My Tractor Forum banner

Gray Market Tractors. How to Tell the Differences...

1189 0
We think you all heard about “Gray Market Equipments” and what it means.


The most simple definition - the grey market machine is a trademarked product originally designed and manufactured for use in a foreign market that is imported for resale in the United States without the consent of the owner of the trademark. In this instance, used Yanmar tractors originally designed and manufactured by Yanmar Diesel Engine Co., Ltd. for intended use in Japan or other countries that are being imported into the United States and sold to U.S. consumers by third parties without Yanmar’s consent or authorization. So, actually, you are not saving money buying a gray market Yanmar machine - you spend more.

The Yanmar brand tractors designed for intended use in Japan do not meet U.S. standards and regulations in several respects. They also have other important differences from Yanmar tractors designed and manufactured for the U.S. market and distributed through authorized channels. Some of these differences can affect the safe operation of the equipment. Some of them can cost you your life. And some of them - just warnings. So let's start.

  1. Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) and a seatbelt, certified to U.S. standards, which are recommended or required for tractors in the U.S. market, are not available for gray market tractors. A tractor without ROPS and a seat belt will, under any circumstances, afford the operator less protection in a rollover accident than a tractor with certified ROPS and a fastened seat belt.
  2. Power Take-Off (PTO) master shields and guards, required on tractors for the U.S. market, is not normally installed on gray market tractors. These devices are intended to protect from injury inadvertent contact with the rotating PTO shaft.
  3. Gray market tractors generally do not have an over-running clutch on the PTO whereas tractors designed for the U.S. market generally do. When a gray market tractor without such feature is used with a large rotary implement, it is possible for the tractor to continue moving even when the brakes are applied. Such implements are common in the U.S., but not in Japan.
  4. Some gray market tractors are not equipped with a safety start switch. This feature is designed to prevent the tractor from starting in gear and potentially striking or running over an operator who misuses the tractor by starting it from the ground instead of from the operator's seat as per Yanmar's instructions.
  5. Pulling on the throttle of a gray market tractor will cause it to accelerate whereas pulling on the throttle of a tractor designed for the U.S. market will cause it to decelerate. This difference can have potential safety consequences for an unsuspecting operator.
  6. Gray market tractors have multiple PTO speeds for operating implements whereas tractors designed for the U.S. market generally have one PTO speed, namely, 540 revolutions per minute (rpm). If a gray market tractor is used with an implement designed for the U.S. market, the implement can be operated at revolution speeds in excess of its 540 rpm design speed, potentially leading to catastrophic failure of the implement and possible injury.

And one more, but very important difference. Operators manuals for gray market tractors were written in the Japanese language and are not available from Yanmar in the English language.

So, if you bought a Yanmar tractor without a seat belt and a ROPS, and your Operators Manual is written in Japanese - report this seller and never use the machine. Ask for your money back. But of course, if you weren't looking for the gray market machine from the very beginning... then stop by Team Tractor. We have real - designed for the U.S. market. Yanmar diesel tractors. Or you can click here to find a dealer near you. Either way!

Remember, your life matters! Stay alive and buy from a dealer you can trust!

If you need any further help or have any questions about the gray market, tractors, or anything else, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.

Team Tractor Ranch - #1 Tractor Dealer in Arizona. We sell and service most major brands of tractors including Yanmar, Kubota, John Deere, TYM, Mahindra, Kioti, Case, New Holland, Massey Ferguson, Ford, Deutz, Case IH, Farmall, International Harvester, Branson Tractors, LS, Shibura, Claas Tractor, McCormick Tractors, Valtra, Solis, YTO, Montana, and Nortrac.