The Groundsman

August 2012

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the Groundsman August 2012 TECHNICAL UPDATE 23 Are you seeing red? We offer a few words of advice to groundsmen about the use of red diesel-powered vehicles Red Diesel is a slightly more dense ('heavier') fuel than DERV (white diesel) and it carries a lower (rebated) rate of duty. It also has a lower cetane number (measure of ignition quality). The fuel is marked with a chemical marker and, in the UK, is dyed red. What vehicles can use Red Diesel? Vehicles that are exempt vehicle excise duty (VED) and are used entirely in an off- road capacity can use red diesel at will. Additionally, vehicles that have a SORN declaration can use red diesel. IMPORTANT The definition of agricultural, horticultural and forestry activities was agreed in a memorandum of understanding between government departments and agencies and industry associations when the document was written in 2010. The detail goes way beyond the scope of this paper but of particular relevance to groundsmen, greenkeepers and others involved with leisure and amenities facilities will be the fact that landscaping, the maintenance of recreational facilities (including beaches) and flood protection do not fall within the definitions. As such, vehicles engaged in these activities are not permitted to use red diesel on public roads: they must use DERV (white diesel). Can Red Diesel be used in a road vehicle? Licensed vehicles used on a public road (i.e. maintained at public expense) can only use red diesel if: i) ii) a. b. c. iii) iv) v) vi) vii) viii) ix) The vehicle owner has a licence to pay the difference between full fuel duty and the lower rate of duty. Accurate records of on-road use (time, hours of operation, mileage, purpose, etc.) must be kept on a daily basis and made available for inspection by HMRC at any time. The vehicle is engaged in one of the following activities: snow clearing gritting road building and maintenance The vehicle is a mobile crane with a weight exceeding 3,500 kgs; has no other purpose; and is being moved from site to site. The vehicle is a complete, purpose-built mowing machine. The vehicle is a digging machine designed and constructed for excavating, trench-digging or shovelling and is being moved from site to site (e.g. JCB). The vehicle is a forklift truck or shunt vehicle moving from one private premises to another over a distance of less than 1 km. The vehicle is a piece of agricultural machinery, an agricultural material handler or an agricultural processing vehicle designed for a specific purpose related to agriculture, horticulture or forestry (see panel) and is proceeding to and from the place where it is used (e.g. combine harvester). The vehicle is a light agricultural vehicle, having a weight less than 1,000 kgs, seating only one person and being used solely for purposes related to agriculture, horticulture or forestry (e.g. quad bike). The vehicle is a tractor specifically designed and constructed for off-road use and is being used solely for purposes related to agriculture, horticulture or forestry or is being used in the maintenance of verges, trees and hedges bordering public roads. Unlicensed vehicles may use Red Diesel on the road if and only if: i) ii) iii) They are being used for purposes related to agriculture, horticulture or forestry. They are moving between areas of land owned or occupied by the same person. The distance involved is less than 1.5 km. This article – contributed by Neil Ryding, Fuel Additive Science Technologies, - draws out the main points of HMRC document "Fuel for Road Vehicles" (HMRC Reference: Notice 75 (September 2010).

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