Tractor Fuel Vs Reefer Fuel - What Are The Major Differences? (2022)

Worried about fuel? Suffering from problems with fuel selection? Which is better, Tractor fuel or Reefer fuel? There is a lot of hesitation in choosing the fuel between them. No worries, after reading this comparison article between Tractor fuel VS Reefer fuel you will know for yourself which one will be the best choice for you. Though there are fewer differences between them, they are crucial considerations. However, the basic difference is their application and road conditions.

Tractor fuel commonly refers to a low-grade fuel that is made between gasoline and number 2 diesel. In contrast, Reefer fuel, however, is used to keep freight cold and used on refrigeration trucks. Moreover, reefer fuel is the best option for off-road purposes and equipment. Reverse, the other one is the perfect option to balance the vehicle height.

Undoubtedly, fuel or fuel economy is the most important thing to get the utmost performance. Therefore, the elections can’t be rigged in any way. Microfiche, let’s find out the similarities and dissimilarities between them with a comparison table and features.

Tractor Fuel Vs Reefer Fuel With a Table

Basis of distinctionsTractor fuelReefer fuel
BasicIt is a respectable number 2 diesel and it’s a less-grade fuel. It is in between gasoline and diesel.This type of fuel refers to a satellite pump for a refrigerated trailer that reefer.
Road conditionsIt is not suitable and legitimate in off-road conditions but best for on-road and highways.Best and reliable fuel for off-road conditions.
Fuel tank capacityA semi-truck tank usually holds 120 to 150 gallons of fuel.The car has a reefer fuel tank that usually holds 50 to 100 gallons of fuel.
Fuel typesDiesel, gasoline, Kerosine, liquefied propane, and legally taxable fuel.Diesel and Non-tax fuel.
ColorClear, red-dyed, green, and blue-dyed diesel.It is red in color or red dye fuel.
Used forNormally used in farm tractors, heavy-duty construction equipment, and generators.Basically, it is used in agricultural, off-road, and construction equipment.
Refueling efficiencyThe manufacturer recommends changing the tractor oil after every 50 hours.Refrigerated reefer fuel effortlessly provides 4 to 5-days of smooth driving without refueling.
Life expectancyThe average lifespan of tractor fuel ranges from 6 to 12 months with proper maintenance.Reefer fuel tank will last up to 40,000 hours when it is new. When it gets older, it provides more than 20,000 hours.
ReliabilityTractor fuel is slightly more reliable than its counterpart.It is less reliable than its counterpart.
Consumption of fuel per hourA 310 hp tractor consumes almost 13.6 gallons of oil per hour.Advanced reefer vehicles use less fuel per hour which is between 0.4 to 1.1 gallons.
ExpensesThese fuels’ price is less than $2.5 per gallon but it varies from car tractor model.It costs slightly higher than its counterpart. Anyway, the average rate of this fuel is $2.97.

Tractor Fuel Vs Reefer Fuel Difference: Major Differences

Diesel fuel or tractor fuel is a tremendous option because of affordable pricing, greater efficiency, and clarity. However, the other one is a great option for off-road conditions. Want to know a little more about the differences between them? They differ in some areas like compatibility, road conditions, fuel types, fuel economy, life expectancy, fuel tank capacity, expenses, and many other areas. Here is the whole discussion.

Basics

Tractor fuel usually comes in green or clear color and ultra-low sulfur diesel. Plus, it is a standard number 2 diesel. Some users notice that this fuel is a combination of gasoline and diesel. Mostly, this fuel is produced from the traditional distillation of crude oil.

On the other hand, reefer fuel is tax-free and red-dyed fuel with super-efficient fuel economy. Usually, this has a closed-loop system that doesn’t have any attachment to the truck.

(Video) Mr.Sinnizter DaTrucker: How To Get Refrigerated Reefer Trailer Fuel

Color of Fuel

Color is not a mandatory and crucial consideration before buying desired fuel. So color never hampers while buying. Anyway, tractor fuel comes in different colors like clear, green, blue-dyed, and some are red-dyed.

In contrast, reefer fuel comes in red or red-dyed color which is not taxable. Reefer diesel is commonly used in reefer trucks.

Compatibility or Application

It makes them distinct a lot. They come for different vehicles and duties. Tractor fuel can be used in heavy-duty trucks, heavy-duty construction equipment, and generators. Most of the users insert Kerosine and LP as tractor fuel. By doing this, they get the utmost performance and save fuel on high-temperature road conditions.

