How much does a yard of dirt weigh? (Complete Guide)

A lot of folks that call around to landscaping companies ask the question, how much does a yard of dirt weigh?

If you’re planning on landscaping your yard and need to buy some dirt, it’s good to know how much that dirt weighs so you don’t spend too much money or worse, not enough.

One cubic yard of dirt weighs approximately 1,944 pounds that’s around 0.97 US tons, (this is based on the dirt density of 72 lb/ft3). But the weight of cubic yard of dirt will be different in saturated condition.

Whether you want to spread your purchase out over multiple trips or want to buy a full load of dirt at once, that number can help you estimate the amount of weight and fuel your truck will need when hauling the load away.

A lot of people are interested in having their own yards and lawns, but not everyone knows exactly how much dirt they need to purchase in order to complete the landscaping project. After all, it would be pretty annoying to put down hundreds of dollars on materials only to realize that you don’t have enough money left over to buy the other things you need to make the project work, like fertilizer or mulch.

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So, in this article, I’ll explain how to calculate the weight of dirt, whether you are doing it by hand or using the formula from your favorite handheld calculator.

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Don’t be fooled by its name, dirt is heavy!

Dirt is one of the most important ingredients in any landscaping project. It provides the foundation for all other elements, such as plants, trees, and shrubs. It also helps to control erosion and runoff. But don’t be fooled by its name- dirt is heavy.

Most of landscaping suppliers are offering to deliver dirt at your home, but they’ll charge you few bucks for it. But you can save some cash if you have a truck or a vehicle that you can use to bring dirt or topsoil to your construction site or home.

Whether you’re planning to hook up a trailer behind your car or you want to barrow your neighbor’s truck, it’s critical to know the average weight of the cubic yard of dirt – so you can estimate how much payload your vehicle will be taking. This is just to prevent any trailer damage costly repairs.

The dirt we use in landscaping project contains different ingredients – topsoil, fill, clay soil, loose and dry sand, aggregate, gravel, or even rocks. We use this dirt not only to fill holes but also to make a stable base or foundation for our landscaping features.

How much does a yard of dirt weigh
How much does a yard of dirt weigh

How much does a yard of dirt weight?

If you just pick up a handful of dirt that’s wet or saturated, the weight will be more as compared with dirt that is dry. Similarly, the weight of dense and well compacted dirt will be more as compared to loose dirt. Also the weight depends on the mixture composition, particle size, and constituents of dirt material.

For a typical rich, organic dirt that has moisture in it can weigh about 2,000 pounds. But in saturated condition, the same dirt will weigh around 3,000 pounds. So, if you plan to purchase the dirt, don’t buy it on a rainy day.

  • One cubic yard of dirt contain sandy material weighs around 2,600 pounds
  • One cubic yard of dirt containing clayey material weighs around 1,700 pounds

If you’ purchasing top soil the weight will be different than a dirt that contains mix of compost or wood chips. So, you need to be sure the type of dirt you’re purchase – (blended or straight).

A typical topsoil weighs around 2,000 pounds per cubic yard. But after adding wood chips it may weigh less than 1,000 pounds per cubic yard. Suppliers generally add one-third or two-third of wood chips in the top soil, so the weight of such a dirt will be less than 1 cubic yard of pure soil.

Also Read: How many yards are in a ton of gravel? (with Online Calculator)

Calculating how much dirt you need for the fill

Now that you have the idea of how much cubic yard of dirt weigh, it’s now the time to know your cubic yards you need for the project.

For that you need to access the depth of the fill. A typical fill for a flower bed can go around 1 feet. So, for example if you have a 10 feet wide and 20 feet long flower bed, the total fill you require in cubic yards will be 10 x 20 x 1 = 200 cubic feet. Now divide  this number by 27 to get cubic yards. So, 200/27 = 7 ½ cubic yards of fill you need for this project.

If you want to purchase pure topsoil for above project the total weight for your fill will be 2,000 lbs x 7.5 cubic yard (as one cubic yard of topsoil weighs around 2,000 pounds) = 15,000 lbs.

Please note that the weight for saturated dirt will be 50% more than the above weight.  For saturated topsoil the typical weight per cubic yard is 2,700 pounds or 1.35 Us tons (but again it is a thumb rule and may change depending on the moisture content in the soil).

Top soil weight per cubic yard in normal condition2,000 pounds.
Top soil weight per cubic yard in saturated condition2,700 pounds.
Top soil weight per cubic yard in loose condition2,100 pounds.
Top soil weight per cubic yard in compact condition2,5000 pounds.
Dirt mixed in clay in dry condition2,300 pounds.
Dirt including dry gravel3,000 pounds.
Dirt including wet gravel3450 pounds.
Loose dirt2,800 pounds
Sand dry dirt2,7000 pounds.
Sand wet dirt3,100 pounds.
Fill dirt2,150 pounds.

How much does 10 yards of dirt weigh?

As the weight of a yard of dirt is 2,200 pounds, so for 10 yards the weight will be 10 x 2200 = 22000 pounds. So, 10 yards of dirt weigh 22,000 pounds or 11 tons.

What is the weight of a cubic yard of dirt?

The weight of a cubic yard of dirt is 2,200 pounds. So, a cubic yard of dirt weighs approximately 2200 pounds of 1.1 tons. However, the weight may be different for loose, dry, wet, or dense dirt.

How many pounds is a yard of dirt?

A yard of dirt has 2200 pounds in weight keeping normal condition in view.

How much is a yard or cubic yard of dirt?

By yard we always mean cubic yard. So, for one cubic yard or dry or loose dirt, the weight is approximately 2,000 to 2,600 pounds. This dirt will cover an area of 100 square feet if you keep the depth of fill as 3 inches (0.25 feet). The cost for a yard of dirt is around $12 to $18 per cubic yard.

So, for our above project with 7.5 cubic yards of dirt, the cost will be 7.5 x 12 = 90$.

Saad Iqbal is a professional civil engineering and freelance write. He's passionate about structures, construction management, and home improvement topics. He's been working as a Senior Engineer in a consultant firm for over 8 years. Besides he loves writing informative and in-depth content focused on construction and home-related topics. You can catch him at his linkedin page or reach out via our contact us page.

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