From the days when our grandfathers employed horse-drawn plows and carts, we’ve come a long way. We still rely on horses to get the job done in the fields, but it’s the motorized horses who plow the land, harvest the wheat, and bale the hay. Diesel engines power the majority of our tractors, combines, and swathers.
Unlicensed farm vehicles that are not used on public highways are allowed to use colored diesel, often known as farm diesel, under the law. Dyed fuel is tax-free in both the state and federal government, and it is less expensive than diesel fuel purchased at most gas stations. (Diesel is taxed at 32 cents per gallon in the state and 24.4 cents per gallon in the federal government.)
Due to the additional dye needed to distinguish it from conventional diesel fuel, dyed diesel fuel often appears pink or red.
Using dyed diesel fuel in licensed trucks or automobiles that travel on public roadways is prohibited. Fuel taxes are used to build and maintain highways, so using coloured fuel illegally deprives the government of revenue.
It is a crime to use coloured diesel fuel improperly. Misusing colored diesel carries a $250 civil penalty in addition to the criminal sanctions. A second offense will cost $500, and each subsequent offense will cost $1,000.
Increased enforcement steps are being considered by the Idaho legislature to catch anyone who may be breaking the law.
When filling up your truck or tractor, be aware of the legislation and when you can use pink diesel.
What’s the difference between red diesel and regular diesel?
If you’re new to buying diesel fuel or haven’t done it in a while, you may notice that your purchases are a little more colorful than they used to be.
That’s because the US government now mandates that diesel be sold in one of three colors: clear, red, or blue dyed. If you’re going to buy diesel fuel, it’s important to know the tax and legal distinctions between these three types.
- Clear diesel Clear diesel is an on-road vehicle-grade fuel sold at petrol stations across the United States. This type of fuel is intended for vehicles that travel the roads on a daily basis cars, trucks, SUVs, and so on as well as maritime vehicles. Clear diesel has a low sulfur level and is taxed in the United States. This fuel must be used in any diesel-powered vehicle that is licensed for on-road use.
- Most colored diesel sold in the United States is red in color, and it is dyed with the chemical ingredient Solvent Red 26 or 164. Only off-road vehicles and applications, such as farm tractors, heavy construction equipment, and generators, are permitted to utilize red-dyed gas. The sulfur level of red-dyed diesel is higher than that of clear diesel. This gasoline is not taxed in the United States because it is not intended for use in on-road vehicles.
- Blue-dyed diesel is identical to red-dyed diesel, with the exception that it is solely used in US government vehicles.
Dyed diesel regulations
Because colored diesel is not taxed and contains more sulfur, it is strictly regulated by federal and state legislation; penalties for unauthorized use of dyed fuel range from steep fines to lengthy prison sentences. Distributors cannot intentionally transport colored fuel with the intention of supplying on-road cars, and gasoline retailers cannot knowingly sell dyed diesel for use in on-road vehicles.
You cannot intentionally use colored diesel in an on-road vehicle if you are a retail diesel customer; if dye is found in an on-road vehicle, the consequences can be severe. Be astute!
What is green diesel?
On-road diesel is either clear or somewhat green in appearance. When diesel fuel is freshly dispensed into a bottle to observe its color, refineries add a green dye, which is visible. This dye fades to yellow or darker colors as the fuel ages. Checking the fuel for a “bright” appearance, with the faint green dye being a giveaway that the diesel is new and in good condition, is part of a visual inspection to assess diesel fuel quality.
What is dyed diesel?
Diesel contains dye in almost all of it. When we talk about dyed diesel, we usually mean a red dye applied to off-road diesel. Off-road diesel is typically used for heating oil, construction fueling, agricultural use, and other off-road equipment not needed to pay fuel taxes on the highway system.
What is farm diesel?
Off-road diesel, often known as farm diesel or diesel for agricultural purposes, is diesel that is not subject to on-road fuel taxes. Diesel fuel used for agricultural purposes is tax-free. Taxes can be avoided if diesel is burned on a farm and can be tracked. In Oregon, farms are able to obtain clear diesel without paying any road fees. It is frequently coloured red to indicate that it is tax-free. Some farms may track their use of clear diesel so they can submit for Federal road taxes for off-road usage in Oregon, where P.U.C. for trucks over 26,000 GVW pay a weight mile tax instead of a per gallon state road tax.
What color is dyed diesel?
