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07-16-2019, 09:37 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Mention of metric conversion reminds me of the Mars Climate Orbiter space mission failure. The satellite was supposed to orbit Mars, but instead either burnt up or shot past the planet because different teams used different systems of measure.

Mars Climate Orbiter Official Website

07-16-2019, 11:06 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
I hear "ton" all the time. As far as "millions of pounds", the only time I think I hear that is for cumulative weights of small things. Like you'd hear "millions of pounds of food are wasted each year" or something like that. And I guess if some big object (like a skyscraper) did weigh millions of pounds, they might say that because then you aren't doing math trying to figure out how heavy that is, whereas "ton" is probably more used when the things in question are between half a ton and 50 tons maybe. Once you start saying 1000+ tons, it kinda loses meaning.
Interesting. Why does a quantity of a million tons hold less meaning than a quantity of a million pounds? I'm not criticising, I'm curious.

---------- Post added 17-07-19 at 04:13 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Mention of metric conversion reminds me of the Mars Climate Orbiter space mission failure. The satellite was supposed to orbit Mars, but instead either burnt up or shot past the planet because different teams used different systems of measure.
Astounding, but true. I didn't realise that it was Lockheed Martin that created the system which was using the wrong units.
07-16-2019, 11:15 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
It drives me a little crazy when I see the measurements of things in the USA given in "millions of pounds". Is the ton ever used as a measurement in the USA?
It feels like pounds are being used to make things sound bigger.
So you're watching NASA documentaries too?
That Saturn V sure was a big rocket
07-17-2019, 03:56 AM - 2 Likes   #19
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I use ton for industrial equipment capacity.

A 5 ton hoist might actually be within designed safety factors at 10,367 lbs (random number). Just looks better stencilled on the hoist as 5 tons.

Another use example is if you have a lot of work to do, you would use "ton" as an equivalent to a "load".

"I have a ton of projects around the house I should be working on, but instead I'm out taking pictures."


Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 07-17-2019 at 04:10 AM. Reason: Unspecified four letter word
07-17-2019, 06:15 AM - 1 Like   #20
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It gets really confusing when one discovers that a ship with a tonnage of 10,000 tons doesn't weigh 10,000 short tons, long tons, or SI tonnes. It is a measure of volume that tells you how much cargo you can fit inside a ship. It's based on the tun, a cask that holds 208 to 256 Imperial gallons (about 954 litres). A 10,000 ton ship can hold 10,000 of those casks. You may be familiar with the names of some of the smaller casks, such as puncheon (1/3 tun), hogshead (1/4 tun), and barrel (1/8 tun).
07-17-2019, 06:15 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
So you're watching NASA documentaries too?
That Saturn V sure was a big rocket
I recently read Gene Cernan's book, but yes, also looking at videos online. Buzz Aldrin mentioned speaking to the navigator on Jim Doolittle's plane when they took off from the carrier. The space on the carrier that Doolittle had to get airborne was less than the height of the Saturn V. More specifically yes, the thrust of the rocket is always in pounds of thrust and its weight in pounds not tons.

I got to see the Saturn V at Canaveral and the Saturn 1B at Huntsville.

---------- Post added 17-07-19 at 11:20 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Riggomatic Quote
I use ton for industrial equipment capacity.

A 5 ton hoist might actually be within designed safety factors at 10,367 lbs (random number). Just looks better stencilled on the hoist as 5 tons.

Another use example is if you have a lot of work to do, you would use "ton" as an equivalent to a "load".

"I have a ton of projects around the house I should be working on, but instead I'm out taking pictures."
We still use the word ton colloquially in the sense of a lot to do.

---------- Post added 17-07-19 at 11:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
It gets really confusing when one discovers that a ship with a tonnage of 10,000 tons doesn't weigh 10,000 short tons, long tons, or SI tonnes. It is a measure of volume that tells you how much cargo you can fit inside a ship. It's based on the tun, a cask that holds 208 to 256 Imperial gallons (about 954 litres). A 10,000 ton ship can hold 10,000 of those casks. You may be familiar with the names of some of the smaller casks, such as puncheon (1/3 tun), hogshead (1/4 tun), and barrel (1/8 tun).
Except when you're talking about the displacement of a ship.
But yes, I can see that a tun will weigh close to a tonne.

Last edited by RobG; 07-17-2019 at 06:43 AM. Reason: Same stuff, different post ;)
07-17-2019, 06:28 AM   #22
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Please forgive my clumsy editing of a couple of recent posts. Pentax Forums is a family show and we have standards to maintain...

Infractions will follow as per the Forum Rules:
QuoteQuote:
Offensive/vulgar words and phrases are not allowed, even in masked form if the intended word(s) can be discerned.
07-17-2019, 06:44 AM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Please forgive my clumsy editing of a couple of recent posts. Pentax Forums is a family show and we have standards to maintain...

Infractions will follow as per the Forum Rules:
OK I removed the reference entirely.

07-17-2019, 07:21 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Interesting. Why does a quantity of a million tons hold less meaning than a quantity of a million pounds? I'm not criticising, I'm curious.
It depends on the readers' intuitive familiarity with units of the material and the writer's communication goals.

