What Is Reefer Fuel? Can You Put It In Your Truck?

You may have heard of the term reefer fuel, but not a lot of people know what it is. However, it’s a very useful type of fuel that can be used for several purposes.

The most common use of reefer fuel is in refrigerated trucks, which are called reefers. It’s designed to keep perishable food cold so it won’t spoil, and it doesn’t gel in cold weather.

what is reefer fuel

What Is Reefer Fuel?

Reefer fuel is a type of diesel fuel that is specially formulated for use in refrigerated trucks, also known as reefers.

Reefer fuel is designed to maintain a lower temperature than regular diesel fuel, preventing the perishable goods that are transported in reefers from spoiling.

Reefer fuel is also less likely to gel in cold weather, making it ideal for use in colder climates.

To make reefer fuel, manufacturers add special additives to regular diesel fuel. These additives help the reefer fuel to maintain a lower temperature and prevent gelling.

Reefer fuel is easily identified by its red color, which is a red dye added after the fuel is blended with the additives.

The red dye makes it easy to identify reefer fuel at a glance, and it also helps to prevent accidental use of reefer fuel in regular diesel engines.

This red dye is required by the U.S. government and is used to help tax authorities keep track of reefer fuel usage.

Because reefer fuel is not subject to the same taxation that regular unleaded and diesel fuel is, it is much cheaper.

Commercial drivers that choose to fill their units with regular diesel instead of reefer fuel should keep all receipts for tax purposes so they can get reimbursed for the tax.

What Is Reefer Fuel Used For?

Reefer fuel is an important part of the food supply chain, as it helps to keep perishable goods fresh during transport. Without reefer fuel, many food items would spoil before they reached their destination.

Reefer fuel is also used in some types of construction equipment, such as concrete mixers. In this case, the reefer fuel helps to keep the concrete from freezing.

Because reefer fuel is different than on-road diesel, it is not used for road purposes. It’s only used for equipment purposes that require a lower temperature fuel.

What Happens If I Put Reefer Fuel In My Truck?

RV truck

Using reefer fuel for on-road purposes is illegal in the United States. If you are caught using reefer fuel in your on-road vehicle, you may be subject to a fine.

You can, however, put reefer fuel in your regular diesel pickup if you don’t use it on the road.

Because this type of fuel isn’t taxed the same, it tends to be cheaper. Some diesel truck drivers will attempt to avoid taxation by using reefer fuel in their diesel road trucks.

Reefer fuel won’t generally cause any damage to your engine, but it will void any warranty you have on your truck.

If you’re caught using reefer fuel, the penalties can be costly. You may have to pay a fine of up to $10,000, and your truck could be impounded.

How Long Does A Tank of Reefer Fuel Last?

How long a tank of reefer fuel lasts will depend on how big your truck’s refrigerator unit is. A reefer truck with a large fridge will use more fuel than a smaller truck.

In general, a tank of reefer fuel should last for about 2-3 days. However, it can also depend on the age and efficiency of your refrigerator unit.

How Much Does Reefer Fuel Cost?

Reefer fuel generally costs about 10-15 cents per gallon less than regular diesel fuel. However, the price of reefer fuel can vary depending on the location and the time of year.

To find the current price of reefer fuel in your area, you can check with your local truck stop or gas station. You can also check online fuel price websites.

What’s The Difference Between Tractor Fuel And Reefer Fuel?

Tractor fuel and reefer fuel are both types of diesel fuel. However, tractor fuel is regular #2 diesel fuel, while reefer fuel is a specialized type of diesel fuel that contains additives to help it maintain a lower temperature.

Tractor fuel can be used in reefer trucks, but reefer fuel cannot be used in regular diesel trucks, because it’s illegal to do so.

Another difference between the two is that reefer fuel has a red dye added to it, while tractor fuel does not. This red dye helps to identify reefer fuel and prevent accidental use in regular diesel engines.


Reefer fuel is a specialized type of diesel fuel that helps to keep perishable goods fresh during transport. It’s also used in some types of construction equipment.

Reefer fuel is not taxed the same as regular diesel fuel, so it tends to be cheaper. However, it’s illegal to use reefer fuel in on-road vehicles.

Madeline Cooper