I'm sure the people from Woodland Scenics would say that the failure was as a result of misuse. In reality, it probably was a combination of fatigue and too much downward force creating a stress beyond what the plastic handle could withstand. But, after just two and half years, it's still a bit disappointing. However, it has been a useful tool, too useful to consign to the rubbish bin. So the search was on for a suitable repair.
So far three possible solutions have been considered. The first two involve the use of a short length of heavy duty conduit as a sleeve and the third uses a piece of timber to replace the plastic handle.
The first attempt, hereafter referred to as Plan A, involved an attempt to glue the original handle inside the conduit.As with most Plan As, it didn't work too well. The concept of the conduit as a method of splicing the handle together worked OK but the glue failed when the tool was pushed forward. It might have been a different story, if I hadn't tried the make the overall handle longer than it had previously been.
So on to Plan B. The conduit was the same but this time, I drilled and inserted two screws, one through each of the remnant parts of the handle. So far, this arrangement seems to be working and the handle is a bit longer than previously.
However, if Plan B does not work over time, Plan C will be the replacement of a whole handle with a piece of timber. The problem with this option may be the loss of some flexibility in the head/handle interface.
Time will tell but a least the track is getting cleaned, AND the scenery is not being damaged!