In the case of food waste, everyone knows what a pound of food is like but they have never seen a true literal ton of food.

In the case of bulk construction materials, workers intuitively know what a cubic yard (or cubic meter) of earth, concrete, etc. is and that it weighs a correspondingly convenient number of tons based on the density (or vice versa).

In the case of rockets, the writer wants to impress the reader. A Saturn V having a mass of 6,540,000 pounds sounds more impressive than just 3 gigagrams.
07-17-2019, 11:52 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
That's an idiom, not anything close to what your truck's actual rated payload is. For 2019 F150, payload capacities range from 1640 lbs. to 3270 lbs. depending on wheelbase, cab configuration and powertrain.
Strangely, it is an idiom that the State of Washington adheres to in that the tonnage (based on GVW) I pay is for the spec'd net + 1000 lbs. As you very correctly note the maximum payload is somewhat higher than that, but I still keep that 1000 lb number in mind when loading blocks, rocks, or dirt. There is no sense tempting fate in regards to rear bearings, axle seals, and braking...or a potential encounter with the State Patrol on grounds of safe load.*


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* If the rear flaps are dragging, I know I overdid it.
07-17-2019, 12:00 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
OK, so how do you determine when to use tons and when to use pounds?
It depends on who one is trying to impress Tons sounds more impressive when applied to vehicles or when the number is greater than ten and when the weight easily converts to a round number sum. It helps that people tend to not know that a ton is 2000 pounds unless they actually deal in weights in that range. For most, it just means really heavy.


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07-17-2019, 12:01 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
It depends on the readers' intuitive familiarity with units of the material and the writer's communication goals.
This ^ ^ ^


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07-17-2019, 01:08 PM - 1 Like   #28
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Has anyone mentioned the metric tonne, i.e, 1000 kgs or 2204.6226218 lbs, and thus 10% bigger than the US ton and about 36 lbs less than the Imperial ton? AFAIK, most of the World's countries use the metric version!
07-17-2019, 03:38 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
It depends on the readers' intuitive familiarity with units of the material and the writer's communication goals.
OK. I would never have thought that it was necessary to use a smaller measurement but I take your point.


QuoteQuote:
... sounds more impressive than just 3 gigagrams.
Which isn't an SI unit so no self-respecting writer would use it. I get your point, and it confirms what I suspected; that the writer is choosing a unit of measure to make it sound impressive. I posted because I was curious whether the inconsistency in using inappropriate measurements was endemic or just peculiar to this situation. Metric measurements aren't used entirely consistently around the world. For example, in France, cans of drink have measurements on them in centilitres, and I've never seen that measurement used outside France. In Japan, the news reports give wind speeds in metres per second rather than kilometres per hour. In Australia we measure fuel economy in litres per 100 kilometres to mangle it into a range of numbers similar to miles per gallon, while in Japan they use the more logical kilometres per litre (literally translating miles per gallon into SI units). I'll have to look at some news articles to see if I can spot writers expressing weights in thousands or millions of kilograms rather than tonnes.


QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
* If the rear flaps are dragging, I know I overdid it.
I thought you were talking about a plane for a moment when I saw this out of context.


QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
It depends on who one is trying to impress Tons sounds more impressive when applied to vehicles or when the number is greater than ten and when the weight easily converts to a round number sum. It helps that people tend to not know that a ton is 2000 pounds unless they actually deal in weights in that range. For most, it just means really heavy.
Interesting!


QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
Has anyone mentioned the metric tonne, i.e, 1000 kgs or 2204.6226218 lbs, and thus 10% bigger than the US ton and about 36 lbs less than the Imperial ton? AFAIK, most of the World's countries use the metric version!
I was trying to avoid stirring up an argument about metric versus non-metric. I was just curious that pounds were being used rather than tons, because I'd never use kilos where tonnes were required. I can actually remember when Australia's road signs changed from miles to kilometres, and I grew up during the transition, so I at least have an idea in my head of what the imperial measurements meant. It's confusing that US measurements are different from imperial while using the same terms, especially the difference in gallons.
07-17-2019, 04:01 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
Has anyone mentioned the metric tonne, i.e, 1000 kgs or 2204.6226218 lbs, and thus 10% bigger than the US ton and about 36 lbs less than the Imperial ton? AFAIK, most of the World's countries use the metric version!
Only for legal weights where the price is per tonne (not kg) and the buyer uses the metric system. Essentially, only for heavy bulk items like grain, construction materials and raw materials for manufacturing, and in the U.S. only for exports. Canada began the movement to metrification in 1970, but most grocery items are still marked in both kilograms and pounds and dimensional lumber is still sold in Imperial sizes. Farmers sell grain by the tonne, but talk about yields in bushels per acre. I'm old and grew up on a farm in a remote part of Western Canada and I have never in my life seen anyone use the Imperial ton for anything but a trivia question. The only reason for using any standard of weights and measurements is for buying and selling things, so if a particular unit is not used for commerce, it is not used for anything else.
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