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Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-03-2007, 10:46 AM   #1
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Anybody Have a Wovel?

My kids got me a Wovel for Christmas. A wovel is a new type of snow shovel that is ergonomically designed to move a lot of snow pretty effortlessly. It was one of Time Magazine's products of the year for 2006. Here's the web site for it: http://www.wovel.com.

We finally got enough snow here in the Pittsburgh, PA region that I could use it last night. I must say, it really does live up to its billing. I have the trifecta of problems when it comes to shoveling snow - bad back, bursitis in the upper right hip, and severe arthritis in the right hip . It was so easy to push the snow with the Wovel, as well as throw it off the snow shovel. I really did not have any back/hip pain while using it.

I should have followed the DVD instructions about how to use this thing. I started at the bottom of my driveway and worked my way up. Unfortunately, the Wovel is not like a regular snow shovel that you can manipulate in some tight spots. It works best if you shovel in long, straight lines. In fact, I was pushing snow easily for up to 60 feet - and could have gone longer, if I had more driveway to clear .

I really think that it is faster than a snowblower, as it claims on its web page. It usually takes me 75 to 90 minutes to clear my driveway and parking area behind our house (that area is at least 33 feet by 30 feet alone) - with the norm being at least 90. I did it in about 60 minutes last night - and that included when I had to switch to my regular shove near the end (due to my not planning on using the Wovel properly :).

My kids got me the optional attachments, so that it can be used on a gravel/unpaved driveway as well. The two optional attachments that I think should come standard with the Wovel are the padded handles and the steel wear bar for the shovel blade itself - which is made out of plastic.
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-03-2007, 10:42 PM   #2
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

is this a joke??



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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-03-2007, 11:24 PM   #3
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

Here in Nashville we had 2 inches yesterday ... I watched it melt in about 2 hours, while listening to some local country music.


All kidding aside, the wovel looks like an interesting invention, I will hopefully never, ever need.
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-03-2007, 11:45 PM   #4
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

I don't think they've made it to Phoenix.
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-04-2007, 12:11 AM   #5
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
I don't think they've made it to Phoenix.
Well, if you have a cabin in Payson then you would need it.
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-04-2007, 09:48 AM   #6
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

I haven't seen one here in Pasadena CA (might get to 80 today), just not stocked at our Home Depot
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-04-2007, 09:56 AM   #7
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

This is intriguing. How stable it it? How deep of a snow will it handle? Does that wheel reliably go around, even when it is very cold? I push a lot of snow with a regular shovel so it is interesting.
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-04-2007, 10:06 AM   #8
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

It's in the 70's today in Sarasota. Ah but I do remember snow shovels not fondly !
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A Couple of Replies to Some Questions/Comments on the Wovel
Old 02-04-2007, 12:20 PM   #9
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A Couple of Replies to Some Questions/Comments on the Wovel

I thought I would respond to a couple of questions and comments:

1. Thefed - No, it's not a joke (although I can see how you construe it to be one ). As I said in my original post, I first found out about it by reading the Time magazine article. Then I visited the Wovel web site. With my back and hip problems, I thought why not try it. For the about $170 it cost, if it didn't work out, I'd be paying some neighborhood kids about $20 per snowfall to shovel anyway. Since we usually get about 10 to 15 shovel-able (sp?) snowfalls a year, I'd come out ahead if it works.

2. Martha - As long as you are pushing it forward or backward in a fairly straight line, it's very stable. If you try to throw snow off to the side or lean it a lot, it tips pretty easily. I think it weighs something like 40 lbs. The wheel actually is designed to detach after use, for easier storage. I was kind of worried about the wheel turning as well, but it was turning fine Friday night, when it was 18 F. I think the weight of the frame pressing down on the wheel axle makes the wheel turn easily (there are some plastic bushings that cover the wheel axle bolt that seem to take the weight, but allow the wheel to turn freely). I think the more snow there is, the better/easier it works. If you look at the web page, the guy demonstrating it is moving some pretty deep snow. Also, the handle and the wheel placement on the frame are adjustable for people of various heights and weights. Their literature says women can use it as easily as men.

3. To all of you in warm weather climes - I'll just tell you what I used tell my kids when they would complain about having to wait out in the cold for the school bus: I used to walk up (and down) hill both ways to school, in all sorts of weather (no bus service if you lived inside the city limits) - fighting off the mastodons and sabre tooth tigers the whole way in the winter when the snow was waist-deep. What doesn't kill you builds character. If it does, then you are someone's lunch .

4. I don't know if they are selling the Wovel in any retail stores yet. My kids ordered it from their web site.
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-04-2007, 12:23 PM   #10
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

My cousin Phil and I built a contraption from a 4'x3' piece of plywood, edged with metal flashing, with a pair of small bike tires attached to a small sub-frame/handle built from 2x4's. We could 'plow' a driveway with this contraption in just a few minutes.

Another case of blowing a great patent opportunity.

If I fish around, I MIGHT still have a photo of the two of us 16 year old farm boys pushing that around my aunts driveway. Seems it needed two horsepower to run properly.

