Gray market tractors are often spoken of, or written, in slightly muted tones, as if something is going on under the table or under the counter.
They also often spoke of them in very unpatriotic terms, as if someone buying them is undermining people’s jobs and livelihoods in their own country.
It is worth clarifying what a gray market tractor is and the pros and cons of buying it. In general, a tractor that is on the market is one that has been built for another market and then imported into a third country.
For example, a tractor may be built in Japan and intended for sale in the Japanese market. This tractor can then be imported into the United States and sold under the manufacturer’s brand. This would be known as a gray market tractor.
The advantage for many people is really the price. While it’s hard to generalize about great market prices, it’s fair to say that a brand new gray market tractor might sell for about half the price of the equivalent domestic tractor. created.
Given the price of tractors and farm equipment, where costs can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, savings of that magnitude can be huge and make a huge difference to one’s ability to operate a farm or construction equipment.
While cost savings, in terms of list price, can be significant, there are other financial considerations, as well as mechanical and safety considerations to consider.
There are some legal precedents implying that gray market tractors are illegal, and their importation violates some fundamental state and federal laws in the United States.
However, many people will argue that the main argument against gray market tractors is that they often lack the safety features built into models made for a particular market, such as the United States.
Any tractor manufactured for sale in the US must meet fairly strict safety laws and regulations.
A tractor made for a foreign market and then shipped to the United States is not necessarily built to the same exacting standards that American tractors must meet.
This is especially true for safety issues, such as installing a ROPS, a safety cabin and other safety features.
There can also be credit and finance problems when coming by with the tractor. Some lenders who would normally consider a loan or lease will abandon the idea if they know it’s a gray market driver.
At the same time, if the buyer is aware, not making it public would almost certainly be a fraud on his part and could have serious financial and legal consequences.
The other implications normally relate to things such as obtaining spare parts, service and maintenance and voiding any warranty that can be purchased or related to the specific tractor.
Obviously any manufacturer’s warranty will not apply and any dealer warranty could be in serious trouble if challenged.
The other consideration to consider is tractor insurance.
Most tractors need to have some sort of liability insurance, when used on any type of land and also when used on the road. Insurance on a gray market tractor would be a very tricky area to navigate, and would most likely only come to light in the event of an insurance claim or a potential liability case.