Tractor Fuel vs. Reefer Fuel – Which One Is Better for You?

We have some people who are finding it hard to differentiate Tractor fuel vs. Reefer fuel. Well, if you are not keen, confusion is a must. Reefer fuel is usually identified with a red dye (US). These types of fuels are totally different from each other and that’s what we are going to discuss in this article.

The good thing you should understand about reefer fuel is that it’s not taxable. This type of fuel is usually considered or meant for off-road diesel; you are not wrong to refer to it as reefer diesel. Count yourself lucky if you are reading this article because we have fully packaged it because of you.

Some of the contents to expect from the report include; whether you put tractor diesel in a truck or not? Whether reefer is a diesel fuel or not? Is it possible to run regular diesel in a tractor? And how much fuel does reefer use?

Quick table;



Different types of tractor fuels

  • Diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • TVO/distillate/Tractor-fuel
  • LP Gas

Essential ways to minimize the consumption of reefer fuel in your unit


  • Detecting inappropriate fuel invoicing
  • Identifying fast fuel loss
  • Avoiding non-stop usage
  • Detect prolonged reefer usage:




Different types of tractor fuels

  • Diesel

Best fuel for huge farm tractors


  • Gasoline

Best fuel for farm tractors

Check amazon for the best lawn tractors

  • Kerosene

Farm tractors were depended on this fuel

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  • TVO/distillate/Tractor-fuel

Was suitable for all-fuel engines


  • LP Gas

Best alternative for farm tractors


Differences between Tractor fuel and Reefer fuel

Tractor Fuel vs. Reefer Fuel

It is worth noting that reefer fuel serves a major purpose on heavy truck’s refrigerators. The fuel has the responsibility of cooling the trailer, meaning that it isn’t suitable for road activities or purposes. The big reason behind this statement is due to the fact that on-road fuel is taxable.  Check amazon for the best heavy truck’s refrigerators.

Reefer fuel is normally dyed, ensuring it’s not taxed; use it for off-road purposes.

Therefore, using reefer fuel on roads is illegal and if you are found, you may end up paying a lot of money. Mostly, this type of fuel is ultra-low sulphur, a clear indication that it won’t trigger any maintenance complications when you use it in your engine.

Apart from refrigeration purposes in trucks, you can also use reefer fuel in heating, construction, agriculture, plus other off-road machines. The equipment should not operate on the highways; the government will request for fuel tax receipt.

On the other hand, tractors use standard no. 2 types of diesel. It is usually a low-grade type of fuel that lies between diesel and gasoline during the crude oil distillation process. This refining technology was invented during the Second World War which made it a more important fuel. Initially, people preferred power fuel because it was high-grade for tractors.

Reefer fuel is therefore meant for off-roaders while the tractor fuel is simply the no. 2 diesel types. It is possible to utilize reefer fuel on your pickup truck, as long as you use it for off-road activities. You are also allowed to use reefer fuel on your big firm, as long as the vehicles are not used for on-road intentions. You will only have problems with the government when you are caught roaming on the highway with such fuel in your vehicle’s tank.

Can you put tractor diesel in a truck?

Can you put tractor diesel in a truck

The road tax is the key difference between reefer fuel and truck fuel. From the above section, you can realize that reefer fuel should be strictly used by offroaders; onroaders stay aside, unless you want to pay for taxes.

Dyed fuel means that the taxes have not been paid and if you are found playing around with your vehicle; prepare for charges. You should not use reefer fuel to power vehicles on highways or public roads. On the other hand, truck fuel comes with either clear or greenish colour which is a clear indication that it is an ultra-low sulphur diesel. Besides, the two colours imply that the taxes have been cleared and you can use it for on-road purposes. There are different types of tractor fuels like;

  • Diesel: This is the oldest type of fuel that tractors use whose history can be traced back to the 1930s. It started to power big agricultural crawlers until the 1950s when it became an important fuel in farm tractors.

But, due to technological advancements, there experienced difficulties in starting engines since some manufacturers produced gasoline engines and spark-ignition diesel engines.  Many people opted for diesel as the best fuel for huge farm tractors.

  • Gasoline: This type of tractor fuel was largely used in farm tractors like John Froelich’s 1892 tractor. A good number of tractors that were manufactured after the Second World War used gasoline.

After a few years, diesel was about to replace gasoline fuel, but its usage was experienced in the 1970s. Nowadays, gasoline is majorly used in small equipment like lawn tractors. Check amazon for the best lawn tractors.