Every gallon of fuel sold in the United States contains some color. Diesel for on-road use usually has a slight green hue. This is a dye that is mixed into the fuel by either the refiner or the terminal supplier. Off-road diesels are coloured red to indicate that the fuel is tax-free and intended only for off-road use.
Why is diesel dyed?
Diesel is coloured to indicate whether or not it has paid road tax. In the United States, on-road diesel usually has a faint green hue. Off-road diesel is dyed red to indicate that it has not paid the required road taxes in all states and by the federal government.
What is off-road diesel?
Off-road diesel is diesel fuel that has been dyed red to indicate that it is tax-free and only available for off-road fuel uses such as construction fueling, equipment that is never used on a public road, agricultural use, heating oil, boiler fuel, and other non-taxed diesel fuel uses as defined by state and federal fuel tax laws. Some off-road users in Oregon can use the Oregon state tax exemption to buy on-road fuel if they have the correct papers.
Is dyed or off-road diesel flammable?
The National Fire Code classifies off-road diesel as a Class II combustible liquid. A flammable fuel has a flash point below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The flash point of diesel ranges between 126 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (typically assumed to be about 160 degrees F). As a result, it’s classified as a Class II combustible.
Is off-road diesel or dyed diesel high sulfur diesel?
Dyed diesel (also known as off-road diesel) contains a lot of sulfur. Diesel fuel having a sulfur level of more than 500 parts per million is known as high sulfur diesel.
Is off-road diesel or dyed diesel ultra-low sulfur diesel?
Off-road and colored diesel fuels may have ultra-low sulfur, however this is not always the case. In the United States, there has been a persistent campaign to reduce sulfur in all fuels, led by EPA regulation. Off-road construction and agricultural equipment have been required by EPA rules in recent years to have an emissions system that allows ultra-low sulfur to function without serious difficulties. As a result, today’s off-road diesel is ultra-low sulfur. If you have a tank with old dyed red diesel fuel in it, you can infer it has a sulfur concentration that is higher than ultra-low.
What is dyed ULSD fuel?
Dyed ULSD fuel is ultra-low sulfur diesel that has been dyed red to indicate that it is only intended for off-road or untaxed use. Heating oil, construction fuel, agricultural fuel, generator fuel, and other off-road uses are common uses for this type of fuel. The abbreviation “ULSD” stands for ultra-low sulfur diesel.
Is dyed diesel #1 or # 2 diesel?
Diesel that has been dyed can be either #1 or #2 diesel. Both fuels must include a red dye to prove that they are untaxed and cannot be utilized as on-road fuels.
Why does the government require diesel be dyed red?
“For two reasons, the federal government demands dyeing of untaxed diesel fuel and kerosene. To aid in the reduction of tax fraud by recognizing fuel that hasn’t paid excise taxes and to aid in the reduction of air pollution by identifying fuel that isn’t acceptable for use in highway vehicles.”
Is dyed diesel and off-road diesel kerosene?
Kerosene (which crosses as #1 diesel fuel) can be found in dyed diesel and off-road diesel, but it is not always the case. Do not mistake a dyed fuel for kerosene, which is a more uncommon fuel. Kerosene differs from #1 diesel in one way: it has been proven that it may be absorbed and taken up by a wick. All kerosene is classified as #1 diesel. Kerosene isn’t found in all #1 diesel fuels. Diesels that have been colored and off-road fuels are in the same boat. All coloured kerosene and off-road diesel are dyed. Kerosene isn’t the only coloured fuel.
Is dyed diesel and off-road diesel stove oil?
Stove oil is coloured diesel and off-road diesel. Similar to diesel, it’s usually a #1 or #2 stove oil. Stove oils, as opposed to diesel, had a slightly distinct set of specification problems in the past, which is why they were named “stove oils.” It was less precise when petroleum refineries distilled crude oils to make diesel range fuels than it is now with hydrocracking technology. The number of distillate range fuel requirements is significantly more concentrated today, thanks to both oil refinery technologies and EPA emission standards, in order to assure compliance with EPA and state rules. If your heating appliance requires stove oil, it will most likely require #1 stove oil or #1 kerosene. This product is supposed to produce less soot, making it better suited for use in a pot stove. Monitor and Toyostove thermostatically controlled direct vent heaters are the most current stove oil appliances in the United States.
Is off-road diesel bad for my truck?
