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2D codes link operators to a virtual mechanic

2D codes on Vermeer-brand balers give operators in the field direct access to videos showing service procedures

Have you ever found yourself in the field working on a breakdown and wishing you had a mechanic beside you to help get through the repair? Mobile digital technology may actually be able to grant that wish — in a way. Combining 2D codes (also known as QR codes) and a smartphone, it is now possible to instantly put a virtual mechanic right there in the field with you.

2D codes

2D codes are those funny-looking, chequered squares that are popping up almost everywhere. You may have even seen them at farm equipment shows. Companies are even starting to use them at displays to connect a smartphone user to an online source of expanded information about the machines or products they’re standing in front of. Placing those codes at service points on machines follows the same principle. Operators can scan the codes and get access to detailed online video or service manuals.

Vermeer is one of the manufacturers implementing that technology. The company recently announced it is starting to place them in strategic locations on its Rebel 20 Series balers. The idea is to help operators understand how to perform some service functions on the twine mechanisms.

By scanning the 2D code with a smartphone, operators get linked to an online video showing how to route twine or netwrap through the mechanism.

“The 2D codes were added to give operators a quick and convenient way to see how these processes are done,” says Joe Michaels, director of forage solutions at Vermeer. “Connecting to helpful videos is a great way to use the 2D code technology. It’s help in your pocket.”

If you don’t have a smartphone, you can go to Vermeer’s website and view the same videos on a regular computer.

2D code usage could become an extremely useful tool to help farmers make infield repairs and get going again quickly. It makes the idea of just posting service manuals online seems old school.

For more information on Vermeer balers, go to †

About the author


Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.



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