What is Tare Weight in Trucking?

Have you heard of the term “tare weight” in trucking? This is something you will want to learn about if you are in the process of starting a trucking company. Here, we will be diving into just what the term tare weight means and how it might impact your career in the trucking industry. Trucking has a large number of rules and guidelines to follow. Not doing so can result in a wide array of troubles that you would just rather not have to deal with as a small business owner. Tare weight is different from the maximum gross weight and we will be exploring just what that difference is and why it is important in the trucking industry for a shipper, a supply chain, and overall shipping cost.


Definition of Tare Weight

This is a terminology that is common in the shipping industry but to those just starting out, this is often a point of confusion. With commercial trucks and hauling, load weight is always a factor from the load itself to the equipment and so on. Tare weight is defined as the total weight taken at the weighing scales of the tractor and trailer when the vehicle is empty.


Tare Weight vs. Gross Weight

When looking at tare weight in comparison to gross weight you can think of it as empty vs loaded weight, but it gets a little more technical than that.

Tare weight can be viewed as the officially accepted weight of an empty car, vehicle, payload or shipping container that when subtracted from the gross weight gives you the net weight of the cargo. You will commonly find the tare weight printed on an intermodal container to help in the computation of the gross weight when loading the equipment. This is the container tare weight before adding the weight of the contents.

The gross weight of the shipment is the total weight of the container and the tractor, along with all its contents. In other words, the total weight of a tractor and trailer on the scale is the total gross weight. You can also go one step further and look at the gross weight of a shipment itself which is sometimes called the laden weight.


How is Tare Weight Calculated

When the gross weight and the net weight are known, the tare weight may be calculated by subtracting the net weight from the gross weight. Most containers should also have a plate stating their tare weight which can help you in calculating the total tare weight.

The tare weight is the weight of a container used in shipping. It may include packaging, such as cases, pallets or crates, and also vehicles. The net weight is the weight of the goods that are to be shipped, not including the packaging. The gross weight is the total weight, including the goods and the packaging. These numbers are often needed to calculate fees and taxes.


What Tare Weight Means for You

Properly accounting for the tare weight is a crucial factor in the trucking industry. Make sure that you know and keep up with the accurate tare weight of your equipment so that you are able to appropriately plan for loads as well as charge the correct rates for those loads.


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