  • Kerosene: Here is another fuel type that was highly used on tractors in the early 20th century. It was applied in “all-fuel” engines, just like tractor fuel; when the engine had become hot enough to support kerosene combustion. Its usage was washed way after gasoline was introduced after World War II. Manufacturers started to produce gasoline-tractor engines, rendering kerosene useless.
  • TVO/distillate/Tractor-fuel: Let’s have a look at this fuel type for tractors. Farm tractors depended on this fuel to run before the Second World War. Some manufacturers decide to construct “all fuel” engines to accommodate more than one fuel type.
  • LP Gas: It is known as liquefied propane which was majorly used in the mid-19th century in farm tractors. Later on, a good number of farmers started to update their gasoline engine to liquefied propane gas since it was less expensive. Manufacturers were never left behind during this transition because some of them also offered these engines. The usage of LPG was reduced when diesel was made a primary fuel for tractors.

Is reefer a diesel fuel?

Not really, reefer fuel is usually red in colour. This type of fuel is also used strictly by offroaders. It is considered as a special type of fuel for off-road purposes. Also, reefer fuel isn’t taxable compared to regular diesel. Besides, using the reefer is cheaper compared to standard diesel. They are therefore totally different.

Can you run regular diesel in a tractor?

Can you run regular diesel in a tractor

Running a regular diesel is not a big deal. However, this action should depend on the tractor model you are using as well as the manufacturer specifications concerning its usage. Tractors use regular no. 2 diesel types that are of low-grade or ultra-sulphur. It has to undergo the refining process before being used for the tractors.

However, diesel tends to be expensive at truck stopovers compared to other stops. It’s a clear indication that it is possible to use diesel fuel to power tractors.

How much fuel does the reefer use?

How much fuel does the reefer use

There are different factors that we can use to determine the usage of reefer fuel. First, we have to consider the size of the reefer fuel tank. In most cases, refer tanks come with 24” length and 20” wide dimensions. Roughly, reefer tank capacity may range from 250-350 litres.

Secondly, the time the reefer takes to empty the tank should also help us. You need to understand that reefer units usually come with a closed-loop system as they are not connected to the truck. Therefore, the efficiency of the fuel is not affected by your driving habits.

The consumption of reefer fuel is likely to go up if the unit is ill-managed. Sometimes a 50-tank reefer tank capacity can serve you for up to five days; that’s if you are operating under common conditions.

Below are essential ways to minimize the consumption of reefer fuel in your unit;

  • Detecting inappropriate fuel invoicing: You should always be keen because the invoiced fuel might differ from what is injected into your unit tank. Doing so is advantageous as it can minimize fuel cost as well as providing a clear picture of the vehicle’s internals. There is a sensor that performs this function and the only task for you is to differentiate the invoicing fuel.
  • Identifying fast fuel loss: Sometimes people may steal reefer fuel from your reefer unit. This act may not only increase the operation expenses, but also subject the cargo to spoilage risk. The issues when the available fuel is not enough to keep the shipment cool before delivery. We have some reefer management manufacturers that have reefer fuel sensors to detect loss.
  • Avoiding non-stop usage: This is another trick to minimize fuel usage, unless you are transporting temperature-sensitive products or pharmaceuticals. Else, you are advised to make stopovers because switching to stop/start mode will minimize fuel consumption in your reefer unit.
  • Detecting prolonged reefer usage: While loading the reefer unit, it’s advisable to power off the cooling system. There is no need to cool the trailer while packing, yet there is a long journey awaiting you.

Frequently asked questions;

  • If a reefer tank is big enough?

Yes, most manufacturers produce reefer units with tanks that can hold up to 50 gallons fuel. With such a capacity, you may run up to five days before you think of fuel addition.

  • Is reefer fuel expensive?

Roughly, you may buy reefer fuel at $3. It is cheaper because of its non-taxable nature. You therefore don’t have to worry about buying this type of fuel.

Final words

Hopefully, our guide helps you to have different types of knowledge concerning Tractor fuel vs. Reefer fuel. We have covered a lot in the discussions to clear all the doubts you were holding about the two types of fuel types.

About Me

This is Cody Wingfield; I’m an author and a Freaky Campers enthusiast. My three favorite activities are Cycling, Rving, and Cooking for me. OutingX is a planet of mine where I will share my exploring history, story, freaky experiment, and personally gathered experience with you.

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