SafetyWatch: Be aware of fuel types

July 10, 2017 -  By

Every experienced landscaper will tell you a story of the wrong fuel being used in a piece of equipment. There are two possible outcomes—both bad: It’s time-consuming to drain the improper fuel and start again, or the equipment is badly damaged because it has run on the wrong fuel. Either way, it’s an expensive hassle.

There are four types of fuel commonly used in landscaping equipment: unleaded gasoline, two-cycle mixed fuel, clear diesel and dyed diesel.

Unleaded gasoline: The most common fuel, it’s used in four-cycle or four-stroke engines like cars and large mowers. These engines are said to use “straight gasoline,” which is different from mixed gasoline. Gas is also used in some small-engine equipment like generators, trimmers and edgers, although most handheld equipment is usually two-cycle and uses mixed gas.

Mixed fuel: To create mixed fuel, gasoline is mixed with two-cycle engine oil. This two-cycle oil is sometimes green, but it’s usually blue. Do not confuse two-cycle oil with motor oil, which is used internally in four-cycle engines to lubricate the motor’s parts. Caution: Running regular unmixed gasoline in an engine requiring mixed fuel will destroy the engine.

Diesel: There are two types of diesel: clear diesel and dyed diesel. Why? In some places, diesel for use in nonroad equipment like tractors and loaders can be purchased in bulk with less tax on it than ordinary diesel. To tell the two fuels apart, the lower-tax diesel is dyed pink. If you use dyed diesel in a diesel truck, it will not hurt the engine, but tax authorities could fine your employer for using the improper fuel. However, putting gasoline into a diesel engine or vice versa is a serious mistake and can destroy the engine.

Source: Greenius

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