Who Makes Yanmar Tractors?
While a lot of people are not familiar with brands like Yanmar, Hinimoto, Mitsubishi, Shibura, and Iseki- these imported tractor manufacturers have a long and impressive history.
Yanmar, founded in 1912 , was the forerunner in the compact diesel engine market. Designing their first diesel engine in 1930 and built the worlds 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 other tractor dealerships and you will likely find a Yanmar diesel engine under the hood.
So what is a "gray market" Yanmar tractor? The gray market tractors are surrounded by confusion. Basically- Yanmar Tractors manufactured 2 version of their tractors. One for the US market and another for Japan and other countries. They did this to meet the different requirements of each country. For instance, in Japan they are used primarily in rice fields with a tiller as the main attachment. These tractors are equipped with multi speed PTO's to use with the tillers. There are very few rice fields needing tilled in the US so they set up the US tractors for use with mowers, blades, etc. The US market tractors also needed to meet OSHA and other safety and standards.
Gray market tractors are simply the Japan version of the tractors that have been legally imported into the US. Why the bad press about these? The gray market tractors will not usually come with ROPS (roll over protection structures), some PTO shields, or English warning and operation decals (none of these things were required in the 70's and 80's when they were sold new). All of these things can (and absolutely should) be added to your tractor though. Aftermarket ROPS are now available. English decals are in stock. English manuals are in stock. PTO shields are available. Once you convert your tractor with these parts there is very little difference from the US market tractor. Read Yanmar's position here- https://yanmar.com/notice/
Worried about getting parts for your Yanmar? Yanmar has been around since the 30's and they are here to stay. With tens of thousands of each model produced, the list of aftermarket suppliers grows every day. Believe it or not- most parts are actually easier to get for a 35 year old Yanmar than many 7-8 year old John Deeres! We cary a full line of parts including all of the common gears, shafts, clutch parts, bearings, seals, gaskets, brakes, seats, engine rebuild kits, etc. We also have a full line of salvaged parts in stock. There are very few parts that we do not have on the shelf but if we don't have it, we can get it. Usually the next day.
Find more information like this in our new booklet (click here).