Pickup of My Shipment of
Household Goods (Subpart E) - Your Rights and Responsibilities When You
Part II of II
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Must my mover determine the weight of my
How must my mover determine the weight of my
What must my mover do if I want to know the actual
weight or charges for my shipment before delivery?
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Generally, yes. If your mover transports your household goods on
a non-binding estimate, your mover must determine the actual weight of the
shipment in order to calculate its lawful tariff charge. If your mover provided
a binding estimate and has loaded your shipment without claiming you have added
additional items or services, the weight of the shipment will not affect the
charges you will pay.
Your mover must determine the weight of your shipment before
requesting you to pay for any charges dependent upon your shipment's weight.
Most movers have a minimum weight charge for transporting a
shipment. Generally, the minimum is the charge for transporting a shipment of at
least 3,000 pounds (1,362 kilograms).
If your shipment appears to weigh less than the mover's minimum
weight, your mover must advise you on the order for service of the minimum cost
before transporting your shipment. Should your mover fail to advise you of the
minimum charges and your shipment is less than the minimum weight, your mover
must base your final charges upon the actual weight, not upon the minimum
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Your mover must weigh your shipment upon a certified scale.
The weight of your shipment must be obtained by using one of two
methods—origin weighing or destination weighing.
Origin Weighing—Your mover may weigh your shipment in the
city or area where it loads your shipment. If it elects this option, the driver
must weigh the truck before coming to your residence. This is called the tare
weight. At the time of this first weighing, the truck may already be
partially loaded with another shipment(s). This will not affect the weight of
your shipment. The truck should also contain the pads, dollies, hand trucks,
ramps, and other equipment normally used in the transportation of household
goods shipments. After loading, the driver will weigh the truck again to obtain
the loaded weight, called the gross weight. The net weight of your
shipment is then obtained by subtracting the tare weight before loading
from the gross weight.
Gross Weight Less the Tare Weight Before Loading
= Net Weight
Destination Weighing (Also called Back Weighing) -
The mover is also permitted to determine the weight of your shipment at the
destination after it delivers your load. Weighing your shipment at destination
instead of at origin will not affect the accuracy of the shipment weight. The
most important difference is that your mover will not determine the exact
charges on your shipment before it is unloaded.
Destination weighing is done in reverse of origin weighing.
After arriving in the city or area where you are moving, the driver will weigh
the truck. Your shipment will still be on the truck. Your mover will determine
the gross weight before coming to your new residence to unload. After unloading
your shipment, the driver will again weigh the truck to obtain the tare weight.
The net weight of your shipment will then be obtained by subtracting the tare
weight after delivery from the gross weight.
Gross Weight Less the Tare Weight After Delivery
= Net Weight
At the time of both weighings, your mover's truck must have
installed or loaded all pads, dollies, hand trucks, ramps, and other equipment
normally required in the transportation of your shipment. The driver and other
persons must be off the vehicle at the time of both weighings. The fuel tanks on
the vehicle must be full at the time of each weighing. In lieu of this
requirement, your mover must not add fuel between the two weighings when the
tare weighing is the first weighing performed.
Your mover may detach the trailer of a tractor-trailer vehicle
combination from the tractor and have the trailer weighed separately at each
weighing provided the length of the scale platform is adequate to accommodate
and support the entire trailer.
Your mover may use an alternative method to weigh your shipment
if it weighs 3,000 pounds (1,362 kilograms) or less. The only alternative method
allowed is weighing the shipment upon a platform or warehouse certified scale
before loading your shipment for transportation or after unloading.
Your mover must use the net weight of shipments transported in
large containers such as ocean or railroad containers. Your mover will calculate
the difference between the tare weight of the container (including all pads,
blocking and bracing used in the transportation of your shipment) and the gross
weight of the container with your shipment loaded in the container.
