Discussion:
Right to Repair Act for forklifts

If anone doesnt know what this is,The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act (HR 2694) was introduced in Congress and in many states to ensure that car owners and their trusted repair shops have the same access to safety alerts and repair information as the franchised new car dealer network. Basically, it makes it fair for independent repair shops to have access to repair codes and troubleshooting programs.

Unfortunately there is no such help for industrial repair shops. I am a mechanic in South San Francisco, CA. I was talking to mechanic from Yale and he was describing some of the new technology that Yale and other manufacturers are putting into the new forklifts. This will render the average forklift mechanic obsolete due to lack of information about these trucks. I am currently writing a letter to my California Congress person and want to know if there is anyone that is is willing to help write a good, convincing letter.

This is something that should be taken very serious. Once the warranties are up on the new brands, independent shops will not be able to work on them without the programmers and trouble codes. This gets me thinking about how many years I have left at my job before the company I work for goes out of business due to the inability to perform repairs?

If there is anyone here that is interested in this subject, lets hear from you. We need to make a stand now before it is too late.
  • Posted 22 Sep 2008 22:28
  • Discussion started by MikePattison
  • California, United States
Showing items 1 - 15 of 51 results.
Firstly, I would like to say that the information is very new to me as being a blogger I don't know much about such acts. I am surely going to read more about it.
Thanks for the information.
  • Posted 25 Oct 2017 17:52
  • Reply by suman_v
  • delhi, India
Unfortunately I believe you are correct that corporations won't take the time (as farmers have ) to address this issue. I can tell you that I have customers in the HD truck market (Tri axle dump trucks, cranes, etc) that have seen this issue (sub-par electronics) affect their respective businesses in a negative way. Their response is to buy pre-emission units & have them rebuilt as in the long run they find it a less expensive option.
  • Posted 14 Oct 2017 00:50
  • Modified 14 Oct 2017 00:50 by poster
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Have been monitoring this case to see what the outcome might be. Aftermarket programmers are available for UTVs and ATVs some marine equipment ect. They are illegal to install according to the EPA but seem to not be monitored at this moment. Also have to question the legality of all the black smoke mods for diesel trucks. I can see this affecting the agricultural field but question if it will make it to the industrial side. I don't see other than independents pushing the issue. How many corporations will take the time to deal with this issue for a lift truck?
  • Posted 26 Apr 2017 08:05
  • Reply by proshadetree
  • Tennessee, United States
There may be some good news on this front. John Deere (agriculture division) has the same monopoly on intellectual property as manufacturers in our field. Farmers- who are used to repairing their own equipment-are being forced to call in the dealer tech because of the electronics on the machines. Written right in the purchase contract when the machine was bought is a clause which exempts John Deere from any liability for increased costs (renting equipment) or ruined crops (sometimes it takes weeks for a tech to get on site) for any downtime.

In their world- aftermarket (black market) computers have been developed & sold to owners of machines who want to repair their own equipment. These black market ECU's are not EPA approved, therefore the farmers are technically breaking the law. They have been fined for installing these ECU's and this is the basis for what's beginning to happen.

Farmers are in the beginning stages of issuing a class action lawsuit against John Deere because of the "right to repair" their own equipment. This could have a huge impact on various industries- it'll be interesting to see how it plays out.
  • Posted 25 Apr 2017 23:33
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Thank you bbforks,
We see and realise the frustration from people who just want to get a manual but the issue we see is not just a legal one.
First, our problem is that some of the manufacturers consider their manuals as copyright and spend money on litigation to avoid anyone selling or copying their copyrighted material. If they find people doing this on platforms like ours and we condone it, we can be asked to give out the personal information of these people. We could also be asked to testify in these litigation cases.
Our current position in this issue may be different from the position of other platforms, but it is based on actual experience where we have been pressured to identify someone who was offering specific manufacturer manuals to anyone who wanted one through our forums.
We do not want to be pushed to do this. We prefer to protect our readers from the possibility of litigation.
The bottom line really is that ours are Discussion Forums. We do not allow advertising in the forum discussions, as these very valuable discussions between experts and users from all around the world could soon become just another advertising vehicle. Similarly, and apart from the other reasons mentioned here, our valuable technical discussions between experts currently enjoy connection, across geographical borders in technical discussion, question, advice, interjection and educational ways, and we do not wish them to be watered down to become just another trading place for manuals.
Our forums are not a commercial platform. People who want to do business through Forkliftaction can do this through our advertising channels. If they advertise in our advertising columns and positions, then they take full responsibility and can be traced back without our interference.
Thank you again bbforks, we always appreciate your comment, advice, support of our forums and your concern.
  • Admin
  • Posted 8 Mar 2016 00:04
  • Modified 8 Mar 2016 00:25 by poster
  • Reply by Admin
  • Queensland, Australia
Contact me about any forum administration issues.
This question in directed to the admin (with no disrespect but in total frustration)

I'm revisiting this thread because of a response to a question I saw in the technical section where the admin said that a sharing of a service manual is a breach of intellectual property copyrights.

