When I think of a seminar, I immediately think of going back to school. Sitting for 4-8 hours in a class, watching a slide or overhead projector presentation that teaches you the name or identification of each individual part, and refreshes you on the basics. Oh, and getting up to use the bathroom, stretch your legs, get in a quick smoke (or in my case, repack my dip) and check phone messages, just about every 45 minutes.
People are going to criticize me here and fly off the handle thinking I'm being negative, but hear me out first before you judge me. I think your intentions are great, and could be quite useful, and most of the members here would more than likely get something out it, especially the members who collect all brands and types of tractors. My question would be, what do you have to offer for us brand specific guys? I'd really be curious to know how a seminar can keep my attention span long enough to justify the expenses needed in order to attend the event. I understand different engines and transmissions were used in a variety of different tractors, but when it all comes down do it, the engines pretty much all get rebuilt the same. Yes, there are differences between gear drives and hydro drive transmissions, but once you know the general operation of each, and how to build each type separately, what more is there to teach on?
When presenting the topics that you all decide to teach on, will you be offering hands on training? To sit in front of a stage and listen to people teach or instruct gets boring real fast. However, devising a way for a table of four pupils to have their own engine sitting in front of them so that they can see first hand the operation it takes for the engine to run, and being able to see just how important each part is, would be something to keep peoples interest, or make them feel like they walked away from the seminar with more knowledge than what they had before they got there. Having them remove a certain part, just so they see that the engine can't function without it.
As for the sheet metal part, what about having the pupils bring a piece of their own tin work that is damaged, then having your instructors show them techniques or ideas, and let the pupils work on straightening the piece back out again. Having a couple of bench vises or an anvil, plus some ballpein hammers would be handy if accessible. Just showing them without hands on experience might be good for some guys, but until they get home again, most guys will forget what was showed to them.
Would there be hand outs for the guys to take along home with them? Maybe some diagrams showing a cut through of a carb, and identifying each part and explaining why it's so important. A diagram of a hydro tranny, to show all of the internals. I know some guys that decided to take a tranny apart, but after they opened up the case and saw all of the individual parts, changed their minds and took it to a professional for rebuilding. If they would have known in advance just how much was involved, they could have saved themselves some time and headaches. However, being able to study the diagram in advance, might have given them the incentive to do the work themselves.
I agree with you as far as needing a lot of topics to teach, but I think, without hands on experience, some guys are just going to walk away from the seminar empty handed or lost. A big fancy Hotel or Community Center just won't provide the atmosphere needed to teach what needs to be taught. For all of the years that I have been driving a car or a truck, I have never seen a mechanic working on a motor or transmission while wearing his Sunday's best clothes. I'd look for a Vocational Training School that would have all of the equipment needed, and the atmosphere wouldn't make you feel out of place if you decided not to shave, wore your faded blue jeans with the knees wore out, and an old greasy ball cap.
Just my opinion here, so take it for what it's worth. I wish you the best of luck, and hope this will work out for you. Maybe you'll take some advice, and maybe you won't. Either way is fine with me. I think you're off to a good start, but tweaking it a little bit might not hurt.
Edited by johndeereelfman, November 13, 2014 - 08:12 PM.