'Right to repair’ gaining momentum
by Service Dealer Ireland Editor, Alan Mahon
Alan Mahon

How will the 'right to repair' movement affect dealers, particularly those that have workshop facilities?


I remember starting work in a new golf club as head greenkeeper.


The maintenance budget was tight so there was little money available to buy new equipment. There was an old disused trailing five-gang mower, at least 40 years old, lying weathered outside the maintenance facility. I decided to get it done up as it would be useful around some areas of the course. To my pleasant surprise my local dealer was still able to get spare parts from the manufacturer at reasonable costs. I got the bits and pieces needed and soon the old mower was back up running again, earning its keep.


Technology in sportsturf equipment has moved on a long way since the days of trailing gang mowers. Machines are now fitted with diagnostic units, safety sensors and the devil knows what. I often wonder should such equipment fail how easy would it be to repair them?


The ‘right to repair’ movement is gaining a lot of momentum around Europe and America. It is mainly aimed at electronic and domestic appliances. However, farmers in the US are making noises that farm equipment manufacturers should make spare parts available to repair machines.


Last July President Joe Biden signed an executive order asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to draw up rules on the repair of farming equipment. According to the president’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, it would give farmers “the right to repair their own equipment how they like”. The order is also expected to benefit farmers, who face expensive repair costs from tractor manufacturers who use proprietary repair tools, software, and diagnostics to prevent third-parties from working on the equipment.


Some of the tractor manufacturers are against the idea of repairs being done by third parties to their equipment, especially to the more specialised parts such as diagnostic kits. They argue that allowing access to source codes would risk allowing a user to override safety features required as part of modern farm equipment, as well as altering emission standards, making the machine illegal and unsafe.


So how will this affect dealers, particularly those that have workshop facilities? Manufacturers and dealers do support the right to repair equipment but not the right to modify. This is a very important point as it would be illegal to modify or tamper with settings that would make the equipment unsafe and break regulations. It is a case of balance. I do believe that if a diagnostic kit or sensor becomes faulty it should be replaced. 


In the US, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) have agreed to make a series of diagnostic and repair tools available to owners of tractors. In their Statement of Principles, farm equipment manufacturers and dealers have provided the following tools:

  • Manuals (Operator, Parts, Service)
  • Product Guides
  • Product Service Demonstrations, Training, Seminars, or Clinics
  • On-Board Diagnostics via diagnostics port or wireless interface
  • Fleet Management Information
  • Electronic Field Diagnostic Service Tools, and training on how to use them
  • Other publications with information on service, parts, operation, and safety

This debate will run for some time yet but I hope that manufacturers will make it easy for most machinery repairs to be carried out, either on the farm, sports facility or in the workshop of the local dealer.

At Innov-Agri 2021
New Holland at Innov-Agri

After committing a return to live events in their July digital press conference, the first show in the brand’s calendar of international and local agricultural shows is Innov-Agri in France.


After committing a return to live events in their July digital press conference, the first show in New Holland Agriculture's calendar of international and local agricultural shows is Innov-Agri in France - where they will be unveiling the new flagship T7 Heavy Duty PLM Intelligence and the T6.180 Methane Power tractor.



“The whole New Holland team is really excited to be back in a physical event,” said Sean Lennon, New Holland Agriculture vice president Europe. “One-to-one interaction is so important in the relationship with our customers, and we have missed it, even though we have kept in touch through digital communication.


"Physical events like this also offer the very important opportunity to touch and feel our products, which makes a big difference when making a purchase decision. This said, the virtual events we organised this last year have been very successful. We want to keep both face-to-face and digital ways of communicating alive, so we can offer the experience of our events to an even wider audience.


"We will use a hybrid format to welcome people at physical fairs but also give the opportunity to attend online. This way we can reach out and be even closer to our customers.”


The manufacturer says Innov-Agri is the first in their lineup of events, which includes major international fairs such as EIMA, Agritechnica and SIMA, as well as local agricultural shows organised with its dealers and importers. They say they will be constantly monitoring the situation in order to ensure the health and safety of its teams, dealers and customers.

Aimed at the ag and groundscare sectors

The producers of Service Dealer have launched a new Instagram account, @TAPintodrones, to show off the footage they have been capturing as part their latest venture.


The producers of Service Dealer have launched a new Instagram account, @TAPintodrones, to show off the footage they have been capturing as part of their latest venture.


TAP Into Drones - Drone Services


The TAP drone team has been capturing some amazing aerial footage for the agricultural and groundcare sectors both here in the UK and in Spain where TAP also has offices.


