How Weight Impacts Moving Costs


To set prices for their moving services, companies must follow a tariff, a legal document that must be published by every moving company doing long distance or interstate moves. The tariff is required to specify the exact prices, services, rules, polices and other provisions that the company offers. A mover can only provide the services and pricing listed on the tariff. Although tariffs are not required by the U.S. Department of Transport (USDOT), the law says that it must be given to a consumer on request.

Weighing the truck

The tariffs used for most interstate moves are based on the actual weight of your shipment and the distance in miles that it will travel as it goes from your current residence (origin point) to your new home (destination). On moving day, the driver will weigh the moving truck before loading any of your items in order to get a base weight. Once the truck is fully loaded, the driver will again weigh the truck, and the corresponding weight will be the basis of your charges based on the tariff. A moving company tariff may charge $0.50 per pound for a move from New York to Florida. If you have 3,000 pounds, your charge for the transport of these items must be no more or less than $1,500.

Get a copy of your weight tickets to verify that you’re being charged properly for your items. The tickets will reflect the light weight (tare), and the heavy weight (gross). In many cases, the driver may obtain his weights from different scales. This shouldn’t concern you, because the driver is generally required to use only certified weight stations.

Shipment weight and pricing

You have the right to witness the truck weighing to insure that only your shipment was included in the calculation of the weight. It’s very common for multiple shipments to be carried on the same moving truck. Several shipments from different households may be loaded on the same truck, because they have similar routes. For your own protection, it may be worth the effort to witness both the light and heavy weight of the truck.

If you do this, let your mover know in advance so they can arrange this with their driver. If the moving company refuses to let you witness the weighing, you may want to reconsider hiring.

Because move weight is important in determining price, see which of your heavy items are really worth moving. You’re better off disposing things that you have not used for a long time in order to reduce the weight of your shipment. Many people are surprised to discover that they have 50 to 100 percent more weight than first expected.

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