The world leader in manufacturing agricultural equipment under the John Deere brand, Illinois-based Deere and the American Farm Bureau Federation have reached an understanding and signed an agreement that guarantees John Deere equipment owners the right to repair their John Deere agricultural equipment themselves, that is, without resorting to the services of authorized dealers and repair shops.
Signed at the Federation Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the agreement was the result of years of negotiations between Deere and the growers association.
“The one signed solves a long-standing problem for John Deere farm equipment owners when it comes to accessing tools, information and resources, while protecting John Deere’s intellectual property rights and ensuring the safety of the equipment.”said Farmers Federation President Zippy Duvall
“Equipment is a major investment. Farmers should have the freedom to choose where to repair equipment and how to repair it, or repair it themselves to control costs,”Duvall said
According to Duvall, the agreement requires Deere to provide John Deere equipment owners and independent repair shops access to its tools and software necessary to maintain, troubleshoot and repair John Deere farm equipment that was only available to authorized dealers and shops.
David Gilmore, John Deere senior vice president of farm and turf sales and marketing, said the agreement reaffirms the company’s long-standing commitment to provide our customers with the diagnostic tools and information they need to repair their farm equipment.
The agreement states that John Deere is committed to working with farmers and dealers to resolve problems when they arise, and agrees to meet with the Farm Bureau Federation at least twice a year
to assess progress.
The agreement formalizes farmers’ access to diagnostic and repair codes and to operation, parts and maintenance manuals, as well as product manuals, the press release said. It also ensures that farmers will be able to purchase diagnostic tools directly from John Deere and receive assistance from the anufacturer when ordering parts and products.
Chad Hart, an economist at Iowa State University, said the agreement is just the beginning of the end of a long-running dispute between farmers and the manufacturer and sees the memorandum of understanding as a “first step” between the two sides.
“It represents an ongoing negotiation, because the agreement says there will be biannual consultations to analyze and work on it further, they understand they’re going to have to make changes and adjustments”Hart said.
What John Deere farm equipment owners are saying:
“I think we’re going to have better access to some of the technical knowledge to be able to do things ourselves,”Winnebago farmer John Mitchell said
“I think it’s great that John Deere is a leader in right-of-way repair to give farmers better access to their equipment,”Mitchell said
But it’s not all smooth sailing.
There’s another side to this agreement that in the pursuit of cost savings, John Deere equipment owners will start using non-genuine John Deere parts, of questionable quality, that are produced without OEM contracts, which could soon lead to more serious John Deere equipment breakdowns. As a result, many John Deere equipment owners will contact John Deere service centers with claims to the quality of the equipment itself and new disputes and trials concerning warranty maintenance will arise.
“For example, a harvester or tractor owner will make a decision to save money after off-season maintenance to change belts, filters, engine oil and hydraulic fluid, installing these components of questionable quality, saving a couple of hundred dollars, which can result in engine hardening, transmission overheating and other serious breakdowns in the season. “says Oscar Bennes, technical consultant and business analyst for a farm equipment parts company.