As the farmer’s “right to repair” farm equipment has become a headline story even in mainstream media, manufacturers are trying to get the facts out to dispel the hype.
At the Farm Progress Show, representatives from the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA), the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), and the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association (INEDA) held a press briefing to talk about the issue.
AEM Senior Director of Government and Industry Relations Nick Tindall says proponents of right-to-repair are spreading the myth that farmers can’t even change the oil in their own equipment. “Farmers today can do the vast majority of what they need to do on the farm,” said Tindall. “They own their machines and they can work on them.”
To an extent, that is. “To where there are a few instances – and we’re talking about computer codes mainly – where it is restricted, a lot of it has to do with the Environmental Protection Agency and emissions standards,” said Tindall. “It’s the law and we can get in some serious trouble if our equipment doesn’t meet it and our dealers can get in some serious trouble, even if a third party makes a modification to it.”
The other important issue to consider is proprietary coding. “Because in today’s equipment, that’s where all the research dollars are,” Tindall explained. “It’s extraordinarily technical work that requires dealers to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in training and equipment to keep up with the standards.”
Learn more in this interview: Interview with Nick Tindall, AEM