Home » Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors Because of a Repair Ban e technology in the aid of farmers

Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors Because of a Repair Ban e technology in the aid of farmers



As of 2020, no right to repair law has passed in the US. But more than 20 states are considering legislation similar to Nebraska’s, and Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have both supported national right to repair legislation for farmers.

When it comes to repair, farmers have always been self reliant. But the modernization of tractors and other farm equipment over the past few decades has left most farmers in the dust thanks to diagnostic software that large manufacturers hold a monopoly over.

In this episode of State of Repair, we go to Nebraska to talk to the farmers and mechanics who are fighting large manufacturers like John Deere for the right to access the diagnostic software they need to repair their tractors.

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This video was originally aired on Motherboard in 2018.

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Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors Because of a Repair Ban

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49 thoughts on “Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors Because of a Repair Ban e technology in the aid of farmers”

  1. The truth is that Apple and other tech companies are in fact monopalizing the repair of their products. Steve Jobs started it when he killed off the Peripherals market for Apple compatible products.

    When other companies saw that they could do that they piled in and Lawmakers have stood back to allow companies to bully and monopolize their IP AS WELL AS the distribution chain and service market surrounding their product.

    This should be much bigger news. Not only does this show just how opportunistic corporate entities are, but it also shows how lacking in actual social responsibility they have become.

    They'd starve the country if it meant making another 1% on their margins.

  2. When China gets access to the software they will be able to interfere at the American farms. This is not about how to fix your own tractor but expose a national security under attack

  3. Because everything is about monopoly and lobbying.Bill Gates and other people really want your land to make it private for monopolizing and manipulating prise …

  4. As an Automotive Diagnostic Specialist, I see the same things on our front. We do at least have Magnuson and Moss act, but many of the manufacturers don't play well and fight giving us the info as hard as possible. Mercedes and Volvo are among the worst. They are required to let us buy the scan tools in the aftermarket. Mercedes does…for the low low price of $40,000 for the scan tool and subscription. Service information is abysmal especially Volvo. Even Nissan, who was required to allow ECM/TCM programming with aj2534 device built a program that was so bad it would fail about 20% of the time during programming. When it fails, it destroys the computer and it cannot be recovered. They wouldn't pay for it. So they basically said "Here is the software we were required to release…it often doesn't work and frequently causes even more damage…have fun". Volvo's answer was to make some programming so expensive by the aftermarket that it is much cheaper to just take it to the dealer. To program a Volvo you need the scan tool itself which is many thousands. Then you need to pay per file as you download them and another fee for access to the servers. All in all MY COST is over $350 on the spot…not counting the initial investment of the scantool and hardware. So I have to charge a customer around $500 to program a new Volvo computer…when the dealership will do it for $200. So even though the automotive world has laws that are supposed to help, many manufacturers just thumb their nose at the laws and release junk software or make it cost prohibitive. Even Chrysler recently got in on the craziness. To program a Chrysler I need 1. Witech Pod for about $3000. 2. Subscription to Techauthority for about $2,500. 3. Annual Registration for the Witech Pod of about $2000 per year. 4. Even after all that, I STILL have to pay $30 for each file I download. That file is ONLY good for that VIN#. I can't use it on another identical car. That is 4 separate fees to program a CHrysler.

  5. You need to hire a tech that will come up with old school mechanical solutions to replace computers. Almost anything that can be done with computers can also be done the old way. It just takes a little imagination and a lot of ingenuity.

  6. Your grandfather would say, "nice tractor but I'll take mine that's 100 years old." Why? Cause it still works and when something breaks, he can fix it pretty easily. Sometimes "bigger" isn't always "better."

  7. John deeres so good they'd go out of business if they didn't have repairs on them a John Deere tractor is made to last a life time. That's why I like John Deere there quality

  8. Well if I owner of John Deere I'd do the same. They do that so idiots don't mess things up worse customer related problems . If you don't know what your doing don't mess with it. John Deere actually saving customers money

  9. That tractor company is an American icon. I felt a bit of hate at that tractor company for intentionally fleecing American Farmers and consumers. I would not buy one.

  10. So many manufactures are taking this basic right away from consumers. It's so wrong! Glad to see this movement is getting more and more widespread.

  11. The whole concept of electronics is to stop you the owner from repair just like the companies who supply seeds ect … You the people have been drawn into this web of legalities .You are going to be Robbed by the judiciary first of and then followed by the corporations who you have wronged … What profit you make these scoundrels will steal legally leaving you to use your gun to settle any ill feelings…

  12. This doesn't just apply to tractors and to the US. Unfortunately even Cars. I have a Volvo V70 which I bought and the dash is in a different language. I asked my local mechanic to see how I can change the language and he said that I will need to rent the license for the Volvo software, and buy a patch that allows me to change the language. So to change the language myself legally I need to spend almost 300 USD ( I bought the car at 1.5k usd) just to change the language. Volvo does tractors as well. I went to the dealership and they told me it would cost around 150USD to change the language on a 15 year old car.

    So the "right to repair" isn't even the biggest issue. The biggest issue is the RIGHT TO A PRODUCT HAVING GOOD AFTERSALES, SUSTAINABILITY AND LONGEVITY WHICH DOESN'T FORCE THE CLIENT TO BECOME PART OF A CLUB.

    Because clubs require membership fees. And buying a product makes you require to pay a membership fee in aftersales care. Which is unethical, since the club still sells products and isn't soley working on MY item.

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