Counters, reefer fuel is used in all agricultural, off-road, and refrigerated trucks. Reefer trucks that carry especially perishable and temperature-sensitive goods at a long distance. That’s why most of the company uses reefer fuel.

Performance in Cold Conditions

Reefer fuel is the better option when talking about the performance in frozen conditions. The average reefer fuel works great within a range of -13 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of them are efficient enough to work under -85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Contrariwise, number 2-diesel fuel is not capable of doing great work in lower temperatures. They provide better service in temperatures ranging from 14 to 15-degrees.

(Video) How a reefer unit works. (EASY!!)

Road Conditions

Tractor fuel pays better in on-road conditions while reefer fuel pays well off-road. The reason behind this is the taxable issue. Number 2-diesel is a taxable fuel. This is why it is best for both on-road and highway.

Alternatively, there is no fuel tax on the referred fuel. Plus, they haven’t any part of IFTA filing. So you may understand the difference easily here.

Fuel Consumption and Economy

It matters a lot while looking for the best fuel combination. Fuel consumption depends on how you maintain your vehicles and their internal parts. With low-grade maintenance of the reefer unit, it can’t be possible to decrease fuel consumption. The less you focus on the maintenance, the more you increase the chance of fuel consumption. So if you want to increase fuel efficiency on the reefer units, you need proper maintenance.

But there is no hassle on the tractor unit. Tractor fuel is economical and has sufficient efficiency in holding the oil. The fuel economy does not depend on the maintenance of this.

Life Expectancy

While talking about life expectancy, the reefer fuel wins the race. However, after inserting fuel on the reefer fuel tank, it will last 4 to 5 days. On the contrary, refueling the oil in the tractor fuel tank will provide a maximum of 2 to 3 days of great performance.

Fuel Tank Capacity

If the fuel tank is large, it can hold more oil at a time. Tractor fuel tanks contain 120 to 250 gallons of oil respectively. But a semi-tractor fuel tank can hold up to 64 to 80 liters effortlessly. On the other hand, there are only 50 gallons of fuel capacity tank in the reefer unit. So, think gently and make your decision intelligently.

(Video) How To Get Fuel At A Truck Stop (TSD Logistics Fuel Card) #rvlife

Expenses

Here you fall in love with the tractor fuel. Tractor fuel offers the best without costing lots of money. It is an affordable and cost-effective fuel. You can get the tractor fuel between the price ranging from $2.25 and $2.50. On the other hand, reefer fuel costs are slightly higher than its counterpart. The average price of this fuel is $2.97 per gallon.

Tractor Fuel Vs Reefer Fuel: Similarities

Truly, they have fewer similarities. Anyway, they have some areas where they are similar. These similarities produce confidence before buying. They are similar in terms of fuel types, fuel efficiency, and fuel consumption.

Fuel Types

The maximum number of tractor fuel and reefer fuel is the same in the category. Many of them are diesel even though tractor fuel is a combination of diesel and gasoline. By the way, both oils exist in the diesel.

Fuel Efficiency

There is also a similar configuration in terms of efficiency. Both deliver the utmost performance on different types of vehicles. One is best for heavy-duty construction equipment while the other is the refrigerated car.

Consumption of Fuel

They have less consumption of fuel with proper maintenance. If you maintain the external and internal parts carefully, the level of oil consumption will reduce.

So look before you leap until it gets too late.

(Video) Which reefer unit is the best?( Carrier or Thermoking)

Tractor Fuel Is Best for Heavy-duty Tasks

Tractor fuel is best for driving on the highway and on-road conditions. With fuel-efficient features and tremendous value of prices, it continuously delivers the ultimate performance. It is a lower grade and number 2 diesel. Anyway, it is a taxable and green-colored fuel with variable types. You can use, however, diesel, kerosene, gasoline, Liquefied propane, and distilled crude oil as tractor fuel. This is very affordable in price, many of the customers tell them cheap as well. Nowadays, most people choose this type of fuel for their heavy-duty construction equipment. As a result, many countries are choosing tractor fuel for its cost-effective feature.

Reefer fuel Is Best for Money

Do you have any refrigerated trucks or agricultural equipment? So why are you delaying? Choose the reefer fuel for your big refrigerated vehicle and enjoy a blissful journey till the end. However, it is a non-tax, off-road, and heating-sensitive fuel. This is why it offers an impeccable experience even in the coldest conditions. Since it is a tax-free fuel system, you can only go off-road. By doing this, you can save plenty of money. Ultra-cooling efficiency keeps the engine stable and saves fuel in the worst situations. Reefer fuel is safer for your truck and the only reason why it is dyed red. Moreover, it is considered a special form of diesel.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tractor Fuel

Advantages

  • Super additives reduce friction between piston and cylinder.
  • A larger-sized fuel tank introduces another level of fluidity.
  • Cost-effective and reliable.
  • Allows driving on both on-road and highway.
  • Clear in color.