I'd like to know what an end user or an independent service provider is supposed to do when a local dealer for a particular brand stonewalls someone from purchasing a service manual. Posting a question on this site has been a life saver for me but sometimes a service manual is what's needed & is unattainable.

My question is- what's the difference between this site and, say, Ebay or Amazon, which sell used manuals, books, CDs, etc, which also contain copyrighted/protected materials? They (the web sites) don't seem to worried about the general public sharing these "properties".

I am not being sarcastic but am really curious on why this double standard exists. What is the legal difference whether I buy a used manual on line, borrow one face to face or share one electronically?
  • Posted 2 Mar 2016 06:29
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Boy, this is a great thread. Took me 30 minutes to read it- but I found it very informative. Reading BB and Mr Fixit, and being an independent myself, I have the same challenges. Through the years by reading informative posts here, being provided with needed resources, and by purchasing manuals from the dealer we have muddled through. I became very concerned around 2004 when EPA engines began showing up in my customers fleets, but as BB's dad said, 10-15 years behind the auto industry helped work out most of the bugs it seems. Fast forward to today. Those dependable trucks from 8-9 years ago are showing their wear, and EEC problems are becoming more commonplace. Thankfully between common sense, pedal dances and phone calls/emails most problems get sved. But here is the rub. We occasionally still have a machine that we cannot repair- due to lack of software and training. BUT, as that wise woman I married so long ago often said, "Let em take it to the dealership. They'll be back". And she is right. We are to the point that a couple of times a year as needed, I will arrange for the dealer to come out. Sometimes we pass the invoice on at cost to our customer (I'm usually fortunate enough to watch and learn from the tech), and other times our customer gets the invoice from the dealership and usually feels he got "The Treatment"! Either way, we come out fine. The reality to me is, as was mentioned earlier- that there are only a few things the laptop is actually needed for. The machine still needs PMs, brake jobs and secondary lift chains adjusted. When a new machine shows up at one of my customers, I generally like to let them know that I can handle almost all of their repair and service needs, and for the rest I can arrange it with the supplying dealer.
  • Posted 23 Nov 2013 14:00
  • Reply by Forkliftt
  • Louisiana, United States
Steve
steve at forkliftt dot com
I read an interesting article which kind of parallels this issue. With everything today being so electronically sensitive, what happens when a used electronic component is installed, then after installation malfunctions & causes damage? Without proper information, this is becoming more & more of an issue.
  • Posted 19 Nov 2013 23:56
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Service personel for power industrial trucks in accordance to 29 CFR section 1910.178 topic (q) Maintenance of industrial trucks paragraph (1) "Any power-operated industrial truck not in safe operating condition shall be made by an authorized personnel." Interpretation of this statement, tells me that the end user is the authorized agent and not the service person. If a legal issue is brought forth it would be that person who would receive the citation for failing to certify repairing personnel as trained and evaluated. The service person may not be privilaged to correspondence written or verbal between the end user's agents. Documentation of all work performed is the key. There are other items in the two books that in addition to ANSI B.56 cover the service performance and optional procedures needed to be taken. For a title owner of any make of vehicle is can not be denied the right to purchase any and all needed material to keeping said vehicle in safe and proper working order. This would require taking legal action.
  • Posted 11 May 2012 13:33
  • Reply by MEngr
  • Missouri, United States
I don't know how much of the information will be made available or when, but just like the automotive industry, patentrs were obtrained and certain things were trademarked and until the patents have been out long enough, no information has to be made available. I rremember back in 2000 I got a new Chevrolet service truck and for several oil changes, had to go back to the dealer for the filter as they proclaimed some type of change and the previous model years filter would cause issues. If you built something and patented it, you would have a certain number of years before it could be copied. There is no easy solution except to make friends with the dealer techs and cross friendships and hope they will give you the information you need. All of us have been stuck with the lack of info and know the problem.
As to repairs coming back at you if they crap out and cause injury, one has to play that one by circumstance. Dealer techs, or those working for someone else are usually covered by trhe liability insurance, but that doesn't mean you can't be sued for ignorance in some states and be forced to defend yourself. No easy answers, or no air tight answers. Use extreme caution.
  • Posted 11 May 2012 11:43
  • Reply by meliftman
  • Alabama, United States
Liftman
Equipment, Inc.
Mobile, Al.
I guess the short answer is that an employee is always protected (except in the case of negligence on the employee's part) by the employer's liability insurance, as long as the employee is following the directions given by his supervisor.
however,
There are about 4 thousand other details that would make all the differences in the world about this: what was said exactly, and when was it said, what was the failure and how did the repair somehow differ from "industry standard" repairs, and expert opinion related to should the tech have been able to predict the failure, and how having the manual or other information would have changed the outcome and injury or the repair procedure.
Someone getting hurt 2 weeks after a truck was touched by some service tech does not make the injury the fault of the service tech, with or without the manual.
  • Posted 11 May 2012 10:25
  • Modified 11 May 2012 21:14 by poster
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
"it's not rocket surgery"
Does anyone have any input to the following question- If an employer requires you to work on a piece of equipment that you don't have technical information on & you give it your best shot & the unit seems fixed. You then put the unit back into service but your repair fails & the someone gets hurt, who's at fault? Could the tech be held responsible for a faulty repair when he had no technical support? Anyone have any first hand knowledge of such an event? Any input would be great
  • Posted 11 May 2012 03:28
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
As far as this business not being like the auto business- I have to disagree. I learned this business from my dad who was once a tech for hyster before going out on his own. He always said that forklfits were about 10 years behind cars (IC forklifts). If you think about it, alternators, electronic ignitions, fuel injection, etc all came about after it was commonplace in cars. Now we even see car engines in forklifts. I know we play a different role & have less numbers of equipment than cars, but we always seem to follow their technology.
  • Posted 14 Mar 2012 02:00
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
I was browsing the website & noticed that the "right to work" has been discussed before. A few years ago it came up about a lock out of information. It seems it becomes a debate between dealer tech's & independents.

