If you’re looking to purchase soil for your landscaping or buying it to fill a hole, you need to know how much dirt you can haul in your vehicle.
Most dirt suppliers will give you the option to deliver dirt at your doorstep, but it cost money. If you’re hauling a lot of dirt, then it may be worth paying someone to deliver it to you.
But if you have a truck or vehicle that you can use to bring dirt to your home, then it’s a cheaper and faster option.
If you’re wondering how much does a yard of dirt weighs and whether you can safely bring dirt to your home in the truck, then keep reading.
What is a cubic yard of dirt?
When you're hauling dirt, it’s measured in a volume that consists of length, width, and height.
You can think of it as a box that is 1 yard long, 1 yard wide, and 1 yard high. Or in another way, you can call it a cubic yard of dirt.
If you want to convert it into cubic feet, then 1 yard is 3 feet, and one cubic yard is 27 cubic feet.
How much does a yard of dirt weigh?
The weight of dirt depends on the soil and the moisture and other material mixed in the dirt. A cubic yard of topsoil weighs around 2,200 pounds.
When you’re deciding the dirt to buy, know the difference between the topsoil dirt and the fill dirt. The topsoil dirt is used primarily for landscaping and gardening tasks. It contains organic matters and compositions that are good for growing plants.
The presence of organic matter in the topsoil degrades over time and causes it to shift over time. The fill dirt is used to cover ditches or trenches in your yard or around the foundation. The fill dirt is devoid of organic matters and may contain small rocks and debris.
The fill dirt is best when you need a stable non-shifting ground area. The fill dirt weighs more than the topsoil dirt as it contains rocks and lumps of other materials.
Here are some dirt types and its weight
Weight in Pounds Per Cubic Yard
Top Soil (loose)
Top Soil (compact)
Clay dirt weighs (dry)
Sand weighs (dry)
Sand weighs (wet)
Fill dirt weighs
Pulverized dirt weighs
How many pounds is a yard of dirt?
If you’re hauling topsoil for your garden or landscaping, it weighs approximately 2,100 pounds in a yard of dirt. If you’re using a pulverized of screened soil that is fine and loose, then you can load up to 2,250 pounds of yard dirt.
Some external variables can affect the weight of soil. The most common is the moisture and debris mixed with the rocks.
If you’re buying fill dirt for your yard with less debris and have small rocks, then it weighs more consistently at 2,150 pounds.
How many yards of dirt will fit in a pickup truck?
If you’re hauling dirt in a pickup truck, then a half-ton pickup truck such as Ford F150 or Dodge Ram can haul about half cubic yards of soil as the maximum limit. Medium size picks up vehicles tend to haul up to their weight.
You can also refer to the truck manual to gauge the maximum hauling capacity of the truck. You may find two ratings on the truck.
Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR): This is the maximum weight of the vehicle, including its weight, cargo, passenger, fuel, and trailer cargo weight.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): It’s the truck’s maximum weight, including passenger, cargo, and tongue weight.
Here is a summary of dirt weight that can fit in a pickup truck:
Maximum Dirt to haul
2,000 pounds (1 cubic yard dirt load)
1,000 pounds (half cubic yard dirt load)
1,500 pounds (3/4 yard of topsoil load)
You should know the maximum weight limit before loading dirt into the pickup truck. The truck’s towing capacity depends on the frame, suspension, brakes, and engine.
The more durable and more muscular build of a pick-up truck allows you to haul more dirt in a single trip. When you're loading your truck with dirt, do it slowly and watch how it’s handling the weight.
If you’re using a wheelbarrow to load the truck, it will take 9 to 10 trips to load a cubic yard of dirt.
How much dirt can a dump truck haul?
Dump truck rating is dependent on the volume of the bed. The hauling truck can take a higher load than a pickup truck and can haul between 22,000 and 28,000 pounds of weight (11 to 14 cubic yards of dirt).
The large dump trucks can carry up to 28,000 pounds of dirt while the smaller dump truck can easily carry from 15,000 to 18,000 pounds of dirt.
How much topsoil do you need for landscaping?
If you’re doing landscaping and need some dirt to fill it in your garden and around the foundation, you can easily calculate the topsoil that you need to buy.
You start by calculating the area you want to place the topsoil and how deep or high you need to fill. You can easily do it by using a measuring tape and measure the length and width of the area.
If you're placing dirt around the foundation, then also measure the height. You want the area around your home foundation to be a bit higher than the surrounding area.
It helps water to stay away from the foundation and reduces the leaks and water seepage into the basement during rain or winter.
Once you know the length, width, and height of the place, you can multiply all three to determine the volume. If your measurement is in feet, divide the amount by 27 to get the cubic yard measurement of the topsoil.
You can also use a soil calculator where you can input your measurements, and it automatically calculates and inform you of the soil needed.
How many bags of dirt makes yard?
At most retailers, you can buy a bag of dirt that comes packaged into 28 to 30-liter bag. Twenty-seven bags of dirt make a cubic yard. If you’re buying soil for a garden or lawn, make sure to obtain the right kind.
The gardening soil is a mixture of sand, silt, clay, and organic compost. There are different varieties that you can buy. If you're not sure which soil to buy, you can always talk to the gardening advisor. They can guide you in the right direction.
So, there you have it. A cubic yard of dirt will weight from 2100 to 2200 pounds. It all depends on the dirt and the amount of rock, moisture, and other foreign objects present.
Also, always know the maximum towing capacity of your truck before start loading. If you have never hauled the dirt in your vehicle before, load slowly, and keep an eye on the weight.
It would be best if you drove slowly as the loose soil may shift at sharp turns and cause you to lose the balance.