About Our Used Equipment
Where do these machines come from?
The majority (95%) of the equipment we purchase for resale in Alaska originate in Japan. In Japan there are many farms and construction contractors that have a small dozer or excavator. The dozers are common on many construction sites. It is also common to have 3 or more excavators of various sizes on a construction site. In the past over 6,000 excavators were sold new each year in Japan. This is slowing down with the economy dragging and used equipment redirected to earthquake rehabilitation work has higher hours. The Covid-19 pandemic has altered the way machines are sold. We have to cherry pick the market and rely on trusted local associates now that travel is curtailed.
What is "gray market"?
The term "Gray Market" was coined to give a name to a machine that was manufactured for sale as a new machine in one market country and then resold in another market as a used machine. There is little difference in the model sold in Japan and that in the USA. There are literally thousands of these used machines in the USA. Some people claim that the gray market units are inferior. It would be ridiculous to think that a manufacturer like Komatsu or Hitachi would build a dozer or excavator for their home market with inferior parts. It is true that there are models that are sold in Japan that are not sold new in the USA. For example they have heavy duty "K" models for demolition, deluxe "HG" models with power windows and auto greasers, "Z" models without computer controls, some tight radius models. We know about these models and go out of our way to make sure that we purchase machines that are like products to those sold in USA and/or models for which parts are available. We also will not import any machines that do not meet strict EPA standards. All machines are thoroughly customs inspected upon arrival to the USA and we have a bond to back up our imports. We have been doing this for years and know the business.
Why do they sell low hour, late model equipment?
Due to cultural and financial/tax incentives, Japanese users that are working the machines tend to get new machines well before their current machines are used very much. Machines that are considered used in Japan have little value in the Japanese market. Used is not considered a good buy and they want to sell them out of the country. Contrary to this culture U.S. buyers many times prefer to purchase a good used machine. We warned in 2005 that this situation is unique and will not last forever. Starting in 2006, Japanese machines have become increasingly more attractive to Chinese buyers and most machines are now going to China or developing Asian countries. This is the same situation as fuel and precious metals. Some models are impossible to buy now at usual prices. If you want a good used machine, they are still available but at premium pricing.
Why are they in good condition?
The engine and drive train are operated at a constant rpm and constant load hence these tractors have been used well within their design capabilities. Typically the only signs of age are cosmetic from sun and weather. The Japanese are meticulous regarding maintenance and there are strict environmental inspections that require no leaking fluids. Machines are typically inspected yearly by the dealer under a pre-purchase arrangement.
We purchase only equipment with low usage hours requiring only minor repairs and some cosmetic help. If repainted they are like new and should provide many years of use under typical owner/operator conditions. Typically the undercarriage on bulldozers has 80% or better remaining with no pins turned. Japanese do not turn their pins and bushings so most tracks are able to be turned back to 100% when that time comes. We also sell replacement link assemblies so it is economical to replace the entire track assembly. All dozers have a rear draw bar hitch and power take off.
With the exception of very old, phased out machines, parts are readily available. We can help you find parts and can provide parts books for our machines. We stock some track and wear parts, keys, filters, etc. Email or call on any parts questions. We have national dealers who enjoy supplying parts and we can direct you to them and you can have the parts 2nd day air freighted to your door. We can also get the parts for you. BOTTOM LINE = WE CAN GET PARTS
Are there any drawbacks?
The climate in Japan is very hot and humid during the summer months and therefore it is common to have rust pitting on the frame and condensate and algae in the fuel tank. Typically the rust is surface type and the fuel problem clears up after running a few tanks of fuel thru the machine and treating the tank and changing filters. If you are having a lack of power or the engine will not get off idle there is a prescreen on the fuel line that must be cleaned. Please click here for information on cleaning this screen. The dozers in Japan are not required to comply to strict OSHA standards of the US market and therefore do not have roll over protection structures (ROPS), seat belts or backup alarms installed. Instead a durable rain protection canopy is provided. The dozers should not be used for excessive sloping terrain, commercial service or logging without installation of a ROPS or steel canopy with seatbelt. Fortunately these are readily available at a reasonable price ($2600-3200 depending on type) and can be bolted and welded on using existing mounting holes on the machines. Excavators from Japan have same options and construction as the US sold models.
CRAWLER CARRIER PARTS
We are an authorized Morooka rubber track crawler carrier parts dealer, and specialize in this niche market and have connections for hard to find parts.