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Difference between farm diesel and regular diesel?

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  • Difference between farm diesel and regular diesel?

    Is there an actual difference?

    I bought "regular diesel" for the tractor and he said it was bad because it didn't have as many lubricants, blah, blah, blah...

    I thought the difference was the dye that was just an indicator??

    Help settle the argument!

  • #2
    -shrug- I haven't ever heard that. The diesel we get in our "tractor tank" is tinted with the dye, and cheaper because it's tax free or something like that. But we've put it in the farm truck before without any issues, and as far as I know, it's just regular diesel.

    Comment


    • #3
      Huh...nope AFAIK the only difference in dye and road diesel fuel has slightly lower sulfur.
      However...some stations have the ultra low sulfur diesel which does have less oil content in it. Look at the diesel pump...if it has "ULSD" on it, avoid it for the tractor. Fine for trucks but seems to be a tad too "dry" for lower geared tractors.
      You jump in the saddle,
      Hold onto the bridle!
      Jump in the line!
      ...Belefonte

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      • #4
        Dye.

        We use the regular stuff.

        In the UK, if you get caught using the dyed diesel in your regular, non-farm vehicle there are significant penalties.

        Comment


        • #5
          All onroad diesel (the stuff you buy at the gas pump) is ULSD (ultra low sulfur diesel) starting in 2010 by EPA mandate. That means it has less than 15 ppm sulfur in it, so that new tailpipe emission control devices in trucks (required starting in 2007) could work without being sulfur poisoned. To get the sulfur that low, we have to hydrotreat (or hydrotreat harder than we once did) during the refining process. Turns out the sulfur molecules we're taking out actually provide "lubricity" to the fuel (think, slippery) which protects the fuel pumps and the injectors. Most ULSD batches need "lubricity additives" to bring the fuel's slipperiness up to the level that the fuel won't potentially allow damage to the pump or injectors. ALL ULSD sold commercially by major vendors will have been tested and, if necessary, lubricity additized. All on-road vehicles built in 2006 and later should run quite happily on this fuel.

          Up until this year, offroad diesel had a 0.5% or 0.05% sulfur spec, depending on particular circumstances. We call the 0.05% stuff "LSD - Low sulfur diesel" as it was mandated starting in 1993; I remember a lot of Chevy diesels which had fuel pump problems during that transition. We made 0.5% sulfur diesel from about 1977 until 1993, and before that there were no regulations. Starting in 2010, most offroad diesel will be required to drop to 15 ppm (ULSD) as well. So even if you're getting high sulfur material now, that source will probably dry up gradually over the next few years (we're not selling ANY diesel except ULSD for any grade that I know of, we don't have the logistics (separate tanks, pipes, etc.) to do that; our red dyed fuel will probably be ULSD also unless something else is blended at the terminal).

          Red dyed offroad fuel does not define sulfur content, as I noted above. It can be anything from 0 to 500 ppm sulfur today, and in some places (if people are blending home heating oil to offroad) it can be even higher. The red dye has no function other than to prove to the feds that road taxes HAVE NOT been paid on it. So if you get caught with red fuel in your onroad vehicle the feds will have an issue with you. And remember that red dye does not imply anything about fuel sulfur or lubricity.

          Summary: Modern fuels are of extremely high quality and are additized as appropriate if purchased from a reputable supplier. Onroad diesel will be more expensive because an average of 42 cents per gallon taxes have been paid to the government on them. On low sulfur fuels, lubricity is always a concern - modern engines are designed for these fuels, so they should not be a problem. Older engines (e.g. I have a 1997 Ford 3930 tractor which is designed for 0.05% sulfur fuel) may or may not be tolerant of the lower lubricity levels in ULSD; even older engines (e.g., I also have a 1970 Ford 3000 tractor which is designed for 0.5%+ sulfur fuels) almost certainly will not tolerate ULSD for high severity duty. I've stuck an injector on the 3930 and ruined a fuel pump on the 3000 (neither of which appear to have been fuel related) in the last 5 years.

          I try to additize each tank (lubricity additive only if I can get it) of fuel on my 1997 a little and my 1970 a lot. Further advice - keep your fuel dry and clean, I've had two injector failures (one truck, one tractor) which were probably water related; and DON'T add kerosene for cold weather use as kero has even less lubricity than ULSD.

          Comment


          • #6
            The difference that matters between onroad and offroad fuel is:

            Onroad has road tax paid on it.

            Offroad does not have road tax paid on it.

            Penalties vary from state to state, but here if they catch you with dyed fuel in your truck on the road, the penalty is something like $10,000. They look at the mileage on the truck and figure you've been running it for the life of the truck and go back and figure how much road tax you owe on top of the penalty.

            It doesn't matter which you run in a tractor other than offroad being more expensive because of the included tax.
            www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tom King View Post
              It doesn't matter which you run in a tractor other than offroad being more expensive because of the included tax.
              It does depend on how old your tractor is -- see secretariat's post above regarding lubricity.

              .

              Comment


              • #8
                Don't get caught with the wrong diesel in your tank in Virginia.

                Amazingly - I've seen troopers checking the tank. And I don't get out much so witnessing that was pretty surprising.

                Felt bad for the driver and passengers though. Bunch of Mennonite kids.
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling

                Comment


                • #9
                  Taxes.

                  Seriously, don't get caught with farm diesel in your POV.
                  Originally posted by BigMama1
                  Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                  GNU Terry Prachett

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kate66 View Post
                    Dye.

                    We use the regular stuff.