You are correct when you say that "good" technicians such as yourself ( & myself IMHO) have to be resourceful & network themselves to get information, but what will happen when information isn't enough? I agree that 95% of breakdowns can be repaired without computers, but that 5% can make a customer question my abilities.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but dealers service more than just their own brand. What will happen if you're servicing an account & one of their forklifts of another brand needs some sort of computer type repair (one of the 5%)? You'll be forced to call in a competitor for that service. Again- that can make a customer question your abilities.

We all will suffer if the current trend to limit information continues. 10 years ago we all could work on any brand without needing any type of copyrighted information & we all got along fine. If things keep going in the direction they're going, 10 years from now we'll all be locked into working on only the brand we have access to copyrighted information on.
  • Posted 14 Mar 2012 01:42
  • Modified 16 Mar 2012 11:07 by poster
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
well bbforks, i'd like to say "your welcome"
i dont mind comming here and discussing things based on my opinions, it helps keep my brain functioning hehe ;o)

but comming from a dealer stance side of things i dont ever see this happening what Mike is proposing. The automotive industry even though very similar to ours, it still is a different game all together and always will be. What we serve as a roll in society isnt as broadly based as the automotive side and i dont see anyone opening up a public aftermarket parts store for forklift parts do you? Aftermarket parts can be obtained openly through a dealership by anyone that wants them.
As for privilidged information on 'how to fix' a forklift? I highly doubt "all" of the information will ever be released, us dealerships have the right to survive too you know ;o) If we gave away all our "trade secrets" then we wouldnt survive now would we?

Any "service ended" business has been this way for as long as i've been in this business, it's always been way. The ability to get information has always been about "how resourceful" a tech can be and also about "who you know". I have many connections outside of the dealership venue that are very helpful at times and i use them to benefit my ability to perform my job everyday. As long as i have this i hope i will always be the "good" technition that i am today.
Its a dog eat dog world out there and we all have to live in it and deal with it on a day to day basis. As long as there are people out there that base thier business solely on thier ability to make money you will always have those that are not willing to help others. I myself am not "all about the money" so i dont mind helping those that are trying to help themselves, but there are limits as to how far i will go with that , I have to survive too ;o)
  • Posted 11 Mar 2012 02:58
  • Reply by Jplayer
  • North Carolina, United States
John Player Jr
_________________
LiftOne, LLC
Charlotte, NC
Email: jplayer@liftone.net

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