By: Alex Shields
As most people are aware, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed the final rule introducing Tier 4 emission standards back on May 11, 2004. This government mandate was phased in over the period of 2008-2015.
The Tier 4 mandate was designed to reduce two key pollutants: particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) compounds. NOx is known to contribute to the formation of smog and ground-level ozone. All of these have been shown to have adverse health effects on the respiratory system.
Clearly, the goals of the regulation are designed to preserve and improve health, but the rules also impact businesses making, selling, servicing, and purchasing portable air compressors and a wide range of other equipment with affected diesel engines. Rental and construction companies have seen equipment prices rise dramatically and in many cases these businesses have experienced overall increases in operating and ownership costs. With sluggish movement in rental rates increasing to offset the rising costs associated with Tier 4 final engines, profit margins are compressed.
The impact the Tier 4 final engines have on these businesses and their operations are profound. In some cases, the new engines cause outright panic to adapt to what some end users find to be complex technology but these changes impact many commonly used machines. The complications are not limited to air compressors and encompass just about every diesel engine driven product/piece of equipment in the rental store’s fleet or equipment yard of construction companies including excavators and other construction equipment, farm tractors and other agricultural equipment, forklifts, and utility equipment such as generators, pumps, and compressors.
In an effort to help educate and hopefully ease some fears, Kaeser has written a white paper to provide some basic facts and information on Tier 4 final engines. Keep in mind, however, that for a specific engine, the engine manufacturer should be the source for definitive technical information about their product.