SQUARING OFF ON RIGHT 2 REPAIR. Farm Equipment Executive Editor Kim Schmidt (representing the farm equipment dealer and manufacturing perspective) “steals the wrench” from Lessiter Media Founder and Grower Division Editorial Director (representing the company’s grower audiences). Lessiter Media is the only ag trade publisher in North America with distinct content properties for dealers/manufacturers (Farm Equipment, Ag Equipment Intelligence, Precision Farming Dealer and Rural Lifestyle Dealer) AND growers (No-Till Farmer, Strip-Till Farmer, Cover Crop Strategies and Farm Innovations).

Photo: Jeff Lazewski

FARMER VIEWPOINT: Farmers P.O.'d with Right To Repair

“With the $327,000 tractor I bought & the R2R restrictions, it seems like I’m just renting the unit…”

Farmers with unfavorable opinions on the right to repair (R2R) battle controversy are good at summing up their thoughts in a few words:

  • Corporate greed
  • A power play for equipment control
  • An excuse to increase sky-high hourly service rates
  • Antitrust, anti-monopoly concerns
  • A ploy to squeeze out independent repair shops
  • Manufacturer/Farm Bureau “agreements” are a joke
  • Far-reaching federal government control (vs. states)
  • It’s my machine — I’ll decide who can repair it

Many of these growers maintain that R2R opponents have ulterior, self-serving motives. They aren’t looking out for the best interests of farmers.

Yet a recent survey of our grower audiences showed two-thirds see R2R as a major problem, such as these three farmers explain:

A Colorado farmer bought a $300,000 used Steiger tractor and lost 3 days for repairs while seeding wheat. The tractor was out of service until a service tech finally spent 20 minutes adding a few lines of missing computer code and wrote out a bill for $950.

A combine in Kansas kept dropping into idle. It took 5 days before a service tech arrived for what was a simple fix. This Kansas grower estimated his losses at $85,000 per day due to poor weather conditions that delayed harvest.

When a high horsepower tractor died, its sophisticated transmission made it difficult to transport to the dealership. Eventually a tech determined the stereo sound system radio, which was on the same module that powered the engine, had shorted out. This led to a 4-day loss of…

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Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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