‘What the …?’ A snow shovel on a big wheel
November 16, 2005
One unique aspect of newspaper work is the constant stream of public relations material that flows into the office, most of it from businesses or trade associations seeking free publicity. The Aspen Times routinely gets stuff from beer wholesalers, romance novel publishers, makers of “glass adult toys” and laser-engraved Christmas ornaments, to name just a few. Everybody with a new widget or gimmick carpet-bombs the media with PR, and most of it goes straight into the garbage.But this week we received a pitch about something both seasonal and interesting: A snow shovel on a wheel.
As someone who shovels a fair amount of snow each winter, I thought the “Wovel” looked pretty clever. Cheesy, perhaps, but clever.If I hadn’t just bought a used snowblower, and if I didn’t have a gravel driveway, the Wovel would hold some appeal for me. But I can think of plenty of friends – particularly those of the older persuasion – who might love the thing. With a wheel in the mix, kids might even be more easily persuaded to shovel snow.
I haven’t tried out a Wovel. But the press release was smart; it even included a testimonial from a sports doctor, calling it “much more efficient, safer, less strenuous, easier” than a run-of-the-mill snow shovel. Instead of twisting around to heave snow off to your side, you can throw snow with the Wovel using a simple forward-and-downward push (see photo).The Wovel is made of injection-molded plastic and steel, and costs $119.95 – much pricier than a simple shovel, but much cheaper than a motorized snowblower. At 26 pounds, I doubt it’s a flimsy piece of junk.
Again, I didn’t try a Wovel for this so-called review (sorry – editor’s prerogative). But I’ve seen a lot of press releases in my time, and the Wovel’s sales pitch was one of the few that didn’t go straight into the trash bin.For more information, check out http://www.wovel.com, or call the manufacturer, Structured Solutions II LLC, at 877-598-2599.