The Independent Equipment Dealers Association (IEDA) recently conducted a member survey about the impact of Tier 4 standards on the used equipment market. Survey respondents noticed that resale prices for non-Tier 4 equipment, including rough terrain cranes, crawler cranes, wheel loaders, and excavators, have increased by as much as 20 percent. With the stringent Tier 4 requirements, demand for non-Tier 4 equipment is on the rise, and quality used equipment is getting harder and harder to find.

Just What Is Tier 4?

Back View 2010 Terex RT670 RT Crane

The 2010 Terex RT670 Rough Terrain Crane is a Tier 3 machine currently available at RTL Equipment.

Tier 4 is a federal standard mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that seeks to reduce harmful exhaust gases for diesel-powered equipment at the time of manufacturing. Regulations have been phased in gradually at different tier levels to allow technology to be developed in order to achieve the target level of emissions. The standards began in 1996 and the final tier, Tier 4, was implemented by 2015. At the time of this writing, Tier 4 equipment is compliant with the latest emission standards.

Implications of Tier 4 Construction Equipment

There are bid specifications and permits, particularly for government-related projects and most major urban areas, that require the lower diesel emissions that Tier 4 construction equipment provides, which could give certain contractors an advantage. Upfront costs are, unsurprisingly, more expensive due to the complex nature of the Tier 4-compliant engines. Truthfully, Tier 4 equipment hasn’t been around long enough to determine performance, operating costs, maintenance, and resale values, so only time will tell when more and more Tier 4 machines enter the used equipment market.

Current State of the Used Equipment Market

2014 Mantis 15010 Hydraulic Crawler For Sale from RTL Equipment

Tier 3 machines meet many of the Tier 4 requirements at a lower cost. Pictured above is a Tier 3 2014 Mantis Hydraulic Crawler crane for sale at RTL Equipment.

While we’ll know more about the implications of Tier 4 machines in the coming years, the current state of the used equipment market is strong. IEDA members predict that non-Tier 4 equipment will be even more scarce in 4–8 years as Tier 4 machines take over the market. In the meantime, though, Tier 3 equipment has similar emission standards to Tier 4, and most of the used Tier 3 machines are in excellent shape. For bids without Tier 4 emission standards and more cost-effective machinery, Tier 3 cranes, wheel loaders, and crawlers are usually the preferred choice. Check out the Tier 3 equipment RTL Equipment currently has in stock.



RTL Equipment sells and rents used cranes, excavators, forklifts, and any heavy-duty equipment you need in the Midwest. Tell us about your next project and we’ll find the machine that’s best for you.