Colorado tractor Right to Repair signed into law
Colorado farmers will have full access to what they need to fix their equipment starting in 2024.
With Gov. Jared Polis’ signature, Colorado’s tractor Right to Repair bill became the first in the country to be signed into law.
For years, we’ve worked with farmers from all over the country and allies including National Farmers Union and its state groups, Repair.org and iFixit to break down manufacturer repair restrictions.
As new tractors and combines have increasingly come with built-in software, John Deere and other manufacturers of the equipment have restricted access to corresponding software repair tools to just their authorized dealerships. Despite strong opposition from manufacturers and their dealers, Colorado’s first-of-its-kind legislation will guarantee farmers and independent mechanics access to comprehensive repair software and other materials needed to fix agricultural equipment.
Manufacturer repair restrictions have required farmers to rely solely on the dealership for many repairs. That’s led to inflated repair costs and, too often, weeks to months of equipment downtime, during which farmers can watch as their crops—and livelihoods—wither on the vine. A recent PIRG report, “Out to Pasture,” found that Right to Repair could save U.S. farmers $4.2 billion per year in repair and downtime costs. HB23-1011 could save Colorado farmers alone as much as $61 million per year.
PIRG Right to Repair Campaign Director Kevin O’Reilly issued the following statement on the historic victory:
“Repair relief is finally on its way for Colorado farmers. There’s no reason anyone should be locked out of fixing their own stuff, but this fact is especially true for the folks that grow the food that goes on our kitchen tables.
“For decades, farmers have had to choose between having software-enabled tractors that increase their operations’ efficiency and being able to fix their equipment as soon as it breaks. With their crops and livelihoods hanging in the balance, waiting days to months for the dealer technician to use a special software tool to make a fix you could do yourself is simply not an option. This law will eliminate that false choice and help restore farmers’ full ownership of the equipment they bought and rely on.
“As big of a win as this is for farmers in Colorado, it’s also a huge step forward for the nearly 2 million farmers across the country and the broader Right to Repair movement. We’ve gone toe-to-toe with ag industry giants and, for the first time, come out on top. But we aren’t done yet. We’ll keep pushing until all farmers—and consumers of all kinds—have their repair rights enshrined in law.”