How much does an elephant weigh?

People are often confused between the word ton and tonne. Care should be used when when using the word “ton”, as there are three common types – British, American, and Metric. Here is a quick explanation to help you understand better. 

The British ton is equal to 2,240 pounds or 1,016 kg. It is sometimes referred to as the “long ton”, “weight ton” or “gross ton”.

The American ton (also  used in Canada) is equal to 2,000 pounds or 907 kg. It is sometimes referred to as the “short ton” or “net ton”.

The metric ton (more correctly written as a tonne) is defined as 1000 kilograms and commonly used worldwide. Tonne is the correct unit to use in Australia.

Hence, the three forms of ton are:

  • British ton (long ton): 2240 lb (1016 kg)
  • U.S. ton (short ton): 2000 lb (907 kg)
  • Metric tonne: 2204 lb (1000 kg) or mT or Te

So, be sure to write ‘tonne’, ‘mT’ or ‘Te’ for metric tonne when specifying weight on drawings and reports.

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