Following proper procedures is imperative for Tier 4 equipment – here’s how to do it
The advent of Tier 4 ushered in further reductions in machine emissions such as soot. Most Komatsu machines use a Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter (KDPF) to capture the soot produced by the engine, and these filters have a self-cleaning ability called regeneration, which uses heat to oxidize soot into gases that leave the filter. Regeneration is a normal part of running machines with a KDPF, and the process rarely gets in the way of operating.
“Regeneration falls into two categories – active and manual – and each involves specific actions that should be taken by the operator,” said Matt Beinlich, Deputy Director of Komatsu’s Business Solutions Group, Products and Services Division. “Operators will know what to do based on alert symbols, which are either yellow or red. Yellow is active, and red is manual.”
During active regeneration, the operator should work the piece of equipment hard because a loaded engine creates hotter exhaust gas, which is better for the process. Shutting down the machine is fine, as it will pick up where it left off at the next restart. If the alert symbol is red, it’s imperative to park the machine in a safe location and initialize the proper idle procedure.
“If for some reason the operator can’t work the machine during active regeneration, or is following the appropriate course of action during manual regeneration, proper idle is imperative,” said Beinlich. “There are specific instructions for both tracked and wheeled machines. Following these procedures will optimize regeneration.”
Proper idle includes:
- In tracked machines: All lock levers must be in the “lock” position with the throttle dial turned down to 1/3 throttle.
- In a wheeled machine: The transmission needs to be in neutral, the parking brake applied and the accelerator pedal released.
- If a machine is going to be shut down completely: The operator should let it cool for five minutes before turning off the key.
Operators will know whether active or manual regeneration is required based on the alert symbols indicated by the machine. Yellow means active, and the machine should be worked hard. Red is for manual, and operators need to park and properly idle the machine.
Tier 4 machines require either active or manual regeneration, and proper procedures should be followed. Regeneration is a normal part of running machines with a Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter, and the process rarely gets in the way of operating.