topsoil ordering weight

How Much Does Topsoil Weigh?

In Gardening, Tips by Jamie

A cubic yard of soil usually measures between 1,080 and 2,000 pounds if dry, but gets increasingly heavier if wet. Since the average pick-up truck can hold a maximum of 2 and a half cubic yards of dry topsoil, measure everything correctly before attempting to fill it. 

If you’re wondering how much topsoil weighs, how to carry it, and what it contains, keep reading!

What is Topsoil, and Why Do You Need it?

It is, in essence, the uppermost portion of the earth’s surface. The soil is generated over a long period, and as rocks are transformed, they break down into extremely minute fragments.

While this process is occurring, numerous additional organic stuff will naturally accumulate on the earth’s surface and will be incorporated into the topsoil. This means that topsoil has many minerals and organic nutrients necessary for life.

a hand full of organic topsoil

Topsoil is commonly used in landscaping and gardening and is considered superior to commercial soil potting mixes. It is quite effective at increasing the soil quality on any particular area of land and is excellent for leveling out uneven lawn surfaces.

It contains the minerals and nutrients necessary for your plants, veggies, and shrubs to thrive and develop into healthy, happy plants. Topsoil has a variety of applications, including garden construction, lawn repair, and drainage improvement.

How Much Does Topsoil Weigh?

Topsoil usually weighs between 1,080 and 2,700 pounds. Two factors determine this weight: moisture content and density. Density is the amount of space occupied by one cubic foot, whereas moisture content indicates the quantity of moisture in the soil.

Considering the typical soil density of 100 pounds/ft3, a cubic yard of topsoil weighs approximately 2,700 lbs. This can be either less or significantly more, depending on the amount of moisture and other components in the soil.

If Topsoil is Dry or Wet, Will it Affect its Weight?

As mentioned earlier, moisture content is one of the factors that can influence the weight of topsoil. 

The wet soil would be heavier, as water would fill any gaps in the soil that existed when it was dry. Certain expansive soils may absorb water and expand in volume to the point where the actual unit sample contains less soil, and the saturated soil is lighter than the dry material. 

However, this is only true for materials such as bentonite clay, which expands significantly when wet. Most soils do not expand that much.

How to Calculate the Perfect Amount of Topsoil You’ll Need

There are four major steps you need to take to calculate the amount of topsoil you need:

  • Measure the area you wish to cover. (width and length)
  • Multiply these two numbers.
  • Consider the depth of the topsoil layer you need.
  • Multiply the area and the depth to get the volume of topsoil needed.

However, an online calculator can be found online that will do the math for you. But, you will still have to do the measurements yourself. 

How Much Does Topsoil Cost on Average?

Topsoil ranges in price from $12 to $55 per cubic yard.

Where Can You Buy Topsoil? Scott's 71130758 0.75 Cu Ft Scotts Premium Topsoil (1) (1)

Topsoil is available in different stores, not just specific gardening ones. You can even find topsoil on websites such as Amazon or The Home Depot. 

Consider opting for small packages amount or large loose amounts, depending on how much you need. Ascertain the source of the topsoil from the supplier to ensure its quality. 

Make sure it all originates from the same source to ensure that the topsoil’s quality is not degraded by additional soil from external sources.

How Much Topsoil Can a Pickup Truck Hold?

Generally, a trailer or vehicle can transport somewhere between 1 and 2 cubic yards. The exact amount is mostly determined by the truck’s size, whether it is full-sized or compact.

A small dump truck can transport up as much as 5 cubic yards. A large dump truck can transport up to 10 cubic yards. 

The majority of 1/2 ton pickups, including the F150 and 1500, can haul approximately 1 cubic yard securely. 1 cubic yard weighs about a ton, so this is their maximum weight. 

3/4 and 1-ton pick-up trucks are typically used to haul as much as their cargo capacity allows, which is up to 2 cubic yards.

Can I Put Topsoil in an SUV? A Car?

Yes, you can. But you need to ensure it’s properly packaged. Or else you’ll spend too much time cleaning your car or SUV if loose dirt gets everywhere. 

How Much Topsoil Can Fit in a Dump Truck?

Dump trucks are classified according to the cubic yards they can transport. A typical commercial dump truck may hold between 10 and 18 cubic yards of soil.

How Much is Topsoil Delivery?

The average cost of topsoil delivery is between $150 and $600 for each truckload for ten to fifteen yards or between $15 and $50 per yard. 

Installation and spreading will increase your cost by $200 to $400. One yard of soil covers 55 square feet at a depth of six inches. Request free estimates from local topsoil delivery companies.

How Much Topsoil Can You Fit in a Standard Wheelbarrow?

A conventional garden wheelbarrow with a deep basin has a capacity of up to 3 cubic feet, while shallower ones have a capacity of up to 2 cubic feet.

The Dangers of Lifting Topsoil

Lifting incorrectly can result in tense or strained back muscles. Place your feet approximately 18 inches apart before attempting to lift a bag of topsoil to improve stability. 

When lifting, bending your knees alleviates strain on your back. Hold close to your body and lift with your legs, not your back when picking up the thing. In fact, a bit of stretching before doing yardwork is never a bad idea.

You might even want to consider hiring a professional to help with all this lifting.  

Final Thoughts

It’s important to know how much does topsoil weigh to find appropriate ways to transport it. Know that the density of topsoil and its moisture content will both influence its weight.

About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.