Snowplow Manufacturer’s Lawsuit Examines Equipment Compatibility

This case study explores a lawsuit involving a snowplow manufacturer and a reseller, focusing on the compatibility of snowplows with utility tractors.

ByExpert Institute

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Published on February 6, 2024

Snowplow removing snow

Case Overview

This case study delves into a defense case involving a manufacturer specializing in snowplows for Class 6, 7, and 8 trucks. The plaintiff, which buys the snow plows for retrofitting onto trucks, has filed a complaint against the manufacturer because its sales to the plaintiff have ceased.

The lawsuit hinges on a statute designed to safeguard companies that resell specific types of equipment or accessories from such discontinuation by manufacturers. The plaintiff contends that both categories of snowplows sold by the manufacturer can be safely attached to utility tractors. However, they have never actually fitted any of the manufacturers’ snowplows to a utility tractor.

The manufacturer disputes this claim and also refutes that the plaintiff’s primary business is retailing attachments for utility tractors. An expert with comprehensive knowledge of utility tractors and their attachments was sought to review the case.

Questions to the expert and their responses

Q1

Could you elaborate on your professional background dealing with utility tractors (both compact and full-size utility tractors) and their attachments?

I have spent most of my career working with utility tractors. My experience includes designing the 2440 and 2640 models during the 40-series updates. I was selected for an eight-month Advanced Intermediate Tractor (AIT) definition study which led to the creation of John Deere’s 6000 and 7000 series of tractors.

Following this, I took on the lead role for chassis design and development for the 7000-series utility tractors, including attachment points for loaders and other equipment.

Q2

Are snow plows manufactured for Class 7 and Class 8 trucks readily serviceable as snow plow attachments for utility tractors?

In my understanding, serviceable implies that one could readily maintain and repair a snow plow attached to a utility tractor if it was so equipped. Hitch capacity is essential in determining which snow plows are compatible.

Q3

Are snow plows manufactured for Class 6 trucks readily serviceable as utility tractor snow plow attachments?

Similar to the previous question, the compatibility of these snowplows with utility tractors depends on factors like hitch capacity.

About the expert

This expert boasts over four decades of experience in mechanical engineering, with a focus on agricultural equipment manufacturing, design, and hydraulics. They hold a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA, and are a licensed professional engineer in multiple states. Their extensive experience spans product research, refining product requirements, specifications, design, testing, failure analysis, reliability growth management, manufacturing, and product support. Currently serving as an engineering consultant at an Arizona-based consultancy firm, this expert's comprehensive knowledge is instrumental to the case study involving utility tractors and their attachments.

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