1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Grey Market Machines?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by MJM316, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. MJM316

    MJM316 LawnSite Member
    from Mpls,MN
    Posts: 48

    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!
  2. richallseasons

    richallseasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    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.
  3. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    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:
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    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.
  5. crab

    crab LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 633

    i had one big pain in the a$$,stay away.
  6. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,101

    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.
  7. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,985

    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.
  8. MJM316

    MJM316 LawnSite Member
    from Mpls,MN
    Posts: 48

    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
  9. CarterKraft

    CarterKraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 290

    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.
  10. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

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

Share This Page