John Deere customers win fight for right to repair their own equipment

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Farmers who own John Deere products are finally able to repair them on their own after years of legal battles and complaints.

Mark McHargue, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, called it a “watershed moment in the agriculture industry.”

“The fact that I’m going to be able to get access to manuals and support tools and software to fix my equipment is really a big deal for not only here in Nebraska, but across the country,” he said.

John Deere previously placed restrictions on their tools and technology that forced their customers to take their products to official dealers for diagnostics and repairs.

For farmers who don’t live near a dealership, this meant losing valuable time in the field.

“That’s been part of the rub, I guess,” McHargue said. “When you don’t have any other options, sometimes there’s been a feeling in the ag sector that a dealership can kind of charge however much they want.”

Farm industry representatives across the nation, including McHargue, helped John Deere write a memorandum of understanding.

The document gives farmers and other repair shops access to the data and tools they need to run diagnostics and fix their equipment on their own.

Kevin Clark, president and CEO of Akrs Equipment Solutions, said he’s already seen positive feedback from farmers.

“I got texts and phone calls right away saying, ‘What does this mean?’, ‘How did this happen?’, ‘Great news!’, that sort of thing from people all over the state related to it,” Clark said. “So I think people are very, very happy and positive this took place.”

The memorandum is also a living document, so farming representatives will be able to meet at least twice a year with John Deere to make necessary changes.

Clark said his company is prepared to start the transition immediately.

He said he was happy to see the hard work of everyone involved come to fruition.

“It’s not just about one farmer or one tool, it’s really about the entire ag sector,” Clark said. “We want to make sure we support the entire ag sector, not just one sales transaction at a time, but an entire operation that takes place throughout our customers.”

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