Al MF Bezanson Expounds On The Perfect Snow Shovel. Do You Agree?

Al writes-

I’ve been shoveling for more than 70 years, starting back on the farm where we tended to the input and output of 20 cows.  Later, I learned in IE 1-01 that 21-1/2 lb is the optimum shovel-load, as determined by none other than Frederick W. Taylor, the father of scientific management.  This made perfect sense to me.

Now I have a long driveway, and I don’t mind shoveling it, within certain limits.  Nice way to work out and it feels real good to gaze back at what’s been accomplished.   And I never get a backache.  Because I use a strong, lightweight LONG HANDLED SHOVEL with the perfect aluminum business end.  No short handles for me.  They should be outlawed – except for little people, of course.  You can really send that snow flying off the slippery aluminum.

Where do you find the Perfect Shovel?  No place around these parts.  I buy mine at Big Blue Farm Supply in Clinton, NC, right in the heart of hog farming country.  Perfect for grain, corn and SNOW.

Al Bezanson

PS — I just spotted that photo of David Cox with the exotic S-curve job …. but I will stand by my Big Blue Hog Farmer’s Special.

The Perfect Snow Shovel

See Al I agree with you on the aluminum shovel shaped just the way yours is but I like it with a handle.  The kind we used for years to ice fish down the dock before they came up with the stupid white plastic ones.


  • hey joey, think you could help us out with your skills and put up a link of where we can find one of these shovels(long aluminum shovel shaped w/ the handle). after seeing this story, i’m haten’ on my shovel. thanks


    • You can still get them at the building center


      • The shoves we used aboard boats for years were great for snow , course first they were made of steel and they rusted and where heavy so sometime guys would drill 1/2 inch holes in them but they could chop through hard snow and ice, Then came the Aluminum ones then food grade handling plastic ones which wear out on rough surfaces and broke when thrown around for some reason.


  • I’ve shoveled snow—with and without backache—all my life, too, but also spent a big part of it treating patients with back pain after shoveling. My suggestions are: use a narrow blade rather than a wide one. Take shallow bites out of deep snow, especially if wet and heavy. Avoid throwing shovelfuls too far or too high. Bend your knees and not your back. Beware of a handle too short because bending way over and coming back up puts more demand on your back. Beware of a handle too long because the load at the end becomes heavier as the lever gets longer. Work slowly. Take frequent breaks to do something else for a while and then return to the job. Following these rules can make shoveling good fun and great exercise.


  • Yup. Can I add you may want to spray the scoop with a little “Pam” cooking spray or silicon spray to help the release.


  • Take heed folks. As David Simmons points out, avoiding back injury is all about technique, and many people are vulnerable through lack of experience. Otherwise they might find that the right moves come naturally. It’s hard to make the right moves when you have the wrong type of shovel for the snow condition. In a lot of situations the long handle works much better, for me at least. I have a collection of shovels to use for snow,,and like hand planes, screwdrivers and pliers, you need to pick the right one. No Swiss Army knife for me.

    My beloved grain scoop, for that’s what it is, works very well most of the time. And I will try the Pam trick when the need arises. Never thought of that – thanks Bob! Here are some particulars on my scoop — 63″ long overall, ash handle with a scoop 14″ wide X 17″ long, 10 gauge aluminum (.101″ thk). Look around on the internet and you will see these are somewhat rare. I located a couple that are somewhat close, ranging from $67 to $85. Mine cost $45 about ten years ago. A bargain for what it is.


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