Industry trends tell us that there’s still some confusion surrounding Tier 4 emissions regulations. As we approach Tier 4’s final phase, we want to help address some questions people still have. We’ve revisited the importance of Tier 4 and outlined some of the important questions to ask when purchasing Tier 4 equipment. This way you’ll know what to expect, and it will help you make a more informed decision because no two Tier 4 solutions are the same.
How Does Tier 4 Affect You?
The industry response to Tier 4 regulations is a mixed one. Either way you look at it, Tier 4 will reduce exhaust emissions from diesel engines on nonroad machines by 90 percent, improving air quality dramatically. You can see the progress illustrated in the chart below, which reflects the difference in NOx and particulate matter emissions from Tier 1 through Tier 4 Final.
While manufacturers are required to produce Tier 4 equipment, customers are not required to buy it. However, machines that do not meet Tier 4 regulations may keep you from winning new projects. Some regions are even declaring ‘Tier 4 only’ sites making Tier 3 machines obsolete. While this is still a minority case, there’s no denying the increasing trend.
Tier 4 Considerations
Each manufacturer has provided its own solution for upgrading to Tier 4 equipment. Not only do you have to research different manufacturers’ options, you also have to consider several other factors specific to your application.
This is where things get confusing. The key to making the right equipment purchase is in the fine print. Below are the three most important questions to consider when purchasing Tier 4 machinery.
Where should I get my Tier 4 equipment?
Each Tier 4 solution varies by qualifying factors such as manufacturer, horsepower and country. The best way to figure out your individual Tier 4 solution is to meet with a dealer sales representative. Your representative will have access to the details that will answer any questions you have.
Your local Cat® Dealer can help you determine the best Tier 4 solution for your needs. Visit www.cat.com/dealer-locator to learn more.
What are my responsibilities as an owner/operator?
Learning about any extra owning and operating costs is a good place to start. The upgrade to Tier 4 equipment is an expensive investment, so any extra costs are going to matter.
Tier 4 emissions components automatically affect machine pricing, but they don’t have to affect performance. Ask your representative for the anticipated life of the emissions components, any details on fuel efficiency impact, or productivity changes in the machine. Answers to these questions will help you develop a timeline of expected costs that you can compare to your allotted budget.
Where’s the added value?
Determine what else (besides a Tier 4 engine) is included by considering things like increased operator comfort, better productivity, reduced sound levels, programmable features, ease of routine maintenance and reduced fuel consumption. Ask your representative to list all of the improvements that come with the Tier 4 upgrade.
If an upgrade is not manageable, you could rent the equipment needed to complete a Tier 4-required project. Rental is a great way to get what you need while managing risk and controlling cost.
With 1,600 locations, Cat Rental provides the flexibility needed for each job, a large equipment inventory and a high level of skilled support—all at a cost that works for you.
We’d like to hear about your experience with Tier 4.
Have you upgraded to a Tier 4 fleet? If so, what was the most important consideration you had when purchasing new equipment?
Do you plan on upgrading your equipment to meet Tier 4 regulations? If not, what’s holding you back?
What can Caterpillar do to help make the Tier 4 transition easier?
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