Snowy times call for old-school measures
summiit daily news
These days, snow removal is a constant concern for many Summit County citizens.
It seems like every time folks finish cleaning up after one storm, another is quick to follow.
Since the invention of the snow blower by Canada’s Arthur Sicard in 1925, consumers in cold places worldwide have enjoyed quicker snow removal and reduced back pain.
But what if you don’t have one? Or better yet, what if you don’t want one?
To many diehards, buying a snow blower represents a frivolous expense. Even in these progressively modern times, many people, be it for financial reasons or otherwise, still rely on the good old-fashioned shovel.
Of those, how many can truly say that they posses a perfect snow-shoveling technique?
Manuel Bundy is a maintenance associate at Frisco’s Wal-Mart and heads up, among other things, snow removal.
“I do almost everything around here. I stock, fix stuff, snow blow, shovel. You name it, I fix it,” he said.
After living and shoveling in Colorado for the last 14 years, Bundy has learned a thing or two about a lost art.
1. Select your shovel carefully. Shovels come in various shapes and sizes. Bundy recommends a shovel with a bent shaft because it saves the operator from excessive bending over.
“These things will kill your back,” he said in reference to a traditional shovel with a straight shaft.
2. Use a chisel. Snow that has been neglected for more then a few days becomes hard-packed and difficult to shovel.
“There’s no way you could use a shovel to do this,” Bundy explained as he demonstrated the virtues of a chisel outside of his workplace.
“Shovels are meant to just shovel snow,” he said.
3. Wear a brace or belt for back support. Said Bundy: “I don’t use them but we have them in the store and a lot of people use them depending on how much (shoveling) they’ve done.”
4. Lift with your legs and keep your body in straight alignment. “When I shovel, I use my legs and turn my whole body,” Bundy said. “A lot of people bend over, pick up the snow and toss it beside them without fully turning their bodies. If you do that all day, your back is going to ache.”
Bundy recommends using a backhand grip on the shaft of the shovel, which also reduces back strain.
5. View shoveling as a workout and an adventure. “It’s good exercise,” Bundy said. “If you’re an outdoorsman, you’ll love it. It’s hard work and every day is different. When we had those storms, I was out there working and by the time I came back in, I was as white as the snow.”
6. Help out others in need. Although he works hard to ensure that Wal-Mart customers don’t slip and fall on his watch, Bundy doesn’t just shovel snow at work.
“I’ve been up here for 14 years,” he said. “When people need me, I volunteer.”
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