Jerry can colours

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 13:14

Member - Russler

Hi all,
Does anyone know if there are laws governing the colour of jerry cans and their contents? Are they uniform across the nation, or do they vary by state? There appears to be guidelines, but not laws. Are you going to get knocked back at a servo if your jerry can does not comply with the guideline?
Cheers,
Russler

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Reply By: Shaker - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 13:48

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 13:48
There are no laws, just guidelines.
If red is for petrol, yellow for diesel, green for 2 stroke, what is drab olive for?
Drab olive would be the most common.
Anyone who lives within their means ..... suffers from a lack of imagination!

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Follow Up By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 14:15

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 14:15
Usually the drad olive or green are for water ONLY ... NO fuel
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Fred B
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 14:27

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 14:27
I don't think so ..... all military jerry cans are drab olive!
Anyone who lives within their means ..... suffers from a lack of imagination!

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Follow Up By: Allan B, Sunshine Coast, - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 14:27

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 14:27
errrr....olive oil maybe?

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 17:19

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 17:19
Sorry, you are right... I was thinking about the plastic ones that were marked as "water only"..... Apologies... I obviously hadn't thought it through when I answered.
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Reply By: Member - Russler - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 15:10

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 15:10
I certainly wouldn't want to drink water from my green cans, now that they've had diesel in 'em. Ditto my red one.
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Russler

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Reply By: blue one - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 16:06

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 16:06
I bought Black Jerrys for diesel and I have also seen yellow for diesel, black for water???

Check the labels is all I can offer.

Cheers
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 18:16

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 18:16
I just use different coloured zipties on the handles to identify which is which .... saves hunting around looking for different coloured jerrycans.

AnswerID: 432621

Follow Up By: nsngood - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 18:38

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 18:38
Yep same here.
Two stroke gets two zipties
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Reply By: rumpig - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 19:35

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 19:35
i always thought it was red for petrol, black for diesel and olive for water.
that's how mine all are anyway.
AnswerID: 432627

Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 20:00

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 20:00
An interesting quote from the Proquip site:-
http://www.safetysolutions.net.au/products/43562-Pro-Quip-colour-coded-jerry-can-range

"Pro Quip has expanded its range of colour-coded jerry cans for fuels and liquids which is now being implemented by all emergency services. This can assist users to be aware of what colour relates to what fluid, with each colour identified by a clear colour-coded tag and sticker confirming the contents.

The 12 colours and contents are:

red - unleaded petrol;
orange - ethanol;
olive yellow - diesel;
bottle green - two stroke 25:1;
shamrock green - drip torch;
bluebell blue - AdBlue;
bright blue - chain and bar oil;
powder blue - kerosene;
mist blue - water;
pipeline grey - two stroke 50:1;
black - oil;
nut brown - biodiesel."
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 21:43

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 21:43
my Olive jerry can has the word WATER moulded into it, so therefore i assume it's for water...lol
i guess that may be how "Pro Quip" view their range to be used, obviously not all manufactureres think the same thing then.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 22:36

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 22:36
Lex M

The Pro Quip story is advertising and wishful thinking. I am in an emergency service and we do not follow that guideline.

All our jerry cans, whatever colour they are are clearly labelled in a large square print of contrasting colour with the name of the fuel they carry, or the name of the equipment the fuel is for.

We don't carry water in jerry cans, but in 600ml bottles for mixing with electrolyte concentrate in a measured dose.

I suspect Pro Quip are trying to make their colour system so popular that it is adopted by all. Good luck, there are so many jerry cans out there, they are all different colours and they are not regulated so I suspect any attempt to standardise colours will be futile.

Duncs
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Reply By: Ruffy-Dan - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 19:48

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 19:48
http://www.proquip.com.au/ProductPages/JerryCans/AFACFuelIDTags.html
AnswerID: 432628

Reply By: mikehzz - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 20:00

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 20:00
I was told it makes it easier for emergency services to deal with potential hazards if the correct fuel is in the correct colored can. Red for petrol, yellow for diesel, green for 2 stroke. If everyone is using them for whatever then it's of no real use as are the black and khaki ones. Mike
AnswerID: 432629

Reply By: landseka - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 22:11

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 22:11
What a load of "Cods"....open the lid & smell the contents. Most ppl can tell the difference between petrol & diesel. If no smell it is water, unless of course you are in Adelaide. lol

Cheers Neil
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 22:51

Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 at 22:51
That is very dangerous Neil.

Over the past 15 years I have spent a lot of time and effort training people NOT to do exactly what you have just suggested. I have also put a couple of people in ambulances after they had done just what you suggest.

But you are right what has been suggested above is a load of "Cods".

Emergency services will only use factory sealed and labelled containers as evidence of what is in them. Anything other than that is properly identified on scene and kept sealed or isolated until it is.

Oh and by the way my jerry cans are coloured as follows; red metal is diesel, green metal is unleaded, yellow plastic is drinking water and green plastic is grey water. They have been that way for over 14 years and I am not about to change it.

Duncs
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Follow Up By: landseka - Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 09:14

Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 09:14
I was being slightly 'tongue in cheek' Duncs, but lets face it, your method is no better than any on else's as only you know what the colour code means, in a roadside emergency no-one would know what was in your containers.

