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MJM316
12-03-2008, 12:57 AM
I keep reading on this site and H E F about grey market machines what exactly are they? Is this something I should really shy away from? How do I know if a Mini Ex is a grey market machine? (I'm looking for a mini ex):confused: Thanks for the help!

richallseasons
12-03-2008, 01:06 AM
Being as I have a backround in auto repair we used to deal with a lot of grey market mercades, which put simply meant that they did not all have the same parts configuration as if they all came off the same assembly line,the same model would have a diffent muffler for instance. It just make repairs tricky sometimes, so if you dont mind having to hunt for the occasional part or even fabricate some things no problem.

Gravel Rat
12-03-2008, 01:07 AM
Grey market machines are machines brought over from overseas they are built for the overseas market not the North American market.

The biggest problem is the machines have different spec's or engines etc so that makes getting parts expensive. Komatsu, Hitachi and Caterpillar are common gray market machines.

Would I buy a gray market machine yes maybe no. Dealers usually will help you with repairs or parts. Most gray market machines are brought to North America by private equipment dealers that sell different brands of machines.

In the mini market Kubota is also grey market machines you can tell they have the turquoise blue paint and overseas writing.

Hitachi machines are the same colour but there is different things like tracks etc plus the overseas writing on labels etc.

Komatsu is purple on grey market where as north american is Yellow with blue badging.

Caterpillar has the same colours pretty much but has the word Rega on some machines.

Buy a machine that was made and sold in the North American market then you won't have troubles. Money saved on buying a grey market machine could lead to more money spent down the road plus you may end up with ***tal pain :laugh:

ksss
12-03-2008, 01:34 AM
Blue Kobelco's are common here. Easily the most common grey market full size machines here. The other thing to remember is the EPA stickers are not present. That is a big issue in some areas that are heavily regulated like CA. I assume. With a good internet connection you can probably find whatever parts you may need, but you may not be able to go your local dealer and get parts when you need them.

I don't know if I would buy them or not. With equipment values in the tank, you can get great deals on North American machines. The last couple years when equipment values were high it might have been more tempting.

crab
12-03-2008, 08:22 AM
i had one big pain in the a$$,stay away.

bobcat_ron
12-03-2008, 11:08 AM
The safety equipment is not there, like the 3" seat belts and fire extinguishers, narrow tracks and undercarriages which make the machines less stable.
The nice thing is you can buy a new Hitachi straight from Japan that won't be seen here for 2 years, Hitachi has been selling the Dash 5 series in Japan for a year, North American Hitachi's are currently in the Dash 3 series, and every Dash series is a refinement.

larryinalabama
12-03-2008, 11:27 AM
I have a 3000lb Yuchai mini excavator. Its Chinese, it is really a quality made machine and is a real good digger.

It is impossible to get parts for it in the USA. You can get parts from the factory, but it is hard. I have had to order parts 2 times and both times the whole process took 3 months.

IM not sure if I would do it again, but I paid 9000$ for a brand new machine. A similar Yanmar was 27k att the time.

MJM316
12-03-2008, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the info guys! I'm thinking i will probably steer away from the grey market machines. Dealer support is a must in my book! Anyone else that would like to comment about them or their experiences with the grey machines please feel free Thanks again

CarterKraft
12-03-2008, 10:58 PM
we generally do our best to help the Grey Market guys but I will tell you be prepared to pay your technician 1/3 more time for "studying" the machine.

Excavators are probally the easiest machines to decipher but they still can eat your lunch.

Good luck.

coopers
12-04-2008, 07:02 AM
The safety equipment is not there, like the 3" seat belts and fire extinguishers, narrow tracks and undercarriages which make the machines less stable.
The nice thing is you can buy a new Hitachi straight from Japan that won't be seen here for 2 years, Hitachi has been selling the Dash 5 series in Japan for a year, North American Hitachi's are currently in the Dash 3 series, and every Dash series is a refinement.

So why would we be so behind? Why not get all machines all over the world sync'd and call it good?

stuvecorp
12-04-2008, 09:17 AM
So why would we be so behind? Why not get all machines all over the world sync'd and call it good?

