Manufacturing rep says farmers retain right to make most repairs

Dennis Slater
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Farm equipment assembles at Spring Grove Intermediate School during the district's 6th Annual Rollin' Tractor Show Thursday, April 11, 2019. The show is presented by the Future Farmers Club. Alumni and area residents brought farm equipment to display with the goal of acquainting students with the agriculture industry. The show, which included a parade of equipment, visited the intermediate and elementary schools. M. Altland submitted photo

Your Aug. 27 “right to repair” article misleads readers about farmers’ existing right to repair their equipment.

It’s important to understand that tractors and combines owners have the same repair rights as truck and car owners and most equipment repairs can be done by farmers or ranchers themselves. Equipment manufacturers and dealers throughout Pennsylvania empower farmers to choose how their farm equipment will be managed, maintained, and repaired by providing the tools and information needed to safely and correctly diagnose and repair their own equipment.

More:Farmers vs. corporations: Who should have the right to repair equipment?

When that’s not possible, equipment dealers have qualified technicians who can repair equipment in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible.

Authorized dealers employ technicians in Pennsylvania who are highly trained to provide quality service, diagnostic information, and equipment repairs, and those technicians invest countless hours in staying up to date on the latest technology. They are also mobile, ready to go into the field as needed with mobile repair trucks that are highly equipped.

Like countless industries, modern farm equipment has also become more high-tech to increase efficiency, safety, and even comfort for farmers. And just like other industries, this equipment has federal safety and environmental laws that apply to it. The only repairs that equipment owners cannot do themselves are related to emissions and safety standards set by the government. And when repairs break those laws, they create serious safety and environmental risks. For example, there are reported cases where farmers have been injured or even killed by equipment that has been modified, in addition to dangerous emissions posing a risk to public safety.

At the end of the day, dealers and manufacturers have a shared incentive for farmers and ranchers to be prosperous. The industries are inextricably linked — when farms succeed, the manufacturers and dealers also succeed.

— Dennis Slater is president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.