All About Dyed Diesel – An A to Z Guide
At Ricochet Fuel, we get a lot of questions about the off-road fuel called dyed diesel – also known as red diesel. This A to Z guide ties together our earlier articles and includes information from government resources to help you understand the system and avoid penalties. Here are our previous helpful and resourceful blogs:
- Dyed Diesel Requirements in Texas
- Dyed Diesel at the Pump in Texas
- On-Road Diesel Fuel Supplier
- Cardlock with Dyed Diesel Locations in Texas
- 3 Ways to Get Dyed Diesel for Your Business
- Tax-Free Off-Road Dyed Diesel
A to Z Off-Road Diesel Guide
We’ve rounded up all the additional resources you might need as well as answering the most common questions we get.
Dyed diesel is different from regular diesel in one significant way. It is literally diesel fuel that’s been dyed red. The purpose of this is to make red diesel immediately distinguishable from regular diesel.
Because red diesel is tax-exempt and has very specific uses. If an inspector chooses to inspect an on-road vehicle and finds red fuel in its tank, that vehicle’s owner is subject to hefty fines and other penalties.
It’s important to only use tax-free red fuel in vehicles and equipment that are strictly off-road like construction equipment and agricultural machinery.
If you drive a car on a road supported by taxpayers, you must pay tax on that fuel.
You do that by using on-road fuel which has the taxes included in the price of the gas.
You can buy dyed diesel in several ways.
- Before you can purchase it, you need to register with your state.
- To establish an account with a fuel service supplier, you’ll need to fill out forms. A fuel supplier like Ricochet can help point you in the right direction.
- After you’re set-up, your fuel supply company will then show you convenient ways of obtaining your fuel, whether it be at the pump, on-site storage, or delivery.
Highway diesel is also known as on-road diesel.
It’s the same diesel fuel you’ll find for purchase at any gas station. It is taxed per local and Federal laws and is legal to use in any vehicle or piece of equipment.
For bulk users of highway diesel, tanks can be installed on your site and fuel delivered to you on-demand or on a designated schedule.
On the other hand, red-dyed diesel is not legal for use on taxpayer-supported roads. Red-dyed diesel is off-road diesel.
One of the problems with red-dyed diesel is it can be hard to find, especially if you don’t know where to look. Download this dyed diesel map to find a location near you.
To make getting your off-road fuel more convenient, set up a Cardlock account and use it to access any participating pump. That way, you won’t need an attendant’s assistance. Just insert the card, pump, and go! If you would like to be set up with a Ricochet Cardlock, call (800) 284-2540.
Here are the 15 dyed diesel pump locations throughout Texas:
- Arlington—3100 Dalworth Avenue
- Austin—4906 Burleson Road
- Austin—9000 Johnny Morris Road
- Cleburne—1101 S Main Street
- Dallas—1920 N Westmoreland Road
- Dallas—W Ledbetter Drive
- Dell City—401 S Main Street
- Euless—1201 Royal Parkway
- Fort Worth—7350 Sand Street
- Fort Worth—3701 N. Sylvania Avenue
- Garland—3526 Security Street
- Houston—227 McCarty Street
- Pecos—1233 Oil Mill Road
- Pflugerville—1701 Grand Avenue Parkway
- San Antonio—5223 Tex-Con Road
Depending on how much off-road fuel you use regularly, you don’t have to rely solely on gas station pumps to fuel your equipment. There are fuel storage tank options to meet your needs. They range in size from 275 to 20,000 gallons, with flexible options for both small businesses and heavy users.
You can also take advantage of mobile fueling, also known as “wet-hosing.” With this option, a fuel truck comes to your location and pumps the dyed fuel right into your equipment.
If you’re on a construction site with heavy equipment, this is an ideal option for your situation. Cranes, forklifts, generators—any equipment that is not moveable would benefit from mobile fuel delivery, especially if you can’t or don’t have a fuel tank on your site.
6. Clarification on Tax-Free Diesel
If you’ve heard the term tax-free diesel and want to take advantage of it, here’s some additional information for you.
Any diesel fuel that is not taxed is dyed. If an inspector checks your fuel color, it should not be the color red if you’re using a public road.
Some people might think tax-free diesel is tempting to use in their on-road vehicles (as if avoiding the tax is a clever way to save money). However, the fines are substantial if you’re caught. Don’t take the risk.
If you need dyed diesel, do it the right way and get set up and registered. That way, you can take advantage of flexible dyed fuel delivery options legally.
7. How to Get Started in Texas
To qualify to use this special fuel, you need to own and operate the right type of vehicle. These vehicles and equipment are specifically for off-road use like agricultural equipment, forklifts, and cranes. For your convenience, Ricochet Fuel has listed out the eight ordering steps above.
Here are links to the forms:
8. Other Off-Road Diesel Forms You Might Need
There are limitations to using dyed diesel fuel. Users who exceed 10,000 gallons of dyed diesel, will need to be licensed and fill out the Texas Bonded Users Fuel Tax Report.
*Side Note: Never tamper with your fuel, especially to avoid paying taxes. The practice not only hurts consumers, but it can also harm your vehicles, too.
9. Know the Motor Fuel Tax Code
The Texas Administrative Code on motor fuel tax covers dyed fuel regulations as well as licensing details. Understanding this important code can answer many of your questions and keep you out of trouble.
In addition to individual state and federal rules and regulations, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has its guidelines regulating diesel fuel sulfur levels.
Ricochet Fuel is happy to assist you with registration for dyed fuel and set you up for delivery. With 30 years of experience, our knowledgeable team is committed to achieving high customer satisfaction. We offer superior fuel service customization for any industry, including delivering ultra-low sulfur off-road diesel fuel directly to your site.