U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final Industry Update

by Visitor RoyBrookhart ‎07-16-2015 04:04 PM - edited ‎07-27-2015 05:14 PM


Tier 4 Interim has been a prominent industry topic since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) phased in the first round of emissions standards for new non-road diesel engines. We’ve now moved into Tier 4 Final, the last stage, which requires machines to be equipped with engines that meet more stringent exhaust emission standards. All non-road machines manufactured in 2015 and beyond must have engines that meet Tier 4 Final emissions standards.


The biggest emissions-focused difference is the reduction of oxides of nitrogen (NOx). To break the nitrous oxides into harmless components, a chemical reaction must take place in the exhaust. On most new machines with power ratings in excess of 75 horsepower, the key is the addition of a new ingredient, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). While Tier 4 Interim made a huge reduction in particulate matter, Tier 4 Final takes an extra step to further reduce NOx. 


Tier 4 Final: What Do You Need To Know?

  • Tier 4 Final standards only apply to new engines and new machines. If you have a Tier 3 or Tier 4 Interim machine, you can keep operating it as you have been.
  • While operating an older machine is legal, equipment owners with older machines may be excluded from opportunities to bid on work. Some local and state governments, along with private companies, mandate Tier 4 equipment on their jobs.
  • Tier 4 Final machines have a higher initial cost, but well-planned purchase decisions can negate that expense with savings from reduced maintenance, lower fuel consumption and higher productivity.
  • Not all Tier 4 Final equipment is equal. We recommend that you compare manufacturers’ offerings since the same solutions were not used across the board to meet standards.

Meeting Regulations, Improving Performance
Adding a new Tier 4 Final machine to your fleet may involve a learning curve. Solutions vary according to a number of factors including model year, engine size and power, application, location, manufacturer, machine family and other variables.

The best new machines go beyond meeting Tier 4 Final emission standards. Improved serviceability, reduced fuel consumption, performance-enhancing features and additional model offerings are some of the added advantages to seek out when purchasing a new small wheel loader or other machine.

  • Reduced fuel consumption significantly lowers owning and operating costs. Talk to your dealer about fuel guarantee programs that pay you if your machine exceeds stated fuel consumption levels.
  • Some models incorporate DEF, especially those over 75 horsepower. Reduced diesel fuel consumption, combined with the amount of DEF consumed, will result in a net reduction in the amount of fluids burned for some owners. This can result in an associated cost savings.
  • Tier 4 Final equipment has such dramatically lower emissions that it may be possible to operate a basic machine in places where exhaust scrubbers were required before. Check your local regulations to see if this is possible in your area.
  • Fewer maintenance points increase efficiency. For example, hydraulic valve lifters in place of mechanical lifters eliminate routine valve adjustments. Some machines have eliminated the need for routine DPF maintenance all together.

For more information on new Tier 4 Final equipment, including the newest and most advanced machines available for purchase or rent, contact your local Cat® dealer or visit us online. We’d like to hear about your experience with Tier 4 emissions standards.


  • If you have operated a Tier 4 Final machine, what is the biggest difference in performance?
  • How have you been impacted by reduced fuel consumption?
  • How has your maintenance routine changed to address the introduction of new emissions components?
  • Have you come across a job that required bids to include the use of Tier 4 machines?
  • Have local regulations affected your purchasing decisions?

by Misti Burney
on ‎08-12-2015 04:13 PM

Very interesting. Great information to pass along. Thank you.

by Visitor RoyBrookhart
on ‎08-14-2015 11:36 AM

Thanks for your comments.  What information in this posting can have the most impact on you and your operations?

