Colorado has become the first state to ensure farmers have the right to repair their own tractors and combines, thanks to a new law signed by Democratic Governor Jared Polis.
The law requires manufacturers to provide farmers with the necessary manuals, tools, parts, and software to make their own repairs. The move follows nationwide outcry from farmers who had been blocked by manufacturers from making their own fixes, forcing them to wait for official services to arrive.
At least 10 other states, including Florida, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Texas, and Vermont, have introduced similar legislation. However, opponents of the law, including manufacturers and dealerships, have raised concerns that providing tools and information to farmers could lead to illegal modifications that could compromise safety and the environment.
Republican State Representative Matt Soper argued that the law could stifle technological innovation and force businesses to disclose proprietary information. Despite this, supporters of the law argue that it will save farmers time and money and support a free market in repair.
The law is part of a broader “right to repair” campaign, which has gained momentum across the country, and applies to a range of products, including iPhones and hospital ventilators.
While the law may make it easier for farmers to modify horsepower and emissions controls, doing so would remain illegal.