Although in the context of the clear diesel fuel that powers the engine of the trucks that keep America’s shelves stocked with food and other necessities of life, dyed or “Off-Road” diesel might seem like a fourth cousin. In reality it is a long way from being a distant relative, no pun intended. Just ask our client, the owner of an ice rink who, without the dyed diesel that runs his emergency generators, would have a huge puddle of water and a loss of tens of thousands of dollars if the power went out. Or the large water company client of ours who goes into a state of panic when a bad storm is predicted, wanting their emergency generator tanks topped off immediately. One of our municipal clients, a Township called us at 3:00 PM to tell us that one of their generator tanks had failed. This was a large tank and it backed-up their water treatment plant operations. They had already found a new tank that was on its way and, after its installation they wanted a delivery. We made the delivery at 8:00 PM on a Friday night.
The situation exists in many businesses that you would not expect. Aside from farmers and golf courses, we have a bakery whose ovens run on dyed diesel as well as mushroom growers who must keep their plants at a specific temperature year-round and run their HVAC systems on dyed diesel.
What is Dyed Diesel?
It is a petroleum product that has the same characteristics as heating oil. It is the same as clear highway diesel except that a dye is added to differentiate it from the clear diesel due to tax reasons. In years past it was heating oil- the only difference was that in some circumstances it was taxable so there needed to be a distinction albeit in name only. Within the last few years, the United States Environmental Protection Administration mandated that the Sulphur level of diesel and heating oil had to be reduced. The two classes of diesel fuel, clear for on-road, highway use and dyed for off-road had to be equal to or less than 15 PPM Sulphur content. Home heating oil presently at 500 PPM is due to be reduced to 15 PPM in the next year or two. One major caveat: while in the past, in a non-taxable situation, heating oil was sometimes substituted for dyed diesel. In any engine built within the last 5-7 years it is imperative that you check with the manufacturer before doing this as irreparable damage may result.
We at Mauger & Co., Inc. and its subsidiaries take this portion of the petroleum business seriously. While gasoline and highway diesel have “glitz” and most times higher volumes, we understand the large sums of money, inventories and even having the drinking water compromised by not having a supply of this seemingly innocuous fluid.