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Farmers have been battling the manufacturers of their high-tech farming machinery for years over the right to repair their equipment on their own.
Major companies in the space, including John Deere, began restricting products to manufacturer exclusive service contracts.
These contracts lock out the farmers who own tractors, for instance, from making even small repairs to their machines. Instead, when something breaks down, farmers have to call the manufacturer or dealer to schedule a repairman to come out and service the device, forcing the farmer to shut down his operations while waiting for the repairman to come out to the farm.
This is obviously a serious problem for farmers who are under strict time restrictions during planting and harvesting seasons.
Farmers have been contesting this situation for years, ever since some manufacturers of equipment have begun implementing such exclusionary practices. It has resulted in a campaign among farmers called the “right to repair” movement, where farmers are fighting for the right to make repairs to the tractors and other instruments they bought and own.
The farmers claim that they lose money and time while waiting for these repair men to show up. Not only that, but they contend that if a tractor maker holds the sole right to repair, then the farmers don’t really even own their tractors despite paying tens of thousands for the vehicles.
“Farmers have had to wait three or four weeks to get repairs done to equipment when they can do repairs themselves. That’s just unfathomable,” said Bill Midcap, a Colorado farmer, according to The Associated Press.
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