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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Report: John Deere, other tractor manufacturers still holding back repair information | Hagerty Media

Thirteen months ago, we told you that Midwest farmers were ditching new, technologically advanced tractors in favor of old-school rigs that don't require the high cost of paying a computer technician to fix whatever problems that might arise.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/report-john-deere-other-tractor-manufacturers-sti...
17 REPLIES 17
llawrence9
Intermediate Driver

Dear Juan Venudio.
Do you want the Chinese, Japanese, Indians, South Koreans and Europeans to pick your carcass clean?

If they have a good supply line, and have repairable reliable equipment, it will trump a $200,00 piece sitting in a field waiting for a service call.

As the sayings goes, "Will that dog hunt".

spoom
Technician

Way to go, guys. No doubt, American farmers will be forced to buy their equipment from other countries if other countries', tractors can be repaired in-house.
I seem to remember a plan a decade or two ago have legislators micromanaging the sale of caterpillar Earth moving equipment to China. I believe the end result was Caterpillar building a plant in China to supply China's needs.

hyperv6
Instructor

We need to look at both sides here.

One is the emissions side where if they make it so things can be easily disabled the government comes down on the company. Also some folks will modify not knowing what they are doing and may do major damage to a vehicles.

On the other side it takes away the ability to make changes. That is what the government really wants. The makers really would like their customers to be happy but big brother does not care.

The companies are not making money off this as they are off setting profits with lost sales. But they are damned if they do and damned if they don't with the government. Automakers are in the same boat as they have had to make their computer programs more and more difficult to touch. Same with aftermarket parts as things like O2 simulators were made illegal. They were the back bone for modifications.
spoom
Technician

Imagine if you changed the oil yourself in your car, but couldn't reset the oil monitor and/or turn off the OIL dash light without paying the dealer $50. Shouldn't be an indentured servant to your Deere, but again, the market will fix this by making even the most loyal farmers purchase their next $500k machine from India, China, wherever.  

gster
Pit Crew

Sadly,almost everything today has some sort of computer control built in and this seems to be what fails first. I've said this before but future car collectors will need to be mechanics and computer hackers combined. I sold a 1997 BMW to a young man a few years ago and he showed up with a computer that he hooked up to the car to check codes.He said it all looked good unless I had reset them....
I told him I had no idea how to do that.
He bought the car and I delivered it to his work and he then drove me to the subway.
My old water heater at home had a simple dial on it.
My new heater has a complex array of buttons that need to be pressed in a certain sequence to make a change.
I'm literally afraid to touch it as it has a habit of turning itself off.
I had a rental VW. Touareg last year and I couldn't get the radio (Entertainment centre) to work.
Neither could the younger people I work with
Tinkerah
Instructor

As hyperv6 has mentioned, this sword cuts both ways. It's amazing when my washing machine gives an error code that points me to what board to replace. But if the product's code definitions are not available to the owner it's cruel. I haven't been a young man for quite a long time and I don't shop for a car without my OBDII code reader. It's reassuring when it shows clear and undeniable bargaining power if it doesn't. It can also tell if the codes have been cleared by someone else, a deal breaker.
spark123
Intermediate Driver

But, If your washing machine had no boards to replace there would be no need for diagnostic codes!
I have a 20 year old electro-mechanical washing machine that is fairly easy to repair with a multimeter and the schematics printed on it. It does what it needs to do. Wash clothes and will continue to do so till some major mechanical component fails.
Most new things are over engineered to the point of ridiculousness. Why do I need a washing machine that I can control via my smart phone???? It doesn't load/unload itself nor does it fill it self with detergent and fabric softener. So, what is the point?? Just more to fail and make you go out and buy a new one.
Error codes are a moot point as either the replacement board is not available or it is too cost prohibitive to replace, so the washing machine gets prematurely junked.
What happened to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle?
ed
Intermediate Driver

This is the new source of income for many companies. I service a specialty clock made in Switzerland and used to be able to buy parts from the manufacturer. Now, they have quit selling parts to independents like me, and customers are forced to take their clock to a 'certified' shop (which is basically a retail dealer) and pay exorbitant prices for both parts and labor.