Disadvantages

  • Can’t be driven in off-road conditions.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Reefer Fuel

Advantages

  • Perfect for off-road conditions.
  • Can perform under lower temperature.
  • Enough fuel efficiency.
  • Safer and reliable.
  • It is tax-free and does not include IFTA filing.

Disadvantages

(Video) Trucking - Fueling A Reefer Trailer/Container

  • Slightly higher in price.

Conclusion

With lots of discussions, you might understand the crucial differences and similarities between tractor fuel VS reefer fuel. Both fuels are highly demanding nowadays. So don’t hesitate when choosing one of them. Tractor fuel is great enough for heavy-duty construction trucks and off-road conditions. Also, tractor fuel is a taxable fuel. Besides, reefer fuel is fully non-taxable and you don’t need to pay any tax. So it is an off-road fuel. Depending on this article, it is now easier to choose between them. Hopefully, all of you find this article informative and helpful. Wish you a better ride and a better feeling all the road.

Read next

  • Difference Between Mobil 1 And Pennzoil (With Table)
  • Spark Plugs Vs Fuel Injectors- A Real Comparison
  • Jones turbine Vs Aero turbine: Make Your Best Choice
  • MBRP Vs MagnaFlow: Which Should Be Your Priority?
  • Cheap Coil Packs Vs Expensive: Key Differences

FAQs

What is the difference between truck fuel and reefer fuel? ›

The key difference is the road tax. Truck fuel is used on-road while reefer fuel is used offroad. Dyed fuel is an indication that taxes haven't been paid and that the fuel should not be used in powering a vehicle on public roads.

What kind of fuel does a reefer take? ›

REEFER FUEL. Reefer fuel is primarily used on refrigeration trucks. It can also be used in construction, agriculture and any other off-road equipment that does not operate on a highway and the government requires fuel tax. Tractor fuel, however, is a standard number 2 diesel.

How much fuel does a reefer burn per hour? ›

How Much Fuel Does a Reefer Use for a Day? At the low-end, a reefer truck will burn about . 4 gallons per hour, meaning 9.6 gallons of fuel in a regular 24-hour period. On the high-end, trucks can burn at about 1.1 gallons per hour, meaning 26.4 gallons over a day.

Do I use tractor fuel or reefer fuel? ›

Reefer fuel can only be used in off-road vehicles or for the purpose of maintaining refrigeration in reefer trailers. Tractor fuel can be used in any vehicle that can take standard number two diesel.

What's the difference between reefer and tractor diesel? ›

Reefer Fuel Vs.

Tractor fuel is not dyed and carries a road tax, whereas reefer fuel does not. Reefer fuel is also ultra-low sulfur, which is different from tractor fuel. Regular diesel powers tractors, but Diesel #1 is the best quality diesel for on-road vehicles.

What is tractor fuel at the pump? ›

Basic Functions of Tractor Fuel System and Mechanics - YouTube

Is reefer fuel off-road diesel? ›

Reefer fuel is one of the types of fuel that has been used in large vehicles. It's also known that with other names: red-dyed diesel, untaxed fuel, or off-road diesel fuel.

Can you use red diesel in a reefer trailer? ›

Red dye diesel can also be used to run refrigeration units on trailers known as “reefers.” But the vehicle it's attached to must use green-dyed, taxable, diesel. Just remember – stop and think before you use red-dyed diesel. If you're trying to save money by using it on the road, you could get a hefty fine.

How much fuel does a reefer trailer use per day? ›

Modern reefer units use between 0.4 and 1.1 gallons of diesel per hour of engine run time. In automatic mode, the engine runs a fraction of the time that the unit is switched on and protecting cargo, so fuel consumption per hour most likely will be at the low end of the estimate.

How many hours will a reefer unit run? ›

Reefer Hours

Reefer units typically log around 4,000 hours maximum each year. A trailer that is three years old can be expected to have between 9,000 to 12,000 hours on its refrigerated unit. The hours on a unit can be compared to the miles accumulated on a truck. More hours means that the unit was more heavily used.

How long can a reefer unit run? ›

If everything is running close to normal, a reefer's 50-gallon tank could last up to 4-5 days. Simple habits, such as maintaining your reefer trailer can pay big dividends year after year.

