FAQ: What Are the New Tier 4 Regulations and How Do They Affect You?

Posted on: May 11, 2016 - 10:00 AM | General
Author: Darrin Martin

What is Tier 4?
Tier 4 is a government mandated reduction in harmful exhaust gases for diesel powered equipment. Tier 4 standards will require that the black smoke/soot (particulate matter) from diesel engine exhaust is reduced significantly—by about 90%—along with Nitrogen Oxide (NOx).1 NOx is the nasty stuff also known as “smog” that helps form acid rain, hampers the growth of plants, and can cause severe respiratory and other health problems in humans.2

Tier 4 standards apply to newly manufactured engines, not to currently owned equipment. However, in the future, the ability to bid for certain projects may be affected by the Tier/emission level of your machines.

Cat Tier4 Engine
Image courtesy of www.miltoncat.com

How will Tier 4 machines help reduce these emissions?

The new engines will be required to use Ultra Low Sulfur Fuel (ULSF) and CJ-4 Low Ash oil1 ( which, incidentally, will also run in all prior Tier machines) to reduce emissions.

Additionally, some engines will include use of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and/or selective catalytic reduction (SCR),3 each of which will respectively reduce the formation and emission of NOx.

Tier 4 timeline Image courtesy of www.empirecat.com

What is the timeline for switching to Tier 4?

The Tier 4 standards are in the process of being phased in, The process started in 2008 and is scheduled to reach completion in 2015. The phase-in schedule is set by increasing engine size (as shown above).

How will it affect the sale of used machines?

While it is not known exactly how the value of used prior Tier machines will be affected, it can be expected that some larger, public sector projects may require the use of machines that meet Tier 4 regulation. It will not be possible to retrofit Tier 3 machines to meet Tier 4 standards, so that will have to be taken into account for certain projects.

However, in most states, older machines are not yet required to be updated/replaced for public projects and probably will not be for several more years, so prior Tier machines are still viable options for resale for the foreseeable future for these and many other project types.

Does California have different emissions standards?

No, California has adopted the same emissions standards as the EPA. They are, however, pursuing separate state law requirements for the modernizing and upgrading of4 off-road machines and equipment.  

Will additional training/certification be required?

Tier 4 machines operate just like their predecessors, so operators should not need additional training to run them.1 However, there will be a couple of new and important switches and dash lights along with new fuel/oil required for machine operations, so operators will need to be aware of those changes.
Tier 4 John Deere engine

Image courtesy of www.deere.com

How will Tier 4 Regulation help us?

The EPA states that by 2030, 12,000 premature deaths, 8900 hospitalizations, and one million workdays lost would be prevented annually5 due to the implementation of the proposed standards, when the entire inventory of older engines are replaced with Tier 4 engines. Annual emission of NOX is estimated to be reduced by 738,000 tons and PM reduced by 129,000 tons.

Also, while the EPA estimate for average fuel cost increase would be 7 cents per gallon for 15 ppm S fuel, this figure could be reduced to 4 cents by anticipated savings in maintenance costs due to low sulfur diesel.6

To learn more about this subject or other matters regarding wood waste, tub and horizontal grinding equipment and parts, please contact the wear parts specialists at Grinder Wear Parts, www.GrinderWearParts.com or call 800-827-0401.



1. http://www.empire-cat.com/cm/uploadedFiles/Empire_Cat/Power_Systems/Emissions_Solutions/Empire_Tier4Mlr.pdf

2 .http://www.belleville.k12.wi.us/bhs/health/environment/nitrogen_oxide.htm

3. http://www.ararental.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=eJc6JscWKME%3D&tabid=827

4. http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/ordiesel/faq/overview_fact_sheet_dec_2010-final.pdf

5. http://www.miltoncat.com/News/Documents/Articles/For%20the%20Trenches%20-%20Tier%204.pdf

6. http://www.dieselnet.com/standards/us/nonroad.php


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