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Honored Advisor

Is it illegal to fix your own tractor?

Well, under the Digital Millennimum Copyright Act some tractors you ain`t supposed to work on.  Dealers are hard up and John Deere thinks they need the revenue fixing your tractors for you, because you aren`t buying enough new tsk tsk tsk 

 

According to the Nebraska Fair Repair Bill, that will allow you to fix your own tractors.  They don`t have anything to worry about with me, if it has a computer I`m not going to even try to work on it, a man has to know his limitations  Smiley Happy   

 

But if I could fix my own stuff, I sure wouldn`t tell them about it  Smiley Wink

 

http://www.thehour.com/news/crime/article/Farmers-lobbying-for-the-right-to-fix-own-tractors-8349606...

8 Replies
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Senior Advisor

Re: Is it illegal to fix your own tractor?

Yes, this software license business has been discussed here several times.  It's interesting to hear the Nebraska approach.  

I'm sure John Deere will plead trade secrets and safety, same as GM or Boeing would.  Keep us posted on what you hear.

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Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: Is it illegal to fix your own tractor?

When I first heard of it in the past, I thought it was more about not making available diagnostic equipment to the "shade tree mechanic shops".  But it sounds like it`s morphed into about like having a "do not tamper" tag like on your electric meter under the hood of newer tractors.

 

I suppose some computer geeks have the tools and expertise to fix this stuff...perhaps easier to work on than the other stuff they work on everyday.  And John Deere`s method of recouping the development of this technology involves the service and repair "bone" that they are throwing to the dealers.

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Contributor

Re: Is it illegal to fix your own tractor?

what I was told is that a light comes on these newer tractors that something on the tractor needs service.   It could be as simply as replacing a filter or replacing a senor but John Deere will not give you the codes to tell you what this light is, Its like your check engine light coming on in your Ford pickup and the local parts store not giving you the code reader since they don't have it.    and only Ford can tell you whats wrong.   

 

 

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Highlighted
Senior Advisor

Re: Is it illegal to fix your own tractor?

I think they want to get us all on a subscripttion plan where they can figure we have to pay up so much from time to time to keep things rolling and that generages income for them.  Software companies are doing it.

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Highlighted
Senior Advisor

Re: Is it illegal to fix your own tractor?

  ARE  these  actions  part  of  the   LOST  FREEDOMS  agriculture is witnessing  -  first  seeds -  now  equipment -  more  vertical intagration  ?? 

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Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: Is it illegal to fix your own tractor?

An interesting question.

 

I suppose if the tractor company were to push its warranty in court, its lawyers would then cite: Wickard v. Filburn (1942). In that case, the Court held that even when a farmer grew his own wheat on his own land to feed his own livestock (let that sink in), that isolated act affected interstate wheat prices and was thereby subject to regulation by Congress under the commerce clause.

 

Throw in Kelo v. New London (2005) and the more recent Obamacare decision (Sebelius v. ???) and you get some fairly surprising decisions from SCOTUS that were used to justify some seemingly odd business arrangements. I guess it is all in understanding one's intent...ehhh?

 

Just sayin folks.

 

 

 

 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Is it illegal to fix your own tractor?

Maybe the past  (   Sec, Agriculture - Nebraska Governor - US Senator - John Deere Board of Directors )  Mike Johanns could shed some light on this issue -  He seemed resonablly in favor of  states and indivdual rights  ---

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Highlighted

Re: Is it illegal to fix your own tractor?

The lastest revision of the DMCA expressly allows for the owner of farm equipment to work on it.  This was a significant win that was largely pushed by the automotive aftermarket industry (SEMA).  Ford and Deere were lobbying the hardest to make it illegal.  Something to keep in mind...

 

http://www.copyright.gov/1201/2015/2015_1201_FAQ_final.pdf

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