That is something I have wondered for awhile, wouldn't it save money to have the same thing built everywhere? Are the safety stuff that different?

bobcat_ron
12-04-2008, 10:59 AM
So why would we be so behind? Why not get all machines all over the world sync'd and call it good?

Hitachi makes damn sure they don't release a bad machine into the North American market, just so it doesn't need to be recalled.
.

grassmanvt
12-04-2008, 12:20 PM
I have had good luck with grey market and off-brand machines.

minixxxx
12-04-2008, 08:27 PM
"Hitachi makes damn sure they don't release a bad machine into the North American market, just so it doesn't need to be recalled."

i hope your kidding with that foolish comment.

bobcat_ron
12-04-2008, 10:42 PM
"Hitachi makes damn sure they don't release a bad machine into the North American market, just so it doesn't need to be recalled."

i hope your kidding with that foolish comment.


Nope, Wajax told me sometime ago, dear old Dad wanted a ZX80 and he was cheap, so they told him he might be able to get a new ZX75 (not availible in North America yet) if he bought from the factory (grey market) but wide pads weren't on the machines there.

coopers
12-05-2008, 07:04 AM
Ron,

That makes sense....not sure why the other person thinks it's a foolish comment. You're dad has zx75 now though right? He waited?

minixxxx
12-05-2008, 09:09 AM
First of all do a search on wikipedia for grey market and it will help you understand the nuts and bolts of it.
The reason i felt that is foolish is because do you really think grey market machines purpose is to r&d before the "premier" north American market???? Think about it, if you believe that to be true then you are implying that the overseas markets are flooded with dummies ready to lay down their hard earned coin for some sort of unproven design??? NOT! Remember, the asian and euro markets rival the us market in terms of units sold in many size classes. (they had them before us as well)
The gray market is a term used to describe machines speced for a particular market. For the most part this correlated to "stripped down" units but it also includes different motors, hydraulic systems, etc. Most of this is driven by cost.
Lets say the mfg has determined that the the asian market has little need for aux plumbing on 10000 lb class machines. Thats about 2k per machine saved by not adding it. ok and they have less stringent safety standards... cheaper seatbelts 30 bucks per unit... less stringent emissions = older / cheaper engine can be used 2k per unit. gear pump instead of piston pump.. $$$$ you get the idea .Throw in the fact that these people aren't online nit picking which one has the nicest ash tray and who sponsors a nascar team....hmmmmm
These differences can easily save 5k per unit... multiply by 2000 units sold.....thats 10 million dollars if you are counting.
Now by eliminating these expenses you have a machine that is geared to the target market and can be price competitive. The range of differences between american machines and gray mkt varies from mfg to mfg. Some radical, and others slight.

That being said should you buy one??? if you do your homework and know someone who can supply parts / service then great... if not you can be very frustrated. We had a machine this year (g market) that a fellow came in for parts for. The serial number didnt even appear in the mfg's entire network. fortunately it was similar to the us machine and we could get him what he needed. (it also didnt qualify for any warranty) I also had a customer burn a wiring harness on a komatsu g mkt machine and was unable to replace it... he sold it for parts...

To use your hitachi example they obviously determined that the market overseas doesnt need wide pads enough to justify production. Its not because they wanted to "try" them over there before your dad bought one and they fall off on him. Thats why i responded to your statement as foolish... Sorry if i sounded harsh but i read soooooooo many untruths on internet discussion boards and unfortunately people believe what they read.
I see a lot of machines get bashed on here that is undeserved and more likely than not attributed to operator error / lack of maintenance / wrong application.

