Farmer Repairing Tractor

Frustrated with the problems associated with steam engines, John Froelich was convinced he could invent a better way. Even though the word tractor wasn’t used in 1892, his gas-powered engine that drove backward and forward was exactly that. While only two were sold – and then shortly returned – his attempt would pave the way for an innovation that has evolved into a complex, high-tech machine.

“Most people don’t realize today’s tractor has more technology than a car does,” says Steve Geick, director of industrial relations, John Deere Ag & Turf Division.

Dispelling a False Notion

While a highly-advanced piece of machinery has enabled Brian Voss to become more efficient and productive on his northern Illinois operation, he doesn’t want its complexity to limit his ability to make necessary repairs. The fourth-generation farmer, who has worked on his own equipment for years, also understands what he can and can’t do when repairing modern-era tractors. . . a topic that continues to gain attention.

Over the past few years, proponents of “Right to Repair” have been pushing the idea that farmers cannot fix their equipment without access to the machine’s software and code. That false notion has led more than a dozen states to consider legislation, which would allow unrestricted access to proprietary embedded code.

This could affect a machine’s warranty, violate federal emissions laws, and accelerate engine wear, and also lead to physical risk. In fact, there have been cases where farmers have been injured or even killed by equipment that has been modified, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

“The ‘Right to Repair’ legislation isn’t about giving farmers the right to repair their equipment. As an industry, we support farmers in repairing their own equipment. It’s a mistruth that we don’t,” says Stephanie See, AEM director of state government relations. “The issue here is illegal tampering.”

Source: Successful Farming

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