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Jessie_Scott_SF
Veteran Contributor

Farm Manuals Fast

Has anyone heard of or used Farm Manuals Fast? It’s a website that provides digital farm equipment manuals. The site was originally started by a high school student (he’s in college now) who wanted to provide a faster, more affordable way to replace lost or ruined manuals. Is this something you would use?

The only downside is that it’s just for older equipment. You won’t find anything introduced after 1990.

Do you think this would be a useful service if manufacturers offered it for newer equipment? Do you know if anyone does that already?

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5 Replies
Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Farm Manuals Fast

My guess is these are scanned from manuals that are out of copyright.  My experience with this in paper manuals is that one has to be watchful of print quality.  I've had some that were hard to read because the original was not that good and the print process was not up to snuff.  I've orderd half a dozen such paper manuals for my old Oliver equipoment from the Floyd County Museum.  I have one scanned digital manual for an Oliver 880 but it was not complete and had errors.

I looked at an example for hte Oliver 99, a rather rare tractor built in the 40's and 50's if I remember right.  It is an I&T  manual which is not an OEM maintenance manual.  An I&T manual often assumes yuu have some mechanical skill and maybe the operators manual.  It is often good enough but sometimes not as good as the OEM manuals.  It's kind of like Chilton's for farm machinery.

I have not used the referenced source so can't comment on it, just my experience in this area.

 

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Jessie_Scott_SF
Veteran Contributor

Re: Farm Manuals Fast

You are right, Jim. The digital versions are simply scanned from manuals that aren't protected by copyright law. You bring up a few good points about quality and type of manual.

 

Would you use a digital version (if you had lost or ruined your original version) if you could get it from the manufacturer? For example, if you lost a manual for a John Deere tractor, would you prefer to download a digital copy or track down another print version?

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Farm Manuals Fast

If I want information for reference, such as how tight to torque a bolt or how much oil to use, it can be fine to have either paper or digital.  Which to use may depend on what wer are used to, how easy it is to carry the document around, and many other factors.

 

If one wants to look at a picture and correlate it wtih some text (Run the belt E around pulleys A and C) then the way we are used to seeing manuals, paper is often better.  We can hold two pages at once and flip back and forth.  

 

If one want all instnace of part number 12345, then maybe a digital manual with good search capabilities is better.

 

I dont' knwo - maybe you can find out if a scanned document allows one to print, search, bookmark and similar operations.  If so, maybe we'll get use to that.  If not, then it's just a scanned document and it's the same as reading a book on a computer.

 

So, one part of your question is just how do you use the manul?

Where do you need the manual?  would a digital version on a tablet let you take it in your tractor?  I have done that.

 

I think I'd go to some farm dealerships and ask the parts men how they use manuals.  They are on the computer all the time and seldom refer to paper.  They operate more from an exploded diagram and parts list than from a work description.

 

I think your question is borader and more individual than appears on the surface.  

 

I ahve all my airplane manuals on my iPad and computer and don't even have a paper version of most of them.  When I need to really study a certain seciton I infrequently print it out.  

 

A scanned digital version that is just a display of the page is better than none at all.  When you can get an OEM document, from a dealer or on eBay, it is often very expensive.  The kind of service above can help hold the cost down.

 

Modern digital documentation is easily updated.  I get a notice periodicallly and download a new version of my airplane docs and overwrite the old ones.  

 

I'm sorry to gbe all over th eplace on this question - I think on one hadn it is very easy and on the other it is very complex and very individual.

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Jessie_Scott_SF
Veteran Contributor

Re: Farm Manuals Fast

You bring up some good points, Jim. I don't think there is one answer to if digital or print is better. I think you are right that it will depend both on the person's preference and the application.

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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: Farm Manuals Fast

I would prefer all my manuals in digital edition that I could have on my tablet. I would never need to worry about ripping them or getting them dirty. I could print the pages that I needed and take them in the shop with me if I needed to, then throw them away when I was finished. I would want an original digital copy however, not a scanned version. This would make someone a lot of money if they could offer such a service.
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