Menu Close

how much does a yard of dirt weigh banner

How Much Does A Yard Of Dirt Weigh?

How much does a yard of dirt weigh? The weight of dirt per yard depends on the type of dirt, what’s in it, compaction and how much moisture it contains. Not all dirt is exactly the same so its weight per yard can vary. It may contain sand, clay, gravel, large stones, organic material and/or debris. When you excavate an area it’s hard to know how much a yard of dirt weighs until you start digging to find out what’s in it. But when you buy dirt for construction or landscaping you’re getting either clean fill or topsoil. Because topsoil and clean fill is sifted and cleaned, its weight is more consistent. A yard of topsoil weighs 2100 lbs per yard while a yard of clean fill weighs 2150 lbs per yard. These are dry weights. Wet dirt weighs a lot more than dry.

When you buy dirt it’s priced by the yard and not the ton. This is because moisture effects how much dirt weighs quite a bit. If you purchased dirt based on weight you’d waste a lot of money because of water. But understanding how much a yard of dirt weighs on average is very important. Especially when you’re picking the dirt up and transporting it yourself. Most full size pickups can only hold around 3000 lbs in the bed and tow between 7,000-10,000 lbs.

If your excavating dirt and loading it into a dumpster you should know fresh dirt can weigh as much as 5-25% more than clean fill or topsoil because of gravel, clay, debris and stone. A dumpster can only hold 20,000 lbs so it’s easy to overload them.

In this article, we’ll review different types of dirt how much they weigh per yard.

How Much Does 1 Yard Of Dirt Weigh?

How much does a yard of dirt weigh? It depends on the type of soil, compaction, moisture, debris, organic material and what other things are in the soil like small rocks and stone.

When you buy dirt for construction or landscaping you’re getting clean fill or topsoil. Clean fill is usually used to grade land or backfill. Topsoil is used when you need dirt for growing plants, trees, grass, vegetables, etc.

Both topsoil and clean fill are sifted and cleaned to remove debris, most organic material and rocks. Because it’s been cleaned the dirt’s weight is very consistent. All you have to think about is moisture.

Topsoil and clean fill don’t contain lots of clay or sand. This also makes its weight easier to estimate.

A yard of topsoil weighs 2100 lbs per yard while a yard of clean fill weighs 2150 lbs per yard. These are dry weights.

Wet dirt weighs more than dry dirt. A gallon of water weighs around 8.3 pounds. And a yard of dirt can absorb around 100 gallons of water which weighs over 800 lbs. This means a yard of wet topsoil weighs about 2900 lbs per yard while a yard of clean fill weighs approximately 2950 lbs per yard.

When you excavate fresh soil that hasn’t been cleaned or sifted it can contain all sorts of debris, rocks, large stones and organic material. And its makeup could be very sandy or lots of clay. There’s no way to know for sure how much excavated dirt will weigh per yard. However as a rule I usually add 5-25% more than clean fill or topsoil.

How Much Is A Yard Of Dirt

A cubic yard of dry, loose dirt (soil) typically weighs around 2100 pound which is about 1.05 tons. That amount of dirt will cover an approximately 100 sq. ft. area at 3 inches deep, a 200 sq. ft. area at 2 inches deep and a 300 sq. ft. area at 1 inch deep.

The price of dirt per yard varies based on what you buy.

  • A yard of topsoil ranges in price from $12-$50 per yard.
  • Fill dirt ranges in price from $7-$12 per yard. But certified fill which has been inspected for contaminants can cost $100 per yard.

In addition to the price of dirt per yard you also have to add the delivery charge. In my area it’s about $150 per dump truck. A dump truck can hold up to 16 yards of dirt at a time so its worth buying dirt in bulk.

Dirt gets a lot heavier once it becomes wet. One yard of wet dirt can weigh about 3000 pounds or 1.5 tons. But its size doesn’t change much. But a yard of wet dirt takes up about the same amount of space as dry. It just weighs a lot more when its saturated with water.

