Farmers seeking ‘right to repair’ rules to fix their own tractors gain White House ally

DM

Industry says it’s committed to helping farmers make their own repairs, but advocates say legislation needed. Grain farmer Cole Siegle didn’t have time to waste when a combine his family was using to help with the harvest started acting up. An onboard computer glitch was the problem — a quick fix with the right equipment. Instead, the Alberta farmer had to wait for a dealership technician to drive out to diagnose and reset the system. It was a five-minute job that idled the combine for two hours. It was “extremely” frustrating, he said of the incident from two years ago. In those couple hours, he said the combine might have harvested the equivalent of roughly $20,000 worth of canola. It’s situations like this behind wrangling over whether “right-to-repair” laws are needed to ensure farmers can fix their own machinery, or whether they open the door to legalizing the kind of modifications the industry says would have implications for safety and privacy. “I’m not going to rewrite the software,” Siegle said. “I just want to be able to read these codes … and then [be] able to reset the computer so that I can actually use this half-million-dollar piece of equipment.

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