Diagnosing technology problems on ag equipment can be as much an art as it is a science. Compatibility and simplicity of systems can pose challenges, even for the most tech-savvy farmers.
But for those willing and capable of troubleshooting precision problems, complemented by reliable dealer support, the ability to fix a technical issue can be a time and money-saving opportunity.
At last week’s Commodity Classic in San Antonio, I visited with Dekalb, Ill., area farmer Brian Voss, who shared his perspective on the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers’ efforts to provide “right to repair” informational resources to dealerships and equipment manufacturers.
These toolkits include access to information on electronic field diagnostic service tools and training on how to utilize them. For Voss, his equipment fleet includes machinery from nearly every major manufacturer and he relies on at least 4 area dealerships for service.
Telematic support has become a growing part of maintaining uptime in the field and he talked about the importance of a collaborative relationship with his dealerships’ service teams, especially this time of year.
“Obviously with anything in farming, it's all about the timeliness. No matter how prepared you are, you're never fully prepared. And so, you can do all the maintenance in the world ahead of time, but something's going to pop up. To be able to have that tool to hopefully quickly diagnose something and have that available. Because the funny thing is, usually when I'm planting, there's a whole other bunch of people that are planting at the same time.
And there's only so many techs to go around that are dealing with ever-complex issues that take more time to diagnose. It's not just mechanical, it's not you follow the chain or whatever it is, right? It's more technical, different. People got to remember that in their head. And expectations need to be that way, too. That's why I think having this extra option... For us it was, we had downtime in our sprayer and they were actually able to use telematics on-board for that to help do some screen sharing. So I was able to clear out that code and then we it got up and running.”
A recently completed AEM survey on “right to repair” legislation found that more than 75% believe they already have the right to repair their own equipment, and some 72% believe they should be able to repair all aspects of their equipment, even as it relates to federally mandated safety or emissions standards.