The complexity of the right to repair issue is compounding as reports of shortages of semi-conductors increase, and as alternative fuel rules are implemented.
The issue is clearly not going to go away anytime soon.
Recently on RealAg LIVE!, host Shaun Haney was joined by Curt Blades, senior vice president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
“Let me be really clear on this, equipment manufacturers support a farmer’s ability to repair their own equipment,” says Blades.
The right to repair issue evokes an emotional response. Blades says it’s unfortunate is also has turned into a public relations battle. He says that diagnostic tools are there in support of farmers being able to repair their own equipment.
Components built into pieces of equipment are there for a few reasons, says Blades. One is from a regulatory compliance point of view for emissions or safety. The other reason is for intellectual property purposes.
“Our regulators are not going to let us compromise on anything that challenges the environmental compliance of a machine,” says Blades. He feels pretty strongly about intellectual property protection, as well.
There’s always going to be instances where machines go down, there’s an error code, and the farmer can’t clear it, but the positive side, says Blades, is that equipment manufacturers are working hard to make sure uptime is maximized and that those occurrences that stop production are as rare as possible.
As Haney mentions, though, it will be hard for manufacturers to ignore growing frustration from farmers over the shortage of components and alternative fuel sources — issues that are out of farmers’ hands. The question remains: will manufacturers hide behind regulatory compliance or will they try to make their customers happy?
Watch the full conversation between Blades and RealAg LIVE host Shaun Haney: