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Tier 4 rules will change tractor engines

In the latest family debate over car buying, my 21-year-old son declared, “Mom, you buy the car for the engine.”

I thought about his words as we put together the latest story on Interim Tier 4 emission requirements. The new requirements will be imposed soon on agricultural engines over 174 hp. In spite of all the conveniences and high-tech features on tractors, the engine remains the most important component in the machine. And now they are about to undergo some big changes. 

In this latest story, we take a close look at how the more stringent Tier 4 emission requirements will affect the engine. Senior Editor Jodie Wehrspann interviewed the engine manufacturers who supply agriculture, the major tractor manufacturers, and engine industry experts. She found that there’s plenty of debate over the best solution for meeting the emission requirements. But by the time the Final Tier 4 rules go into effect in 2014, engineers may have redesigned the engines again.

What’s important now is that farmers be aware that engines on farm equipment after January 1 will be different and may require another fluid or different maintenance. They also may be more expensive. Some of the changes aren’t all that different from those made on engines in on-road vehicles like the latest pickups. The new Ford Super Duty diesel, featured in our August issue, requires a urea fluid. (

Visit Jodie’s report at

We hope you take a look so you’ll be a more informed buyer the next time you purchase an engine with a tractor around it.

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