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What is Grey Market? : Quality Economical Compact Diesel Tractors

Many people are not familiar with imported tractor manufacturers such as Yanmar, Hinimoto, Mitsubishi and Iseki. These compact tractor companies have a long history.

Yanmar was founded in 1912, designed their first diesel engine in 1930 and built the world’s first small horizontal diesel engine in 1933. By 1986, Yanmar had shipped over 100,000 tractors to John Deere alone. Yanmar is now one of the world leaders in the diesel engine market. Look under the hood next time you are in one of the John Deere tractor dealerships and you are likely to find a Yanmar diesel engine. Yanmar also makes the new Cub Cadet line of compact tractors.

So what is a “gray market” tractor? Yanmar manufactured two versions of their tractors. One is for the U.S. market and the other is for Japan and other countries. They did this to meet the requirements of each country. In Japan they are used primarily in the rice fields with multi speed PTO’s and a tiller attachment. The U.S. has very few rice fields so they set up these tractors to use with many different implements and to also meet OSHA and other safety standards. Gray market tractors usually don’t come with ROPS (roll over protection system), English warning and operation decals and some tractors are lacking 3pt hitches and PTO shields. All of these can or should be added to your refurbished tractor. Gray market tractors are simply the Japanese version of the tractors that have been legally imported into the U.S. for years.

When John Deere selected Yanmar to manufacture their compact tractors, they did it for a reason, Yanmar’s quality reputation. These tractors are not lawn & garden units like you find at the home improvement stores. They are agriculture tractors that are designed and built to work for a living and with good care they will appreciate in value.
The weight, design and diesel horsepower is much different than the gasoline horsepower on your lawn mower. Compact Diesel Tractors are workhorses!

Other notes of interest:
Yanmar: Yanmar has been making excellent compact tractors under its own name for the Japanese market and years back, made tractors for the Yanmar Diesel America Corp. in the U.S and also under the John Deere name in the U.S. A Yanmar power-shift transmission is one of the best you can get. They shift with or without the clutch, stopped or in motion, with no loss of power when shifting.

Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi small Case-IH tractors. Many Mitsubishi tractor models have a more spacious operators deck and many models have 4 cylinder motors, which run smoother and quieter. Mitsubishi is another great choice.

Zen-noh: is a private brand name purchased by a co-op from Yanmar and sometimes Kubota.

Iseki: Iseki has built White, Bolens and Massey Ferguson tractors.

Satoh: Satoh uses Mitsubishi engines and has made Beaver and Bison Tractors.

Hinomoto: Hinomoto has built Allis Chalmers and Massey Ferguson compact tractors.

Farm Trac: – Made in India but is now out of business.

Montana: Made in Korea

Branson: Made in Korea

Mahindra: Made in India