Caterpillar at Tier 4: Frequently Asked Questions

Caterpillar at Tier 4:
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the difference between Tier 4 Interim/EU Stage IIIB/Japan MLIT Step 4 and Tier 4 Final/Stage IV standards?
Tier 4 Final/Stage IV standards for engines 130-560 bkW (175-750 bhp) will require an additional 80 percent reduction in NOx emissions from Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB levels.  (PM emissions will not require further reduction beyond Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB levels). 

Q. When do Tier 4 regulations take effect? 
Tier 4 Interim regulations were phased in by power rating:

  • Engines rated 37 kW-56 kW were subject to the standards in 2008.
  • Engines rated 130 kW- 560kW and > 560 kW were affected starting in 2011.
  • Engines rated 56 kW-130 kW were affected beginning in 2012.
  • Neither the EU nor Japan regulate emissions from engines rated < 19 kW or > 560 kW at this time.

Tier 4 Final regulations will be similarly phased:

  • Engines rated 37 kW-56 kW will be subject to the standards in 2013
  • Engines rated 130 kW- 560 kW will be affected starting in 2014
  • Engines rated > 560 kW will be affected starting in 2015
  • Engines rated 56 kW-130 kW will be affected in 2015
  • The EU does not regulate emissions from engines rated < 19 kW or > 560 kW at this time.
  • Japan does not have Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV equivalent regulations at this time

**NOTE: the regulation implementation dates stated above are specific to the U.S. EPA regulations.

Q. What technology is Caterpillar using to meet Tier 4 Final Emissions Regulations?
The Cat engine product line is very broad and covers many different markets and application requirements.  For each platform, Caterpillar has chosen a technology solution that meets the requirements of all customers including OEMs and Cat Machines. Depending on the platform, the solution may utilize some or all of the following technologies to meet customer and regulatory requirements:  More Powerful Engine Electronics, High Pressure Fuel Systems, Innovative Air Management Systems using simple and efficient turbochargers, the Cat NOx Reduction System (NRS), Diesel Oxidation Catalysts (DOC), Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).

Q. Why has Caterpillar chosen to use DPF/EGR/SCR technology in the 130 kW – 560 kW products for Tier 4 Final instead of an EGR/SCR only approach?
Caterpillar has selected the technology combination that best meets emission standards while maximizing customer value for all applications—from commercial engines to Cat machines. The decision to utilize DPF technology allows us to deliver the core Caterpillar customer values of Quality, Reliability and Durability while ensuring our ability to offer all required ratings and rated speeds. For Caterpillar, the Tier 4 journey has been a continuum allowing 90 percent of our Tier 4 Final engine and aftertreatment technology to remain unchanged from Tier 4 Interim.

Q. Why was the decision made not to use SCR technology at Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB but to use it at Tier 4 Final/Stage IV?
Caterpillar will employ multiple technology options for Tier 4 Final/Stage IV. SCR is one of the options that will be used.  Caterpillar has deep experience with the application of SCR in stationary power generation. Caterpillar selected our NRS/DOC/DPF technology over an SCR solution at Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB for non-road applications because SCR technology was not required to meet the NOx standard in place at the time, and our solution ensured our ability to offer all required ratings and rated speeds to our customers.

Q. SCR requires an additional fluid, DEF. What can Caterpillar customers expect as a net fluid (diesel fuel and DEF) consumption gain or loss from the Cat Tier 4 Final products?
A. Even with the addition of DEF as a required solution for our Tier 4 Final products, on average our customers will experience up to a 5 percent net reduction in fluid consumption as compared to Tier 4 Interim depending on application, load factor and operator technique. 

Q. How has Caterpillar approached meeting the “Tier 4 challenge”?
A. Caterpillar is addressing the Tier 4 challenge by developing and executing a very specific strategy with two customer focused principles.  First, deliver incremental customer value; and second, make emissions technology transparent. We do not want our customers or their operators to have to manage the emissions solutions.

Cat next generation products are “designed with the end in mind.” We assessed the Tier 4 Final/Stage IV emissions standards and selected the technologies required to meet them, building upon the ACERT technology developed at Tier 3/Stage IIIA. Our approach has been to implement the majority of our engine technology changes at Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB, and to simply add additional technology to further reduce NOx at Tier 4 Final/Stage IV with minimal impact to our engines, machines and OEM partners. By adding additional technologies and applying these common emissions technologies across multiple engine platforms, we have been able to expedite product development and enhance our product validation.

Q. How will Caterpillar add customer value at Tier 4 Final/Stage IV?
A. As a sustainability leader and the largest vertically integrated manufacturer in our business, Caterpillar brings tremendous resources and capabilities to this new product program. To provide value in the form of productivity, quality and fuel efficiency in our Tier 4/Stage IIIB/IV products, Caterpillar has leveraged our deep expertise and design control to maximize innovation and integration at the component level, at the system level and at the machine level.  We have invested in the very latest simulation and analysis tools and are executing the most extensive validation effort in our history, with product testing that measures in millions of operating hours including labs, testbeds, machines, and customer field follow.  These capabilities have enabled Caterpillar to bring Tier 4 Interim products to market with high quality and improved efficiency and productivity customers expect and deserve. Caterpillar will build upon this value at Tier 4 Final with further optimized components, deeper system integration and more focus on the operator environment.

Q. How is quality at Tier 4?
A. Tier 4 Interim machines have field proven reliability equal to or better than the previous models they replaced.  With more than 12 million hours of validation since the Tier 4 Interim product introductions and a projected 35 million total validation hours by the time Tier 4 Final standards go into effect, our customers can be confident in the quality and value of their Cat Tier 4 Final product investment.

Q. How many Cat Tier 4 Interim products are currently in customers’ hands?
We have over 25,000 Tier 4/Stage IIIB/IV products in operation in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia as of October 2012.  Australia doesn’t have regulations equivalent to Tier 4 but Australian customers are requesting and purchasing Cat Tier 4 products because of the value they generate.  Australia does have the Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel that is required for Tier 4/Stage IIIB/IV engines and aftertreatment, which enables the new products to be sold and used there.

Q. When will Caterpillar begin introducing new machines that conform with Tier 4 Final /Stage IV regulations?
Most Tier 4 Final/Stage IV machines will be introduced in 2014 and 2015.  Some of our larger products, which are available to customers now, conform to Tier 4 Final standards—notably the 777G Large Mining Truck and the D10T Track Type Tractor introduced in 2011.

Q. How are you preparing dealers to support the new Tier 4 Final technology?
Our Dealer organization, considered the best in the world, is well-prepared to help Cat customers get the highest possible return on their equipment investment. Our Tier 4 training program has been the most aggressive and comprehensive dealer readiness effort in our history. Every dealer in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia completed mandatory service training before the first Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB product hit their lot and the training continues today for parts counter staff, service technicians and rental store employees.

  • 15,000+ Dealer sales/service training completions
  • Over 500 dealer events have occurred to date
  • Hundreds printed and on-line support materials including brochures, reference cards and videos
  • Support materials in 11 languages
  • Customer events with Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB/IV products

Our dealers are now hosting numerous customer events to communicate and educate customers on Tier 4 Final regulations and technologies, machine features and performance improvements.