Should hit close to 65 today and sunny. The last time we had snow was in 1996, three inches that lasted a day or two. Prior to that was in the 1970's.
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***Wovel Update***
Old 02-17-2007, 05:40 PM   #11
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***Wovel Update***

Just thought I'd post some additional experience with the Wovel, now that I've used it a couple more times. First, though, here's a link to one of our local TV stations that did a consumer report on the Wovel - KDKA TV out of Pittsburgh, PA - http://kdka.com/consumer/local_story_045170810.html.

We got about 6 to 8 inches of snow from that Nor'easter that started in the Midwest and went up the East Coast earlier this week.

Tuesday Night - The 4 inches of snow on the ground was saturated with rain, as the storm switched to freezing rain in the afternoon, and it was still coming down as freezing rain when I used the Wovel at 8 PM. Much harder to push, because of the wet snow. But, still easier than a regular shovel, and definitely much easier to move and pile the wet snow up than a regular shovel. It took about 90 minutes to clear everything - still faster by at least 30-50% than any previous wet, slushy snow I've shoveled off this driveway.

Wednesday Afternoon - The freezing rain changed back to all snow and the temperature fell into the low teens. About 3 to 4 inches of snow on the driveway and sidewalk. My 16 year old daughter helped me - she wanted to try the Wovel. Snow is very easy to push and pile up. We finish in about 35 minutes. This is the fastest that shoveling that much snow off the driveway and sidewalk has ever been done.

By the way, if you watch the video from KDKA, they make three points - I'm supposing they are saying are from the manufacturer - that are not accurate:

1. Don't use on slush (and I presume wet snow). The instructional DVD says specifically that if you are shoveling wet snow or slush to move the wheel placement on the frame closer to the shovel blade, for easier use. I did not do that on Tuesday night - mainly because I forgot about it :.

2. Don't use it on hard-packed snow. Well, the accessory kit comes with a steel scraper blade that attaches right below the snow shovel specifically designed for ice and hard-packed snow, and that is what the instructional DVD says, also .

3. Don't use it on gravel or non-paved driveways. Again, the accessory kit comes with wheels that attach below the shovel blade, and the instructional DVD says they are to be used for "gravel driveways, or unpaved driveways" :.

Maybe they were too cheap to buy the accessory kit .
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-17-2007, 05:56 PM   #12
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

Is the shovel plastic or metal?

(thanks for the link to the demo)

Edit most totally off topic: I was looking at the website you linked to and there was an article about living with pets when you have allergies. Here is some advice from that article:

As for the cats themselves, Dr. Hutchinson recommends washing them every 4 to 6 weeks with this special formula: one gallon of water mixed with 10-percent white vinegar and one capful of Downy fabric softener.

Hutchinson says sponging that solution over the cat and letting it dry "holds dander to the cat." As a result, that dander will be "less likely to get up in the air and cause allergies."


Hum.
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-17-2007, 06:18 PM   #13
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
As for the cats themselves, Dr. Hutchinson recommends washing them every 4 to 6 weeks with this special formula: one gallon of water mixed with 10-percent white vinegar and one capful of Downy fabric softener.
Hutchinson says sponging that solution over the cat and letting it dry "holds dander to the cat." As a result, that dander will be "less likely to get up in the air and cause allergies."
Dr. Hutchinson is definitely not a cat owner.

Or else he owns a body-armor company.

I bet the good news is that the Downy helps the cat cough up that hairball more easily, and the white vinegar keeps it smelling fresh!
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-17-2007, 07:06 PM   #14
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

Quote:
sponging that solution over the cat and letting it dry "holds dander to the cat."
I guess every year or so you have to do something to get rid of the built up dander -- like stripping the wax off the floor.
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Martha, The Shovel Blade is Plastic...
Old 02-17-2007, 07:22 PM   #15
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Martha, The Shovel Blade is Plastic...

Martha asked:

Is the shovel plastic or metal?

The shovel blade is plastic. I would recommend getting the metal wear strip that they sell separately. That seems to make the blade more stable and it definitely helps 'dig' all the way to the pavement. It came with the accessory kit I got (along with the wheels for gravel driveways and the ice/hard-packed snow steel blade).

By the way, everything is on sale if you order directly from the company: http://www.wovel.com

And, no, I have no personal financial interest in this company. I just like to have the unusual product that makes my life easier - I also own a light-weight battery operated lawn mower that always draws comments from people walking by. One lady thought I was vacuuming the yard because it is so quiet .
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-17-2007, 09:42 PM   #16
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

One of my cats is sitting in my lap right now, reading this, snickering little cat snickers...
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CFB - Maybe Your Cat Really Needs...
Old 02-17-2007, 09:56 PM   #17
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CFB - Maybe Your Cat Really Needs...

to use the litter box . Have you seen this? http://www.citikitty.com. They used to advertize something called Kitty Wizz back in the day. I wonder if this is the same thing
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?
Old 02-18-2007, 08:53 AM   #18
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Re: Anybody Have a Wovel?

I've heard of cheez whiz, but I think i'll pass on kitty wizz. I never was that comfortable with all that 'whiz/wizz' stuff anyhow.
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