October 06, 2015

Meeting Local Emissions Regulations: Four Options for Getting Your Fleet Up to Speed

Glen Chrusciel, product marketing manager, John Deere Power Systems

How can you make sure your fleet continues to meet local emissions requirements as they continue to develop in the coming years? There is no "one size fits all" solution, as with equipment fleets and the work they do, regulations vary.

The following options are available for managing the emissions level of your equipment fleet:


Retrofitting existing equipment with verified aftertreatment devices, such as a diesel particulate filter (DPF) provides a cost-effective solution, but it can be a complex process and typically is not sufficient in bringing Tier 0 or Tier 1 machines into compliance. Due to the significant proliferation of equipment and engine combinations across all horsepower ranges and applications, it is difficult to find universally applicable aftertreatment solutions.

When considering retrofitting solutions, equipment owners should consider the price of the after-treatment device, including its installation cost in relation to the price of other options available to achieve emissions compliance.


There are many factors to consider when repowering off-highway equipment with a new or remanufactured engine to reduce emissions, but the most important consideration is the residual value of the equipment. In general, higher horsepower machines are better candidates for repowering because of the high cost of fully replacing them.

John Deere has found that customers are more willing to bear repower costs when the engine already has to be replaced because of catastrophic failure. If an equipment owner intends to keep the machine for a long time, a repower makes the most economical sense.

Unavailability of an engine that matches your application may be a limitation to repowering. A smaller engine compartment space in older machines sometimes prevents installation of a higher tier engine, so not all machines have repower options.

Purchase New

Although purchasing new equipment with the latest certified engine usually carries the highest immediate capital expenditure, this option generally ensures that the equipment will meet local emissions requirements and is sometimes the best long-term financial decision for the equipment owner.

When sourcing machines certified to the latest United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standard, it is important to note that all machines in a manufacturer's line may not meet this standard. For example, one manufacturer's four-yard loader may be certified to Interim Tier 4 standards while another manufacturer's seven-yard model is certified to Tier 3 standards. The use of EPA transition allowances or different emission standard effective dates based on an engine's power category are two possible reasons that could explain this difference. Understanding exactly what local requirements require now and may require in the future is critical to making the right choice.


Some contractors might explore the possibility of renting equipment or increasing their current rental activity to avoid shouldering the cost of upgrading or replacing their equipment.

Rental can be a particularly attractive option for completing a job in a location subject to local emissions requirements, such as bid specifications requiring lower emissions from non-road diesels used on the site.

With drastically varying programs in each non-attainment area, equipment dealers should be up to speed on local emission requirements so they can help determine the best option, or combination of options, for a particular fleet. John Deere dealers have a dedicated emissions expert devoted to helping customers comply with local emissions requirements while striking the right balance between cost, emissions reduction strategy and overall machine productivity.