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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today my wife and I made a road trip from our home to place about a 100miles away (saw some old friends) and also stopped at a place that has a internet site on grey market compact Japanese tractors. Yanmar, Mishibishi, and several other brands. I got to look over several but become leery when I asked the the owner for his business license number and he did not have it and he would have to e-mail me it. I beat a fast exit from this guy because of pervious experience with a operation that did not have a business license.
He seemed to be a small operation and he had no repair shop at all. That is a bit worrisome to me.
What do you guys think of these little grey market tractors?
I think they are interesting but I want to make sure everything is on the up and up and legal before I put my money down anything like it. I think that what I saw today may lead me in another direction and find a decent used U.S. made mahine that I can get parts for. I don't want anything fancy just something with a little more power then the old Murray and has a front end loader, a moldboard plow and maybe a bush hog. Age doesn't matter just being mechanically sound is all I want.
 

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These grey market tractor are not all bad. They were just built for overseas markets. That having been said; I would caution you to be VERY wary and check these tractors over VERY carefully. In many cases these tractors were used by Japanese & SE Asian farmers for their useful life time and then sold to importers to the States. They typically get a very minimal going over and a sloppy paint job to make them have curb appeal. I personally would not buy them as obtaining parts is not always easy or in some cases possible. Many use available crossover parts and filters but then you may have trouble finding a shop or mechanic to work on it.

In my opinion if you want a very basic and VERY reliable shift compact tractor that is almost a subcompact; take a look at the John Deere 790 in 4WD. It is exclusively all made by Yanmar in Japan. 27 hp is plenty for what you are wanting to do. The tractor takes a 410 FEL and can run a multitude of implements. I have recommended this tractor to more than a few folks who purchased them and not one has had a negative thing to say about them. When equipped with turf tires, the 790 has a pretty low and small profile.

The 790 4WD equipped with dual mid SCV's, and mid pto lists for $12,229. Without 4WD just under $10,000. Expect to pay around $3,000 for a FEL. Best you can hope to get as far as a discount on pricing is 25% but 15%- 20% is more likely. It is best to negotiate all of the extra goodies like front and rear facing work lights, block heater, wheel weights, power beyond kit, and I-Match up front into the fincanced price. This gives you a bit more bargaining leaverage and the salesman typically will give you a 20% - 25% discount on this stuff as well.

If you are want hydrostatic drive, the price is a good but more and you will have to go to other models such as the 2210 or the 4110. The Kubota BX series is also another VERY good alternative.
 

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To further what Chief is saying, but slanting it from a "buy used" perspective, there are a lot of great used deals out in the market place. The one "grey market" tractor that seems to have made great inroads in the US is the Yanmar. They have quite a following. If you look around you could find just as good of deals on used Deeres, Kubotas and Ford/New Hollands. I purchased a 27 HP FNH with a loader and low hours for $10500 a year ago. the deals are out there, you just gotta keep looking for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree and did a lot of checking today and the fact is I really do not think that a grey market tractor is what I want. The entire thing with it is the fact the guy has not responded with my request for his business license number. I was took by a contractor who had no license and the state went after him for fraud. We would never have received any reinbursment until I had a lein placed on his equipment and had it to have it taken from him. We got the full amount of money within 24 hours after the action was taken but we did not release the equipment until his check cleared the bank plus 72 hours. That is the reason I will continue to hunt for a good used unit from a reliable source.
 

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If you are wanting used; consider the John Deere 750, 755, 850, 855, 950, & 955. The Kubota BX 2200 is a sweet little tractor as well. Another older but very reliable Kubota is the G series G5200 & G6200. Very nice GT's that came with 3 cyl. Kubota diesel engines. A friend has one and loves it.
 

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Depending on size constraints, a MF35, or IH 424,444 are a very good reliable tractor with good parts availlability, and implements are easily availlable, such as plows, loaders, and just about any thing you could imagine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The biggest size problem I have is with my garage. The door opening is only 10 foot high and and single car wide. I have always had the habit of storing my equipment inside a cover area. Lately folks out here have been ripping off equipment. My old Case was ripped off last year (July) when I left it parked next to my garage when I had a family emergency. We never recovered it and because of the age (1955) the insurance only gave me $900.00 last week for a settlement. I only paid $123,000 for the thing. Was left on the property by the pervious owner when we bought the place. I spent $250.00 in parts and had to rebuild the PTO on it. Thank god I have a great JD dealer who was able to get all the parts for me that I needed. The old Case just barely fit in the garage and it was a hassle to put it away but I got it in. What bugs me is the tractor really looked ratty but ran really good.
 

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What are your specific applications for the tractor? Answer those and that should help you determine what you need. Maybe you don't need something that won't fit in the door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The specific applications for the tractor are, small bush hog for the pasture 2 and half acre, a back blade to keep the driveway in shape, a box blade so I smooth out some of the high and low spots and the ruts that the moles have done, a small loader would be nice but not really needed. I do want something a bit bigger than a garden tractor but smaller and more nimble than a standard sized tractor. This tractor will not have to deal with any really heavy lifting, just something that get into the tighter spots on the property then the old Case.
 

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I would say that the above used tractor model suggestions would make a good start. Best to go look at some them and get an idea as to what they look like, ergonomics, and size. Demo them and see how they meet with your expectations. The Kubota's are probably the smallest of the sub CUT group that can accomodate a FEL and other things you mentioned.
 

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Michael, the MF35 and IH models I mentioned are about the size of an 8N ford, but a LOT more tractor (IMHO). My personal preference would be an IH, but I'm prejudiced.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I finally got to look over all the new sections on the new cut hut and after looking at it. I was thinking that maybe having a section for the gray market tractors might be a good idea, something on the lines of what tractorbynet.com has might be a good idea. and could be interesting reading of the advantages and the pitfalls of owning a gray. I have the Kubota L185 and am happy with the tractor which is produced for the U.S. market. I did a lot reserach in buying my L185 and found a lot of somewhat interesting agruments both ways. :confused:
 
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