API Color Codes

November 1, 2023

Red means stop, green means go, and yellow means clear the intersection. Construction signs and cones are orange. These are just a few examples of how colors are used in every industry and in our daily lives as symbols and identifiers. The same concept is applied to terminals and loading racks with the API color code system.

What is the API?

The American Petroleum Institute (API) was formed in 1919. The organization maintains standards worldwide for the oil and natural gas industry. One of those standards is the API color code system.

API Color Code System

The API color code system is followed by bulk liquid petroleum marketing and storage facilities around the world. With some exceptions, most petroleum-based fuels look similar. Therefore, the API color code system was created to identify fuels and fluids and to prevent cross-contamination. The color code system can be found at loading racks and on transfer valves and connections. Fuel storage tanks, piping, and equipment are painted with a color or combination of colors that correspond to the API chart to reflect what fuels are stored in the tank and/or what equipment can be used to load and unload the product.


Benefits of the API Color Code System

As mentioned above, one of the main benefits of the API color code system is preventing cross-contamination. By reducing the potential of exposing incompatible liquids and vapors, this promotes a safe loading and unloading process and reduces the possibility of a costly accident. In addition, the color code system minimizes the risk of human error. Rather than having to memorize which loading arm equipment is compatible with which fuel, operators can refer to the chart for assurance.

Dixon TTMA Flange Extensions


Dixon's TTMA flange extensions are used to connect an API coupler to a loading arm. The flange extension adds 6" of space to allow for clearance between the loading arm and the tank truck. 

While the standard option for Dixon's TTMA flange extension is uncoated gray aluminum, some of our TTMA flange extensions are powder-coated red, white, and blue. This color combination isn't just to show off our pride as a U.S. manufacturer. The real reason for this specific color combination is the API color code system. As depicted on the API color code chart, red, white, and blue represent premium, regular, and midgrade gasoline respectively. Other colors, including green, yellow, orange, and black, are available upon request. A TTMA flange extension can feature two or more colors for a custom option.

Other API Products

Additionally, Dixon offers other products for tank trucks and loading terminals that meet API standards. These products include, but are not limited to, API drop adapter, API load/unload valve, and the 5500-series API coupler. To learn more about Dixon's API products, visit our website.


Understanding and utilizing the API color code system is beneficial in maintaining efficiency and safety. Dixon is committed to delighting customers by providing The Right Connection®. Whether it's for the API color code system or another specific need, we can provide custom colors and combinations upon request. Check out our TTMA flange extension color-coded ordering form to get started.