John Deere and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) have announced a memorandum of understanding that will allow John Deere customers to repair their own equipment. The MOU was signed this week during the 2023 AFBF Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Prior to the agreement, John Deere equipment owners could not modify or repair their purchased equipment, and could only use John Deere parts and the company’s associated repair facilities. Now farmers and other users – as well as independent repair facilities – can repair their owned equipment.
The agreement gives customers access to diagnostic and repair codes and manuals as well as product guides; it also ensures that they’ll be able to purchase related tools directly from John Deere and receive assistance when ordering parts. Equipment owners and independent technicians will not be allowed to “divulge trade secrets” or “override safety features or emissions controls or to adjust agricultural equipment power levels,” according to the agreement.
The full MOU can be found here.
“This is an issue that has been a priority for us for several years and has taken a lot of work to get to this point,” says Zippy Duvall, AFBF president. “And as you use equipment, we all know at some point in time, there’s going to be problems with it. And we did have problems with having the opportunity to repair our equipment where we wanted to, or even repair it on the farm.”
This agreement, he continues, “ensures that our farmers can repair their equipment and have access to the diagnostic tools and product guides so that they can find the problems and find solutions for them. And this is the beginning of a process that we think is going to be really healthy for our famers and for the company because what it does is it sets up an opportunity for our farmers to really work with John Deere on a personal basis.”
David Gilmore of John Deere says the agreement will help farmers get equipment back in the field quickly following a breakdown: “It’s vitally important that we have an opportunity for American Farm Bureau Federation and industry to come together to solve issues and opportunities that we have. Machinery and equipment and the products that our customers invest in are a large investment. And the opportunity for them to maximize the uptime of that equipment and minimize downtime is an important area of focus for our organization and for the industry.”
John Deere and the AFBF will meet semiannually to evaluate the progress of the agreement.