How long does a tank of reefer fuel last? ›

Other loads set between 50F and 70F during the summer would need refueling every other day and only 20 gallons or so. Fuel the reefer every day that it is in use. You can get at least 24 hours out of a tank.

Can you put Auto diesel in a truck? ›

Automobile Diesel : This fuel is for cars, SUVs, and regular trucks.

Does diesel have different grades? ›

Standard diesel fuel (sometimes called diesel oil) comes in two grades: Diesel #1 (or 1-D) and Diesel #2 (or 2-D). Just as gasoline is rated by its octane, diesel fuel is rated by its cetane, which indicates how easy it is to ignite and how fast it burns. The higher the cetane number, the more volatile the fuel.

What is #2 diesel? ›

#2 diesel fuel

#2 grade diesel fuel is the most readily available at most gas stations throughout the world. This chemical compound holds the highest amount of energy components and lubricant properties in one mixture and offers the best fuel performance available on the market today.

Are all tractors diesel? ›

Most tractors built through World War II either used gasoline or could use gasoline (in an all-fuel engine). By the 1960s, diesel was replacing gasoline as the primary fuel. Gasoline was often an option into the 1970s. Today, gasoline is only used in lawn tractors or other small equipment.

What is a reefer? ›

The term 'reefer' is used in shipping to refer to refrigerated ships and refrigerated shipping containers that transport perishable commodities by sea. Temperature-controlled transportation is used for perishables such as fruit, meat, fish, vegetables, and dairy products.

How do you clean the fuel injectors on a diesel tractor? ›

How to clean diesel fuel injectors without removing parts - YouTube

How long will off-road diesel fuel last? ›

Under ideal conditions, diesel fuel can be stored between six and twelve months. To extend the life past twelve months, even under the best conditions, it needs to be treated with fuel stabilizers and biocides.

How do you get red diesel? ›

Where can I buy red diesel from? Red diesel is not for general sale or for use on public roads in the majority of cases. You will need to go to a specialist fuel supplier in order to purchase red diesel legally.

Can you run off-road diesel in a truck? ›

Is it okay to run off road diesel? Off road diesel fuel is designated for non-highway use. This means you can pour it in your tractor, construction equipment, or even a generator. But if you're operating your truck or car on public roads it is absolutely illegal to run it on off road diesel.

What's the difference between high sulfur and low sulfur diesel? ›

ULSD is a cleaner-burning fuel than Low-Sulfur Diesel, containing 97% less sulfur and improving the longevity of motors previously damaged by the higher sulfur content.

What happens if you don't use ultra low sulfur diesel? ›

Serious damage will occur without it. Sulfur in diesel fuel must be lowered to become compatible with modern pollution-control technology being installed on later model diesel engines. This equipment will reduce fine particles (soot) and pollutants in diesel exhaust by over 90%.

How many gallons does a reefer hold? ›

Aluminum Reefer Tank - 50 Gallon.

How much does it cost to run a reefer? ›

In the US, the annual cost of fuel to operate just the diesel reefer unit is nearly $4000.00. Add annual maintenance costs of over $1500.00 to that and you have a sizable overhead that general truckers do not have. Electric reefer units have less fuel and maintenance costs.

How much electricity does a reefer trailer use? ›

Depending on guidelines of the manufacturer of container refrigeration unit, its technical condition and the required temperature level in the box, the average power consumption in 40′ container ranges from 6 to 9 kW (Reefer container 2017).

What is the average life of a reefer trailer? ›

A common rule of thumb is a reefer trailer should last for an average of 40,000 hours of use which equates to about 8 years on the open road. These values are based on an average of 4,000 to 5,000 hours of use per year. Keeping your hours under 4,000 annually will then extend the lifespan of your trailer considerably.

What's better Thermo King or Carrier? ›

Carrier reefer units have a 6-piston compressor that moves roughly 150% more refrigerant than the 4-piston Thermo King compressors. If you're going to be handling frozen loads, you may find that the Carrier units are better because they don't work quite as hard to keep your trailer at the right temperature.

How hot can a reefer trailer get? ›

The average reefer maintains temperatures within a range of about -13 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are highly specialized refrigeration units that go as low as -85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can I use a reefer as a dry van? ›

The answer to that question is, yes, of course. Dry freight shippers don't often remember that they can actually make good use of reefer trailers to ship their goods.

How long does it take a reefer to cool down? ›

The average reefer takes approximately two hours to cool down with the doors closed.