FWIW my cans are - green (olive) metal is diesel, red plastic - unleaded, blue plastic is drinking water and two stroke is mixed as required in the boat tank.

I agree you would need a bloodhounds nose to pick 100:1 twostroke from unleaded, colour MAY give it away.

Cheers Neil
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 10:15

Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 10:15
Duncs ,you may have been using YOUR colour code for the last 14 yrs and are not about to change it , you have that right , BUT, the colour coding for jerry cans has been around for since prior to WW1 , the original metal "jerry"can from Germany which every other army has copied had/has a slot just above the pouring /filling lid seal for the insertion of a COLOUR coded and written contents tag , Red=petrol - Yellow= Diesel , these codes were put in place over 100 yrs ago and were adopted by ALL the Axis and Allied armies , the same code is still used by the U.N. , the reason for original colour coding tags was that a large proportion of men + women in the armed forces were illiterate and jerry cans came in 1 colour only ,
As recently as 2yrs ago Anaconda was selling a shipment of WW11 vintage Jerry cans made in Sweden in 1941 that came with colour coded tag.
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Reply By: Wilko - Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 07:15

Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 07:15
I have black ones and use them for Diesel/unleaded/2stroke. I have them labelled and stick to the label religiously.

It works for me.

I had a mate who thought he could smell/tell the difference between 2stroke and unleaded. He couldnt, several thousand dollars worth of outboard damage and a bruised ego.
Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 432668

Reply By: Ray - Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 09:34

Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 09:34
First of all we must define what is a Gerry Can???? In my way of thinking a gerry can is made of STEEL not plastics and painted khaki colour.
The name Gerry Can was the name given by allied forces to describe a fuel container used by the German army in WW11 and copied by other nations. Hence the name Gerry Can. Plastic containers of whatever colour are not gerry cans.
AnswerID: 432677

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 10:23

Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 10:23
Ray , think you will find the term is " jerry" not gerry and the original can was first used in WW1 , colour was not khaki / olive drab but a gray as used on German battleships.
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Reply By: cycadcenter - Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 10:45

Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 10:45
Here is a quote from the regs in the USA, I'm pretty certain that these colours were adopted from a universal code from the United Nations.

2.1 Openings
A portable fuel container may incorporate a secondary opening or vent hole
(i.e. an opening other than the opening needed for the spout) provided the
secondary opening or vent hole is not easily tampered by a consumer, and it
does not emit hydrocarbon vapors in excess of the amounts specified in these
requirements during fueling, storage, transportation or handling events.
2.2 Color
Portable fuel containers shall be color coded for specific fuels:
a) Gasoline – red;
b) Diesel – yellow; and
c) Kerosene – blue.
Each portable fuel container must have identification markings on the
container and on the spill-proof spout.
a) Red containers shall be permanently identified with the embossed
language, or permanent durable label “GASOLINE” in minimum 34-point
Arial font or a font of equivalent proportions.
b) Yellow containers shall be permanently identified with the embossed
language, or permanent durable label “DIESEL” in minimum 34-point
Arial font or a font of equivalent proportions.
c) Blue containers shall be permanently identified with the embossed
language, or permanent durable label “KEROSENE” in minimum 34-point
Arial font or a font of equivalent proportions.

Bruce in San Diego
AnswerID: 432679

Reply By: OzTroopy - Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 11:10

Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 11:10
Ohhh ... For heavens sake

They're your jerrycans ... put whatever you want in them and label them somehow.

If you need to be told how to use and identify a jerrycan ... You probably dont need one.

If you damage one somehow ... in the middle of nowhere ... chances are you wont be able to get a replacement to match anyway .... unless you want to book a pub room and wait for one to be shipped in .....

That would make a good thread title

"A 4day trip delay over a bloody jerrycan" .... pftttttttt


I can just see the next election promise as a result of this thread ...

"We promise to make the world more safer from alien invasion with aust. nanny state rule # 1,958,723 ... Jerrycan Colours."
AnswerID: 432683

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 12:43

Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 12:43
Agree.

You go to the shop, select the size and style of can that takes your fancy / suits your needs and the colour that that manufacturer has chosen to suit the produst you wish to store and that is the correct one.

As long as you don't fill your fuel tank with water or try and make a cup of tea with diesel you are all good!
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Reply By: Member - Russler - Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 18:51

Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 18:51
Yeah, colour doesn't personally worry me. Black, white, green, yellow or red. I'll know what goes in them all (diesel). What really prompted my query was that I was recently advised by a salesperson to be careful which coloured containers I bought, as some people were strict about which fuel went in which coloured container.

I gather from the range of responses that nobody has ever been knocked back when filling a jerry can. It'd be especially difficult now with all the self-serve pumps around (too late she cried).
Cheers,
Russler

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Reply By: Member - Bill S (VIC) - Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 23:37

Monday, Oct 11, 2010 at 23:37
G'day Russler,

Whatever colour you use mate, just make sure if they are made of plastic they are built to the Australian Standard for fuel usage.

Bill S.
AnswerID: 432761

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