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Cubic Yards to Tons Calculator

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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 our calculator tools, we are not to be held liable for any damages or monetary losses arising out of or in connection with their use. Full disclaimer.

How do I convert cubic yards to tons?

To roughly convert cubic yards to tons you can multiply your cubic yard figure by 1.4. Cubic yards × 1.4 = US tons (approx). This conversion will give an approximation for many sand and gravel products.

To get a more accurate conversion, you'll need to involve a density figure in your calculation. 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. We go into this in more detail in our article about the weight of a cubic yard.

How many tons of topsoil in a cubic yard?

A cubic yard of topsoil weighs approximately 1.35 US tons (1.22 metric tons).

The weight of a cubic yard of topsoil depends upon the density of the soil. Note that wet topsoil will be denser and heavier than dry topsoil. Using the estimate of 100lb/ft3 for dry topsoil, we can calculate as follows:

  1. Convert your density to lb/yd3. 100 lb/ft3 = 2700 lb/yd3 (1 pound per cubic foot equals 27 pounds per cubic yard)
  2. If you're in the US, divide 2700 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 (1.35 US tons or 1.22 metric tonnes)

For a super-accurate conversion, give your topsoil supplier a call to find out the exact density of their product. Note that we have other tools to help you convert between liters and tons and gallons and pounds.

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 100 lb/ft3 1.35 1.22
Topsoil (saturated) 115 lb/ft3 1.55 1.41

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.

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
  • Topsoil (saturated)

If you have any problems using our cubic yards to tons calculator, please contact us.