It depends on the year of your truck, and we’re assuming you’re talking about red diesel fuel. To begin, it is illegal to use dyed diesel, off-road diesel, or heating oil in an on-road vehicle. If you are found in Oregon, you might face a punishment of up to $10,000, and the state is very aggressive in pursuing tax evasion. Beyond the usage of off-road fuel, which is legal. On the west coast, coloured diesel is often ultra low sulfur fuel. This means that if it’s burned in your engine, it won’t cause any problems. It may be high sulfur or low sulfur fuel, depending on the age of the colored fuel or whether it is genuinely a heating oil. If you use that fuel in a post-2007 engine with a particle trap, you’ll have major maintenance problems.
Is dyed diesel or off-road diesel heating oil?
Yes, colored diesel and off-road fuel can be used to heat your home. These days, most dyed diesel and off-road diesel is ultra-low sulfur diesel. According to the EPA and most state rules, heating oil can have a low or high sulfur concentration. So, while heating oil cannot always be colored diesel (when used for off-road machinery or agricultural purposes), dyed/off-road diesel can always be used for heating oil and meet the requirements of heating oil furnaces.
Does off-road diesel freeze?
At low temperatures, off-road diesel gels. Wax crystals form and fall out of the diesel at lower temperatures, clogging filters and gelling the fuel. Water and naturally held-in diesel will also ice up, clogging filters. Diesel gelling is the term for this phenomena.
Does off-road diesel gel in cold weather?
If it gets cold enough, all diesel fuels will gel. Wax crystals and ice accumulating in your fuel will clog filters and cause your equipment to shut down. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t treat your diesel fuel, it should work OK above 20 degrees F. If the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure your vendor treats the fuel for winter use so it can operate at -20 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re going to be operating in temps below that, check with your vendor to see if they’ve tested the fuel to work in temperatures below -20 degrees F.
Does off-road diesel go bad?
Off-road and dyed diesel might deteriorate with time. All ASTM-compliant diesel fuels should be safe to store for up to a year without extra treatment or testing. If you’re storing diesel for a long time, it’s a good idea to treat it with a biocide and an oxidative stabilizer to guarantee that it stays within specifications and that nothing grows in your fuel tank. Water and dirt entering the fuel through a tank vent is the worst opponent of long-term diesel storage. A tank will breathe when the temperature changes, bringing in air and moisture from the outside. Keeping your gasoline within specification means making sure there’s no water in the tank and that no outside impurities can get in.
How long can I store off-road or dyed diesel in a fuel tank?
Diesel fuel has a one-year shelf life if left untreated. You can anticipate diesel to last two to three years if it is treated with a biocide to prevent biological development in the tank. When diesel is sampled after two to three years, it loses its brightness and begins to exhibit signs of age. After three years, you’ll want to sample and test the fuel to make sure it’s up to code and safe to use.
What is the difference between off-road diesel and on-road diesel?
The significant difference between the two fuels is the amount of gasoline taxes levied. To indicate that it is both ultra-low sulfur diesel and that the on-road fuel taxes associated with using it to power a highway vehicle have been paid, all on-road diesel is transparent or greenish in color. Fuel that has been dyed has not been taxed and cannot be used to power a vehicle on a public road.
Do you pay sales tax on dyed diesel or off-road diesel in Washington state?
Yes. The sales tax is assessed if you consume colored diesel and do not pay the on-road fuel taxes in Washington state. The sales tax is not paid if you use clear fuel with road taxes connected to it. The Washington Department of Revenue has more information about Washington gasoline taxes.
What are the taxes on dyed diesel or off-road diesel in Oregon state?
Your gasoline distributor pays a modest tax (less than $.01) on the fuel they purchase at the wholesale terminal. The US EPA Superfund cleanup and the “LUST” (Leaking Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund) are two of the taxes. Aside from that, there are no taxes on off-road diesel fuel in Oregon (federal, state, or local municipality).
Is there a way to buy clear diesel without a road tax on it?
In Oregon, you can purchase clear fuel that is exempt from state road charges. The following are the requirements for using clear diesel in Oregon without paying state taxes:
- cars with a legal Oregon “E” plate and registered to a US government agency, an Oregon state agency, or an Oregon county or city
- Vehicles or farm tractors/equipment that are only used on the roadway inadvertently, as specified in ORS 319.520
- Unlicensed vehicles or equipment that are utilized exclusively on privately owned property
What happens if I use dyed diesel in an on-road vehicle?
If you are caught in Oregon, you might be fined $10,000 each day. We’ve seen fuel tax evaders nabbed before, so be advised that Oregon is looking for any amount of dye in an on-road vehicle’s saddle tank. You will have maintenance concerns with your vehicle’s emission system if you use low sulfur or high sulfur fuel and your vehicle has a particulate trap.
