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Interesting to hear the dealer representative bemoan how allowing owners to do their own repairs will increase air pollution and negatively impact the environment.

What's next, annual required tractor emissions and safety inspections? Done by the dealers, of course, and at a cost to the owner.

Looks like in this repair area at least, the Deere dealer is not your friend.
 

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I cant imagine too many people buy any equipment and expect to have to have the dealer do every repair to it.
This has never been an issue until people wanted access to the electronics on tractors and other equipment.
This is NOT an issue with automobiles. Why is it with tractors?
It sure shouldnt be.
 

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While I understand the plight what I took out of it is the guy from born and raised in Brooklyn who admittedly never actually saw a farm and never stepped foot in a tractor was the spokesman/lobbyist.

What a world we live in!
 
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Total control of the lifecycle and revenue. At some point it will be like Apple. Sorry you tractor is 12 years old and no longer supported. You need to buy a new one.
 

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Although I see and understand both sides of the issue; I am in favor of Right to Repair.
In a free society; having the liberty to repair the items you own means you take responsibility if you screw up and need a pro to unfrak what you fraked up.

From a manufacturer's standpoint; allowing people to tinker with the software is akin to handing over the drawings, calculations and processes used to manufacturer a widget for example. However; if I'm repairing a transmission and I see the gears are missing teeth; I don't need to know how the gear was made, what its metallurgy is, etc; I just buy a replacement gear and get back on with life. The same should be for the computer in a vehicle; reboot the damn thing and move on. No one is asking for the source code of the software used in our vehicles.

The guy from Brooklyn understands this, and if I heard him correctly in the video; he repairs Apple products, which means he has a vested interest in Right to Repair legislation too.

As MeagerHair pointed out; the technology in our modern vehicles will doom vehicles to the junk yard before the hardware (e.g. engines, sheet metal, tires) does.

The manufacturers know full well they can easily own a product's life cycle as MH said as an electronic doo-dad or a line of buggy code isn't immediately noticeable like a broken gear is.
 

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I like the idea of "right to repair", but it will have to drive a very different approach to software development. Software writers will have to get serious about documenting their code (usually through "comment" statements).

I worked for a large company that made automated test equipment. The main product in our business was a system that had 5 million lines of code running it. We were at a technology transition point where we had to convert much of this code to a more modern language that was compatible with newer computers. No choice to do it if we wanted to stay in business and we didn't have the staff to do it, so we subcontracted it out. Our subcontractors encountered a couple hundred thousand line block of code that they didn't understand, so they just left it out. The product worked just fine without it, so they didn't feel the need to say anything about it. (And I think we were paying them by the number of lines for the conversion, so they thought they were way ahead financially.) What they didn't know was that this code block was a safety routine that would protect both the operator and the equipment in certain dangerous situations. And, of course, the internal documentation of the code did not clearly spell this out. The people who wrote the code originally must have thought the purpose was obvious. We caught this problem before an injury or damage to equipment occurred. There were tests that we called regression tests that were run whenever the code was altered to ensure that critical functions still operated as planned. We caught the omission because these tests were run on the new- language version of the code to catch any problems.

Something like this could easily happen if we allowed customers to make changes to our code. Leaving out a few hundred thousand lines would speed up the machine. And, not understanding the purpose of the code block or having the regression tests at their disposal, the customer could "improve" their system, at least until disaster struck.

This issue is very complicated. There is no simple answer.

Keane
 

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Yep, that's why I equate software source code to the blueprints of physical objects. Just as the block of code Keane describes is a safety related item; a boss or hole in the part from the factory may look like it serves no useful purpose; but it's there to facilitate assembly and/or repair or whatever.

The trouble with commenting source code is that a lot of programmers are under the gun to get the code written, compiled, tested and out the door that they don't get around to it. Commenting code is similar to as-built drawings in the engineering world in that no one likes doing as-builts, assuming the schedule and budget allows for them. Been there, done that in both cases.

Once again, no one is asking for the source code; but it shouldn't take a dealer tech to come out on site to plug in his gadget and press a button to say all is good. That kind of nonsense is the physical equivalent of sending a tech out to verify you changed the air filter properly.
 

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I also can understand both sides of the issue I guess. And I have no idea what goes into the programming.

However, this question comes to mind. Is it possible to be able to have the machine owner access to just part of the system - like some simple stuff?
As an example - I have a 2015 F150. There is a program I have called Forscan. With this I can do some simple computer changes like changing how a couple key fob functions work and some others. Of course it does not give me access to anything critical like engine or emissions programming.

The example in the video - the tractor owner changes out a simple sensor but would not be able to reset the computer himself to activate the new sensor to work.
 