About the Author
  • I’m an Attachments Product Application & Sales Support Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have been with Caterpillar for five years including roles in the field as a dealer sales support representative and marketing support in the skid steer and small wheel loader product groups. I graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Agricultural Business and Economics. Our goal is to provide a full portfolio of attachments for our customers to be more productive and versatile with their machines.
  • I am a Pre-Field Agriculture/Product Application Representative for Caterpillar. I recently graduated from North Carolina State University with a dual degree in Agriculture Business Management and Agriculture Science, concentrating in Leadership and Environmental Technologies. I focus primarily on the relationships between customers, dealers, and the product specialists for the Building Construction Products division. Growing up on a beef cattle farm, I have several years of machine operation experience and agricultural knowledge. Thomas Jefferson said it best in that, "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
  • I’m a Compact Wheel Loader Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have 11 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant.  I graduated from North Carolina State University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, and wanted a job where I didn't have to sit in front of a computer all day.  This job allows me to get out and get my hands dirty, with the goal of providing solutions to customers’ machine needs.
  • I am a Marketing Communications Specialist for Caterpillar with over twelve years of experience marketing the Cat brand to customers in Latin and North America. My goal is to arm customers with the information needed to make well informed purchase decisions; to maximize the value of Cat machines by using an array of Cat Work Tool attachments; and to minimize the total cost of ownership by using Cat parts and Cat Dealer service.
  • I am an expert Operator and Application Specialist for Caterpillar concentrating on products used in the construction trades industry. I operate, evaluate and train on Cat machines and Work Tool Attachments worldwide. I have a Degree in Agricultural Engineering, Craftsman Certified and was named Apprentice of the Year 1981 at the University of East Anglia, UK.
  • I am the National Association Manager for Caterpillar and have responsibility for customer associations and partnerships in multiple industries for Caterpillar. I have 12 years of experience at Caterpillar, and have spent most of those years in the field with dealers and customers around North America. I have always had a passion for equipment and find myself fortunate to be able to work with dealers and customers almost every day.
  • I am a Product Application Specialist with 16 years of experience in the industry. As a Building Construction Products Global Trainer, I focus on training dealers and customers on machines, attachments and applications as it relates to the construction, agriculture and landscaping segments.
  • I have been with Caterpillar for more than eight years, working in various roles including a materials engineer, a filters product manager and my current position as a parts consultant. My job allows me the opportunity to work with Cat dealers and customers providing insight on how the use of quality filters and fluids results in better equipment performance and lower owning and operating costs.
  • I am a marketing and sales support professional for Caterpillar. In this role, I work with our marketing and customer service teams to support or dealers and customers, concentrating on our Small Wheel Loader, Skid Steer Loader, Mini Excavator and Dozer product groups. The exchange of ideas, information and opinions about equipment and how it’s used in various industries on forums such as this blog helps me fulfill my role at Caterpillar to the best of my ability.
  • I am the commercial/market consulting expert for all Caterpillar tires and rims with 14 years of experience. I provide guidance in the harsher work environments of mining and industrial/waste applications. Our goal is to turn our dealers and customers into knowledgeable and trusted resources with respect to tires and rims. Our group offers training, technical support and resources to develop a level of expertise within the Caterpillar value stream that is ordinarily reserved for tire companies and local tire service providers. Ultimately, we want to provide our customers with a total Cat solution from the ground up.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager for Cat Financial and have responsibility for ensuring that the right financial products are available to Cat customers who purchase, lease or rent to own. 8 of my 10 years with Caterpillar Financial have allowed customer and/or dealer interaction as part of my daily responsibilities including over 3.5 years as a Territory Manager. I take personal satisfaction in finding financial solutions that work for our customers and CAT dealers.
  • I’m a Telehandler Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North and South America. I have 13 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer service operations and technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant. My telehandler passion and focus is working with dealers and customers to maximize the versatility of the product through machine and operator training.
  • I am a Product and Application Specialist with over 35 years experience at Caterpillar. I focus on helping you to determine the best Cat machines, work tool attachments, and services for you to use in the building and general construction, landscaping, specialty trades, and agricultural industries.
  • I am a Senior Regional Insurance Marketing Manager with 16 years’ experience at Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services. I have the opportunity to work with 18 North American dealers providing risk management products and services that helps the Caterpillar Enterprise ( Caterpillar, Dealers and Customers) manage their business risk. Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services offers Extended Protection Plans for machines and engines, Physical Damage Insurance, Inventory Protection Plans, Dealer Property and Casualty, Risk Management, Marine Transit Insurance and Dealer Bonds.
  • Jeff Brown is a marketing professional for Caterpillar Skid Steer, Multi Terrain and Compact Track Loaders. Over Jeff's 12 years in the industry, he has visited with and studied the needs of customers across landscaping, construction, and agriculture segments. Delivering innovative solutions that solve customer's problems is Jeff's main focus.
  • I am a North American Product and Application Specialist for Caterpillar. In this role, I have had the opportunity to represent Caterpillar at various trade shows and train customers on new Small Wheel Loader content. I graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and have spent the past 15 years with Caterpillar in various engineering roles. Growing up in the Mid-West, I have always loved the cold and the unique activities winter enables. Unfortunately, I had to give those up when I moved to North Carolina. I don't care what people say, you never get used to a hot climate.
  • I am a Filter and Fluid Marketing Consultant with over 14 years experience working at Caterpillar. My focus is to ensure customers understand the importance of using superior filtration and lubrication products in their equipment.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager with over nine years of experience in a variety of roles with Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to gain experience in matching financial products and tailoring funding strategies to the specific needs of customers. This includes more than three years as a Territory Manager in Seattle partnered with N C Machinery, an authorized Cat dealer covering the states of Washington and Alaska.

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