Manufacturer stipulations slow repairs, cost area farmers time and money

Local News

'Right to repair' laws slow to progress across country

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Agriculture is a vital part of life in the Concho Valley, and Concho Valley farmers are facing increasing challenges when it comes to their equipment. Unlike days past where an owner could repair their own gear, often times now they are forced to contact the manufacturer or approved service provider.

“The modern equipment has many computers and sensors on it nowadays and it’s become a bigger challenge to keep it going,” said Concho Valley farmer Gene Gully. “The older equipment we always repair it ourselves and rarely, rarely needed help other than from major transmission or engine rebuilds.”

For a tractor that costs upwards of $250,000 to buy, and with time being vital, that’s not something many farmers are comfortable with. “There’s some diagnostics we can do through the onboard screen,” explained Gully. “But to get deeper into the system it takes a computer from John Deere to hook into it and look through the system see what what’s not working correctly. If we had that access, we could be researching it — researching it as we’re working, as the problem starts to surface.
“Some problems come and go, they may show up for a day or a period during the day, or they can go away — kind of like your home computer will have its glitches. Same thing on these machines.”

There are numerous proposed laws and current lawsuits pushing for the “right to repair” — jargon as it’s known in the industry. However, from auto to consumer electronics to farm equipment, progress seems slow to the user that needs a resolution to a problem now.

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