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One man, 27 driveways: Snow removal pro shares his shovelling tips

With a fresh blanket of snow covering the capital Friday morning, Dean Beneteau is busy digging out driveways for dozens of Alta Vista homeowners.

Beneteau has been shovelling since 5 a.m. to tackle at least 14 centimetres of snow that has fallen since Thursday night. Forecasters are calling for another five to 10 cm throughout the region before the snow is expected to stop this evening.

“With the amount of snow that we have, it’s going to take me eight to 10 hours,” Beneteau said standing on one client’s driveway, shovel in hand.

This winter, Beneteau is shovelling 27 driveways regularly, and another five occasionally through the business he operates, The Recycled Gardener. He’s been in the shovelling game since he was 12 years old.

“Next to cutting the lawn, it’s my favourite thing to do,” he said.

With all that experience under his belt, Beneteau, 58, knows a thing or two about the right way, and the wrong way to clear the snow. Here are his top tips:

Don’t use your back

Beneteau says the first rule of snow-shovelling is to use your knees, not your back. He also says you should never throw above your head, and never throw behind your back.

“Never stand there and throw and twist your back, because if the snow sticks to your shovel, it’s going to twist your back and it’s going to do real damage,” he said.

Two shovels are better than one

Beneteau suggests always using two shovels, one made for scooping the snow and one for pushing it. He says shovels are made differently for moving and clearing the snow, and it’s worth investing in ones that can ease the strain on your body.

Shovel, then shovel again

If the temperature is closer to zero, with a significant amount of heavy snow, Beneteau prefers to shovel multiple times to avoid heavy lifting.

“With this much snow I would go out three times, jus

2020-02-07 12:54

CTV News - Ottawa

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