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  1. #41
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: tractor manuals for free

    Quote Originally Posted by zing View Post
    ... and I'll bet your candle will last longer then the battery on my laptop.

    Working on your tractor by candlelight though? Now that is an archaic business model!
    actually, by kerosene lantern ( diesel in mine ).. BTDT MANY times.. I often walk out to do a late feeding of the animals using a old lantern.. kinda neat..

    soundguy

  2. #42
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    SSTT (Sideways Snake Tain Tractor) and STB (sideways train box) tractor, dirt harvester

    Default Re: tractor manuals for free

    i honestly do not get it, why manuals are not online for free download! and if not download just a generic web page flip through manual would even work.

    everything in manuals are typed up on a computer some place. not type-writers.

    operator manuals, that list maintenance scheduling. warnings of roll overs, safety hazards to avoid, types of fuels, oils, antifreeze. 90% of it is all copy and paste between one model to the next, exception redoing model numbers and pictures and some specs.

    they put all the work into "shop manuals" on tractors then charge a large amount. to be honest, having stuff on the computer is so much easier to search and look up and flip through. and if i want a section for tearing some parts apart and testing, i click print and go at it. when i am done the pages get tossed without worry of losing anything. vs taking a couple pages out of a 3 hole binder and fear of loosing them or getting smudges on something i might not be able to read later if needed.

    having it on the web, more so webpages and not a pdf file allows folks from multi languages to easily convert pages to there language if need be. heck google denotes "translated" option on web page results.

    50 pages to 1000 pages. good portion of cost is the paper and ink.

    all the worry about being sued due to someone did something stupid, and putting safety devices on tractors. but they want to charge you for a user/operator manual. i would think companies would be more uptight of fear of being sued due to folks could not get a hold of a general user manual easily and at all times.

    i would think shop manuals pricing would be included in over all cost of tractors. there are only so many dealers/repair shops with dedicated mechanics. and i would imagine most have descent idea of things without need of a shop manual. exception for test results.

    ========

    you know it is sad, when my mom that barely knows how to use internet, tells me, to go on internet to find the manual and print it the page or 2 that is needed. vs trying to find a manual in lost paper work.

    ========

    so most of them have a "parts catalog" online. it is nice. but it does not tell ya squat for operating, oils, fuels. safety warnings. etc... or why this or that might be the reason for this safety device.

    so a manufacture has some sort of contract with some other company to make operator manuals or shop manuals for there tractors perhaps. i would then imagine either manufacture then finds another contract company or the contract company making manuals contracts the work out yet to another contract company to print stuff out. skip the middle men. let the folks that need it, have it. if someone can pay for a tractor, they surely have a computer and at very min dial up internet.
    Ryan

  3. #43
    Gold Member zing's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Case IH 1390

    Default Re: tractor manuals for free

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman View Post
    So, would you be willing to give up your "shelf queen" Operator's Manual that you cherish so much you won't use it? Perhaps you should have suggested that customers be given the option of a printed manual or one in PDF format when making a purchase. Complaining that you don't want to get your manual greasy is sure to get your email posted on bulletin boards all over the CNH offices. People will zero in on your "not get it greasy" comment and may not see your valid point that John Deere makes their Op. Man'ls available for free.

    I am retired from a aviation training company where I helped publish thousands of manuals, printed artwork, and training courseware materials. While our publications were all in digital format, most were not available in PDF format. They were mostly in a desktop publishing software format. It is VERY costly to maintain both printed and PDF formatted documents as well as publish CDs. Anytime there are revisions to be made, the old materials have to be sold or scrapped and new master files updated. This is not an automatic process. It takes manpower and proofreading to ensure the quality of the products. It is true that often the pruducts are driven by what the competition does. The most valid point you make is that John Deere makes Operator Manuals and online parts diagrams available to the public for free. CNH also makes parts diagrams available on their website for free, but not the Operator's Manuals.
    Calling it a shelf queen manual is a strawman argument. For them to exagerrate my email to make it look like I have my manual framed and posted on my bedroom wall is no more relevant then posting a pretend picture of me cradling my manual lovingly while wearing a Disney princess dress. It's also not a very sensible way to run a company, if that is the way they treat customer feedback. If anonymous (to me) people are laughing about that in their fuzzy walled cubicles at the N. American Case IH district offices, then I am pretty sure I can live with that.