Can you use dyed diesel in a diesel pickup truck?
Only if the pickup is solely for off-roading. If you plan to utilize that truck on a public road (even to cross a street) and colored fuel is discovered in it, state regulators can (and do) levy fines of up to $10,000 per occurrence. You can use off-road diesel as the vehicle’s fuel if you have a closed facility or a large farm and are not registering the vehicle for on-road use (thus the pickup must not leave the site). Any regulator observing dyed fuel in your vehicle will assume it’s an on-road pickup if you have license plates and it’s approved for on-road use.
How does the government test if someone used dyed diesel?
Typically, regulators may take a sample from the tank or spin the gasoline filter to look for obvious dyed fuel when checking for illegal usage of dyed fuel. If the fuel is clear (or even slightly pink) and they suspect dyed fuel was used in the car, they can use a special black light to show that dyed fuel was in touch with the vehicle. They’ll beam the light on the gasoline filter, the fuel tanks, and other portions of the engine compartment that may have come into contact with the fuel. They will cite the vehicle operator if they detect even a minor trace of the red-dye used in off-road fuel in specific regions. On the internet, there are kits for filtering dye out of gasoline to eliminate the color. Those kits won’t be able to remove enough dye to keep these lights from detecting it.
Why is off road diesel illegal for pick up trucks to use?
Off-road diesel is painted red to indicate that on-road fuel taxes have not been paid or that the fuel is tax-free. Fuel taxes for on-road fuel usage are levied by the federal government and state governments to help pay for the roads we all use. Fuel taxes are deductible if you use diesel for non-road equipment, machinery, or heating/boiler uses, and the fuel is coloured to make its tax-free status obvious. In a roadside or site level inspection, regulators can also shine a black light on certain parts of a vehicle’s system to see if colored gasoline is being used illegally.
What is the difference between dyed diesel and heating oil?
What’s going on in the Pacific Northwest right now? Typically, nothing. Diesel-colored heating oil is used. To reduce the overall cost of the fuel, most petroleum distributors sell the mainstream colored diesel grade for use as heating oil. Heating oil and dyed diesel have varied ASTM requirements depending on where you acquire it. Because furnaces and boilers can manage dirtier, lower-quality fuels than off-road equipment with a particle trap, heating oil specifications have larger tolerances than diesel criteria. Although heating oil is always a diesel fuel, dyed diesel for off-road machinery may have a distinct specification. In Oregon, for example, any dyed diesel fuel used in off-road equipment must include at least 5% biodiesel or renewable diesel. Heating oil and boilers are excluded from the biofuel mandate. Heating oil, on the other hand, can be free of biodiesel, while off-road diesel for machinery cannot.
Can refrigerated trailers or “reefers use dyed diesel even if they are attached to a truck moving it on the highway?
Refrigerated trailers are, in fact, off-road vehicles. Because its engine is not pushing something along the road, the diesel-fueled refrigeration trailer is considered off-road equipment. Any ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel can be used in these trailers (dyed or clear). If you use on-road clear fuel in a refrigerated trailer and keep track and verification of the on-road fuel used in the off-road piece of equipment, you can get your fuel taxes returned. However, proof is required, so speak with your CPA or accountant.
Can you mix red diesel and normal diesel?
No, your truck will be alright on this diesel. The main variation is in color, not in the components. It’s strictly for off-road use, as indicated by the red colour. It’s coloured red to make it visible to government officers if you’re using it illegally. Be aware that if you’re discovered driving on US highways, you could face a ticket and a hefty fine.
Off-road diesel will run your automobile if it runs on diesel. However, as previously said, if you use it illegally and are detected, you will be penalized by both the state and federal governments. Because that is sometimes the only fuel available in the event of a natural disaster, you are unlikely to be penalized.
Technically, you can, because the color is the only difference. We’ve heard of cases where someone bought a truck that ran on off-road diesel and then switched to regular diesel. In that situation, the new owner just switched to regular diesel and the vehicle performed admirably.
The distinguishing red dye is the most noticeable variation, and there may also be a difference in sulfur levels. Furthermore, because this agricultural fuel is designed for heavy machinery, it heats up quickly.
Driving until the tank is completely empty is the simplest way to get rid of the red dye. Then pour in a couple gallons of or normal diesel and let it run for a while. Repeat this process numerous times. If you want to be sure it’s gone, have your repair flush the gasoline system.
