A ton is a unit of weight/mass in both the U.S. customary and imperial systems of measurement. In the U.S. customary system, a ton (T) is equal to 2,000 pounds (lb). This definition is used mostly in the US and Canada.
In the UK, the imperial ton was the definition of the ton up until 1965, when the UK began the process of metrication. Thus, the UK uses both the imperial ton as well as the metric ton (t), also spelled tonne, which is equal to 1,000 kilograms (kg), or approximately 2,200 pounds. This is the definition of the ton used in most other countries.
Below are some equivalences between the various versions of the ton and units of mass/weight in the US customary and imperial systems of measurement, as well the International System of Units (SI).
1 US ton = 2000 lb = 907.1847 kg
1 Imperial ton = 2240 lb = 1016.047 kg
1 Metric ton = 2204.6226 lb = 1000 kg
There are many different names used to refer to the various versions of the ton such as long ton, short ton, tonne, and more. It is therefore important to be careful with which ton is being used. Ideally, provide a relationship between whichever ton you're using and either pounds or kilograms, rather than using the various names. The ton is also used as a measurement of volume, energy, and power, making being specific even more important.
Did you know?
A full-grown male African elephant may weigh about 7 metric tons (15,400 lbs), while the female may weigh about half as much. In comparison, a Volkswagen Beetle weighs about 3,000 pounds, or 1.5 tons.