bobcat_ron
12-05-2008, 11:50 AM
First of all do a search on wikipedia for grey market and it will help you understand the nuts and bolts of it.
The reason i felt that is foolish is because do you really think grey market machines purpose is to r&d before the "premier" north American market???? Think about it, if you believe that to be true then you are implying that the overseas markets are flooded with dummies ready to lay down their hard earned coin for some sort of unproven design??? NOT! Remember, the asian and euro markets rival the us market in terms of units sold in many size classes. (they had them before us as well)
The gray market is a term used to describe machines speced for a particular market. For the most part this correlated to "stripped down" units but it also includes different motors, hydraulic systems, etc. Most of this is driven by cost.
Lets say the mfg has determined that the the asian market has little need for aux plumbing on 10000 lb class machines. Thats about 2k per machine saved by not adding it. ok and they have less stringent safety standards... cheaper seatbelts 30 bucks per unit... less stringent emissions = older / cheaper engine can be used 2k per unit. gear pump instead of piston pump.. $$$$ you get the idea .Throw in the fact that these people aren't online nit picking which one has the nicest ash tray and who sponsors a nascar team....hmmmmm
These differences can easily save 5k per unit... multiply by 2000 units sold.....thats 10 million dollars if you are counting.
Now by eliminating these expenses you have a machine that is geared to the target market and can be price competitive. The range of differences between american machines and gray mkt varies from mfg to mfg. Some radical, and others slight.

That being said should you buy one??? if you do your homework and know someone who can supply parts / service then great... if not you can be very frustrated. We had a machine this year (g market) that a fellow came in for parts for. The serial number didnt even appear in the mfg's entire network. fortunately it was similar to the us machine and we could get him what he needed. (it also didnt qualify for any warranty) I also had a customer burn a wiring harness on a komatsu g mkt machine and was unable to replace it... he sold it for parts...

To use your hitachi example they obviously determined that the market overseas doesnt need wide pads enough to justify production. Its not because they wanted to "try" them over there before your dad bought one and they fall off on him. Thats why i responded to your statement as foolish... Sorry if i sounded harsh but i read soooooooo many untruths on internet discussion boards and unfortunately people believe what they read.
I see a lot of machines get bashed on here that is undeserved and more likely than not attributed to operator error / lack of maintenance / wrong application.

Here's some more proof, Jon (gangesex) went to Japan, to one of the many the Hitachi plants, and there were a bunch of 225's being rebuilt, now check out the date on the video, 1999, and here in North America, the 225 Deere/Hitachi didn't hit dealerships until 2003:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqVj440Gtjs

I never bash Grey Market machines, but a few of them are crap, but Hitachi and Cat's seem to be the best.

coopers
12-05-2008, 06:14 PM
Since we're talking about Hitachi, I found this cool looking hoe.

crab
12-05-2008, 06:35 PM
i think the real point is not the quality of the machine but the availability of the parts,Hitachi is better than most but go ask you're cat dealer for a parts manual ,all in Japanese .most dealers have no clue.for instance i had a gray 307 and all the lines ran British metric fittings could i get the parts yes,but they all had to be sized and custom made.if you never have problem there a great deal ,but that down time will kill you .

bobcat_ron
12-05-2008, 08:36 PM
That's Hitachi's Variable Angle boom, that is a real nice set up!

minixxxx
12-05-2008, 08:46 PM
Proof....... of what??????

again, grey market machies arent "experimental" machines.. you seem to ignore the facts, or don't understand the argument you're making?????

whatever.. put some new graphics in your signature, i guess that makes experts:dizzy:

crab
12-05-2008, 10:08 PM
midgetsex what are you so pissed about ,no one said they are bad machines?if they work for you great .

coopers
12-06-2008, 06:45 AM
Proof....... of what??????

again, grey market machies arent "experimental" machines.. you seem to ignore the facts, or don't understand the argument you're making?????

whatever.. put some new graphics in your signature, i guess that makes experts:dizzy:

lol, wow, this is a hot button for you. Like crab said, I don't recall anyone badmouthing grey market machines.

bobcat_ron
12-06-2008, 11:47 AM
I love the grey markets, cheap and they run good as long as the hour meters aren't tampered with.

Scag48
12-06-2008, 06:06 PM
A grey market machine is alright, depending on age of machine, hours, etc.. The nice thing about them is that you can score a 2,000 hour 120 out here for about $60K right now, a damn good deal if you ask me. Typically, Hitachi has little to zero issues getting gray market parts, they'd be the #1 choice for grey market hoes. Komatsu would be my second choice, only because I've heard a few interesting stories from guys who bought Cat grey's only to find out the dealer treated them like criminals when they went to get parts for them.

crab
12-07-2008, 12:40 AM
ain't that the truth sister.