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However, this question comes to mind. Is it possible to be able to have the machine owner access to just part of the system - like some simple stuff?
As an example - I have a 2015 F150. There is a program I have called Forscan. With this I can do some simple computer changes like changing how a couple key fob functions work and some others. Of course it does not give me access to anything critical like engine or emissions programming.
There are all sorts of tools out there that give limited access to some computer functions. The issue many have with these Right to Repair laws (and they never seem to be written the same way in each state) is that for someone to develop the tools THEY need access to everything to know how to build their tool,

Most of the organizations pushing for these laws want access to everything. In a way, that makes sense. You have no way of knowing what you need access to until you need it. In most States the law ends up being "If the manufacturer releases the info to their own authorized repair centers (i.e. dealers), they have to release it to everyone else..."

The proposed law up for consideration in Minnesota also requires the manufacturer to sell manuals, diagnostic tools, etc.. at wholesale cost. That seems to go quite a ways beyond what other states have done.
 

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Well I wrote a reply and "posted" it, however I guess it went into a dark hole.

So much for software upgrades.....
725675


I used to write programming for large / complex HVAC systems.

We exposed setpoints and other control points that allowed the user to operate the system. The software was available for them if they wished to use it and with it they could alter the actual program. Very few customers actually opted for this.

Safeties were built into the system and when something went wrong the system would respond accordingly, usually shutting down into a safe condition. When the owner addressed the failure, they were able to reset the system and return it to normal operation.

it shouldn't take a dealer tech to come out on site to plug in his gadget and press a button to say all is good. That kind of nonsense is the physical equivalent of sending a tech out to verify you changed the air filter properly.
Agreed. The owner of the equipment should be able to run diagnostic tests, make repairs, and be able to return the equipment to operation.

However, this question comes to mind. Is it possible to be able to have the machine owner access to just part of the system - like some simple stuff?
As an example - I have a 2015 F150. There is a program I have called Forscan. With this I can do some simple computer changes like changing how a couple key fob functions work and some others. Of course it does not give me access to anything critical like engine or emissions programming.
It most certainly is possible and can be done so that the owner/user can only select or adjust a parameter to a certain range.

I do not expect to be able to alter the actual programming code. I shouldn't have to. That code should be tested and functional for the equipment it operates. It should also be covered by a healthy warranty.

I do expect to be able to use and service the equipment I own, and that includes being able to run diagnostic test, replace failed components, and return the equipment to operation at my discretion.

If I, or the shop of my choice, are delibertly locked out of doing so, then it should be a lifetime covered warranty item by the OEM.


Lets see if our new software allows me to post this....
725677
 

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I presume that one of the proponents of such laws are the shops we take our diesel trucks to to have them deleted. So in that respect, there's some truth in what the dealership owner is saying.

Definitely two sides to this one. I don't know enough to pick one.
 

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I agree Dr. M - there is a difference between being able to use and maintain your equipment and being able to modify it.
 

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I don't think the average joe wanting to do his own repairs is wanting to change or mod the software. He just wants access to the tools used to trouble shoot all the computer driven systems. He wants to do it legally without resorting to boot legging something.
 

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I would just like to have the ability to plug a handheld device or laptop in to diagnose a problem sensor or perform a error reset. I haven’t purchased a service manual for my 4044R yet, so maybe all the diagnostic information is included. But I doubt they include a diagnostic program to install on a laptop.
 

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some of this is going to spill over the the automotive side too. There are people out there, [ tree huggers] that don’t like us even putting non factory like tires on our 4wds. One of the first things I do to a new truck is put aggressive at tires on it as I spend a lot of time on dirt forest roads. These tires do hurt the mpg, but the extra traction off road is worth it for me.

The same tree huggers that are against any vehicle mods also don’t want you heating with wood or even grilling out side because it’s bad for the environment. Then again they’d rather see you live in a apartment building and use mass transportation as owning you own home and vehicle is bad.
 

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A similar bill came up in Virginia either last year or two years ago. The dealers all showed up and said the "industry" was working on a solution that would allow some specific owner repairs without allowing access to the source code. The bill was carried over indefinitely and that was the end of it.

As far as I know, there haven't been any changes although all our equipment is old and therefore I don't have any first had experience. I do know farmers who had combines dead in the field during harvest because they were waiting for a tech to plug in a computer. I also know one farmer who flipped the paint on pretty much all their equipment because said tech didn't show up for a couple of days and his $440,000 sprayer was down. The sprayer, two combines and some tractors have changed color over the past 2-3 years because of that.. He farms 9,000 or so acres, much of which is grown for seed and a slight delay is a huge hit to his bottom line. It's not a corporate farm but an extended family farm of really great farmers who include some very competent mechanics but if they can't reset the computer it doesn't matter if everything else is rebuilt to factory specs, the machine is still dead.

Personally, I'm in favor of right to repair but also believe if I tinker with my machine and screw it up I own the problem. If that means I pay the dealer extra to fix my screw up, I own that too. Dealers no doubt invest tens of thousand of dollars in equipment and training but that doesn't mean the law should force me to use them, just that they can make a good case for most owners to use them.

Treefarmer
 
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