Modern farming is packed full of technology. Computer-controlled equipment, GPS guided harvesting, and cradle to grave automation help modern farmers be more productive. The downside to this is an ongoing fight with manufacturers over who owns the information.
Farmers were not included when automotive enthusiasts fought to be able to repair and work on their own vehicles. Manufacturers want to be software companies. They don’t want to own your vehicle’s technology. Auto enthusiasts were given an exemption to the DMCA takedown rule.
Farmers are currently screwed.
Under the current guidelines, farmers are not allowed to work on their own equipment. John Deere is one of the most aggressive companies when it comes to their programming protections. Any maintenance or repairs done to a modern John Deere tractor requires a dealer with a computer and proprietary software to fix the issue. This turns into thousands of dollars in lost time, and payment for the service anytime equipment goes down.
Farmers are fighting back in the most Americal way.
According to the Star Tribune, pre-1990 tractors have been selling for higher prices at auction, and demand for the older tractors has been increasing. The Star Tribune story gives some pretty clear reasons why:
I love this.
Farmers are noted for their ingenuity and trying to save every last penny. In this case, their cause is justified. To be told not only can you not work on your tractor but you also have to pay the manufacturer to repair it is a bull.
Do you drive older vehicles for this reason?
Chime in if you drive an older vehicle to avoid the modern pitfalls of extra computers that you can’t modify?