John Deere Will Allow Farmers To Repair Their Own Tractors
Farmers have been at odds with John Deere for years for the right to repair their own tractors and farm equipment. The machinery company finally agreed before action was needed at the federal level.
Like the cars that we drive today, modern farm equipment is also packed with the latest in computer technology. ArsTechnica reports that Deere and Company changed its end-user license agreement in 2016 to require all repairs involving embedded software to be done only by authorized technicians. Farmers were not pleased. In 2021 President Biden weighed in calling on the Federal Trade Commission to prevent "unfair anti-competitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items, such as the restrictions imposed by powerful manufacturers that prevent farmers from repairing their own equipment," according to ArsTechnica.
Instead of waiting for the government to take official action, Deere and Company will now allow farmers to diagnose and repair farm equipment on their own, according to KCRG. Under the agreement, farmers will have access to the same Deere documentation, data, and diagnostic tools used by authorized repair shops. That means that farmers will now be able to determine what has caused the breakdown and either repair it themselves or take it to an independent repair shop.
KCRG reports that farmers and other repair shops will not be allowed to disable any safety features or use Deere's technology to copy any of their software. Hopefully the new agreement will speed up repair times that can often keep farmers from doing the work they would normally be doing.