grey market tractors

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by hubb, May 14, 2002.

  1. hubb

    hubb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    Has anyone on here ever heard of "grey market tractors"?
    This guy I know has a Yanmar. The company that makes them in Japan is the same company that makes the John Deere compact tractors for the U.S. You can pick them up pretty reasonable. My freind says he really loves his. They are all used and some are in good shape and some are not. I was just wondering if anyone on here has one are know anything about them. Apparently they have quite a large following. I did a search on them and it turned up clubs for them and all kinds for sale.
  2. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    We have them here as well. We get Yanmar,Kubota,Iseki,
    Hinomoto and others. If you are going to use these machines commercially,I would leave them well alone. Grey import tractors
    are designed mainly for the Japanese market. They usually have
    no ROPS protection and they are usually set up for people of
    shorter stature. You may also find parts availability a problem.
    Kubota would have US spec amchines available and it would
    be best to look at those rather than a grey import.
  3. Planter

    Planter LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 214

    Most are good tractors, provided you don't need parts. Most filters are available at a well stocked auto supply (NAPA). Most bearings and things can be picked up the same way.

    Now, if you have engine or transmission trouble and need parts, that may be a different story.

    I priced them and found them to be a little cheaper than a comparable non-grey tractor of the same vintage. They are often of 1960-70 era in their features and design. Great tractors if they don't break down.

    Had a friend with one who had front axle/steering problems and it took a long time to get it fixed. If he had been commercial he'd have been a long time sitting on this thumbs waiting to get his machine running so he could make money with it.

    I looked at them and passed them up. Bought a non-grey Kubota and have not regretted it.

  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I bought a Mitsubishi MT-372 which is a 15HP 2cyl diesel 2WD. It has a Cat 1 3 pt and a 3 speed PTO. It uses no fuel at all. I use it as a core aeration vehicle. It is a strong tractor. It is split 3 hi-3 low trans and Posi on demand. It was cost effective for me because it is about the same size as a large garden tractor with 16" tires and I dont need 4WD capabilities.
    I bought a Classen core aerator for it.
    It does large and small areas quite well and I am not dead tired after aerating an acre.
    I may set it up to spray in the future as the 3 speed PTO is handy to have.
    I really like mine and only wish it were hydro.
  5. Gourdner

    Gourdner LawnSite Member
    from miss
    Messages: 1

    Understand all Yanmar,Kubota,Iseki..ect are NOT grey market tractors, If they don't meet U.S. specs they would be grey market. I have owned several import tractors as well as MF, Deere, Case and honestly have had better service out of the imports (sad to say but true) The best yet has been Mahindra 5005 di (International). Parts are easy to find, inexpensive, Its ugly but a true workhorse.
  6. kernopelli

    kernopelli LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I have a 25 HP Mitsubishi FWD with Front End Loader that I've put about 1300 hrs on over the last 5 yrs. I have owned several others including a Hinomoto, and Iseki as well as several other Mitsubishis. I bought and sold the others to pay for the one I have now. I can not say enough good things about mine. It has been extremely reliable, it sips fuel and has been a real work horse by anyone's standards. It's virtually identical to a Case IH 254 except mine has more trans and PTO speeds. Parts availability is something you hear a lot about when talking grey market but Mitsubishi and Yanmar parts are usually quite available. There are a number of reputable parts suppliers in the U.S. and there are also a fair number of aftermarket parts suppliers that are usually very reasonable priced. Some hard parts for a trans might be a little difficult to get but you can run into the same issues with U.S. model tractors that are similar vintage. I feel that they can be a true bargain. HOWEVER, you do need to be careful. There are a lot of "reconditioned" greys out there that are junk with new paint. If you are thinking seriously about one, I would only deal with an established reputable dealer, stick with a tractor that has a close U.S. spec model and do some research. I have several friends with similar size blue, green and orange tractors that have about $10,000 more in their tractors than I do mine and don't get any more work done than I do.
  7. godflesh

    godflesh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Be sure to double check your research and rethink the idea before diving into a grey market machine. Big names may cost more, but peace of mind comes at a premium. I've worn the tires off of a big name machine and recently tried the rebuilt grey market machine idea. One more major mechanical failure and I'll be out of business. The big names are big names for a reason. John Deere, New Holland, Kubota, Case, Bobcat, Caterpillar, it's not overpriced fancy paint. It's a reputation for dependability and reliability.
  8. Bushman

    Bushman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Yanmar has been the manufactor for John Deere for almost 30 yrs. They are china's industial giant. under the John Deere's agreement yanmar can not sell new tractors in the US. Some of China's farmers are given a new yanmar tractor each year. the then used tractors are reconditioned and sent to the US.

  9. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Yanmar is not a Chinese company. It is as Japanese as Kubota or Honda. Grey market Yanmars were imported used from Japan. Some are sent to Vietnam and "reconditioned" and sold as new. Typically these are junk.

    BTW, you guys are aware that this thread is SIX years old, right? :dizzy:

    JDSKIDSTEER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    Yanmar is Japan. Yanmar builds 790 and 990 to Deere specs. They have built many different models in the past. They supply some parts for the other compact utility tractors that are actualy built in Augusta Georgia. They supply engines in Deere and Hitachi compact excavators. One of the best small engines on the market.

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