US Farmers win right to repair John Deere equipment

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US Farmers win right to repair John Deere equipment
US Farmers win right to repair John Deere equipment. Picture via Deere and Co

Tractor maker John Deere has agreed to give its US customers the right to fix their own equipment.

Previously, farmers were only allowed to use authorised parts and service facilities rather than cheaper independent repair options.

Deere and Co. is one of the world’s largest makers farming equipment.

Consumer groups have for years been calling on companies to allow their customers to be able to fix everything from smartphones to tractors.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and Deere & Co. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sunday.

“It addresses a long-running issue for farmers and ranchers when it comes to accessing tools, information and resources, while protecting John Deere’s intellectual property rights and ensuring equipment safety,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said.

Before that, farmers were hacking their tractors to repair them…

Under the agreement, equipment owners and independent technicians will not be allowed to “divulge trade secrets” or “override safety features or emissions controls or to adjust Agricultural Equipment power levels.”

The firm looks forward to working with the AFBF and “our customers in the months and years ahead to ensure farmers continue to have the tools and resources to diagnose, maintain and repair their equipment,” Dave Gilmore, a senior vice president at Deere & Co. said.

Farmers are part of a grassroots right-to-repair movement that has been putting pressure on manufacturers to allow customers and independent repair shops to fix their devices.

In 2022, Apple launched a “self-service repair” scheme giving customers the ability to replace their own batteries, screens and cameras of recent iPhones.

The UK and European Union have policies enforcing manufacturers to make spare parts available to customers and independent companies for some electronics.

“Consumers have long been complaining that products not only tend to break down faster than they used to, but that repairing them is often too costly, difficult to arrange for lack of spare parts, and sometimes impossible,” according to the European Parliamentary Research Service.

Some US states like New York and Massachusetts and have passed similar measures. President Biden signed an executive order in 2021 calling on the Federal Trade Commission to draw up a countrywide policy allowing customers to repair their own products, particularly in the technology and agriculture sectors. [BBC]

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11 Comments

  1. John Deere, Embarrassment of America because the keep buying from them, then again we’re talking farmers here but god how can people be so brainless

    • If you think farmers are so stupid then you try it.Better yet stop eating.Old time farmers are dumb like a fox.They have forgotten more than you will ever learn.
      Old fashioned hard scrabble farmers can look at soil taste it and tell you what will grow and what wont.What to need to add or remove.
      Can you do this Mr Genius?

  2. Stories like this make me wonder: Why would salt-of-the-earth types buy equipment from a corporation that behaves this way? Farmers have the economic clout to grow any number of AG equipment companies that would love to have their business.

    My family has a tractor by another brand name that is over 50 years old and keeps on running. The brand still exists.

  3. There needs to be a Ned Ludd society!
    — info on suppressed tech/inventions that bypass/outperform over-complicated rubbish being turned out.
    — reports on oldest most durable gadgetry.
    — shops that undertake such repairs.
    — sources for unfindable parts.
    — research & status of 3D manufacturing of OEM and spares for new stuff.
    etc.

  4. I try and not buy products that use proprietary parts. I also try and buy older American or Japanese products online. Vintage products cost more sometimes, but they don’t break as much ( usually ). I did just have an old 1950’s room fan die on me, but it was acting like it wanted to die when I got it, so bad buy on my part. Live and learn.

    • I got an old 1970 Zenith am/fm radio a while back. It is the only radio I can get a classic rock station I like on it. I have quite a few old radios, but this old Zenith has the slow roller tuning knob, and I can twiddle it just right. Stations don’t roll off either.
      I think I paid $40-50 shipped.

      • And if you have the electronics background, you can easily fix it. Real discrete components in it. Easy

    • Take the fan out and put a couple of drops of fine oil in the motor where the bearings are. Should fix it up for more run time. Probably can source a new motor also.

      • Wires fried on it. I may cannibalize the propeller part, as I have a fan with a good motor, but fan blades broke(plastic) when dog knocked it over.

      • Yeah, true as old well-made items are easier to fix and repair. I like old stuff better. Same as old muscle cars.

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