Every year it seems like engine manufacturers are breaking new ground. As painful and expensive as engine emissions regulations are, they are forcing the industry to innovate on a massive scale. The result: We have access to some of the cleanest, most efficient and most powerful engines ever created for off-highway equipment applications. Below are five of our favorites. We explain where you can find them and how they work.

Perkins-(404F-E22TA-right-hand-side-view)Perkins 404F-E22TA

Where can you find it?

Look for it in skid steers, wheel loaders, hydraulic excavators, rollers, de-watering and watering pumps, generators, welders, mowers, stumpers, saws, pavers — basically the whole gamut of the compact engine spectrum.

Why is it innovative?

First off, Perkins 404F-E22TA is the first time that common rail direct injection and full authority electronics are on an engine of this size. It also, of course, meets U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IIIB emissions standards. Turbocharged and after-cooled, this 2.2-liter model’s common rail fuel system and full authority electronics provide a tangible and marked increase in performance and allow OEMs greater flexibility in tailoring the engine to specific applications. It also allows OEMs to use a smaller displacement engine in machines where traditionally engines up to 2.9 liters may have been the norm.

Kohler-(KDI3404_KOHLER_Engines_Angled)Kohler 3.4-Liter KDI 3404

Where can you find it?

Look for it in commercial applications in the construction, industrial and agricultural markets, including skid steers, forklifts, mini excavators, aerial lifts and more.

Why is it innovative?

The Kohler 3.4-liter KDI 3404 is a powerful diesel engine designed for heavy-duty commercial applications requiring enhanced power and torque. The KDI 3404 is a Tier 4 Final emissions-compliant engine that achieves clean combustion, optimized fuel consumption and enhanced power without the use of a diesel particulate filter (DPF). The compact and lightweight design of the engine — along with the absence of a DPF — gives equipment manufacturers more flexibility in design and engine integration. End-users also benefit from reduced maintenance, better heat management and enhanced fuel efficiency.

Cummins-(QSF3Cummins QSF3.8

Where can you find it?

It’s in the latest telehandlers from JLG and Gehl, Hyundai forklift trucks and is ready for other applications such as skid steers, air compressors, power packs, compact excavators and loaders.

Why is it innovative?

The Cummins QSF3.8 Tier 4 Final engine achieves near-zero emissions levels without compromising power or performance with a broad output extending from 74 to 132 hp (55 to 98 kW). The 3.8-liter engine is ideally suited for rental applications due to long service intervals, ease of servicing and low cost of ownership. The QSF brings the capability to handle high load factors with relaxed operation for installations. The 74-hp rated Cummins QSF3.8 uses a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) which enables a smaller more flexible installation. From 100 to 132 hp, the QSF3.8 is paired with a DOC and selective catalytic reduction (DOC-SCR) system. For specific applications, the QSF3.8 is also available with SCR-only aftertreatment.

Honda-(GXR120-Rammer-Engine)Honda GXR120

Where can you find it?

The Honda GXR120 is designed especially for the high demands of rammers.

Why is it innovative?

The Honda GXR120 is capable of meeting the high demands that rammers require of the engine, frame and operator. With a displacement of 121 cc, the engine can appropriately power 110- to 175-lb rammers at multiple altitudes with ease. Additionally, a new, special cast-iron cylinder sleeve and a high carbon-steel, dual-ball bearing crankshaft provide improved engine strength for rammer applications. To further enhance engine durability, the recoil starter and fan cover of the new GXR120 now are even more robust through the incorporation of steel in the design. When developing the GXR120 for the rammer marketplace, Honda engineers identified the need for a more compact and lightweight engine footprint to allow for more versatility.

EX40-(2)Subaru EH40 OHC

Where can you find it?

Look for it in a variety of construction, rental and compact equipment, such as generators, compressors and small agricultural machinery.

Why is it innovative?

Subaru’s EX40 OHC engine starts easily and offers more power due to its innovative features, including chain-driven overhead cam technology, automatic decompression system, pent-roof combustion chamber and an automatic decompression timing system. The EX40 has a maximum output of 14 hp, making it ideal for a variety of compact equipment. To provide outstanding cooling performance, Subaru incorporated special heat dissipation fins into the EX40’s mounting base, cylinder and both inner and outer crankshaft surfaces. Additionally, optimized-capacity rigid mufflers and a new resinous air cleaner makes the EX40 engine a full 2 dBA quieter in exhaust tone than other same-class engines.

Keith Gribbins is associate publisher of Compact Equipment.

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