Tractor Tales Thursday


To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America’s heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that’s cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums.

Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform “unauthorized” repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.

“When crunch time comes and we break down, chances are we don’t have time to wait for a dealership employee to show up and fix it,” Danny Kluthe, a hog farmer in Nebraska, told his state legislature earlier this month. “Most all the new equipment [requires] a download [to fix].”

The nightmare scenario, and a fear I heard expressed over and over again in talking with farmers, is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn’t be anything a farmer could do about it.



About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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9 Responses to Tractor Tales Thursday

  1. Den says:

    A real downside to computerized engine management systems. This type of control will eventually wend it’s way into cars and trucks. The ability for a manufacturer to shut down an implement or vehicle is very close to Big Brother type actions.

    Currently there are systems installed in cars sold to financially high risk customers that will shut the car off if payments are missed which in itself is a safety issue making us even less safe.


    • Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

      I’ve read hackers can hurt motorists if they hack their cars. They can lock up the brakes for instance. That would be a horrible thing to do to a person.


  2. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    Missed coming here again yesterday. No excuse except ran out of time.

    Did I mention I finally got the trash burned a couple nights ago? I had 21 grocery sacks to take out there. I can take six, three in it each hand. Garage thanked me for my service. Can’t wait to sweep the place out. With our Camry gone, the filth that was under it is waiting for me to take a broom to it. Pretty soon.


  3. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    Pete and I went to the show today and saw Kong: Skull Island. I LOVED it! Maybe later I’ll play my King Kong video game. I’ll fight off a few dinosaurs, that always makes my day.


  4. David B. Benson says:

    Escape from reality.


  5. Den says:

    A reality you don’t have to escape from for a while”


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