    Obviously it is not shelf queen manual that I am not willing to open up. More like a book that I read over and over while I am sitting at the kitchen table in the evening and the kids are in bed, while sipping a cup of coffee and planning what I want to do with it the next day. Or that I refer to when I am looking for a part or an implement and have a service shop on the phone or I am emailing someone, etc. It will also sit propped open on the workbench in my shop while I am trying to locate something. Pretty much the same way I treat the manual that came free with my lawn tractor, which coincidentally is available online for free as well.

    We could throw the opposite irrelevant argument back at them anyway. Do they really expect us to take our $40 tractor manual into the shop and leaf through it while our hands are saturated with hydraulic fluid or covered with grease? How long until the pages are soggy and torn, or you can't read the part numbers? I would think that at least some of the people who work there would be able to see the logic that using a semi-expensive book is not necessarily the best way for them to expect people to work on a dirty, heavy duty machine.

    I agree with your point that it would be a certain amout of work to revise documents for product changes or even product recalls, but I would think that it would be easier to post that on their website then it would be for them to notify everyone who has bought a book from them that their book is now out of date and the information in it is no longer safe or current. Realistically they wouldn't have to even modify the document, they could just attach an Appendix that states the modifications or safety recalls as they occur.
    Case IH 1390, 64 PTO HP
    Loader with bucket, 6' back blade, Woods bushhog, 2 furrow plow and a couple of very old, rusty disk harrows

  4. #44
    Gold Member zing's Avatar
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    Case IH 1390

    Default Re: tractor manuals for free

    Quote Originally Posted by boggen View Post
    i honestly do not get it, why manuals are not online for free download! and if not download just a generic web page flip through manual would even work.

    everything in manuals are typed up on a computer some place. not type-writers.

    operator manuals, that list maintenance scheduling. warnings of roll overs, safety hazards to avoid, types of fuels, oils, antifreeze. 90% of it is all copy and paste between one model to the next, exception redoing model numbers and pictures and some specs.

    they put all the work into "shop manuals" on tractors then charge a large amount. to be honest, having stuff on the computer is so much easier to search and look up and flip through. and if i want a section for tearing some parts apart and testing, i click print and go at it. when i am done the pages get tossed without worry of losing anything. vs taking a couple pages out of a 3 hole binder and fear of loosing them or getting smudges on something i might not be able to read later if needed.

    having it on the web, more so webpages and not a pdf file allows folks from multi languages to easily convert pages to there language if need be. heck google denotes "translated" option on web page results.

    50 pages to 1000 pages. good portion of cost is the paper and ink.

    all the worry about being sued due to someone did something stupid, and putting safety devices on tractors. but they want to charge you for a user/operator manual. i would think companies would be more uptight of fear of being sued due to folks could not get a hold of a general user manual easily and at all times.

    i would think shop manuals pricing would be included in over all cost of tractors. there are only so many dealers/repair shops with dedicated mechanics. and i would imagine most have descent idea of things without need of a shop manual. exception for test results.

    ========

    you know it is sad, when my mom that barely knows how to use internet, tells me, to go on internet to find the manual and print it the page or 2 that is needed. vs trying to find a manual in lost paper work.

    ========

    so most of them have a "parts catalog" online. it is nice. but it does not tell ya squat for operating, oils, fuels. safety warnings. etc... or why this or that might be the reason for this safety device.

    so a manufacture has some sort of contract with some other company to make operator manuals or shop manuals for there tractors perhaps. i would then imagine either manufacture then finds another contract company or the contract company making manuals contracts the work out yet to another contract company to print stuff out. skip the middle men. let the folks that need it, have it. if someone can pay for a tractor, they surely have a computer and at very min dial up internet.
    Great post. +1
    Case IH 1390, 64 PTO HP
    Loader with bucket, 6' back blade, Woods bushhog, 2 furrow plow and a couple of very old, rusty disk harrows

  5. #45
    Platinum Member
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    1947 Ford 2N and 2003 Kubota B7500

    Default Re: tractor manuals for free

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman View Post

    I am retired from a aviation training company where I helped publish thousands of manuals, printed artwork, and training courseware materials. While our publications were all in digital format, most were not available in PDF format. They were mostly in a desktop publishing software format. It is VERY costly to maintain both printed and PDF formatted documents as well as publish CDs. Anytime there are revisions to be made, the old materials have to be sold or scrapped and new master files updated. This is not an automatic process. It takes manpower and proofreading to ensure the quality of the products.
    You were doing it wrong. You were trying to use the old model along side digital. Ditch the old model and go 100% digital.

