LB 543 seeks to give farmers the power to repair their equipment

When a software aspect of a piece of farm equipment fails someone from the dealership needs to come out and fix it.
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 9:44 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - When a software aspect of a piece of farm equipment fails, someone from the dealership needs to come out and fix it, which can turn into an expensive repair.

LB 543 would take out the need for a dealership representative from having to come fix it.

State Senator Tom Brandt proposed the bill last year, and it’s back this year. He says that as a farmer, if he broke a piece of steel on a tractor or combine he could it himself, but if it was a software issue it was another story. Brandt says even though this is new to farm equipment, the legislation is not.

“When you go through small-town Nebraska, any town Nebraska, the reason you have independent mechanics still fixing modern cars and trucks is because they had the same thing happen in 2012,” Brandt said.

Sen. Brandt is referring to the Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act of 2011.

Farmers and ranchers have also spoken out against the regulations, with one saying the whole process is frustrating.

“We’re isolated where we live an hour in good time to get to town for the technician to get out here, and then getting satellite service to download the information while they’re out here is almost impossible so all-in-all it’s really frustrating,” rancher Scott Potmesil said.

Sen. Brandt told Local4 News the bill and its language are relatively simple.

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