On the plus side, electronics add more to the engine than better emission control. "You have a much more stable-running engine," Wilson says. "Your fuel economy goes up and your torque range stays up, which gives you stability of operation."
Other benefits include easier engine diagnostics and more opportunity for integrated machine controls.
Many manufacturers utilize both electronics and aftercoolers, depending on the size class of the machine. On its 100- to 150-hp compactors, Ingersoll-Rand added charge-air cooling and a fuel cooler, while it turned to electronics for models rated above 150 hp.
Dynapac, on the other hand, elected to stick with the aftercooler strategy. "The new requirements affected our 100-hp models and up, which consist of approximately 18 models," says Nono Bauleth, Dynapac's service manager for North American operations. He explains that the company did a "small redesign" to modify the shape of its radiator and air cooler in order to make room for the aftercooler.
Absorbing the cost
The one option equipment manufacturers didn't have was to recover the costs of the new engines and redesign through price increases. One reason is the compaction market is dominated largely by rental firms. Concerned they would have a hard time passing on potential cost increases to end users, many rental companies chose to purchase older, less-expensive models before the regulations took affect. This meant there was less demand for the Tier II-compliant machines.
"You can't avoid the future," says Sharp. "Over time, all segments have to have compliant product."
"It is a highly competitive market," says Wilson. "You can't take the price up significantly because we are coming out of an economic downturn. We had to be very intelligent and more imaginative with what we did. We had to look at ways to improve manufacturing processes and bring down costs."
"We have had to absorb the cost of the newer, more expensive engines as well as modifications for the aftercooler," Starry agrees. "We feel the market is such we can't pass the price increase along to the end user."