You have the right, and your mover must inform you of your
right, to observe all weighings of your shipment. Your mover must tell you where
and when each weighing will occur. Your mover must give you a reasonable
opportunity to be present to observe the weighings.
You may waive your right to observe any weighing or re-weighing.
This does not affect any of your other rights under Federal law.
Your mover may request you waive your right to have a shipment
weighed upon a certified scale. Your mover may want to weigh the shipment upon a
trailer's on-board, non-certified scale. You should demand your right to have a
certified scale used. The use of a non-certified scale may cause you to pay a
higher final bill for your move, if the non-certified scale does not accurately
weigh your shipment. Remember that certified scales are inspected and approved
for accuracy by a government inspection or licensing agency. Non-certified
scales are not inspected and approved for accuracy by a government inspection or
Your mover must obtain a separate weight ticket for each
weighing. The weigh master must sign each weight ticket. Each weight ticket must
contain the following six items:
- The complete name and location of the scale.
- The date of each weighing.
- Identification of the weight entries as being the tare, gross,
or net weights.
- The company or mover identification of the vehicle.
- Your last name as it appears on the bill of lading.
- Your mover's shipment registration or bill of lading
Your mover must retain the original weight ticket or tickets
relating to the determination of the weight of your shipment as part of its file
on your shipment. When both weighings are performed on the same scale, one
weight ticket may be used to record both weighings.
Your mover must present all freight bills with true copies of
all weight tickets. If your mover does not present its freight bill with all
weight tickets, your mover is in violation of Federal law.
Before the driver actually begins unloading your shipment
weighed at origin and after your mover informs you of the billing weight and
total charges, you have the right to demand a re-weigh of your shipment. If you
believe the weight is not accurate, you have the right to request your mover
re-weigh your shipment before unloading.
You have the right, and your mover must inform you of your
right, to observe all re-weighings of your shipment. Your mover must tell you
where and when each re-weighing will occur. Your mover must give you a
reasonable opportunity to be present to observe the re-weighings. You may waive
your right to observe any re-weighing; however, you must waive that right in
writing. You may send the written waiver via fax or e-mail, as well as by
overnight courier or certified mail, return receipt requested. This does not
affect any of your other rights under Federal law.
Your mover is prohibited from charging you for the re-weighing.
If the weight of your shipment at the time of the re-weigh is different from the
weight determined at origin, your mover must re-compute the charges based upon
the re-weigh weight.
Before requesting a re-weigh, you may find it to your advantage
to estimate the weight of your shipment using the following three-step
- 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
there are 30 items per page and your inventory consists of four complete pages
and a fifth page with 15 items listed, the total number of items will be 135.
If an automobile is listed on the inventory, do not include this item in the
count of the total items.
- Subtract the weight of any automobile included 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.
- Divide the number of items in your shipment into the weight. If
the average weight resulting from this exercise ranges between 35 and 45 pounds
(16 and 20 kilograms) per article, it is unlikely a re-weigh will prove
beneficial to you. In fact, it could result in your paying higher
Experience has shown that the average shipment of household
goods will weigh about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) per item. If a shipment contains
a large number of heavy items, such as cartons of books, boxes of tools or
heavier than average furniture, the average weight per item may be 45 pounds or
more (20 kilograms or more).
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If you request notification of the actual weight and charges of
your shipment, your mover must comply with your request if it is moving your
goods on a collect-on-delivery basis. This requirement is conditioned upon your
supplying your mover with an address or telephone number where you will receive
the communication. Your mover must make its notification by telephone, fax
transmissions, e-mail, overnight courier, certified mail with return receipt
requested, or in person.
You must receive the mover's notification at least one full
24-hour day before its scheduled delivery, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and
Your mover may disregard this 24-hour notification requirement
on shipments subject to one of the following three situations:
- Back-weigh (when your mover weighs your shipment at its
- Pickup and delivery encompassing two consecutive weekdays, if
- Maximum payment amounts at time of delivery of 110 percent of
the estimated charges, if you agree.