New Tier 4 update presents marketing opportunities

Tier 3, Interim Tier 4, Tier 4 Flex… the process of bringing off-road engines up to Tier 4 standards is a story that seems to go on and on like Scheherazade’s 1,001 nights. Except it’s been going on for a lot longer. So it’s normal when “Tier 4 fatigue” sets in. When you upgrade your engines you write a press release, you add a bullet point to a brochure, but maybe you just don’t feel like it matters anymore. It’s a thing that is happening; what more can you say?

There is a new report out now from EquipmentWatch, a world leader in data for the equipment industry, in partnership with the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP,) that digs into the cost of Tier 4 to the industry at large. The 2016 Tier 4 Benchmark Report cites key trends that you may be able to use to your advantage in marketing and PR efforts.

The entire report is basically a 10-page infographic, but a nice summary of key issues from the report was written up in Compact Equipment magazine. Both sources say that the number of Tier 4 compliant equipment in fleets is still actually very low, pointing to a sales opportunity. It also supports the notion that Tier 4 products are much more ubiquitous in ads, brochures and news releases than in the field. Which means that continued educational and promotional efforts are still required. The key will be to keep finding fresh and interesting ways to present this content to avoid getting your message tuned out.

However, the report also notes that rental companies are no longer charging a premium to rent Tier 4 equipment, which is good news for manufacturers and end users alike. This should lead to a greater familiarity with the equipment, and perhaps a need to educate those individual end users who may tend to look at Tier 4 as just another expense their businesses have to support. Fuel cost savings will likely be the most touted advantage to the nation’s growing Tier 4 fleet.

In fact, for manufacturers who are eager to overcome the negative perceptions of future “increases in purchase prices, maintenance costs and training costs,” job stories, application stories or case studies that focus on significant fuel savings would be a safe bet. If you have customers who are willing to go on the record regarding fuel savings, it would help you win over the roughly 3 in 5 polled who simply don’t believe that the supposedly more fuel-efficient Tier 4 equipment will actually drop their fuel costs. That is a significant number of potential customers that the right story would win over.

Did some other finding of the report stand out to you? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts—please send them to me at



Matt Fueston is an Account Manager for Ellenbecker Communications, is responsible for new business development, and contributes as a staff writer. He believes in the intersection between Sales and Marketing.