Unfortunately, if manufacturers of anything bind together, they can make the purchase price just the beginning of the income stream.  This has the unspoken side-effect of making quality less important to the manufacturer.  They just need to be able to get through the warranty period.

Tinkerah
Instructor

I wonder if, like the automobile business model, they hope to break even on the sale and make their profit on service. They could restore a lot of faith if they would warranty the equipment, universally, for its expected service life, even if at increased cost. I'd bet the reliability would skyrocket and farmers would see it more as an investment than a gamble. Remember: No farms = No farmer's daughters.
OldCarMan
Advanced Driver

Looks like time for a Jeffrey Feiger Class Action Lawsuit. Go for the WIN!!

This is nothing but a scam by the manufacturers and their minions. Kubota and Indian makers will eat JD's lunch and dinner, deservedly, so!
chrlsful
Advanced Driver

we're finding the same w/all the fields of tech. Specialists on top of specialists w/o recourse by 'the common man'. I believe we helped win WWII just because we had no real specialists. Yeah, there wuz some minimal training but a buncha farmers got it done w/ability to make due w/what they had (my dad could put in an engine, repair a carb, sew his pants, build a radio, make food for 30 men, grow food, doctor a cow, etc, etc). Either make the diagnostic equip available or up the availability of the info. We got ppl who turn their lives over to others or throw money at every problem.

A great reverse trend is all the tech bulletin boards (post Qs, get answ, DIY) and 'how to' on uTube. Let's promote 'right to repair' in all of it. Save the earth, reduce your expenses, increase your knowledge of the world around you (how things work), build ur confidence ("I can do it") have fun, slo dwn life, focus on the moment, join ur neighbors in advocating for these forms of personal control'n competence !
JB
New Driver

My 'tractor' was a 2012 Bentley Continental GT... same problems. Bentley will not share their computer programs with repair shops. They will also not sell me parts to make repairs. I had to buy a used pollution valve from Canada to make a repair. We called Seattle, Hollywood and San Diego parts departments with no help. After 3 and a half years I sold the car.
warrene
Intermediate Driver

We only have one 'modern' car, other cars & trucks are non-computer vehicles, saves a TON of money. We only have 3 tractors now, all are non-computer old school, they work, they run, require no dealer' or factory fix. We like it this way, a lot !
PRScott
Intermediate Driver

If you bought the machine be it car , tractor or toaster is yours to do with as you please so for John Deere to hold equipment hostage reeks of big brother in a communist kind of way.
Consumers can and do vote with their wallet. I switched from John Deere green to Kubota orange and haven't regretted it for a second!!
spark123
Intermediate Driver

Oh no, you don't own anything anymore!! You just pay to have the right to use it, or transfer it to someone else for whatever fee you see fit. See the business models of Tesla, Apple, Microsoft, Etc.
Waterboy1KHY80
Intermediate Driver

Ahhh.... yes "the force of law" created by criminals in cahoots with one world government forces hell bent on (just like a 007 movie) ruling the world. Our way of life and Liberty is under attack by people above the law, that through "control", are ushering in Orwell's book 1984.
Ronald Reagan warned us - "Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction". The route to power may differ in its travel, but the goal is the same. Right now "they" are praying at the altar of environmentalism. Please dont breath, you are adding to the "problem".
hearsedriver
Intermediate Driver

another slimeball practice that goes along with hiding information for repairs, is the practice of early obsolescence. farmers, and others, need to keep certain equipment for a long time in order to amortize the investment and not be forced to always be in debt. why should consumers be losing money constantly so manufacturers can profit? in order to absorb the costs of equipment, the price of the produced goods must cover those costs. having a capable machine sit dead just because some overpriced delicate piece of electronic crap cannot be repaired is plain wrong. when a crop needs to come off a field it needs to come off NOW, and not a few weeks later after a repair by the dealer