How Many Cubic Yards in a Dump Truck

How Many Cubic Yards in a Dump Truck?

Construction projects will be pretty hard to carry out without a dump truck. In fact, it is more important than carrying lunch to the construction site. However, for the small projects, calculating the amount of topsoil, concrete, sand, stone, and boulders is pretty straightforward. But for the large ones, it will not be easy.

Usually, for large-scale projects, they are sold in a large amount. Mostly in cubic yards. And one of the frequent concerns for those larger projects is how many cubic yards in a dump truck. It is quite a common question because if you want to fill up a truck with materials, it is important to know about the capacity.

If you happen to get something small, chances are it will be pretty hard for you to transport the stuff from one place to another. The labor cost and the fuel cost for that are going to be reasonably high as well. However, as you have stumbled upon this article, you will not have to worry anymore.

How to Measure the Cubic Yards of a Dump Truck?

Dump Truck

Before we get into other related topics, we would like to ensure that you know how actually to measure the dump truck. And in this section, we are going to go through the basics. Usually, the capacity will be stated on the manual of the truck. However, that information might be missing from some manuals.

Well, if you cannot find the specific number anywhere, you would have to opt for the manual process of measuring the overall capacity of the dump truck. And for the manual process, you would need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Measure the Width

First and foremost, you need to measure the width of the truck bed. Start from the very inside from one of the walls of the bed. Measure till the second end of the bed. Usually, your measurement will come in inches. However, we would recommend converting it into feet. It will make the calculations easier.

And if you are wondering how you will make inches to feet conversion, all you need to do is divide it by 12. For example, if the measurement came to 63 inches, it should come to 5.25 feet. Write this calculation down.

Step 2: Measure the Length

After measuring the width, you need to move along to measure the length. Use the same method and start from the very corner of the bed. Ensure that the edge of the measurer is touching the corner, or else the measurement will not be accurate. Then, move along to the very end in a straight line and note down the measurement.

We would also recommend converting the measurement from inches to feet in this case. As we have mentioned, the conversion will make it easier for you to make the final measurement.

Step 3: Measure the Height

Now that the length is taken care of, you need to move along into measuring the height. Take the measurement starting from the very bottom of the bed. Measure till the very top of the bed. Do make sure to note down the measurement. Also, ensure that you convert this one as well.

Step 4: Multiply

Once you have the length, height, and width measurements, you need to start calculating. Basically, you should multiply three of the numbers to get the actual cubic yard of the bed.

For example, if the truck is 5 feet high, 6 feet wide, and 14 feet long, then the total calculation is going to stand at 6 x 5 x 14, which would be 420 cubic feet.

Step 5: Covert the Cubic Feet to Cubic Yards

After getting the multiplied number, you need to make the final calculation. And that would be to covert the cubic feet into cubic yards. You would need to divide the total by 27 because 27 cubic feet are equal to 1 cubic yard. So, in our case, the yards would stand at 420/27 = 15.56 cubic yards.

Is Considering the Cubic Yard Enough?

For transporting goods, the cubic yard is just half of the story. It basically represents the measurement of three of the sides. For that reason, measuring the cubic yards is not usually enough. The other half of the story is the weight rating.

However, the weight rating is something that you will not be capable of measuring easily in the way you measured the cubic yard.  In fact, it might be impossible for you to measure the weight rating of the dump truck manually. This rating will highly depend on the frame and size of the truck.

Usually, the smaller trucks are capable of carrying up to half a ton of materials. On the other hand, the larger trucks hold the ability to carry up to 15 tons of the material. And 15 tons of material is like carrying 30 thousand pounds of stuff. That is quite a heavy amount of materials.

Weight of a Cubic Yard

Now that you have a proper idea regarding the weight limit, you might also want to know about the weight per cubic yard, right? Well, this is something that will highly depend on the type of material you are looking at. For example, one cubic yard of mulch will weigh up to 1000 pounds.

On the other hand, sand, stone, and gravel can weigh up to 3000 pounds per cubic yard. And if you are talking about soil, the per cubic yard weight of that would be 2200 pounds. However, the numbers can show a huge variation considering the moisture content of the material.

Some of the materials can become heavy when there is too much moisture inside. On the other hand, the weight will be relatively low when the material is dry and does not have any moisture inside.

So, How Many Cubic Yards Does a Dump Truck Has?

As you know by now, the weight capacity of the trucks is different. Likewise, the cubic yard capacity of the truck will also vary from one to another. Like we mentioned above, the capacity will depend on three factors, which are length, height, and width.

In that sense, the trucks that have higher measurements in those factors will have a higher cubic yard capacity. That being said. Usually, the small trucks can carry half to ¾ cubic yards of the stuff, whereas the larger ones hold the ability to carry up to 10 cubic yards of materials.

On that note, weight capacity has an important role to play here, which you probably know by now.

How Many Materials Can I Carry?

As you know by now, the weight of the materials will have an important role in dictating the amount of material you can carry. For that reason, aside from the overall capacity of the dump bed, the weight capacity is also factored in during loading the truck with materials.

Nevertheless, considering the fact that soil generally weighs around 2200 pounds, the maximum amount of soil you can carry in a large truck with a good weight load is 15 cubic yards. On the other hand, if you consider the quantity of the stone, it would be around 12 cubic yards.

Lastly, for mulch, the total amount you would be capable of carrying if the truck has the capacity for it is 22 cubic yards.

Things to Check Before Loading the Dump Truck

There are a couple of things that you should consider before loading the dump truck with materials. And they are as follows:

a) The Sturdiness of the Frame

Consider the overall sturdiness of the frame. If they are a bit damaged, the truck will not be capable of carrying the maximum rated load. Additionally, do check whether the walls are properly closed or not. Without them being closed, the materials are going to fall right off the bed.

b) Total Capacity

Apart from checking the sturdiness of the frame, you would also need to consider the total capacity of the bed. Do not try to load more than the truck is capable of carrying. That will result in a lot of spillages, which will take loads of time to clean.

c) Weight Capacity

Considering the total capacity of the bed is not going to be enough. You also have to consider the weight capacity. Measure the load before dumping it on the dump truck. Making the truck carry more than the rated capacity can lead to its damage.

Final Words

Hopefully, the information that we have provided in this article was enough to let you know how many cubic yards in a dump truck. And now that you all about the capacity and the weight capacity, we hope that you will be able to take proper advantage of the truck bed.

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