Using the right fuel for vehicles and equipment is essential from a performance and longevity perspective; filling tanks with the wrong grade of fuel can wreak havoc on engines, causing subpar performance and maintenance issues. However, there are some times when using the right fuel is a matter of law. Dyed diesel, also known as “off-road diesel” or “red diesel,” is fuel that has been tinted red to indicate that it is exempt from road fuel taxes. Getting caught driving on public roads with dyed diesel in the tank can result in steep fines and penalties, making unauthorized uses of this tax-exempt fuel an expensive proposition. In this blog, we discuss who can use dyed diesel and when.
Farmers and Construction Workers Often Use Dyed Diesel
The industries of agriculture and construction are popular places for dyed diesel; heavy machines like combines, tractors, and cranes typically do not travel on public roads. As long as they are not being used on public roads, it is usually acceptable to fill them with road-tax-exempt red diesel. For example, a farmer could use dyed diesel in their harvester but not in their pickup truck.
Generators and Heating Systems May Use Dyed Diesel
While the distinctions between on-road and off-road use can be tricky for vehicles and equipment with wheels, some situations are much clearer. Generators, heating systems, and large air compressors never touch roads, and using dyed diesel in them (assuming they’re diesel-powered) is acceptable.
Can On-Road Vehicles Ever Use Dyed Diesel?
Rules for acceptable use are fairly strict when it comes to dyed diesel, but there are some situations where on-road use is allowed. In many jurisdictions, drivers can use the fuel on public roads if one of two conditions are met: 1) the state or federal government has declared a state of emergency, or 2) fuel supply lines have been interrupted due to a natural disaster or other significant event. Drivers, business owners, and managers who are unsure whether or not to use tax-exempt diesel can check with their fuel supplier.
Partner with Howard Energy, Inc. for Fuel Supply and Services
At Howard Energy, we fully understand how your business depends on a reliable and steady supply of gasoline and diesel fuel to keep your operations at its peak. As a family-owned, commercial full-service gas and diesel fuel supplier, Howard Energy has been serving companies across Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern VA for over 25 years.
Our team of experts has a thorough knowledge of the petroleum industry to devise commercial and retail fueling solutions. As a result, we use our keen insight to build strong partnerships with commercial trucking, construction, manufacturing companies, and more. Howard Energy is proud to bring our products and services to gas stations, car dealerships, marinas, and beyond.
If you need cost-effective and convenient wholesale fuel and related fuel tank storage or monitoring services, contact us to get started. Call us at 410-647-1500, and visit our website. Stay connected with Howard Energy on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.