What Are the Different Types of Diesel Fuel?

Diesel Fuel Has Many Uses for Transportation On- and Off-Road!

diesel supplier north carolina If you don’t manage a farm, construction site, or fleet of trucks you probably don’t interact with diesel all that often. As a diesel delivery company in Wake, Chatham, and surrounding counties, LG Jordan Oil Co.’s team often needs to parse the differences between off-road diesel, on-road diesel, and other similar fuels.

Diesel fuel is a distillate fuel oil primarily derived from crude oil. It’s used in large vehicles like freight trucks and buses but also boats, trains and a range of off-road vehicles and equipment. Pretty much all diesel in the U.S. is low-sulfur.

Here is a primer on the different types of diesel fuel.

What is the Difference Between On-Road and Off-Road Diesel?

There is very little difference between on-road and off-road diesel besides how they look and how they are sold and taxed.

On-road diesel is undyed. You can purchase it at gas stations from a pump, and it is subject to taxes and fees that can often be relatively high. On-road diesel is the only diesel that can be used for fleet fueling.

Off-road diesel is dyed red and, as the name suggests, cannot be used for road vehicles. It’s used in power generation, space heating, forklifts, farm equipment, and much more. Off-road diesel is often much less expensive since it isn’t subject to the same taxes. However, tou cannot buy it at the pump.

Are There Any Other Kinds of Diesel?

Although on-road diesel and off-road diesel are the two primary designations, there are other kinds of fuel that fall into the category of diesel. For example:

  • Winterized fuel can be a blend of diesel, light distillates and kerosene. These blends may have reduced fuel economy, but they are also less susceptible to “gelling” in extremely low temperatures.
  • Biodiesel is a gallon-for-gallon replacement for petroleum diesel. It’s made with recycled and organic materials like used cooking oil, soybean oil, animal fats and algae. It is an eco-friendlier alternative.

How is Diesel Different from Gasoline?

While diesel and gasoline both come from crude oil, diesel is denser. It won’t evaporate in the air like gas, and it has a much longer shelf life.

Gasoline and diesel engines work differently, too. While they are both internal combustion engines, diesel engines must apply pressure and heat to fuel for combustion, while gas-powered engines only need air and a spark. That’s because gasoline is flammable, and diesel isn’t. Diesel combustion produces 10 to 20 percent more energy than gasoline combustion.

How Are Off-Road Diesel and Heating Oil Different?

Heating oil and red-dyed off-road diesel are effectively the same product. However, much of the heating oil used in American homes today also contains biodiesel. This significantly reduces the climate impact of burning heating oil.

Whether you are a homeowner who uses heating oil, a transportation company needing on-road diesel, or a farm using off-road diesel, LG Jordan can lend a hand. Get in touch with us to find out how we can provide the perfect diesel fuel solution for you.