VT Farmers: Share Your Repair Story

Red Tractor
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock | Tomasz Zajda

If you own a piece of equipment, you should be able to fix it.

This seems like a fairly obvious and uncontroversial idea, right? And yet, more and more, consumers are unable to make basic repairs to products they own because manufacturers refuse to provide the parts, tools, and documentation necessary to do so.

That’s why VPIRG is proud to be part of the Right-to-Repair movement, fighting for policies that put an end to unfair repair monopolies by requiring manufacturers to provide consumers and independent repair shops the tools and information they need to fix their stuff. Repair reform is necessary across many sectors.

From personal electronics to medical devices to farm equipment—a smaller and smaller group of large companies are tightening their grip on the repair economy, forcing consumers to pay more to fix products or throw away those products and buy new ones.

Fair repair is a major issue in the agricultural community—farmers struggle to repair newer tractors with modern electronic equipment and are forced to rely on dealerships to make these costly (and often time-consuming) repairs.

But we can change this. VPIRG is advocating for a bill (H.58) that would require agricultural equipment manufacturers to provide, on fair and reasonable terms, the documentation, parts, and tools necessary to repair their equipment.

This would give farmers more repair options–by either allowing them to fix certain issues themselves or make use of local independent repair providers. This bill has gotten a few hearings in the House Agriculture Committee and there’s momentum for this effort in the legislature.

But lawmakers want to hear from farmers directly on this issue. This is why we need your help.

If you’re a farmer or know somebody that has dealt with issues around the repair of agricultural equipment, please share your story with us here.

If you are willing, we’ll connect you with lawmakers directly so you can share your story.

These testimonials will go a long way in making sure legislators prioritize this issue and pass this legislation this year.

2021 promises to be a big year for the Right-to-Repair movement. There is currently fair repair legislation pending in 14 states.

We have a chance to make some real progress in Vermont, if we can enact this legislation. But we also know the large equipment manufacturers are going to fight this tooth-and-nail.

Stories directly from Vermont farmers will help push back on the large manufacturers’ scare tactics and misinformation.

So if you’ve got an experience you’re willing to share, please let us know!

If you appreciate VPIRG’s work to protect consumers, consider chipping in a few dollars to keep our advocates “in” the virtual State House standing up to the big corporate interests and looking out for Vermonters. Even $3+ can make a difference!