Among the many details to manage during a move, your PCS weight allowance could have the most expensive consequences. With each PCS, it is the service member’s responsibility to have an accurate estimate of the weight of household goods and stay under the allowance or be prepared to pay the overage. AHRN.com wants you to have all the information you need, so we’re breaking down the PCS weight allowance.
Recently, the Coast Guard has been sending overage bills to service members from moves that took place over the last four years. In the wake of tightening Defense budgets, it is essential to understand your weight allowance and make educated PCS decisions.
What is PCS Military Weight Allowance?
If you choose to have the military transport your household goods when you PCS, you will be given a “weight allowance” based on the service member’s rank and dependency status. The movers contracted to carry your things are paid based on that predetermined weight. You can find the full weight chart at the bottom of this post or DOD’s move.mil.
Military Weight Allowances apply to all branches:
- Army Weight Allowance
- Air Force Weight Allowance
- Coast Guard Weight Allowance
- Marines Weight Allowance
- Navy Weight Allowance
Over Your PCS Allowance?
If your household goods weigh more than your allowance, you will be billed at the contract rate. As of August 2013, the minimum excess cost is approximately $100.00 per hundred pounds over the maximum military weight allowance.
What does it weigh?
Not sure what your household goods weigh? You can start with move.mil’s weight calculator. Another method to estimate the weight is to calculate 1,000 lbs per room (except storage room, closets, and bathrooms). Then, add in the approximate weight of any large appliances, items in storage or the basement and the garage. Before your pack out, your contracted move will do a walkthrough in an attempt to get an even more accurate weight. It is important to remember that weight estimates, even from your contracted mover, are not official and can not be used to refute overage charges.
What Doesn’t Count?
Your “pro gear” does not count against your weight allowance. Pro-Gear is defined as possessions within a service member’s HHG that are needed for the performance of official duties at the current duty station or the next. However, to count as Pro-Gear, the equipment needs to be declared when the service member has their transportation brief and a DD Form 1299 filled out with the estimated weight. During pack out, Pro-Gear should be separate from the rest of the HHG and notated as Pro-Gear on the inventory (instead of miscellaneous or books). If the service member’s spouse has items that are necessary for employment or community support activities at the next duty station or a later destination, those goods can also be claimed as Pro-Gear up to 500 lbs. The spouse’s Pro-Gear must be declared and separately packed in the same way.
There are some items that can not be moved as Household Goods and don’t count against your weight. They include:
1. Motor vehicles, boats that cannot be fitted into a van (whether or not actually shipped by van), airplanes, mobile homes, camper trailers, and farming vehicles
2. Live animals, birds, fish, and reptiles
3. Cordwood and building materials
4. Property for resale, disposal, or commercial use rather than for use by the employee or immediate family
5. Privately owned live ammunition
6. Hazardous articles including explosives, flammable and corrosive materials, poisons, etc.
What’s Your PCS Allowance?
Joint Federal Travel Regulations
*Note 1 / Note 3
|Permanent of Station (PCS) Without Dependents||Permanent Change of Station (PCS) With Dependents
|O-1/W-1/Service Academy Graduates||10,000||12,000|
|E-9||13,000 *Note 4||15,000 *Note 4|
|E-3 and Below||5,000||8,000|
|Service Academy Cadets/Midshipmen||350 *TDY Weight Allowance|
2. 14,000 pounds without dependents For a PCS authorization/order issued on or after receiving notice of selection to that position and for the remainder of the military career.
Once you have PCS’d and have an official weigh-in, you will have a solid starting point to use in estimating your total HHG weight. At it’s most basic, you are best served by eliminating any items that you don’t need.
We want to know:
Have you ever had excess weight?