Yanmar Gray Market Policy for Q2 2022

   / Yanmar Gray Market Policy for Q2 2022 #1  


Elite Member
Sep 17, 2013
Yanmar YM2610, retired JD 850, retired DYT-4000
The policy can be found here as of this posting.
Gray Market | YANMAR Tractor

This updated policy goes into greater details of what a Yanmar Gray Market machine is defined.

The policy is strong suited to state the SAFETY differences of US/Canada domesticated machines vs. those not intended to sell in English speaking countries.

There are a few items in their policy either not mentioned or they had chosen not to mention.
Let's review a few things from the policy.


Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) and a seatbelt, certified to U.S. standards, which are recommended or required for tractors in the U.S. market, are not available for gray market tractors. A tractor without ROPS and a seatbelt will, under many circumstances, afford the operator less protection in a rollover accident than a tractor with certified ROPS and a fastened seatbelt.

In the aftermarket for ROPS with the Gray Market Tractors, both Fredricks and Hoye worked together with the Original Equipment manufacturer of the YM-3-digit models, Custom Products to create the YM-4-digit gray market models. These comply with Federal OSHA standards for tractors. Yes, there are certified ROPS for most of the Gray Market machines. However, over the years the YM-3-digit machines for US/Canada sales in many instances have ‘lost’ their ROPS and nothing is available from Yanmar as a replacement.

Power Take-Off (PTO) master shields and guards, required on tractors for the U.S. market, are not normally installed on gray market tractors. These devices are intended to protect from injury inadvertent contact with the rotating PTO shaft.

There are several times these PTO shields have helped with safety for myself. Fredricks PTO shields are the same steel gauge and hardness as the shields of the Yanmar John Deere machines from the same era. IF your machine is missing the shield, please order one. This goes for Gray Market and the US/Canada domestic machines.

Gray market tractors generally do not have an over-running clutch on the PTO whereas tractors designed for the U.S. market generally do. When a gray market tractor without such feature is used with a large rotary implement, it is possible for the tractor to continue moving even when the brakes are applied. Such implements are common in the U.S., but not in Japan.

I would whole heartly agree with Yanmar about having an over-run clutch. Fredricks, Hoye and others sell the ‘certain’ one for fit-up and for the energy to overcome with the Gray Market machines. IF your machine is missing the over-run clutch, please order one.

Some gray market tractors are not equipped with a safety start switch. This feature is designed to prevent the tractor from starting in gear and potentially striking or running over an operator who misuses the tractor by starting it from the ground instead of from the operator’s seat as per Yanmar’s instructions.

IF your machine is missing the safety start switch, please order one. Automotive High Temp GXL wire SAE J1128 should be used to wire it in the starter circuit. Without it, the machine can be started in gear and lunge forwards or backwards. The starters are 1.2Kw or 2.0Kw in power, enough to force the tractor to move abruptly.

Pulling on the throttle of a gray market tractor will cause it to accelerate whereas pulling on the throttle of a tractor designed for the U.S. market will cause it to decelerate. This difference can have potential safety consequences for an unsuspecting operator.

If you own both a US YM-3-digit and a YM Gray Market machine, this could be more confusing to the owner/operator. Otherwise, this should not be a problem as other tractor brands are either pull or push for the throttle. We see this in lawn tractors and lawn riders even up to today.

Gray market tractors have multiple PTO speeds for operating implements whereas tractors designed for the U.S. market generally have one PTO speed, namely, 540 revolutions per minute (rpm). If a gray market tractor is used with an implement designed for the U.S. market, the implement can be operated at revolution speeds in excess of its 540 rpm design speed, potentially leading to catastrophic failure of the implement and possible injury.

This is an important statement made. With your Gray Market tractor, always use the multi-speed PTO in the normal American 540rpm selector. Many of the YM Gray Market machines have a meter tach showing only the rpms and know the 500/540rpm limit. Using a handheld digital laser tachometer, the PTO output shaft can pin-point the maximum 540rpms. You would have to mark or make and indication of it on the machine. Likewise, you can pick another multi-speed and test for the same. 540rpms can be achieved in all the multi-speed ranges. Just many of the tachs do not display this. Some of the YM machines do like the YM2500, YM2610, YM3000, etc. Be safe and know your machine ahead of time.

Operator manuals for gray market tractors were written in the Japanese language and are not available from Yanmar in the English language.

This is statement is close to being true. Some of the popular Gray Market machine manuals are dual language in Japanese and in English. Some of the Gray Market machines did become English speaking exports to Australia, New Zealand, India, etc. Updated manuals are fully written in English for those models.

The key to a Gray Market machine is knowing you own one. Owning one requires more to understand by upgrading the safety features and to have a focused awareness. Fredricks with the UTDA received approval from Yanmar for the safety upgrades. However, owner and buyer beware, not all refurbish machines follow a tight UTDA restoration process for safety. Please take the time to review your machine for each of the items mentioned. Best to be SAFE than your family being sorry.


A majority of Yanmars, if not all come with working headlamps, horn, and a rear work light. In some US & Canada jurisdictions, road use requires front working lights, rear working 4-way caution flasher lights, and an SMV sign (The orange triangle reflective sign). Certain US/Canada Yanmar YM-3-digit machines came equipped as such. As these tractors travel less than 22MPH on the roadways, it is of the upmost importance to be seen on the roads with the proper safety awareness for other vehicles to notice you.

The goal here is to be safe on any Yanmar made machine. We love the brand and have a loyalty like no other for it.

IF you have questions in regard to your Yanmar and the safety level of the machine, please ask questions in this thread. There are solutions to make your Yanmar safer.