Shipment Weights

Chances are, your moving charges are based on the weight of the shipment. The shipment must be weighed before you leave, a process called origin weighing, or when you arrive, called destination weighing. If your shipment will be weighed in the city you're leaving, the driver must weigh the truck and its contents before coming to your residence. This "before" weight is called the tare weight.

So are you paying to move the moving truck, too? Nope. When the truck is first weighed, the truck may already be partially loaded with someone else's stuff. The truck should also contain pads, dollies, hand trucks, ramps, and other equipment. These items will not be counted in the weight of your shipment.

After loading, the truck will be weighed again to obtain the loaded weight, called the gross weight. The net weight of your shipment is the difference between the gross weight and the tare weight. As a formula, it looks like this:

gross weight - tare weight = net weight
(truck + load) (empty truck) (your load)

Moving Words

The gross weight is the weight of the truck after your belongings are loaded. The tare weight is the weight of the truck and its contents before your belongings are loaded onto it. Net weight is the weight of your goods, found by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight. Broken pieces are excluded.

Movers usually have a minimum weight for transporting a shipment—typically at least 500 pounds. Even if your shipment weighs less, you'll be charged for the minimum.

Destination weighing is done in reverse to origin weighing. On arriving in the area to which you are moving, the driver weighs the truck to get the gross weight. After unloading you shipment, the driver again weighs the truck to get the tare weight. The difference is the net weight of your stuff.

Obviously, where the truck is weighed will make no difference in the net weight. The only difference is that the mover will not be able to figure the exact charges on your shipment after the truck is unloaded.

Who says what it weighs? The folks running the certified scales say. Each time the truck is weighed, the driver gets a weight ticket showing the date and place of weighing and the certified weight. The ticket will also have your name and shipment number as well as the truck's identification numbers. The ticket is signed by the scale operator.

If both the origin and destination weighings are made on the same scale, they will probably both be entered on one weight ticket. A copy of every weight ticket made for your shipment will be with your freight bill when you're asked to pay.

Don't trust the trucker? You have the right to watch every weighing of your shipment. The mover must inform you where and when each weighing will me made. Let the mover know in advance if you want to watch it being done.

If your shipment is weighed at origin and you've agreed to pay charges on delivery, the mover must give you written notice of the weight and charges before unloading. If you believe that the weight is not accurate, you have the right to request that the shipment be reweighed before letting the movers unload.

The mover can't charge you for the reweighing. And, if the new weight is different from the origin weight, the mover must refigure the charges based on the new weight. You might wind up paying less — or more!

Moving Tips

Ask to have your shipment reweighed if you have any question about the mover's numbers. Your bill is prepared based on the weight of your shipment.

Before you ask for your shipment to be reweighed, use this easy formula to calculate an approximate weight.

1. Count the number of items in your shipment. Usually there will be either 30 or 40 items listed on each page of the inventory. For example, if each page contains 30 items and your inventory consists of three complete pages and a fourth page with 10 items listed, the total number of items is 100.

2. If an automobile is listed on the inventory, don't include it in the count of the total items. Subtract the weight of any automobile in your shipment from the total weight of the shipment. If the automobile was not weighed separately, its weight can be found on its title or license receipt.

3. Divide the number of items in your shipment into the weight. If the average weight is 35 and 45 pounds per article, chances are a reweigh isn't needed. For example, if your 4,000-pound shipment (excluding cars) includes 100 items, the average weight per item is 40 pounds and is within the normal range.

 
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