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Thread: Farmers join " right to repair" movement

  1. #1
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    Farmers join " right to repair" movement

    This kind of connects to my Luddite post from yesterday. As ,I think is well known, most farmers repair much of their own equipment. Farm equipment makers use copyright laws protecting the software in newer farm equipment. It seems much new farm equipment is loaded with software and when problems happen with the equipment only a licensed repairman from the company may repair it , leaving the farmers waiting for the repair. This has apparently cause older farm equipment to be in demand and farmers asking that they be given the "right to repair". I have a retired friend who was a software engineer, he had to call the company repairman to repair his tractor!
    Dennis

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    I saw a you tube video on this subject some time back.
    Apparently, in response, the US Farmers have been buying pirated diagnostic software from eastern block countries to run their own diagnostics, and repair their machines.
    Same issue with cars these days. Way too much electronic control.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler View Post
    I saw a you tube video on this subject some time back.
    Apparently, in response, the US Farmers have been buying pirated diagnostic software from eastern block countries to run their own diagnostics, and repair their machines.
    Same issue with cars these days. Way too much electronic control.
    If our car goes down for an electronic glitch, which is rare, we just take it to the dealer and get a loaner if needed. A new tractor might have 4 or 6 touch screens/computers for engine control, implement control, auto steer and so on. If one fails, you don't just take it to the dealer and get a loaner. Your window of cultivating, planting, fertilizing, harvesting may be just a few days, or even hours between weather events. Loose your whole crop due to a bad wire harness? Devastating.
    NOW you tell me...

  4. #4
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    That's one reason I'm completely redoing the guts of my 1978 John Deere. One dealer told me that "they didn't have a mechanic smart enough to redo the reverser" that needed work. In the process of working on it myself, I've found all sorts of stuff done wrong the last time one of them went in it. I've heard horror stories on them not being able to fix fairly new ones. I'm sticking with this 1978 model-not a farmer, but I use them for keeping up the Ponderosa.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
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    This thread can only survive is everyone leaves the political side of the issue out of the conversation.

    Although I am not up to speed on the current situation I have seen this topic discussed many times over the last few years. I believe the outcome will be decided based on whether people understand that Farmers are not "Just Farmers", they are our direct link to the food that keeps us alive not just in our country but in a variety of nations all of the world. My family have been farmers on the Eastern Shore of Virginia since the 1600's so you can imagine which side of this issue I am standing. Manufacturers for the most part have always been given complete control over their patents and have reserved the rights to establish the rules concerning their products. This is a unique situation that should supersede the typical interpretation of the legal issues involved so I believe that access to any and all parts and software should not be protected, it needs to be provided as part of any sales agreement because the situation warrants this level of access. This is greed measured against what is best for people. I think its fair for manufacturers to be compensated for their software and if the price is to high farmers can shop elsewhere. Farmers should not be held hostage after the sale.

    If I purchase an automobile and decide to take it apart or modify it in any way that is my business because I own it. The manufacturer may at its discretion void my warranty but that is their only recourse. Currently in the All Terrain Vehicle world lots of people are purchasing software to custom tune their machines and to my knowledge not one manufacturer has challenged the owners right to do so yet.

    As Spock said "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 03-17-2020 at 10:45 AM.

  6. #6
    One of my "hacking" websites (in the sense of hacking together projects) has touched on this a few times. For folks not familiar with what is going on, the two short articles below do a decent job and giving you the cliff notes.

    2018 article: https://hackaday.com/2018/02/11/will...a-comeuppance/
    2020 article: https://hackaday.com/2020/03/09/john...f-legislation/
    Licensed Professional Engineer,
    Unlicensed Semi Professional Tinkerer

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    One issue in the automotive world is emissions. A lot of third party software is not EPA approved for emissions. Shops have gotten in trouble for selling programmers and other accessories that violate EPA rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    One issue in the automotive world is emissions. A lot of third party software is not EPA approved for emissions. Shops have gotten in trouble for selling programmers and other accessories that violate EPA rules.
    Shops? Not just shops, how about VW and Bosch? (And others since.)

    Still upset about their "clean diesel" con.
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 03-17-2020 at 10:49 PM.

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    They were not selling third party programs or accessories that were not EPA approved.
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 03-17-2020 at 10:49 PM.

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    Viewed this take on it from a farmers perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8JCh0owT4w&t=12s
    NOW you tell me...

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    Your window of cultivating, planting, fertilizing, harvesting may be just a few days, or even hours between weather events. Loose your whole crop due to a bad wire harness? Devastating.
    My father told me this was the reason many farms had air strips and a small plane in his youth.

    If a tractor needed a part, they couldn't wait for it to show up in the mail. The farmer flew to where the part was and brought it home them self.

    So many folks think all a farmer does is put seeds in the ground and watch stuff grow until it is time to harvest.

    To me, farmers are adept at doing so many things they couldn't find any other job as satisfying.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
    A small aside.... In the EU there is a move afoot to make small electronics like phones meet a "right to repairable". Saves waste etc.
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 03-17-2020 at 5:17 PM. Reason: Typo
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

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    I read a long article about this last week, and it did not surprise me, after what happened to the JD dealership in the town across the river from me.

    They were shut down by JD after 115 years of excellent service to all the farms in my area. They were not bringing in enough money for JD to care about them.
    JD is turning it's back on the small dealerships and the small farmers.

    The man bringing suit against JD is a farmer turned mechanic who trys to keep the older tractors running for them, because the newer tractors are not as reliable, and risk crop failure and enormous repair bills with no safety nets. These are farmers with smaller farms. They are truly afraid for their futures.

  14. #14
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    The manufacturers (primarily John Deere) claim that they have the right to control the software. They won't even allow the farmer the access needed to diagnose the equipment. What i don't know is if they will even sell them the John Deere Service Adviser software subscription. Everything has computers these days. I worked on a Cat backhoe that has 4 computers. Engine, chassis, hydraulics, and one more that slips my mind at the moment. While we have diagnostic capabilities and can do some calibration procedures we can't change some things, only view/monitor them. As I understand it John Deere is trying to force them to use the dealer to diagnose and repair the equipment. This is rapidly coming to a head as several states are discussing enacting "right to repair" laws.
    The difference I see here from the automotive industry is that you can buy a code reader or a computer analyzer and see what the fault codes are. When you get into offroad equipment it becomes a different world. They don't play by the same rules. It's common to be charged for "product improvement items" when in reality they didn't get it right the first time. However they make you pay to fix their mistakes. That's not right but it's the way it is.
    The manufacturers put some ridiculous stuff out there. Trying to validate their position. I won't go into that because it has few facts and lot's of bull in it. Maybe this time something will change. Time will tell.

  15. #15
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    It's common to be charged for "product improvement items" when in reality they didn't get it right the first time. However they make you pay to fix their mistakes. That's not right but it's the way it is.
    It is also this way with home appliances. The consumer has no protection from corporate a entity wanting to have enough control over the item you purchase to get regular contributions from your wallet.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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