This excerpt was originally posted on the John Deere, Straightforward Blog December 15, 2011. You can view the original post here.

In a post last month we took a closer look at some of the most common ways fleet managers can achieve compliance with local emissions requirements. This month, we will focus on a particular avenue for emissions compliance — aftertreatment retrofits: What it is, where it makes sense to use, along with some pros and cons of this solution.

What is aftertreatment retrofit? Retrofitting your engine/equipment with aftertreatment involves installing verified diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and/or oxide of nitrogen (NOx) controldevices that will reduce particulate matter (PM) and NOx emissions needed  to comply with local or state emissions requirements. DPFs and NOx aftertreatment are the devices most commonly used to retrofit construction equipment.

Where does it make sense? Due to the varying equipment and engine combinations across all horsepower ranges and applications, it is difficult to find aftertreatment solutions that are universally applicable. Your equipment dealer is the best resource for helping you determine if retrofit is right for your machine. For example, John Deere dealers have a designated emissions specialist who can look at the application profile of the engine/machine, the overall installed cost of the retrofit device and other operation-specific considerations of the verified technology to help you identify the best solution.

Take into consideration…

Is the retrofit device verified? When retrofitting equipment, owners need to ensure the device used has been verified to meet or exceed EPA or California Air Resource Board (CARB) emission reduction requirements. Verification provides regulatory approval and confirmation that the device meets emissions targets and can be installed by a third party outside of an OEM facility. Different regulatory verification levels are designated for each aftermarket device. Fleet managers should select aftermarket devices with the highest verification levels to achieve Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART).

Is there sufficient ‘real estate’ on the machine? Some applications simply do not have the physical space to accommodate a DPF, which can be significantly larger and heavier than the muffler it often replaces. Your dealer will take into consideration the line of site and structural integrity of the machine to make sure a retrofit makes sense from an engineering and design standpoint.

How old is the machine? Retrofit typically isn’t recommended on machines with Tier 1 and older engines because the higher oil consumption of these engines may reduce the reliability and overall operating cost of the device. .

When considering retrofitting solutions, equipment owners should work with their equipment dealer and consider the cost of the aftertreatment device installed in relation to the cost of other available emission-reduction options.

Stay tuned this week for information about two online tools that will help streamline your retrofit decision.

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