                    In the UK, if you get caught using the dyed diesel in your regular, non-farm vehicle there are significant penalties.
                    Yep. One of the farmers in the village was fined for using red diesel. Cost him quite a lot of money.
                    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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                    • #11
                      I always use an additive in fuel anyway so I didn't think to mention that.

                      I was at a cattle livestock sale one night and there was a Highway Patrolman with a little black light looking under the fuel door on all diesel trucks. He caught several. I don't think those guys sold enough cows that night to pay the fine.

                      In N.C. the road tax is 48.5 cents.
                      www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Secretariat...thanks for that info!
                        Does anyone know off hand if a 2004 NH tractor diesel engine would be considered "modern" enough to run on the newer lower sulphur diesel?
                        And yep, get caught with red diesel in your road vehicle here in CT and you are *screwed.* However around here they usually only ever check large commercial trucks. (tri axels)
                        We used to be able to use red dyed diesel in regular pick up trucks on the road *if* it was registered as a farm vehicle and that registration type meant you weren't allowed to go more than 20 miles from your farm with it. I have no clue what current laws on that are though.
                        You jump in the saddle,
                        Hold onto the bridle!
                        Jump in the line!
                        ...Belefonte

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                          Secretariat...thanks for that info!
                          Does anyone know off hand if a 2004 NH tractor diesel engine would be considered "modern" enough to run on the newer lower sulphur diesel?
                          And yep, get caught with red diesel in your road vehicle here in CT and you are *screwed.* However around here they usually only ever check large commercial trucks. (tri axels)
                          We used to be able to use red dyed diesel in regular pick up trucks on the road *if* it was registered as a farm vehicle and that registration type meant you weren't allowed to go more than 20 miles from your farm with it. I have no clue what current laws on that are though.
                          Some of the older diesel truck threads recommend adding a half pint of chain saw oil to your tractor or truck tank, if you have an older truck without the regeneration stuff that is on the later F350's and GMC's.

                          It can't hurt because it burns under combustion in your chain saw.

                          It is supposed to lubricate the injectors and the pump.

                          CSSJR

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cssutton View Post
                            Some of the older diesel truck threads recommend adding a half pint of chain saw oil to your tractor or truck tank, if you have an older truck without the regeneration stuff that is on the later F350's and GMC's.

                            It can't hurt because it burns under combustion in your chain saw.

                            It is supposed to lubricate the injectors and the pump.

                            CSSJR

                            at first i thought you meant bar oil for a chain saw...

                            Ive always used 2-stroke oil about an ounce per gallon though i dont think half a pint is enough. i go with one quart. i think we are referring to the same thing?

                            keeps me feeling good about lubricating the injection pump on my dodge, since ULSD has very poor lubrication properties.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                              Secretariat...thanks for that info!
                              Does anyone know off hand if a 2004 NH tractor diesel engine would be considered "modern" enough to run on the newer lower sulphur diesel?
                              And yep, get caught with red diesel in your road vehicle here in CT and you are *screwed.* However around here they usually only ever check large commercial trucks. (tri axels)
                              We used to be able to use red dyed diesel in regular pick up trucks on the road *if* it was registered as a farm vehicle and that registration type meant you weren't allowed to go more than 20 miles from your farm with it. I have no clue what current laws on that are though.


                              2004 is pretty new in the scheme of diesel technology. you could check the manual? or if you dont have one im sure it is available online.

                              and i am fairly sure if a truck is a farm registered truck you can run red dye, but i was told it was 150 miles from your farm...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by weasel1088 View Post
                                at first i thought you meant bar oil for a chain saw...

                                Ive always used 2-stroke oil about an ounce per gallon though i dont think half a pint is enough. i go with one quart. i think we are referring to the same thing?

                                keeps me feeling good about lubricating the injection pump on my dodge, since ULSD has very poor lubrication properties.
                                We are on the same page.

                                My post was a poor one because I was not specific and I appreciate your making the distinction for me.

                                More is probably better because it can't hurt. As we all know, diesels will run on a variety of fuels so long as gasoline is not one of them.

                                CSSJR

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  This is a PSA warning for any Canadians running dyed diesel.

                                  In the US it is illegal t run a truck with dyed diesel on the highway - i.e. if trucking horses to a show in US, it is not ok to fill up in Canada and cross the line. Here, it is legal, in a farm truck, to run farm (dyed) fuel and a farm truck has a special registration plate.

                                  This number plate was a red flag to some over-zealous highway patrolman in Washington State recently when he stopped a farmer, driving a legitimate Canadian farm vehicle and tested it. It cost the fellow $1,000 in fines and he was just shopping over the line for some farm machinery for his farm. Both he and the machinery dealer lost out.

                                  This was news to almost all up here and it was posted on Horse Council bulletins.
                                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I run this stuff in all diesel fuel-still running original injectors in 2001 Duramax and never had a fuel system problem in anything.

                                    This price must be for a 12 pack. I buy it at a truck stop where I buy fuel. My reasoning for buying from a truck stop is that they have a high turnover rate and always keep good filters on the pumps. Never had a problem.

                                    http://www.amazon.com/Lucas-Oil-1000...=pd_sbs_auto_5
                                    www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I use the Lucas conditioner in all my rigs (vet truck, personal truck, and old retired to being a hay truck truck)

                                      Really helps in winter too with gelling.
                                      Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                                      Sam: A job? Does it pay?
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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Well thanks for all the info even if it does mean that he (hubby) was right and I was wrong.

                                        Our tractor is a 1969 John Deere so I see now that it's especially important for it to have the lubricating ingredients!!

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