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Grey Market

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smjaala
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4 Vancouver Island
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2009-03-17          161150


I'm sure this has been asked many times, but here go's again. I'm looking at buying a used Kabota tractor and I'm concerned about these "grey market (GM)" tractors. So here are my questions:

1. Should I be concerned about GM tractors, if so why?

2. Are there other brands that are GM?

3. There are very few used tractors in my area, what is the best way to buy (find) a used tractor?

4. If I buy a tractor in the states, what is required at the border?

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7199 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-03-17          161154


IMHO, here's a few thoughts.

1. A Kubota is built to the same level of quality regardless of where its intended market is. You may not find parts readily available though. A GM unit will likely not have the safety features required/expected on tractors designed for our market.

2. Lots. Many Japanese tractor brands were brought to North America under various other brand names. Until very recently all compact utility tractors (CUT's) sold under names like John Deere, Ford, Case and so on were rebranded Asian units. The Asian versions of those tractors, Yanmars and Iseki's primarily were brought in as GM units.

3. Search. Lots' of leg work. Manufacturers like Kubota have a section that lists the used inventory of their dealers nation-wide. Any reputable dealer will happily quote you freight to your door.

4. The bill of sale and any other paperwork is usually all that is required. I can tell you from experience though, you will likely spend more time and money buying from the US than you will north of the border. Prices are lower in the US, but you will find a wide variance in the condition of machines all selling for the same price. A few thousand in saving will be eaten up quickly in travel costs and time driving around looking. Besides, anything you bring in will cost you GST at the border, regardless if you bought from a dealer or privately, Canadian private sales wont.

Best of luck. ....

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smjaala
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4 Vancouver Island
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2009-03-17          161157


Thanks,

I never considered the GST part for buying privatly.

Some conversations re: GM I have heard is that potentially their PTO's turn in the opposite direction. I'm not a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination so is there some truth to this, and if so what does this mean?

smjaala ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7199 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2009-03-17          161165


Quote:
Originally Posted by smjaala | view 161157
Some conversations re: GM I have heard is that potentially their PTO's turn in the opposite direction.


Ooops, sorry, forgot that part.

Yes some do have that problem. The 'standard' PTO in North America is not necessarily a world-wide thing. Some of the Asian machines have a PTO that turns the 'wrong' way (from our point of view) compared to ours.

This means the only PTO-driven equipment you could use would be also Asian imported stuff designed for that direction of rotation. In theory you could reverse some of our stuff, but not much, rototillers, maybe flail mowers, but not rotary mowers or generators and stuff.

Best of luck. ....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-03-17          161173


When a tractor is designed for sale in Japan, gets used there and bought by a jobber for sale in North America, it's a GM. There are many such Yanmars, and other brands, including, I understand, the occasional Kubota.

In exchange for a lower price, you have a reversed control (hand throttle), Japanese labels, no US-required safety equipment like roll bar, seat belt, PTO shaft guard (but they are often added anyway), and not only the NA 540-speed PTO but also the faster speeds used in Japan (no problem). No factory support. Nor manuals in English, but some in-house ones are now being offered. I wouldn't worry about a reverse-turning PTO shaft. In short, pros and cons. I'd estimate that with the brand I know, the Yanmar, half are GMs, and the owners are doing just fine.

Ask Canada Customs about duty and taxes on used tractors. To escape the PST in some provinces you have to prove you're a bona fide farmer as defined in that jurisdiction. There's more of everything in the States, and US prices may have fallen a bit more than ours. But your dollar is worth under 80 cents there, and you'll have to have it transported.

Other than towing, a tractor serves no purpose except carrying the various attachments that do the work. Depending on what you want to do, you can pay more for them than for the tractor. So decide what you'll be doing, then try to get a package: used tractor with the used implements you want.

Where to buy? You won't pick up parts at the hardware store, nor drive it to your car mechanic for diagnoses and repairs. So unless you're experienced, you want to get it from a nearby dealer who'll look after you.

Your questions about GM have been answered here and above, but please also consider the other factors. ....

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