crate weight

I was wondering if anyone else was suspicious of the claimed weight of their crate. I forgot to check the drayage invoice before I opened our crate. The invoice claimed that our crate weighed 430 lbs. The only thing in the crate was:

Robot - 120 lbs
batteries(6) - 85 lbs

After the fact we had the crate weighed empty and it was 170 lbs.

So we were charged for an extra hundredweight.

Does anyone know when the crate is weighed?

Is it FedEx or the Drayage Company?

The crate is weighed by the Drayage company, FedEx to my knowledge never actually weighs the crate, they rely on you for that. They (dryage) have typically a pallet jack with a scale on it that they use.

We got billed for a 455 lb crate. We’ve been using the same crate for years, and this has never happened before. We’re all having trouble believing that the crate weighed 255 lbs (we didn’t include batteries, and our robot was 30 lbs over). It’s made entirely out of plywood to max regulation size.

You had 5-6 batteries in your crate? Keep in mind that each battery alone weighs between 13-15 lbs depending on how much of a connector you have on them.

I’m guessing for each of those batteries (to keep your crate FIRST legal) you had to make a separate storage box in your crate as well.

Also, what about tie downs for the robot? Any big pieces of wood, or other static fasteners??

I’m going by our crate which is made almost completely out of foam sandwiched between a thin veneer type wood, 2 batteries, robot, a piece of 6x 10’ piece of bumper fabric, the bumpers them self (13lbs), and misc mounting hardware and also a robot stand (maybe 10lbs) is about 405 lbs when we shipped it on ship day in .

If you are really suspicious, make them weigh it again, or weigh it yourself before you ship it and then compare that with what they claim it weighs.

For this year, it’s going to have to be one of those “live and learn” type lessons since you didn’t weigh it before it shipped.

Also, if you debate it, I know in NJ 2004, they pretty much wrote it off, but we missed out on that cause we showed up late, and they said we had to pay or else we couldn’t get our crate, and by that point we just wanted our crate…

After we opened the crate it was to late to actually contest the weight, but when they brought the crate back at the end of the competition, we asked them to weigh the crate by itself. This included the battey box and everything except the robot and the 6 batteries. By my calculations, the claimed weight was over by at least 55 lbs.

6.7.4 FedEx Weight Limit
Crates cannot exceed 600 pounds. REMEMBER: FIRST pays drayage costs for one crate up to 400 pounds only. Teams pay the drayage cost in excess of 400 pounds, rounded up to the next hundredweight.

6.10.2 Drayage Company Regulations
Weigh In: The Yellow Freight Terminal or drayage warehouse will weigh team crates as they arrive at each facility. These weights will be certified, and any crates exceeding four hundred pounds will be subject to drayage fees. If a team wants to dispute the weight of its crate, a forklift with weight scales will be on site at each event for reweigh.

6.10.4 Weight and Rates Structure
Rounding Up: Drayage Companies weigh by the hundredweight and round the weight up to the next hundred. Make a real effort to keep weight down to well below the hundred marks to allow for scale calibration differences.
Example: If your crate weighs 401 pounds, your charge will be based on five hundred pounds and you will have to pay for a hundred pound overage for that crate.

6.10.6 Drayage Costs - Teams
The following will cost teams money:

  1. Crate exceeding measurement or weight specifications
  2. Any additional crate. Teams pay entire drayage cost of additional crates
    Note: Each team must pay for any additional material-handling charges by the end of each competition.

375 lbs is pretty close. And if you forgot to include straps/tie-downs, the battery boxes, etc, that’s pushing 400 lbs. There’s also the possibility that your scale - or the drayage company’s scale - was off by a few pounds. The manual makes it pretty clear to keep your crate’s weight down, or prepare to pay the overage. The manual also tells you what to do in the event of a weight dispute:

6.10.3 Immediate On-site Crate Weight Complaint Resolution
When the team members arrive at the Pit Station:

  1. Refer to and read the label Shepard Exposition Services (SES) placed on your crate.
  2. If you have any question as to the accuracy of the weight or information on the label, immediately find An SES representative and resolve the problem. Please see the Pit Administration Supervisor if you cannot find a representative.
  3. Do not open the crate until you resolve the problem.
    NOTE: If you open the crate, you relinquish any appeal rights.

If the SES label was on the crate I might have noticed it before we open the crate. Instead I found it after the fact with the rest of the documentation on our table. I agree that 375 lbs is close to 400, but they claimed 430 lbs! That is a 55 lb difference and I am including everything. Straps, tiedowns, battery boxes were all left in the crate, since we did not have a need for them in the pit. They were all weighed with the empty crate at 170 lbs. It is very easy to have to pay an extra hundredweight if the scale is off by 55 lbs!