    One master digital copy that can be used to spit out out PDFs that you can put online or on CDs or send to your publisher to be printed and shipped to fulfill orders. JIT printing.

    I have had clients that tried to partially adopt technology and the outcome is almost always the same as your story. Overhead kills them and they never realize the full potential of the system.

    As for paper books and reading by candlelight, I can read my kindle with almost no light and the battery in it will last for weeks. Laptop is a poor choice for reading.
    -=Mark=- 03 Kubota B7500, 47 Ford 2N

  6. #46
    Silver Member zmjc's Avatar
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    Eastern Ontario
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    L3800HST

    Default Re: tractor manuals for free

    Quote Originally Posted by wvpolekat View Post
    You were doing it wrong. You were trying to use the old model along side digital. Ditch the old model and go 100% digital.
    Yeah, I was thinking that too.

    As a writer of many manuals, I have to say it's trivial to generate PDFs and stick them on a website for free download...

  7. #47
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: tractor manuals for free

    Quote Originally Posted by wvpolekat View Post
    You were doing it wrong. You were trying to use the old model along side digital. Ditch the old model and go 100% digital.

    One master digital copy that can be used to spit out out PDFs that you can put online or on CDs or send to your publisher to be printed and shipped to fulfill orders. JIT printing.
    If you are a youngster, you may think that Print On Demand (POD) is how things have always been. This is NOT true. My company was in the publishing business long before the Internet was widely available. Our publishing was first in Ventura Publisher and then in Quark on Apple McIntosh computers only. Heck, I can remember when desktop publishing required BMPs or TIFF files for photos and illustrations. JPEG was not widely in use due to multimedia being only a pipe dream. PDF was a foreign word, sure to produce glazed eyes with publishing professionals who thought only offset printing was capable of producing our documents. Desktop publishing files had to be updated before any Docutech POD format could be used. The process of moving to Adobe platforms was very painful in our company because it occurred when company profits had to be squeezed to the limits in order for upper management to get their bonus "happy money."

    I have no idea how modern equipment companies produce their pubs. I suspect many of their publications are in PDF format, but I'm also sure that many of the old documents may still be in other formats because tight margins and profit motive says that if it's a discontinued model, then it makes no sense to update. It all must be driven by ROI calculations. I agree completely that moving to 100% digital and PDF formatting along with POD publishing is the only way that makes sense. "Ditching the old model" is easy to write, but very hard to justify. Making the manuals free so that they become an expense rather than a profit center is pure heresy to the dogma of the bottom line.
    Jim


  8. #48
    Elite Member
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    SSTT (Sideways Snake Tain Tractor) and STB (sideways train box) tractor, dirt harvester

    Default Re: tractor manuals for free

    that is what i also do not get about "bottom line" to make money. i have checked prices for different manuals over the years. and the main manufacture $$$. but a quick web search reveals any were from 50% to 400% discount. within a few months of release of a given manual. and either be in paper form. or scanned into a pdf document. ya it takes a few extra calls, or a couple more minutes to double check things to make sure all is legit and legal.

    i can understand IT / computer department / web department / and like. may be reluctant to do conversions. when getting into different formats. and more so different version numbers of software. for older tractors. and along with newer tractors and it taking time for software to be there that allows bullet proof conversion without errors and bugs showing up. it takes time and labor and knowledge to get things done. but i would think after initial up front updating web site, to show manuals, and getting old tractors listed. the overall price would come down a descent amount, if not possibly cheaper.

    when i go to various mechanic shops, i do not see shelves of a mini library of shop manuals, but i see staff go to a computer.

    how many times have you seen "way to small of print" in paper form vs if it was digital were you could just hit zoom/unzoom option to read things in a bigger print.

