The vehicle maintenance manual leader Haynes has finally made a move to create digital versions of their workshop manuals, with a vast majority of them already available through their new Haynes Manuals Online service.
Only from what I can understand from the dated site, there is a major and I mean cataclysmic failure. It is literally an online repository.
Why is this a problem you may think? Well, because 90% of the work you do on a vehicle is where? It’s in a workshop, a garage or on the kerbside and what is usually absent from all of these areas? You guessed it, an internet connection.
Furthermore, it is an annual subscription based business model which costs £10.00 more than buying a hardcopy of the manual which of course you have and can freely use for as long as you have the vehicle.
I don’t know where this logic has come from but Haynes have got it so wrong.
For easily the last 6 years professional motor vehicle workshops have been using computer based parts and workshop manuals, in fact all the manufacturers have now got digital systems to reduce cost and to allow them to keep the changes in work up to date, but the difference is that these are all CD-ROM based applications which sit on a laptop that can been wheeled out into the workshop for reference – no internet connection required.
I’ve worked on quite a few projects that have had a degree of digitisation of printed materials over the last 18 months. Part of the first steps is understanding the use-case of the existing print, the environment it is read in, who it is read buy and although I know of plenty of mechanics who are sat around with ipads in the workshop at the moment (I’ve been there too), I also know that these are the filthiest places in the world and you really don’t want to be shagging an expensive touch screen device because it’s covered in brake fluid, acids, oils or grease.