Compacted soil also weighs more than loose dirt. One yard of compacted soil can weigh as much as 3000 pounds or 1.5 tons. When you buy clean fill or topsoil it’s been sifted and cleaned so it’s not compacted. However when you excavate soil from the ground it’s usually well compacted which makes it heavier.

A Cubic Yard Of Dirt Stats

A cubic yard of dirt fills up a cube 3 feet long by 3 feet wide by 3 feet tall which equals 27 cubic feet of space. When dry, clean fill dirt and topsoil weigh around 2100 pounds or 1.05 tons.When spread out, a yard of dirt covers approximately 100 sq. ft. at 3 inches deep, 200 sq. ft. at 2 inches deep and 100 sq. ft. at 1 inch deep.

Wet dirt weighs around 3000 pounds or 1.5 tons.

Both clean fill and topsoil are considered loose dirt because they’re sifted and cleaned. They generally don’t contain gravel and large stone. They’re also mostly regular dirt without lots of sand or clay.

On average, one cubic yard of topsoil costs between $12-$50 per yard. Clean fill ranges in price from $7-$12 per yard. Delivery is generally around $150 per dump truck load in my area which is up to 16 yards.

Excavated dirt is usually well compacted and not loose. It also may contain gravel, large stones, organic material, clay and/or sand. This means it can weigh a lot more than clean fill and topsoil. As a rule I add 5%-25% more weight for excavated soil. But some highly compacted dirt can weigh as much as 3000 lbs per yard even when dry.

Its hard to estimate how much excavated soil will weigh per yard until you start digging and find out what its made of.

How Much Does 2 Yards Of Dirt Weigh?

2 cubic yards of dirt weighs approximately 4,200 pounds or 2.1 tons. For estimating purposes a yard of loose fill dirt or topsoil weighs about 2100 pounds. So 2 yards of dirt weighs = 2×2100 = 4,200 pounds. Thus, 2 cubic yards of dry dirt weighs 4,200 pounds or 2.1 tons.

When dirt gets wet it weighs more than when dry. One yard of dry loose fill dirt or topsoil can weigh as much as 3000 pounds. So 2 yards of wet dirt can weigh 6,000 pounds or 3 tons.

Compacted dirt that’s freshly excavated typically weighs more than loose dirt per yard. A yard of tightly compacted dirt can weigh 3,000 pounds or 1.5 tons when dry. So 2 yards of compacted dry dirt can weigh upwards of 6,000 pounds or 3 tons.

How Much Does 3 Yards Of Dirt Weigh?

3 cubic yards of dirt weighs approximately 6,300 pounds or 3.15 tons. For estimating purposes a yard of loose fill dirt or topsoil weighs about 2100 pounds. So 3 yards of dirt weighs = 3×2100 = 6,300 pounds. Thus, 3 cubic yards of dry dirt weighs 6,300 pounds or 3.15 tons.

When dirt gets wet it weighs more than when dry. One yard of dry loose fill dirt or topsoil can weigh as much as 3000 pounds. So 3 yards of wet dirt can weigh 9,000 pounds or 4.5 tons.

Compacted dirt that’s freshly excavated typically weighs more than loose dirt per yard. A yard of tightly compacted dirt can weigh 3,000 pounds or 1.5 tons when dry. So 3 yards of compacted dry dirt can weigh upwards of 9,000 pounds or 4.5 tons.

How Much Does 4 Yards Of Dirt Weigh?

4 cubic yards of dirt weighs approximately 8,400 pounds or 4.2 tons. For estimating purposes a yard of loose fill dirt or topsoil weighs about 2100 pounds. So 4 yards of dirt weighs = 4×2100 = 8,400 pounds. Thus, 4 cubic yards of dry dirt weighs 8,400 pounds or 4.2 tons.

When dirt gets wet it weighs more than when dry. One yard of dry loose fill dirt or topsoil can weigh as much as 3000 pounds. So 4 yards of wet dirt can weigh 12,000 pounds or 6 tons.

Compacted dirt that’s freshly excavated typically weighs more than loose dirt per yard. A yard of tightly compacted dirt can weigh 3,000 pounds or 1.5 tons when dry. So 4 yards of compacted dry dirt can weigh upwards of 12,000 pounds or 6 tons.

