who buy new tractors don't have to pay
on their tractors until the fifth or sixth year after they acquire
them. After that, the taxes get progressively higher each
year until it becomes more economical to trade the tractors than to
keep them. Many of these tractors are used only for tillage
in rice paddies and the seasonal nature of this work means that
15-20-year-old tractors often have very low hours of operation. There
is an abundance of good, used tractors available in Japan at very
tractors are loaded into shipping
to sixteen at a time, depending on size--and shipped to Vietnam or the
United States for reconditioning. Reconditioning may include the
engine, transmission, clutch, steering, brakes, hydraulic system and
electrical system, along with new tires, a new seat, new paint, and
replacement of filter and fluids.
include Yanmar, Mitsubishi, Iseki,
Kubota, Shibaura, Shabiro, Hinomoto, Suzuki, Jen-Noh, Satoh, and Ford
(Great Britain). EPA rules only permit the import of noncompliant
emissions-standards tractors built prior to 1996; therefore, with each
passing year, available tractors are that much older, and this will
eventually spell the end of gray-market tractors. Also, increasing
numbers of new Chinese-built tractors are being imported and sold at
prices competitive with grey-market tractors. Grey-market tractors are
often available at one-third the price of similar-sized new tractors
such as John Deere, Kubota, and New Holland.
disadvantage of grey-market tractors is that
lack safety features required of new tractors sold in the United
States, such as Rollover-Protective-Structures (ROPS), seatbelts,
power-take-off (PTO) shields and guards, over-running clutches, and
safety switches to prevent the tractors being started in gear.
disadvantages. Pulling on the throttle
grey-market tractor will cause it to accelerate, which is the reverse
of tractors sold in the U.S. Grey-market tractors have multiple PTO
speeds for operating equipment, whereas tractors designed for the U.S.
market usually have only one speed--540 RPM--or possibly two--540 RPM
and 1,000 RPM. Operators manuals, service manuals, and parts manuals
may be written in a foreign language--usually Japanese--and aren't
available in English. Also, labels and decals on the tractors
are usually in a foregin language.
a result of these
safety issues and in order to
company trademarks and reputations, United States dealers do not sell
or service grey-market tractors and will not knowingly supply parts.
Also, the companies which built the tractors will not provide
warranties; although, the importing firms may.
may be difficult to acquire; although,
for most grey-market tractors are now available from sources across the
United States and are readily located through importers, dealers, or
tractors generally have low-maintenance diesel engines which are
durable, simple, and fuel-efficient. Japanese tractor
manufacturers have the reputation of making the best compact tractors
in the world. Many of these companies build compact tractors for
well-known U.S. companies. Yanmar manufactures tractors for John Deere,
Mitsubishi makes Cub Cadet and small Case-IH tractors, Iseki builds
tractors for Massey-Ferguson, Shibaura produces tractors for Ford/New
Holland, and Ninomoto made tractors for Massey-Ferguson and Allis
Chalmers/Dutz Allis. A properly-maintained Japanese diesel tractor can
have a realistic service life of 10,000 hours. Considering that many of
the purchasers of these small tractors in the United States use them
approximately 50-100 hours per year on small acreages, it is likely
that most of the tractors will outlast their owners.