By Mike Hanlon • Gizmag.com
Replace the intricate wheel casting with wooden spokes and it’s possible to believe that the Wovel was designed and built a thousand years ago – it has an air of elegant simplicity that belies the amount of thought and science which went into its design. The Wovel is a wheeled snow shovel and it’s much safer and reduces exertion by as much as 80% compared to traditional shoveling. Just how dangerous is snow shoveling? Well, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 72,000 medical emergency room visits occur in the U.S. annually due to snow removal injuries including over exertion, heart attacks, strokes, back, muscle, joint and snow blower injuries. The Wovel also outperforms snow blowers and is 2-3 times faster than shoveling. The unique design of the Wovel allows the user to multiply mechanical force and throw snow into piles over four feet high with ease. findings the Wovel is proving to be 4 to 5 times more efficient than conventional shoveling, with greatly reduced lower back stress.
The University of Massachusetts, one of the top U.S. ergonomic research centres did an independent study and in their preliminary which confirmed the overwhelming safety advantage of the Wovel versus conventional snow removal tools. “The biomechanical model shows a huge reduction, by approximately 85%, of risk of injury of the lower back with the wovel,” says Bryan Buchholz, PhD, Professor and Director, Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology, at the University of Massachusetts. “Even when moving heavy loads the Wovel virtually eliminates lower back stress, making it comparable to simply walking” according to Dr. Buchholz, and his research indicates that “the greatly improved efficiency of the Wovel can also reduce overall body exertion by as much as 80% versus shovelling”.
Made in the U.S. of heavy gauge steel and injection-moulded polypropylene plastic, the Wovel is made in the U.S. and is just over six feet long with a 26 inch by 18 inch blade.
The adjustable fulcrum point at the axle allows the Wovel to work like a seesaw, and the large 36 inch wheel diameter enhances leverage and the mechanical advantage. The mechanical advantage making it possible to throw three-times as much snow as a traditional shovel and easily clear up to two feet of heavy slush or snow while reducing physical exertion by as much as 75 to 80 percent.
“The Wovel outperforms and is safer than a single stage snow blower. It’s fast, safe, is environmentally clean, quiet, and maintenance-free and because of the leverage achieved through the design is less stressful on a person’s heart, joints and muscles,” says Mark Noonan, designer of the Wovel and President of Structured Solutions II LLC, manufacturer and distributor of the Wovel. ”Our early success, combined with the outstanding performance and safety efficacy, are clear indicators that the global roll out of the Wovel this season will be highly successful.”
The Wovel is now slated for a major expansion into retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada and will be introduced in several European countries and Japan this coming season. International enquiries from other markets would be welcomed. With an estimated 73,000 medical emergency room visits in the U.S. annually due to injuries received through snow removal (including over exertion, heart attacks, strokes, back, muscle and joint injuries and snow blower-related injuries), the Wovel is the safest, affordable alternative for snow removal.
“With the Wovel, it would appear that personal snow shoveling has entered the machine age!” said Steven J. Weiss, D.O., a top New York City sports medicine specialist. “While it will not remove all risks of strain or injury, it appears to have made shoveling much more efficient, safer, less strenuous, easier, thus reducing the risks for either musculoskeletal or heart-related injuries.”
The Wovel is sturdy, but at just 26 pounds it’s easily manoeuvred, and is fully adjustable for user height and or any snow conditions and. The Wovel also easily breaks down for storage.
Like all good consumer devices, you can also accessorise the Wovel with a chipper blade for hard pack snow and ice, gravel wheels, a replacement wear strip for the shovel blade and foam grips for additional comfort. (No mention of GT stripes just yet but stay tuned). A 5-Year Extended Warranty is also available.
The Wovel sells for US$120 with a further US$50 for the accessories pack. Add another US$20 for a set of Yaktrax ice traction fittings for your shoes you’ll be the best and most appropriately dressed snow shoveler in your neck of the woods.
The Wovel is manufactured and distributed by Structured Solutions II, which designs and manufactures novel products that simplify and ease the chores of every day life. Their products and patents range from hardware items to electronics accessories and military/defense technologies – all based on its patented custom designs.