How Much Does 5 Yards Of Dirt Weigh?

5 cubic yards of dirt weighs approximately 10,500 pounds or 5.25 tons. For estimating purposes a yard of loose fill dirt or topsoil weighs about 2100 pounds. So 5 yards of dirt weighs = 5×2100 = 10,500 pounds. Thus, 5 cubic yards of dry dirt weighs 10,500 pounds or 5.25 tons.

When dirt gets wet it weighs more than when dry. One yard of dry loose fill dirt or topsoil can weigh as much as 3000 pounds. So 5 yards of wet dirt can weigh 15,000 pounds or 7.5 tons.

Compacted dirt that’s freshly excavated typically weighs more than loose dirt per yard. A yard of tightly compacted dirt can weigh 3,000 pounds or 1.5 tons when dry. So 5 yards of compacted dry dirt can weigh upwards of 15,000 pounds or 7.5 tons.

How Much Does 10 Yards Of Dirt Weigh?

10 cubic yards of dirt weighs approximately 21,000 pounds or 10.5 tons. For estimating purposes a yard of loose fill dirt or topsoil weighs about 2100 pounds. So 10 yards of dirt weighs = 10×2100 = 21,000 pounds. Thus, 10 cubic yards of dry dirt weighs 21,000 pounds or 10.5 tons.

When dirt gets wet it weighs more than when dry. One yard of dry loose fill dirt or topsoil can weigh as much as 3000 pounds. So 10 yards of wet dirt can weigh 30,000 pounds or 15 tons.

Compacted dirt that’s freshly excavated typically weighs more than loose dirt per yard. A yard of tightly compacted dirt can weigh 3,000 pounds or 1.5 tons when dry. So 10 yards of compacted dry dirt can weigh upwards of 30,000 pounds or 15 tons.

How Much Does 15 Yards Of Dirt Weigh?

15 cubic yards of dirt weighs approximately 31,500 pounds or 15.75 tons. For estimating purposes a yard of loose fill dirt or topsoil weighs about 2100 pounds. So 15 yards of dirt weighs = 15×2100 = 31,500 pounds. Thus, 15 cubic yards of dry dirt weighs 31,500 pounds or 15.75 tons.

When dirt gets wet it weighs more than when dry. One yard of dry loose fill dirt or topsoil can weigh as much as 3000 pounds. So 15 yards of wet dirt can weigh 45,000 pounds or 22.5 tons.

Compacted dirt that’s freshly excavated typically weighs more than loose dirt per yard. A yard of tightly compacted dirt can weigh 3,000 pounds or 1.5 tons when dry. So 15 yards of compacted dry dirt can weigh upwards of 45,000 pounds or 22.5 tons.

How Much Does Dirt Weigh Per Yard?

Knowing how much dirt weighs per yard is easier when you’re buying topsoil or clean fill. A yard of topsoil weighs 2100 lbs per yard while a yard of clean fill weighs 2150 lbs per yard. But these are dry weights. A yard of wet dirt can weigh over 3000 pounds. How can you tell how much moisture a yard of dirt is holding?

Then there’s the dirt’s composition to consider. Does it contain rocks, large stones, clay, sand or organic material. And how compacted is it? Freshly excavated soil that’s tightly compacted can weigh over 3000 pounds per yard.

In this next section we’ll review a few things you can do to help determine a yard of dirt’s weight.

How Much Does Blended Soil Weigh Per Yard?

Blended soil is dirt that’s been mixed with another material to improve it in some way. Soil that’s been mixed with compost adds nutrients to the soil which is great for gardening. And mixing soil with wood chips improves drainage.

Soils that have additional materials mixed in changes its weight per 1 cubic yard of soil. The change depends on the type of material used and how much is added. 

For example, 1 cubic yard of topsoil weighs about 2,100 lbs on average. 1 cubic yard of wood chips weighs about 1,000 lbs. Mix one-third wood chips to two-thirds topsoil and the total weight of the soil per cubic yard is about 1,700 lbs. That’s 500 lbs less than pure topsoil.

