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A Brief History of Yanmar Tractors and Engines

Yanmar is a great quality company, with an impressive history.

Founded in 1912, Yanmar was the forerunner in the compact diesel engine market.

In 1930, they designed their first diesel engine.

In 1933, they built the world's first small horizontal diesel engine.

By 1986, Yanmar shipped over 100,000 tractors to John Deere alone.

Yanmar is one of the world leaders in the diesel engine market. In fact, if you visit any tractor dealership, and look under a tractor hood, you will likely find a Yanmar diesel engine.

Gray Market

You may have heard the term "gray market" Yanmar tractor. Sometimes this term creates confusion, so we will clarify it.

Yanmar manufactured two versions of their tractors. (1.) USA market, and (2.) Japan and other countries. This was done to meet different requirements for each country.

For instance, in Japan, tractors are used mainly in rice fields with a tiller as the main implement. These tractors were equipped with multi-speed PTO's to use with the tillers.

In the USA, there were very few rice fields needing to be tilled. Their tractors were setup for use with mowers, blades, etc. The USA tractors also needed to meet OSHA and other safety and standards.

A gray market tractor is simply the Japan version that has been legally imported into the US.

Sometimes gray market tractors get bad press. Why?

It is because the gray market versions do not typically come with a ROPS (roll over protection structure), some PTO shields, or English warning and operation decals. None of these were required, years ago, when they were new.

Today, you can get an aftermarket ROPS, English decals, English manuals, and PTO shields. Once you have these items, there is little difference from the USA Yanmar tractor.