Equipment Type

Diesel Emissions: Relief and Recognition

Rod Sutton is editorial director of Construction Equipment magazine. He is in charge of editorial strategy and writes a monthly column for the magazine, The Sutton Report. He has more than 30 years in construction journalism, and has been with Construction Equipment since 2001.

The emissions landscape for off-road diesels has leveled out a bit over the past few months. In fact, equipment managers may even look out over the next 12 months with some level of confidence and comfort that fleet compliance will finally be manageable.

Confidence began to wax as the California Air Resource Board’s seeming invincibility began to wane. As faulty science was exposed, contractors in the Golden State and around the country were starting to, if you’ll forgive the pun, breathe a little easier. Last week’s announcement of CARB’s proposal to revise the emissions rule, in effect knocking the original mandates back a full four years, serves as vindication for fleets. Kudos to AGC for its perseverence and for, just as important, its gracious work in building a compromise with CARB on the new rule.

It’s no small step that those fleets that played by the rules will receive credit for the investments they’ve made. Savvy owners will take this credit to the market, promoting the fact that they’ve “greened” the fleet. It’s a marketing tactic that should not be ignored.

The emission committee of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals has been working for the past year on ways for fleets to tout their environmental efforts. It has been working to create a nationally known recognition system for fleets and fleet managers who are taking proactive steps to reduce emissions.

Last month in Nashville, the committee unveiled the “AEMP Green Fleet” program.

Beginning in 2011, AEMP will offer four levels of recognition for fleets reducing emissions.

Bronze status recognizes a fleet with 50 percent Tier 2 machines or a written idle policy.

Silver status recognizes a fleet with 50 percent Tier 2 machines and a written idle policy.

Gold status recognizes a fleet with 50 percent Tier 3 machines and a written idle policy.

Platinum status recognizes a fleet with 50 percent Tier 3 machines, written idle policy, and 10 percent of the fleet with DPF, DOC or Tier 4-Interim or –Final technologies.

Next year will also bring a myriad of new machines to market with Tier 4 technology as engine technology is integrated into the iron. Conexpo-Con/Agg 2011 will showcase the first of these newly designed machines.

After a rough couple of years, 2011 promises relief on the emissions front.

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