Just like any type of dirt, the wright per yard of blended soil is greatly effected by water. This is because dirt and the extra material will usually both absorb and hold water.

To determine the weight per cubic yard of blended soil do the following:

  1. Get a list of materials in the soil and their ratios. For example a 3/4 topsoil 1/4 compost mix is 75% topsoil and 25% compost.
  2. Find the weight of the soil and the additional ingredients per yard.
  3. Apply the percentage of each ingredient in the mix to its weight.

Here’s another example. If you’ve got a 75% topsoil 25% compost mix. Dry topsoil weighs about 2,100 lbs per yard. Dry compost weighs about 1,250 lbs per yard.

75% of 2,100 lbs is 1,575 lbs (2,100 x .75 + 1,575). 25% of 1,250 lbs is 312.5 lbs (1,250 x .25 + 312.5).

1575 lbs + 312.5 + 1,887.5 lbs. per cubic yard.

Wet Vs Dry Dirt Weight

Dirt absorbs water so wet dirt weighs more than dry dirt. This is because water weighs about 8.3 pounds per gallon. The more water the soil is holding the more it will weigh.

Sink your hand into the soil and feel the moisture in it. You’ll be able to easily gauge how much moisture is in the dirt just by feeling it.

  • When you remove your hand from dry dirt only some very fine particle will stick to your hand. You hand will look a bit dusty but not dirty.
  • When you hold saturated dirt it’ll be muddy and stick all over your hands.

The more water is in the dirt the more soft and muddy it becomes.

Moisture holds dirt together and is a primary factor in determining how much a yard of soil weighs.

No matter what the soil is made of or how compacted it is, wet dirt is always heavier than dry dirt. For example, 1 cubic yard of dry topsoil weighs about 2,100 pounds, but the same soil can weigh around 3,000 pounds when fully saturated.

Water weight is why you should always buy dirt by the cubic yard and not the ton. If you buy it by the ton you could be paying for 900 pounds of water.

If you’re buying fill dirt or topsoil and picking it up yourself, make sure to do it on a dry week. I try not to pickup soil unless there’s been at least 4-5 really dry days. A full size pickup can only hold around 1,500 pounds in the bed which is 3/4 ton so water weight makes a big difference.

Heavy Vs Light Dirt

Dirt is made up of various minerals, organic material, nutrients, sand, clay and may contain debris, rocks and large stones. How much 1 cubic yard of dirt weighs depends on what type of dirt it is. This includes not only the composition of the soil but also what’s in it.

  • A cubic yard of dry sandy soil can weigh about 2,500 pounds because sand is heavy.
  • 1 cubic yard of dry clay soil weighs around 1,700 pounds because clay is lighter.
  • Topsoil weighs around 2100 pounds per cubic yard.
  • Clean fill weighs about 2150 pounds per cubic yard.

Most dirt suppliers sell either clean fill or topsoil. But if you buy from a local excavator you’ll get whatever is in the soil they’re digging. This can include clay, sand, organic material like roots, gravel, debris and/or stones.

How Many Cubic Yards Of Dirt Do I Need?

Figuring out how many cubic feet of dirt you need is actually very easy.

To figure out how many cubic yards of soil you need, you first need to know that 1 cubic yard is equal to 3 feet wide by 3 feet long by 3 feet deep which equals 27 cubic feet. And 27 cubic feet equals 1 cubic yard.

To determine how many cubic yards of soil you need, measure the area’s width, length and depth in feet. Then multiply the numbers together and divide by 27. This converts cubic feet into cubic yards.

For example, if your space is 20 feet wide, 20 feet long and 1 foot deep. Multiply 20 x 20 x 1 to get 400 cubic feet. Divide 400 by 27 and you get 14.8 cubic yards of soil.

What if your measurements aren’t whole numbers? The math is exactly the same but you need to use decimals.

For example, if your space is 20 feet wide, 20 feet long and 6 inches deep. You multiple 20 x 20 x .5 to get 200 square feet. Divide by 27 and you get 7.4 cubic yards of soil.

