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

Diesel is a vital fuel source for several industries across the planet due to its high efficiency and safety. Because of federal and state laws, diesel fuel is available in two forms: on-road diesel and off-road diesel. Though they are the same, there are several ways they differ. One way is how on-road diesel fuel can be purchased from nearly any gas station, while off-road diesel is supplied by reliable off-road diesel delivery services like Fuel Core. Below, we provide more details about both diesel types and how they are different.

What is On-Road Diesel?

On-road diesel is fuel for vehicles that are mainly operated on public roads and highways. It is the more widely available version of diesel since you can purchase it from nearly any refill station across the US. More importantly, it is also the only type of diesel that vehicles traveling on the road are allowed to use.

What is Off-Road Diesel?

Off-road diesel is used to fuel industrial equipment and vehicles used on private property or while conducting business. This version is not available for general sale to the public. Instead, one would have to contact an expert off-road diesel delivery service like Fuel Core. Additionally, public drivers cannot fuel their diesel engines with off-road fuel, or else they will be fined heavily, due to federal and state regulations.

The Differences Between Off-Road and On-Road Diesel

So, what is the difference between on-road and off-road diesel? While both of them are the same chemical fuel source, they have three key differences: their color, cost, and use. Below, we provide further details and explain their importance.


A noticeable difference between off-road and on-road diesel is the color. In order to make them distinct and easy to identify, off-road diesel is mixed with a red dye. This distinguishes it from regular on-road diesel fuel, which has a clear color.


Off-road and on-road diesel also differ in price. This is because on-road diesel is taxable, with federal and state taxes imposed on its sale in order to fund our country’s infrastructure. Therefore, it becomes more expensive. On the other hand, off-road diesel is not taxed by the state or federal government, making it a cheaper fuel source. These benefits industries such as construction, farming, and transportation which use off-road diesel for most of their equipment and vehicles.


On-road diesel is used to power vehicles that travel on public roads, such as transport trucks, public transit, and school buses. On the other hand, vehicles and equipment that aren’t operated on public roads can use off-road diesel as fuel. Examples of them include:

Farm equipment
Construction equipment
Electrical power generators

Off-road diesel is used in several industries, such as agriculture, mining, construction, and more. For example, off-road diesel is the preferred fuel for construction equipment such as bulldozers, excavators, and cranes. It is also used to power large agricultural machinery like tractors and combines, which require a reliable and efficient fuel source to operate.

Fuel Core: Your Trusted Off-Road Diesel Supplier

If you are a company in need of reliable diesel fuel deliveries, consider working with Fuel Core. We provide fast and hassle-free fuel deliveries using mobile fueling trucks capable of meeting you when and wherever you need them. Our team of experts has the experience and knowledge to handle all of your fueling needs. With us, you can trust that your equipment and vehicles will have the fuel they need to keep your operations running smoothly.


In conclusion, the primary differences between on-road and off-road diesel are their color, cost, and usage. On-road diesel is clear and used to power vehicles that travel on public roads, while off-road diesel is red and used to fuel equipment and vehicles that operate on private property or during business activities.

The cost of on-road diesel is higher due to taxes imposed by the state and federal government, while off-road diesel is cheaper because it is not subject to those taxes. As a result, many industries prefer to use off-road diesel for their equipment and vehicles.

At Fuel Core, we provide reliable and convenient diesel delivery services to businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Our mobile fueling trucks are equipped to handle both on-road and off-road diesel, ensuring that we can meet the fueling needs of a wide range of industries. We pride ourselves on our fast and hassle-free service, which allows our customers to focus on their core business activities without worrying about fuel logistics.

Whether you need a one-time delivery or ongoing fuel supply services, Fuel Core is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services and to schedule your next diesel delivery.

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