What refrigerant is used in reefer trailers? ›

Refrigerated containers (reefers) that are designed for use with R-134a are being offered as compatible with R-513A for future conversion or are available with non-flammable HFC/HFO refrigerant R-513A.

Is reefer fuel off-road diesel? ›

Reefer fuel is one of the types of fuel that has been used in large vehicles. It's also known that with other names: red-dyed diesel, untaxed fuel, or off-road diesel fuel.

Can you put Auto diesel in a truck? ›

Automobile Diesel : This fuel is for cars, SUVs, and regular trucks.

How much fuel does reefer use? ›

Modern reefer units use between 0.4 and 1.1 gallons of diesel per hour of engine run time. In automatic mode, the engine runs a fraction of the time that the unit is switched on and protecting cargo, so fuel consumption per hour most likely will be at the low end of the estimate.

Does diesel have different grades? ›

Standard diesel fuel (sometimes called diesel oil) comes in two grades: Diesel #1 (or 1-D) and Diesel #2 (or 2-D). Just as gasoline is rated by its octane, diesel fuel is rated by its cetane, which indicates how easy it is to ignite and how fast it burns. The higher the cetane number, the more volatile the fuel.

Can you use red diesel in a reefer trailer? ›

Red dye diesel can also be used to run refrigeration units on trailers known as “reefers.” But the vehicle it's attached to must use green-dyed, taxable, diesel. Just remember – stop and think before you use red-dyed diesel. If you're trying to save money by using it on the road, you could get a hefty fine.

What is tractor fuel at the pump? ›

Basic Functions of Tractor Fuel System and Mechanics - YouTube

How long will off-road diesel fuel last? ›

Under ideal conditions, diesel fuel can be stored between six and twelve months. To extend the life past twelve months, even under the best conditions, it needs to be treated with fuel stabilizers and biocides.

Can police check for red diesel? ›

Who checks for red correct diesel usage? HMRC and the police check for illegal red diesel use by carrying out random spot checks using a dipstick test.

What color diesel is best? ›

Diesel fuel comes in different varieties, which you can easily differentiate through their unique colors. Regular diesel is clear without any dye added for coloration. This kind of diesel is meant for on-road vehicles with diesel engines.

How long does a tank of reefer fuel last? ›

Other loads set between 50F and 70F during the summer would need refueling every other day and only 20 gallons or so. Fuel the reefer every day that it is in use. You can get at least 24 hours out of a tank.

How many hours will a reefer unit run? ›

Reefer Hours

Reefer units typically log around 4,000 hours maximum each year. A trailer that is three years old can be expected to have between 9,000 to 12,000 hours on its refrigerated unit. The hours on a unit can be compared to the miles accumulated on a truck. More hours means that the unit was more heavily used.

How many gallons does a reefer hold? ›

Aluminum Reefer Tank - 50 Gallon.

Which diesel fuel is best quality? ›

#2 grade diesel fuel is the most readily available at most gas stations throughout the world. This chemical compound holds the highest amount of energy components and lubricant properties in one mixture and offers the best fuel performance available on the market today.

Is there a difference in diesel fuel quality? ›

A premium diesel has a higher cetane number, better lubricity and includes detergents that provide injector-cleaning capability versus standard #2 diesel. Cetane measures a fuel's ignition delay. Higher cetane equals a shorter delay and better ignition quality for quicker start-ups and less pollution.

What are the two types of diesel fuel? ›

For instance, there are two types of standard diesel fuel: Diesel #1 (or 1-D) and Diesel #2 (or 2-D). Then there is biodiesel which is mainly made of agricultural materials.

Videos

1. How to Bleed Fuel System if it has run out of Fuel.
(Harnek Singh Randhawa 🇨🇦)
2. How To: Use Reefer Fuel Pump
(WEL Companies)
3. How To Operate Reefer Unit & Intellisets
(Prime Inc.)
4. Getting the Best Fuel Mileage - New Truck or Older Truck?
(Smart Trucking)
5. Why Reefer is Better than Dry Van | Box Trucking Business Owner Operator
(The Jay Files)
6. Mileage Rate or Percentage %? (What's YOUR Poison?)
(Smart Trucking)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Last Updated: 12/02/2022

Views: 6054

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Birthday: 1997-10-17

Address: Suite 835 34136 Adrian Mountains, Floydton, UT 81036

Phone: +3571527672278

Job: Manufacturing Agent

Hobby: Skimboarding, Photography, Roller skating, Knife making, Paintball, Embroidery, Gunsmithing

Introduction: My name is Lakeisha Bayer VM, I am a brainy, kind, enchanting, healthy, lovely, clean, witty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.