisz, Jun 04 2013]
||So... a regular shovel with a rope, one end fixed near the blade, the other to the handle, that works like those newfangled bent-handle snowshovels, but it's adjustable ... ?
||Small wheels on either side of and close to the front of the blade?
||I haven't used the bent handled shovels, but the
of standing up straight while shoveling is the
rope is much easier to adjust than a bend in a
I had to come up with this because I am fat and
of shape due to laziness. With a rope attached to
shovel I can keep up with or surpass the young
athletic types and avoid back pain too.
||Small wheels would likely interfere with the
scooping. A caster ball wheel attached to the
handle at the base of the blade could turn it into a
scooping wheelbarrow, Sir Not.
||You didn't find it because it's not named logically.
||It's called a "crowd rope".
||Hi [AwarmRay] welcome to the halfbakery. I like your idea. [+]