LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Joseph Bellino and Rep. Dale Zorn recently introduced legislation in a set of double bills in both chambers that would give Michigan farmers the right to repair their own equipment and tractors.
“This is about standing up for our local farming families and making sure they have the tools they need to fix their own equipment quickly and affordably,” said Bellino, R-Monroe. “Michigan farmers are too often prevented from repairing their own agricultural equipment, or taking it to a locally owned repair shop, because large manufacturers withhold the complete set of tools and software necessary to make timely repairs. These bills will assure hard working farmers will have access to everything needed to repair the equipment they own.”
“The state has a shortage of agriculture repair facilities and technicians, causing critical delays in maintaining equipment that can create financial hardships for farmers if they are unable to harvest their product,” said Zorn, R-Onsted. “These bills will allow farmers and independent repair facilities to maintain farm tractors and with the tools, technology, and parts that will keep the production of agriculture on the move.”
Senate Bills 341 and 342 and House Bills 4650 and 4651 would give farmers and independent service technicians access to the same diagnostics, information and parts that are available to agricultural equipment dealers.
Specifically, the legislation would:
- Make critical service information fully and safely available. Owners and independent technicians would have access to manuals, schematics and circuit diagrams, as well as machine code and firmware patches and fixes.
- Make parts and tools affordable. It would require manufacturers to make service parts and tools — including troubleshooting and diagnostic tools, codes and software — available to equipment owners and third parties at non-discriminatory pricing.
- Protect consumers by ensuring clearer contracts. All contracts would be required to clearly identify which elements of a machine are not included in the sale. Companies would not be allowed to create end user license agreements that modify or limit support options.