John Deere engine dealer Dolpower has been helping captains meet the challenges of shipping on European inland waterways for years.

So, when John Deere became one of the few manufacturers to invest in adapting engines to meet new European Union Stage V requirements, Dolpower was ready to bring them to the skippers who needed them. It's just one more way that Dolpower, Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands, helps skippers focus on the job at hand and not worry about their marine engines.

As of 2020, EU regulations require that all new propulsion and "installed" auxiliary engines for inland waterway applications meet new EU Stage V emissions standards. While the change impacts a relatively small market, engineers from the John Deere factory in Saran, France, and John Deere distributor for the Netherlands, NPS Diesel, worked together to optimize 4.5L and 6.8L engines to fill the need. Now, John Deere is the only brand to meet Lloyds Register classification. 

It's a decision that quickly paid off: In the first year alone, Dolpower has sold more than 100 of the adapted engines. "These engines are built for marine applications. They are quiet and have a low heat output and no after-treatment technology," said Patrick van Galen, sales engineer at Dolpower. "Because of their simplicity, they are reliable and easy to service, giving the skipper one less thing to worry about." 

Skippers have no time to lose 

But while meeting Stage V emissions standards is a major challenge for captains, it is certainly not the only one. 

"Increasingly, companies prefer inland shipping to road transport because it is faster and more reliable," van Galen said. "As part of this, just-in-time (JIT) delivery contracts, which allow them to keep stock low and order parts only when needed, are becoming the norm."

However, these JIT contracts put considerable pressure on skippers, who must operate at full efficiency to meet tight deadlines and avoid late delivery fees. This means organizing crew rotation systems, arranging predictive maintenance routines, and planning for potential downtime. 

Keeping businesses moving 24/7

Dolpower’s operation is aimed at keeping customers’ businesses operating around the clock. “We are skippers ourselves, so we understand our customers’ environment and support needs,” said van Galen. “We have this standing joke that we have ‘one leg on board.’” 

With its full-service approach, Dolpower frees customers from both the technical and more complicated service operations. “They can rely on us to deliver a package that is ready to be installed, to get them their spare parts quickly, and to provide on- or off-site support whenever they need it.” 

Dolpower offers a range of marine engines and generator sets. John Deere engines play a key role throughout this range, with four John Deere engines delivering main propulsion, generator set, or bowthruster power.
Dedication and service for life

In addition to having installation-ready engines and generator sets, Dolpower’s engineers are on standby to provide integration or service support. Having marine engines, generator sets, and spare parts in stock helps guarantee fast delivery. “We can supply all John Deere engine models and critical spare parts from our own stock,” van Galen said. “And if we come across a unique power challenge, we can rely on the assistance of our colleagues at NPS Diesel B.V.” 

The Dolpower team is always available to answer questions and tries to find a solution to any power-related problem. “With this approach, we can build long-term relationships. Once customers experience our dedication, they stick with us for life.”