Innovative Iron Awards: Perkins, Cummins and Kohler Diesel Engines

Exploration is the engine that drives innovation, so let’s go exploring. Let’s search through a year’s worth of creative ideas in the off-highway equipment industry and see if we can benchmark the innovative exploration of the American machine market. Over the last 12 months, global manufacturers from Caterpillar to Kubota have released compact machines that have set new standards for power, versatility, efficiency and design. Our editors have traveled across the globe to meet these manufacturers, operate their new products and give detailed reports and opinions both in print and on our website ( We sifted through the hundreds of models and brands released in 2015 and picked 19 units that set the bar for innovation. With this article, we salute those companies (from Komatsu to Case) that have changed the commercial equipment market over the last year with their unique, interesting and innovative machines, engines and technologies.

Perkins, Cummins and Kohler Redefine the Compact Diesel Market

Cummins-(QSF3Cummins QSF3.8

While the Cummins QSF3.8 is already in the latest telehandlers from JLG and Gehl, it’s also ready for other applications in skid steers, air compressors and compact excavators. The QSF3.8 Tier 4 Final engine achieves near-zero emissions levels with a broad output extending from 74 hp to 132 hp (55-98 kW). The 3.8-liter engine is ideally suited for rental applications due to long service intervals, ease of servicing, rugged reliability and low cost of ownership. The QSF brings the capability to handle high-load factors with relaxed operation for installations. A Cummins diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) enables a smaller, easier and more flexible installation than diesel particulate filters (DPFs) typically used by other engines below 75 hp. For more info, visit

Perkins-engine-(use-photo-large)Perkins 404F-E22TA

The Perkins 404F-E22TA diesel engine is an optimal solution for all types of compact categories — skid steers, wheel loaders, hydraulic excavators, rollers, de-watering and watering pumps, generators, welders and beyond. Why is this power plant innovative? Look no further than its 2,000-bar common rail direct injection system and full authority electronics. Both are firsts for an engine of this size. The exceptionally clean burn achieved by its ultra-fine, high-pressure injector spray produces less carbon and lowers emissions, a major factor in meeting U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emissions standards. The clean burn eliminates the need for a DPF allowing a small, rear-mounted DOC to serve as both an emission control device and often a muffler as well. The new engine also has a similar footprint size to previous models. For more info, visit

Kohler-(KDI3404_KOHLER_Engines_Angled)Kohler 3.4 Liter KDI 3404

The Kohler  3.4 Liter KDI 3404 is a powerful diesel dynamo that’s designed for heavy-duty commercial applications requiring enhanced power and torque (like skid steers or excavators). 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 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. For more info, visit

To see the rest of Compact Equipment’s Innovative Iron Awards, click this link.

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