Red diesel question

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Red diesel question

Post by wheelbarrow » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:43 pm

Hi folks
Can you please advice me on a diesel question. Being a registered agri holding I obviously need a tractor just for topping the few acres I have, I used to run it as a farm and always ran on red diesel.
Having retired from milk production in 1996 I haven't purchased red diesel since then as hat I had in store lasted me that long, I recently had to get some more so phoned my old supplier who without question supplied me with 100 gallons.
Having bought a DB 1190 to tak on most of the work on the land I am in the process of refurbing my old 1963 MF 35 and would like to take it on some road runs with our local club when it's ready.
My question is "What are the rules regarding use of red diesel on the road for such events?
Bearing in mind that even if I filled up with white diesel, the red could still be detected by any checks made.


RE: Red diesel question

Post by Guest » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:32 pm

The red and white diesel situation is still a very grey area and some say one thing and some interpret it entirely differently. This is the situation regarding the current legislation and use.

A vehicle that is registered and described as 'an agricultural vehicle' MUST if not used for agricultural purposes, be run on white diesel, there are situations where you can use red diesel and these are if you are using the tractor for agricultural purposes, such as contracting or ploughing matches, it is advisable that for all other purposes, such as road runs and non-agricultural purposes, that you use white diesel, there is no need to change the fuel filters or bleed the system through but you do need to drain the tank so that there is no mix of the two fuels, it doesn't take very long for a lift pump full, 2 filters and injector pump full of red diesel to run through. If you look on the VOSA web site and look at the 'rebated and road diesel' section it's all there.

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RE: Red diesel question

Post by wheelbarrow » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:14 pm

Thankyou, I assumed it would be a bit grey. I shall interrogate the VOSA web site
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RE: Red diesel question

Post by Guest » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:16 pm

They 'tailored' the legislation around the section 'construction and use'.

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Post by Scooby » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:56 pm

I think that there are two concession for using red diesel when not on ag. work. One is when snow clearing and I think it can be used for verge mowing but not 100% sure about that.

As far I know no one has ever been prosecuted for using cherry on a road run. Bearing in mind that most road runs raise money for charity it would be very bad publicity both for the Police but also for agriculture. A lot of people still don't know that bona fide farmers use a rebated fuel.

It is a grey area because I think that gritters can use cherry and maybe road rollers.
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Post by Dewi » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:32 pm

This article from The Farmers` Weekly gives some answers on the use of red diesel ... -rules.htm


Post by Guest » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:38 pm

Scooby, in the Council winter road treatment cuts a lot of 'minor' roads have been taken off the gritting lists and local people have attempted to organise their own road gritting where practicable and have been supplied with, with a little grant aid, a towable spreader, apart from most of them having no clue on how to use the spreader let alone knowing how to drive in icy conditions the farmers won't do it as they have not been told that they can use red diesel which is still a debate that's on-going, here in my village they had a meeting with the Council and this was brought up and the Councilor said that he could see no problem in using a tractor on the spreader and using red diesel as all the Council vehicles had been using red diesel for years. One rule for one and a different rule for others!

To be on the right side of the Law, if you are using an agricultural machine for non agricultural use then assume that you need to run it on white diesel. The Police won't stop you, it's VOSA that are the enforcing authority and they are a power unto themselves.

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Post by paperrustler » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:56 pm

Any vehicle used in the manufacture distribution or spreading of salt is allowed to use red diesel. I run gritters and its allowed

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Post by John_Allen » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:08 pm

I can't remember the exact details, but Classic Tractor had an article a year or two ago and there are silly things like a contractor can go to plough a field on red diesel as he is going to do an agricultural job. However, he cannot drive the tractor home on red as that is not agricultural work. It was a minefield for the unwary and I seem to remember that gritting with red had been made an exception so that farmers could be "good neighbours".

As it is though, for limited use, it might not be worth the hassle of buying red. A friend who retired over ten years ago has kept a field and his MF 135. He just buys a couple of gallons of white diesel now and then as he reckons he would die long before he got 500 gallons used from a storage tank. Mind you, I seem to remember that he needed a new tank, so that would be another unnecessary cost!


Post by Guest » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:49 pm

For agricultural use you are also restricted to travel distances, I believe in total it's 12 miles.

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Post by phills996 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:23 pm

I don't use my 996 for anything other than fun, Road runs which ive done many, so I just go to the local garage and put white in, And in all the runs I have done ive never seen anyone take a sample, Probably cause RRs are mainly on Sundays, Lots of farmers use their working tractors to do Road runs, I doubt they ever switch to white,

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Post by odin » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:29 pm

Just a point of interest as VOSA was mentioned. No longer VOSA but now the Driver and Vehicles Standard Agency ??? Headed up by a new Minister of Transport, Robert Goodwill, a Tory Whip and Yorkshire Farmer from Malton. (Wonder which classic tractors he collects and will he be at Malvern next week) ?
There have been three Ministers of Transport during the last 2 Years, not a glamorous job by British Government standards. The DVSA is more interested in Diesel Particulate filters and have you Doctored your DPF by chopping the filter out and welding the cylinder back together ? Apparently the problem has been created by Taxi Drivers in certain Northern Cities not far from from Malton but we cannot talk about that. But if you are of a certain creed and drive a tractor, gritter or what ever on cherry, it will cost you a barrister to plead your mitigating circumstances as you are guilty by driving on HM road on Cherry, charity road run or not.
If we had a Transport Minister that stuck at the job then there could be some clarity on a number of transport, and agri' issues....... just a point.


Post by Guest » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:52 pm

Shows and rallies are another grey area, local agricultural show that I attend every year has a number of tractor dealers exhibiting with stands at the show and the local dealers normally drive a couple or three tractors to the show, two years ago VOSA was on the entrance gate dipping every diesel tractor coming in the field, they told the dealers that their tractors were not being used for an agricultural purpose and were told to either return to their place of origin or face a fine, from then on these dealers either didn't come again or transported the tractors on lorries, which in itself caused difficulties due to the location access and size of the site.

Since then things have changed a little in that any show that is classed as an agricultural show is an agricultural event and as long as you don't drive around the site and remain in a static position you can use red diesel. If you are using a tractor to help put the show together, transporting the likes of jumps for the horses, penning for animals, water, feedstuffs and other show stuff you are permitted to use red diesel. I believe that you can apply for an exemption to use red diesel if draining the tank on the tractor is difficult or impractical for the amount of time, distance or operation to replace it with and use white diesel. There's still a lot of controversy over the legislation and still many ways you could interpret it.

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Post by John_Allen » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:28 pm

A neighbour got caught with traces of red in a car that he'd bought a couple of months earlier. He'd put a few tanks of white diesel through (and run out at one time), but they "saw" traces of red in the clear line between filters and injector pump.

We still haven't worked out why they came to a domestic residence to test, but suspect that they'd been tipped off about it by someone with a grudge against the previous owner - and waited too long to catch him!

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