Popup calculator Copy a link to this page Print this page Email a link to this page Scroll up to form What does this mean? Remove this row Open/Close content Close content

Cubic Yards to Tons Calculator

Please choose a material OR enter your own density figure. A density is required for this conversion (a cubic yard of dirt weighs less than a cubic yard of concrete).

add own
Convert cubic yards of material into both US tons and metric tonnes. Note that converting between cubic yards (unit of volume) and tons (unit of weight) requires a density figure, as explained below. To work out cubic yards from a width, height and depth, give the cubic yards calculator a try.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made in building this calculator, we are not to be held liable for any damages or monetary losses arising out of or in connection with the use of it. This tool is here purely as a service to you, please use it at your own risk. Full disclaimer. Do not use calculations for anything where loss of life, money, property, etc could result from inaccurate calculations.

How do I convert cubic yards to tons?

If you're attempting to calculate how many tons/tonnes of material to order based upon your cubic yard measurements, you'll need to carry out a conversion involving a density figure. This is because the cubic yard is a unit of volume and the ton (or tonne) is a unit of weight. To convert between the two, you'll need to know the density of the material. To give a crude example, the weight of a cubic yard of feathers will be much lighter than a cubic yard of sand.

If you're able to find out the density of the material/substance, simply select 'Add Own' in the calculator above and add it in. Ensure that you select the correct option for lb/ft3 or kg/m3. For an example of how to convert cubic yards to tons manually, please scroll down. Should you wish to convert to pounds, see our article discussing how much a cubic yard weighs.

Materials for cubic yards to tons conversion

I have supplied the following material density approximations for converting cubic yards to US tons and metric tons. To request the addition of a material not currently listed, please contact me.

  • Asphalt (crushed)
  • Asphalt (liquid)
  • Cement (portland)
  • Concrete
  • Dirt
  • Gravel (loose, dry)
  • Gravel (dry, 1/4 to 2 in)
  • Gravel (wet 1/4 to 2 in)
  • Gravel (with sand)
  • Limestone (crushed)
  • Limestone (low density)
  • Limestone (high density)
  • Mulch (bark)
  • Mulch (woodchip)
  • Sand (dry)
  • Sand (loose)
  • Sand (wet)
  • Topsoil

It is important to note that if you choose to use the supplied list of approximations, you will get a rough estimate of the weight of materials. To obtain a more accurate conversion you should find out the exact density of the material you are measuring for.

Cubic yards to tons for common materials

The figures below use estimates of densities from Engineering Toolbox and SI Metric and should be used as a rough guide only.

Material (1 yd3) Density Estimate US tons Metric tonnes
Asphalt (crushed) 45 lb/ft3 0.61 0.55
Asphalt (liquid) 65 lb/ft3 0.88 0.8
Cement (portland) 85 - 95 lb/ft3 1.15 - 1.28 1.04 - 1.16
Concrete 140 - 150 lb/ft3 1.89 to 2.03 1.71 to 1.84
Dirt 65 - 80 lb/ft3 0.88 to 1.08 0.8 to 0.98
Gravel (loose, dry) 75 - 95 lb/ft3 1.01 to 1.28 0.92 to 1.16
Gravel (dry 1/4 to 2 in) 105 lb/ft3 1.42 1.29
Gravel (wet 1/4 to 2 in) 125 lb/ft3 1.69 1.53
Gravel (with sand) 120 lb/ft3 1.62 1.47
Limestone (crushed) 85 - 95 lb/ft3 1.15 - 1.28 1.04 - 1.16
Limestone (low density) 110 - 135 lb/ft3 1.49 - 1.82 1.35 - 1.65
Limestone (high density) 160 lb/ft3 2.16 1.96
Mulch (bark) 15 - 20 lb/ft3 0.2 - 0.27 0.18 - 0.24
Mulch (woodchip) 25 - 30 lb/ft3 0.34 - 0.41 0.31 - 0.37
Sand (dry) 80 - 100 lb/ft3 1.08 to 1.35 0.98 to 1.22
Sand (damp to wet) 100 - 120 lb/ft3 1.35 to 1.62 1.22 to 1.47
Topsoil 75 - 100 lb/ft3 1.01 to 1.35 0.92 to 1.22

Example - how many tons of topsoil in a cubic yard?

The weight of a cubic yard of topsoil will depend upon the density of the soil in question. As stated above, an approximate density in pounds per cubic foot for topsoil can be between 75 and 100 pounds per cubic foot. If you want an accurate answer, give your topsoil supplier a call to find out the density. For our example below, we'll use the estimate of 85lb per cubic foot:

  1. Convert your density to lb/yd3. 85 lb/ft3 = 2295 lb/yd3 (1 pound per cubic foot equals 27 pounds per cubic yard)
  2. If you're in the US, divide 2295 by 2000 (there are 2000lb in a US ton). If you're in the UK, divide by 2200 (there are 2204.62 lb in a metric tonne)
  3. You now have your answer in tons per cubic yard (1.15 US tons or 1.04 metric tonnes)

If you have any problems using this cubic yards to tons calculator, please contact me.