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Fuel Cards

Did you know there are three types of diesel fuel ?

Off-road Diesel : doesn’t have state and federal taxes. Sometimes it’s called red-dyed diesel, alternative fuel, red fuel, off-highway diesel, or farm diesel. And, it’s not intended to be used for vehicles driven on the road. Red dye is only for use off-road. For example: in construction red dye fuel would be used for heavy equipment like

Cranes Earth movers Caterpillars
Loaders Backhoes Excavators
Compactors Trenchers Cranes
Rollers Scrapers Forklifts

Truck Diesel : This is what long-haul truckers use. In some states, the pumps have a “tax-exempt” label on the pump. In that case, to gas up, you need a valid tax certificate posted on the vehicle you’re fueling. Otherwise, you can get a big fine. Also, the truck nozzles are larger and will fill faster. Sometimes it’s too quick for smaller tanks. The fuel itself is the same as automobile diesel.

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Automobile Diesel : This fuel is for cars, SUVs, and regular trucks. Automobile diesel is the same as truck diesel, but the pump nozzles are not as big. And, sometimes the “automobile diesel” is priced higher than truck diesel. But, remember – to use the “truck diesel” you may need a tax-exempt permit.

Check out this video “ Off-road diesel, truck diesel, automobile diesel .” Starting at 1:00 into the video, you’ll see what red diesel looks like.

Can I Use Dyed Diesel in My Truck?

Legally no. And that’s the reason for the red dye. The color is detectable at extremely low levels. If you’re caught using off-road diesel on-road, you better get ready for a hefty fine. Other than the appearance dyed diesel isn’t any different from regular diesel.


What’s the Difference in Red and Green Diesel Fuel?

Besides the color, these two fuels have many similarities .

  • Red – used for off-road. Mainly for construction and farming. Because it’s tax-free, it’s dyed red for easy detection.
  • Green – it’s not really the color green. The green diesel is clear like regular diesel. It’s called green because it’s eco-friendly and renewable.

Where Can You Find Dyed Diesel Fuel?

Ricochet Fuel has provided off-road diesel delivery for almost 30 years. We service Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, and 9 other states with fuel cards available nationwide. We specialize in servicing the construction, auto dealerships, fleets, and power generation. We would be happy to talk to you about your fuel needs. Call us today.

Dyed Diesel vs. Regular Diesel

Dyed diesel and regular diesel may look similar, but the key difference lies in their applications and regulations. 

Dyed Diesel (Red Diesel):

  • Applications: Primarily designed for off-road usage, including construction and farming. The red dye is added for easy detection
  • Tax Status: Dyed diesel is exempt from state and federal taxes, and it is marked with a distinctive red dye for easy identification.

Regular Diesel:

  • Applications: Used in vehicles meant for on-road travel, such as cars, trucks, and SUVs.
  • Tax Status: Regular diesel is subject to state and federal taxes.

What is Off-Road Diesel (Farm Diesel)?

Off-road diesel, often known as farm diesel, serves as a specialized type of dyed diesel fuel, purpose-built for non-road vehicles and equipment. It’s the lifeblood of various industrial and agricultural applications, powering heavy machinery like cranes, earthmovers, and loaders. The beauty of off-road diesel lies in its tax exemption, making it a pocket-friendly choice for these unique needs.

What is Auto Diesel?

Auto diesel, on the other hand, caters to the needs of on-road vehicles, the daily drivers like cars, SUVs, and standard trucks. It’s a close cousin to truck diesel in terms of composition, but there’s a little twist – the nozzle size. You might have noticed that “automobile diesel” sometimes carries a slightly higher price tag compared to its truck counterpart, all because of those nozzle dimensions.

Why is Diesel Green?

Now, let’s unravel the mystery of green diesel. Despite its name, green diesel doesn’t come in any striking color but stands as clear as regular diesel. The ‘green’ in its name isn’t about hues; it’s about a different shade of eco-friendliness. Green diesel is all about sustainability and renewability. When you choose green diesel, you’re opting for a fuel that’s kinder to the environment and helps reduce the carbon footprint, making it a smart and responsible choice over traditional diesel options.

Uses for Diesel Fuel

Diesel fuel serves a wide range of purposes across various industries. Some common applications of diesel fuel include:

  • Transportation: Diesel is commonly used for fuel for trucks, buses, and other large vehicles. Its energy efficiency makes it a preferred choice.
  • Agriculture: Farming equipment often runs on dyed diesel. This makes it an important fuel source for the agricultural sector.
  • Construction: Heavy machinery and construction equipment, such as cranes and bulldozers, rely on dyed diesel for their operations.
  • Backup Power: Diesel generators provide a reliable source of backup power in emergency situations.

Regulations and Consequences

Using dyed diesel in a vehicle meant for the road is illegal and comes with serious consequences. The red dye is detectable even at extremely low levels, making it challenging to get away with. If caught, hefty fines are imminent.

FAQs about Dyed Diesel

To address common queries about dyed diesel, here are some frequently asked questions:

  1. Can I use dyed diesel in my truck legally?
    Legally, you cannot use dyed diesel in an on-road vehicle. The red dye is a clear indicator that it’s intended for off-road use.

  2. Where can I find dyed diesel fuel?
    For reliable dyed diesel fuel sources, companies like Ricochet Fuel have been providing off-road diesel delivery for nearly 30 years. They serve various states and industries and offer fuel cards nationwide.

Learn 3 ways how to get Dyed Diesel for you next project or job site


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