The environmental and health benefits resulting from the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Tier 4 Final standards was one of the major focuses of attention at North America’s largest construction and farm equipment event—the Conexpo Con/Agg 2014 convention.

The Tier 4 Final standards became mandatory for new off-road diesel engines and equipment in the U.S. at the beginning of 2014. The goal is to reduce exhaust gases from diesel powered equipment by requiring significant emission reductions of particulate matter (PM), or soot, and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

“Clearly the big driver for Tier 4 regulations is environmental and health benefits, and we’ll see a 90 percent reduction in NOx and particulate emissions compared to Tier 3 with our Tier 4 Final engines,” said Jennifer Rumsey, the vice president of engineering for Cummins Engine Business. “But beyond that, customers are also going to realize the benefit of lower fuel usage with these engines. So they’ll see a significant reduction in their operating costs which with the cost of diesel fuel today can be very substantial.”

David Hahn, the manager of Power Train PST for Volvo Construction Equipment explained, “We’re able to burn every drop of fuel inside the engine instead of sending it out as particulate matter which translates into a five percent fuel savings across the board on the Tier 4 Final engines and translates into a five percent cost savings for end user.”

Other leading manufacturers at the show also highlighted the benefits of the new construction, industrial and farm equipment in decreasing PM and NOx as well as improving efficiency of their machines. The showcasing of new Tier 4 Final engines and equipment at the convention was done to a total of more than 125,000 visitors who saw several hundred new machines on display throughout the 2.3 million square foot exhibit area.

“The long term benefit is much lower emissions for society,” said Doug Mihelick, the technical sales manager of the Engine Division at Caterpillar. “As older equipment ages out more of these new machines are going to come into the population and society is going to benefit from the cleaner air.

“In addition our customers benefit because every one of these Tier 4 products that our customers buy have better fuel efficiency, better machine productivity. So there are multiple benefits to our customers, to the markets those customers serve and to society as more and more of these tier 4 products get out into the field.”