Will A Yard Of Dirt Fit In A Pickup Truck?

A yard of dirt is 3 feet wide by 3 feet long by 3 feet high. That’s small enough an area to fit in most full size and even half size pickup trucks. However it’s the weight that’s a problem. Most full size pickup trucks have a 3/4 ton weight limit for the bed which is around 1,500 pounds. A yard of dirt weighs about 2,100 pounds dry and up to 3,000 pounds wet. So even though a yard of dirt will fit in a pickup truck bed, it’ll be over the truck’s weight limit.

Even most 1 ton pickup trucks are overloaded when carrying a yard of soil. If you have a large amount of dirt to pick up, I suggest getting it delivered or using a trailer. Trucks can tow a lot more weight than they can haul in the bed.

Conclusion: How Much Does 1 Yard Of Dirt Weigh Per Yard?

A cubic yard of dirt fills up a cube 3 feet long by 3 feet wide by 3 feet tall which equals 27 cubic feet of space. When dry, clean fill dirt and topsoil weigh around 2100 pounds or 1.05 tons.When spread out, a yard of dirt covers approximately 100 sq. ft. at 3 inches deep, 200 sq. ft. at 2 inches deep and 100 sq. ft. at 1 inch deep.

There are different types of dirt. But when you buy it you’ll be getting either clan fill or topsoil.

  • Clean fill weighs about 2150 lbs or 1.075 tons per yard when dry.
  • Topsoil weighs about 2100 lbs or 1.05 tons per yard when dry.

When dirt gets wet it weighs more because of the weight of water. But its size doesn’t change much.

  • Wet dirt generally weighs around 3000 pounds or 1.5 tons per yard.

Both clean fill and topsoil are considered loose dirt because they’re sifted and cleaned. They generally don’t contain gravel or large stone. They’re also mostly regular dirt without lots of sand or clay.

On average, one cubic yard of topsoil costs between $12-$50 per yard. Clean fill ranges in price from $7-$12 per yard. Delivery is generally around $150 per dump truck load in my area which is up to 16 yards.

Excavated dirt is usually tightly compacted. It also may contain gravel, large stones, organic material, clay and/or sand. This means it usually weighs a lot more than clean fill and topsoil. As a rule I add 5%-25% more weight for excavated soil. But highly compacted dirt can weigh as much as 3000 lbs per yard even when dry.

Its hard to estimate how much excavated soil will weigh per yard until you start digging and find out what its made of.

Summary: How Much Does A Yard Of Dirt Weigh?

How much a yard of dirt weighs depends on the type of dirt, what’s in it, compaction and how much moisture it contains. Not all dirt is exactly the same so its weight per yard can vary. It may contain sand, clay, gravel, large stones, organic material and/or debris. When you excavate an area it’s hard to know how much a yard of dirt weighs until you start digging to find out what’s in it. But when you buy dirt for construction or landscaping you’re getting either clean fill or topsoil. Because topsoil and clean fill is sifted and cleaned, its weight is more consistent. A yard of topsoil weighs 2100 lbs per yard while a yard of clean fill weighs 2150 lbs per yard. These are dry weights. Wet dirt weighs a lot more than dry.

When you buy dirt it’s priced by the yard and not the ton. This is because moisture effects how much dirt weighs quite a bit. If you purchased dirt based on weight you’d waste a lot of money because of water. But understanding how much a yard of dirt weighs on average is very important. Especially when you’re picking the dirt up and transporting it yourself. Most full size pickups can only hold around 3000 lbs in the bed and tow between 7,000-10,000 lbs.

If your excavating dirt and loading it into a dumpster you should know fresh dirt can weigh as much as 5-25% more than clean fill or topsoil because of gravel, clay, debris and stone. A dumpster can only hold 20,000 lbs so it’s easy to overload them.

If you have any questions or comments about dirt email any time.

Related Posts

SUBSCRIBE

Get Notified About New Articles, GREAT DEALS on Home Goods, Videos & Product Reviews.

We Update Weekly & It’s All Completely FREE.