    how many times have you looked at diagrams that were scrunched and so hard to read any details of say a wiring diagram. and you had to break out a few multi straight edges. An quadruple check. to make sure you were on the correct line? vs a computer image. that you could zoom in and out of, of its original size. vs being forced to view scrunched up paper version.
    Ryan

  9. #49
    Epic Contributor
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    Default Re: tractor manuals for free

    Quote Originally Posted by boggen View Post
    i have checked prices for different manuals over the years. and the main manufacture $$$. but a quick web search reveals any were from 50% to 400% discount. within a few months of release of a given manual. and either be in paper form. or scanned into a pdf document.
    I hear your claim, but I think you are dreadfully mistaken. Show me a link to a single technical manual that reveals a 50% to 400% discount "within a few months of release." I am very aware of one website that has technical manuals in PDF format (Tradebit) at very reasonable prices, but their list of manuals is very limited. I'm pretty good at math, but a 100% discount is $0. I don't even know what a 400% discount means. Do they pay you money for taking manuals off their hands?

    Quote Originally Posted by boggen View Post
    ya it takes a few extra calls, or a couple more minutes to double check things to make sure all is legit and legal.
    This kind of statement is the typical attitude of somebody who has no idea how manuals are produced. On what basis do you make such a ridiculous claim? Those of us who are/where professionals know just how wrong your statement is. Even if everything works perfectly, the formats of a printed document and a web document are different. For the printer, all color pages are in a separate file from black and white. Foldout pages are again in separate files, grouped by how many pages of foldout and again whether they are color or b&w. All of this is done after making a page-by-page check of the conversion. For a 2000 page manual, the check alone may take several hours work by more than one person. You just cannot trivialize this process by making a statement as you did. You do not know what you think you know.

    Quote Originally Posted by boggen View Post
    i can understand IT / computer department / web department / and like. may be reluctant to do conversions. when getting into different formats. and more so different version numbers of software.
    IT Departments do not publish documents or do conversions. IT departments manage computers, software licensing, management and financial software databases, networks, websites, and and run help desks. They DO NOT publish documents. They may be subject matter experts who work with publishing professionals to produce internal documents and job aids, but they do not publish. Once the materials are formatted for web distribution, they will be forwarded to the IT department for website installation, but they do not touch the content nor the format.

    Quote Originally Posted by boggen View Post
    when i go to various mechanic shops, i do not see shelves of a mini library of shop manuals, but i see staff go to a computer.
    Yes, the techs use online manuals because it is cost-effective and quick. If it were not cheaper and more efficient to do it by computer, you'd see the techs still working with paper documents. What this has to do with a marketable product for sale vs. free is beyond me. The fact that the tech uses a computer and you do too is like saying a dog and cat are the same because they both have four legs.


    Quote Originally Posted by boggen View Post
    how many times have you seen "way to small of print" in paper form vs if it was digital were you could just hit zoom/unzoom option to read things in a bigger print.
    Do you know what scalable text is? Do you know the difference between bitmap and vector graphics? Do you know that if you have a horrible looking bitmap document, that when you scale it up you just have a big horrible looking bitmap document? Do you know that some bitmap documents are huge in size (file size) and that's because they are produced at a their maximum resolutions and then scaled down to view a page at a time on a computer screen?

    Look, I don't mean to insult you or become argumentative, but being a professional in the business made me feel I had to respond to your claims. I know you mean well and I largely agree with you that documents should be published in PDF format as often as possible. I just don't want you to make claims that are not true even though you may think they are valid. I hope I haven't offended you by my strong response. I don't mean any of this to be personal, but I admit to being blunt. I don't apologize for my facts, but I do apologize if I offended you.
    Jim


  10. #50
    Veteran Member orezok's Avatar
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    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: tractor manuals for free

    In my way of thinking, when you buy a tractor or any other product, most times you are provided with an operators/owners manual. It's part of the purchase and the manufacturer by providing it gives you the right to use it. Under copyright laws you are allowed to make a backup copy for you own use.

    Now the legal question, if you sell that tractor, does the subsequent owner(s) retain the right to use and or copy the manual. We're talking the original manual or manuals furnished by the manufacturer only.

    If so, then the subsequent owner has the right to the manual where ever he obtains it from.

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