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Why Monarch Tractor Will Help Farmers do More Repairs Themselves

In this episode of Farm Equipment Soundbites, Monarch Tractor CEO Praveen Penmetsa talks about what role the company sees farmers playing in the repairs of their all-electric, autonomous tractor.

Ben Thorpe: How do you see this transition from all the traditional diesel engine components to the electric based equipment? In fact, I have a fellow out of there right now, just putting out a survey about that, and she's asking dealers how they expect that transition to go. I think that's the big question everybody's wondering. So do you see it being easy and what kind of tech or improvements to their facilities are dealers going to have to make in your mind? Like what's really going to have to change about the service model?

Praveen Penmetsa: Well, that's a great question, Ben. And from a transition standpoint, anytime industries do these transitions, it's never easy or fast. But again, that's where it also comes down to how we roll out the technology and how do we support the farmers in making this transition and how do we support the dealers in making this transition.

So the great thing about the electrification and the transition to electrification is — I've already seen one or two industries start to go through this on the automotive side, the trucking side. So both these have have taught us a lot, so we should be able to leverage those lessons there.

So when we talk to state and federal agencies, not just in the U.S., but all over the world, we are also making the case for the agencies to support the farmers and helping make this transition on the farm side of things, number one. Whether that's in providing incentives for transitions, whether it's in providing support for the infrastructure, both the charging side as well as on the connectivity side, are both things that the state and federal agencies need to do more if they want to accelerate the transition. Similarly, on the dealer side also, the great thing is the dealers are now familiar with connectivity technologies.

You know, they all deploy and offer services such as RTK GPS for navigation and a farm planning systems, et cetera. So some of these are in place, but there are still a fair amount of work to be done on training. The next generation of workforce on these new technologies, whether that's electrification, that's high voltage battery systems, more power electronics, the safety side of it, and the maintenance side of it are all things that we need to put in place. And that's at the university level, that at technical institutes level, that's at the mechanic school level. We need to go through those things. And again, that's another place where both the industry, as well as the state and federal agencies should really focus their efforts on providing support for those retraining and education.

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