Emma Craigie, Head of Content & Media says "Viewing the world from above allows us to see things from a different perspective and what better way to do so than offering drone footage.  And it makes very engaging content across the channels.


"The new Instagram account gives us the perfect place to show off the incredible footage we've captured - and showcase some of the big boys toys we get to film!"


Visit @TAPintodrones and follow to check out the latest clips and images and find out more about the drone services TAP offers here.

Say further lawn & garden products to come
Segway Navimow

Segway, the manufacturer best known for their self-balancing transportation vehicles, have announced their entry into the lawn & garden sector, with the launch of their first robotic mower, the Navimow.


Segway, the manufacturer best known for their self-balancing transportation vehicles, have announced their entry into the lawn & garden sector, with the launch of their first robotic mower, the Navimow.



In an online presentation, the company said that four models of the Navimow would be available in dealerships from Spring 2022, with the first shipments scheduled to leave their factories in December 2021.


Dennis Hardholt, president of Segway Europe said, "With cutting edge mobility and robotic technologies, Segway aims to bring innovations to the mower industry and the outdoor power equipment industry as a whole.


"This is the first time that Segway has entered into the field of garden and outdoor tools. However, our goal is not to be a tool manufacturer, but to provide users with more labour-saving and intelligent solutions through robotics. Technology is the way to achieve it while the product itself is at the core."


Introducing the product in some more detail, senior sales manager Ryan Kong explained that the robot navigates via what they called an Exact Fusion Locating System (EFLS) - a satellite controlled system that means that there is no need for a boundary wire installation.


"We understand that great technology should understand the way people live and deliver improved experiences to match," said Ryan.


"With this technology users will no longer need to worry about installation and maintenance. All they need to do is to set up a digital boundary - or in our words a virtual boundary." Ryan went on to demonstrate how this could be achieved via the use of the Navimow's app.


Ryan Kong during the online presentation


Further details about the robot's features were revealed after the presentation on a dedicated website that was launched for the product.


Addressing the question of cost for the mower, Ryan said there will be four models available from Spring 2022 for different sizes of lawn, ranging from €1,199 for the smallest, up to €2,499 for the largest.


Explaining that the product is now in beta testing, Ryan said, "Currently Navimow is close to mass production and we are ready to fill orders. The first batch of shipment will be sent December 2021. We pursue the perfect user experience and are doing numerous tests to improve the product."


Ryan ended the presentation by confirming that Segway intend to follow up this launch with further products for the OPE sector.


"Navimow is our first entry into the lawn care industry," he said, "but it will not be our last. We promise there will be more to come. Another robot will be soon to join our robotics family.


"Segway robotics will continue to invest in providing users with a more convenient life."

Great interest shown in Barony course
SRUC Barony 2021 CLAAS Apprentice intake

Claas dealers from Ireland, the north of England and Scotland have enrolled 16 new apprentices onto the manufacturer's Agricultural Apprenticeship scheme run at SRUC Barony.


Despite the difficulties of the past 18 months and the impact this has had on education, Claas say they have received "an exceptionally high level of interest" for its Agricultural Apprenticeship scheme.


Claas dealers from Ireland, the north of England and Scotland and Ireland have enrolled 16 new apprentices onto the manufacturer's Agricultural Apprenticeship scheme run at SRUC Barony.


SRUC Barony 2021 CLAAS Apprentice intake


From Ireland are: Eoin Walsh (ALAN DOUGLAS); Christian Cullen (BREENS); Mark Byrne (KELLYS); Gavin McCarthy (McCARTHY); Luke McGovern (ARDAGH AGRI SERVICES).


From northern England and Scotland are: Steven Sorrie, Jack Johnston, Charlie Scurrah (RICKERBY); Ollie McLellan, Shaun McClune, Dylan Service, Stuart Armstrong (GORDONS); Aidan Brebner, Graeme Stewart, Kyle Ross, Lewis Stevens (SELLARS).


The new 2021 apprentice cohort is one of the largest intakes of students since Claas first introduced the opportunity to train at Barony near Dumfries in 2008. Ahead of starting their course, the new students recently attended an induction day at Barony where they learnt about the College and what they will be learning and doing over the next four years.


Over the first three years of their apprenticeship, the students will attend the Barony campus on a block-release basis, spending a total of 36 weeks at the college. During this time they will be given comprehensive training in the wide range of technical skills a service engineer needs to look after today’s highly advanced agricultural machinery. When not at college, the students will spend time at their sponsoring dealership, where they will be mentored and supported as they put their new-found skills to the test. In addition they will also be invited to the Claas Academy at Saxham for specific product training, prior to undertaking further advanced technical and industry training in their final fourth year.


