The road to Tier 4 Final engines has been several years in the making. As most crane owners probably already know, as of 2015 the US EPA is requiring all newly manufactured cranes (anything with an engine kW 174 hp > 561 hp (130 >560 for mobile off-highway applications) to feature the Tier 4 Final.
Urea is one new addition to these very low emissions engines. As Farm Industry News describes, “Diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF, is a solution of urea and water that breaks down harmful engine emissions when sprayed into the exhaust stream of diesel vehicles. It is available in different container sizes and marketed under different brand names.”
While we can all appreciate reducing our impact on the environment, operating a Tier 4 Final does require extra care. Read TAC’s list of the top four things you need to know about managing DEF and more.
Your New Tier 4 Final Engine
1. Urea Levels and Engine Health
It’s very important to keep your DEF tank filled. When a Tier 4 Final engine runs without these fluids, it runs at a 90% reduction in power capacity (reduction in speed and capacity). With repeated events, the engine will eventually shut down altogether and need to be reset by a factory trained technician.
Keep an eye of the dashboard of your crane. A series of alerts will flash as DEF levels dip below 10%
2. DEF and Cold Temperatures
At 12 degrees fahrenheit, DEF freezes. Depending on the manufacturer, a Tier Four Final engine with frozen urea may not start. Or, similar to point one, it will run on reduced power and eventually shut down.
If you are already in possession of a crane with a Tier Four Final engine, Webasto heaters are one good aftermarket option that can help with the cold weather problem.
3. Exporting Cranes with Tier 4 Final engines
Exporting a crane with a Tier 4 Final engine is only possible for countries that sell ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD). Prior to exporting you will want to check with the local sources on fuel types and availability in that country. If you are exporting to a country with no or limited availability of low sulfur fuels, the crane OEM should have a low sulfur conversion kit available. Cummins and Mercedes expect kits to be available mid-2015.
It is very important to know that this conversion must occur outside the US. Engine serial number and plates also must be changed. Be aware that once a Tier 4 Final engine has been converted, it cannot be re-converted for re-importation and use in the United States.
4. Importing Cranes with less than Tier 4 Final engine
Every so often, US companies export their cranes for international jobs with the intention of bringing them back. Even with changes in engine regulations, a crane with a Tier 3 or Tier 4i engine (as an example) can be re-exported provided it was originally purchased in the US.
It Pays to be Informed About Tier 4 Final
Check out this article from Cummins explains how engines have changed: “Less Complex. More Reliable. Cummins Tier 4 Final.”