Editor’s Note: This blog was posted in response to Frank Lessiter’s article, “133 Right-to-Repair Concerns -- Growers Get Loud,” that was a follow-up to a unique content project between Lessiter Media’s farm equipment and grower divisions. To view the original work, click here to review the arguments for dealers/manufacturers (Executive Editor Kim Schmidt) and growers (Grower Division Editorial Chairman Frank Lessiter).
At the end of a call with a dealer owner yesterday to verify data for Ag Equipment Intelligence’s upcoming annual BIG DEALER REPORT, a large multi-store dealer wanted to get some things off his chest. There was venting over certain political parties, questions about employees’ work ethic and an overriding need to get the country thinking logically and reasonably once again. But item #1 (after the above-mentioned political venting) went to the Right to Repair debate. This executive has seen our company covering both sides of the issue – representing dealers (Farm Equipment, Ag Equipment Intelligence, Rural LIfestyle Dealer and Precision Farming Dealer) and growers (No-Till Farmer, Farm Innovations, Strip-Till Farmer and Cover Crop Strategies).
He was frustrated because he says most of the mass media reporting doesn’t ask the dealers for their view (a fair point, and why we’ve encouraged dealers to get more vocal in what can be a one-sided discussion screamed by the vocal farmer groups and self-proclaimed activists. Because if dealers don’t speak up, the opposing side steals all the oxygen in the room and will control the dialog.)
Here’s what this dealer exec had to say on R2R … The main objection of the farmers that he serves is all related to emissions. “They want to delete all that exhaust stuff and the concerns with DEF, the particulate filters, etc. Sure, there’s likely some tuning horsepower going on too” he says, though he doesn’t necessarily blame those who need more horsepower and haven’t otherwise been able to source it.
“The emissions controls certainly weren’t our idea,” he says. “They were jammed down our throat.” As has been said before, emissions controlled for ag are under the guise of different objectives, masked energy benefits and what policy is soon deeming the winners and losers.
“At least around here, if it hadn’t been for the emissions end, my farm customers wouldn't have cared one way or another on right to repair,” he says. He adds that the thought of shadetree mechanics being trusted to work on what increasingly requires highly competent, well-trained and well resourced technicians is something that may be a case of the farmers “getting what they’ve asked for,” and then not liking it.
See Farm Equipment’s regularly updated “Right-to-Repair Impact on Dealers, Deere, Other OEMs” here.
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