The manufacturer says that completion of their apprenticeship will, however, be just the start of their training with the company. Having qualified and working at their dealership they will then have access to ongoing training and development, and ultimately the opportunity to move into more specialised or management roles within their dealership or Claas UK.

EUR 405 million
Pöttinger's new assembly plant in St. Georgen (AT)

In the financial year 2020/2021, Pöttinger achieved the highest turnover in its history, exceeding the 400 million mark for the first time.


In the financial year 2020/2021, Pöttinger say they achieved the highest turnover in their history of EUR 405 million, exceeding the 400 million mark for the first time.


Pöttinger's new assembly plant in St. Georgen (AT)


With an increase of 11 percent compared to the previous year and an export quota of 88 percent, the manufacturer says the key to their success is their 1,929 highly motivated employees, their partnerships with dealerships and the investments in their manufacturing plants.


The company says almost 60 percent of total turnover was achieved in Germany, France, Austria, Poland, Switzerland and Great Britain. Germany with a turnover share of 18 percent and France with 15 percent are again the largest single markets. Sales in both markets remained more or less constant over the past financial year. 


Sales in other overseas territories also developed  positively: Canada with +48 Percent and Australia with +33 percent were the standouts say Pöttinger. 


Gregor Dietachmayr, spokesperson for the management team said, "Even in the difficult financial year 2020/2021, a year that has seen many changes, we have demonstrated our resilience, commitment and determination. We even succeeded in celebrating the anniversary year with a record turnover.


"As a source of innovation with a strong team of highly motivated employees, a very well-developed network of dealerships and with a view to the future and the needs of the market in terms of digitisation, sensor technology, etc., we are ideally equipped for the challenges ahead." 

California-based SimpliPhi Power
SimpliPhi Power

The company say this new acquisition will allow them to offer a broad range of energy storage solution products.


Briggs & Stratton announced this week that it has acquired SimpliPhi Power, a California-based manufacturer of energy storage and management systems which store solar, grid and wind power for future use by residential, commercial and industrial customers.



The company said that through this acquisition, they will be able to accelerate their growth into the energy storage system market, expanding the business to offer a range of products that provide energy solutions to a broad group of customers.


SimpliPhi Power designs and manufactures energy storage and management systems that utilise lithium-ion batteries to store power generated by residential solar panels, among other sources.


“This acquisition quickly establishes a strong position for Briggs & Stratton in the high-growth energy storage system market,” said Steve Andrews, President and CEO of Briggs & Stratton. “The SimpliPhi Power team brings deep application expertise, strong technical support and proven, successful products to the Briggs & Stratton portfolio of power-agnostic products and technology solutions.”


Catherine Von Burg, CEO of SimpliPhi Power, added, “Combining forces with Briggs & Stratton will provide SimpliPhi Power with new growth opportunities and substantial resources to lead the energy storage system market. Briggs & Stratton’s expansive distribution network, power application expertise, and commitment to innovation will accelerate our growth and our mission of providing resilient energy storage systems that create universal access to safe, reliable and affordable energy to empower people, communities and enterprises globally."


Briggs & Stratton intends to offer SimpliPhi Power products through its own distribution channels in addition to continuing to service SimpliPhi Power’s existing distribution channels.


Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Executive Vice President of EMEAA
Jochen Schneider

Jochen Schneider is AriensCo's new executive vice president of the Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia region.


AriensCo has announced the appointment of Jochen Schneider as its new executive vice president of the Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia region (EMEAA.) 


Jochen Schneider


Schneider most recently held various leadership positions with Aebi Schmidt Holding AG including CEO of North America, COO of global operations and managing director Aebi Schmidt Germany.   


AriensCo say this new appointment underlines their continued investment in its global operations and supports its strategy to expand its presence in the EMEAA region. This includes the most recent acquisition of German professional mower manufacturer, AS-Motor in May and completing the start-up of zero-turn mower production here in the UK at Oxford. 


The EVP of EMEAA will be responsible for all facets of the company's business in the region including sales, engineering, operations and profit and loss for Ariens, Countax, Westwood and AS-Motor brands. Both Darren Spencer, VP & managing director AriensCo UK and Maria Lange, VP & managing director AriensCo Germany, will report to the EVP EMEAA.  


“We are excited to have Jochen join our already strong leadership team in EMEAA and utilise his over three decades of international experience to help us leverage the talent and resources already established in the region,” said Larry Weyers, COO & President of AriensCo.  

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