No, it isn’t possible. Except for the colour, it’s identical as on-road diesel. If you have a diesel engine, you can use farm fuel to power it. Just make sure you’re not breaking any laws when you use it.
Some people believe it is “tax-free,” but depending on the state, it may or may not be. Here’s a list of states with information on gasoline tax exemptions. When you’re permitted to use this type of fuel off-road, you’ll either pay less at the pump or get a refund on your fuel tax.
You could be charged with “Motor Fuel Tax Evasion” if you’re caught and convicted. Is it really worth it to save money on gas? Here’s what the IRS has to say about it:
“What are the Consequences?” In general, no coloured fuel should be used in highway vehicles. The Internal Revenue Code stipulates a penalty of $1,000 or $10 per gallon, whichever is larger, with payment of the tax for each violation. Additional fines may be imposed by states.”
Mixing the two types of diesel fuels is not a problem, however red diesel has a higher sulfur level than green. It’s also known as green fuel because it’s environmentally beneficial. It’s either light green or transparent in appearance.
This is subject to change. If you’re unsure, you can dip a tube in your tank and pull out a sample to see what color it is; there are also manual dipstick kits and black lights available. However, the gas does not remain in your tank; it passes through your fuel system. If you’re worried, take it to your mechanic to have the system flushed.
What is the difference between clear diesel and dyed diesel?
There was a time when all diesel fuel marketed in North America was clear, meaning it didn’t include any dye. However, the times have changed.
Diesel fuel is now supplied in clear and red versions in Canada; knowing the differences between these fuels and the tax and regulatory ramifications of each is crucial if you plan to buy diesel fuel.
- Clear diesel Clear diesel is a road vehicle-grade gasoline that may be purchased at petrol stations across the country. This type of fuel is intended for vehicles that travel the roads on a daily basis cars, trucks, SUVs, and so on as well as maritime vehicles. This is the fuel that most people think of when they think about diesel fuel.
Clear fuel is taxed and has low sulfur levels (500 mg/kg for low sulfur, 15 mg/kg for ultra low sulfur). This gasoline must be used in any vehicle with a diesel engine that is licensed for on-road use.
- Red-dyed diesel Red-dyed diesel marketed in Canada is only for use in off-road vehicles, such as farm tractors, heavy construction equipment, and generators, where higher-sulfur fuel consumption is permitted (max sulfur content of 3000-5000 mg/kg, depending on the type).
This gasoline is not taxed in Canada because it is not intended for use in on-road vehicles.
How can you tell if someone is using red diesel?
HMRC must conduct dip testing to find a marker dye within the fuel or tank in order to test for the usage of gas oil. The red color is introduced to help people recognize it as red diesel. What is blue diesel, exactly?
Why is dyed diesel illegal?
Why is it unlawful to use red diesel? Because it is not taxed, red diesel is prohibited to use in on-road cars. The use of it in on-road engines is regulated by the federal and state governments. On-road vehicles cannot be supplied with this sort of fuel by distributors or merchants.
Is putting red diesel in your car illegal?
Red diesel is regular mineral diesel that has been dyed red to indicate a lower duty rate. The colour and the chemical indicators it contains have no effect on the fuel’s usage or function.
Because red diesel is a rebated fuel, it is taxed at a lower rate than regular white diesel found at gas stations around the country.
The use of red diesel in automobiles on public highways is prohibited (although there are some exceptions such as when gritting roads). Most off-road vehicles, machinery, and commercial heating systems can run on gas oil.
Who can use dyed diesel fuel?
If all of the following criteria are met, TRA will consider registering a firm to color clean fuel for the purpose of resale:
- At the time the application(s) is/are submitted, the business is in full compliance with all tax filings (if applicable).
- with a capacity of at least 500,000 litres of permanent storage (diesel and gas total)
- that has the necessary security safeguards to prevent or restrict general public access
- where the fuel will be repackaged for further distribution or sold in bulk
- The company commits to comply with all monthly reporting requirements, including reporting dye concentrate volumes via the Dye Stock Report (AT4984)
What happens if you get caught with red diesel?
The HMRC will charge you for the restoration of your vehicle’s system to clean your tank and filters to remove the marker dye if you’re caught using it illegally. For its removal, you will be charged a price. Your vehicle may be impounded, or you may be charged back for the cost difference between red diesel and road diesel for the time you’ve been driving it.