Why are pitchforks so dam effective?

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Coming off of doing some lawn care, I had to put down some mulch. Why is a pitchfork some much more effective at picking it up than a shovel? And on top of that why doesn’t the mulch just fall through space in between the points?

In: Engineering

The pitchfork works best on substances that have relatively long fibers that can interlock to prevent something like a shovel blade from penetrating into the mass. Examples are things like straw, long grass, mulch, etc.

Those long interlocking fibers keep things from falling through when the tines pick up, and the tines being pointy allows them to be inserted and removed with little effort.