How Many Cubic Yards In A Dump Truck? [With Size Chart]

How many cubic yards in a dump truck? Well, it varies according to the size of the truck. Usually, the full size dump trucks have a capacity of 12 to 16 cubic yards. A semi dump truck’s capacity would be 8-14 cubic yards. But a smaller dump truck might even have just 1.5 cubic yards of capacity.

Now if you’re working on a project and simply need to transport sand, topsoil, mulch or stones, you need to know how much the dump truck can carry. You must know how many cubic yards capacity the dump truck has. It becomes essential to know about cubic yards, the sizes, different materials and other relevant factors.

No Need to Worry! In this article we’ll discuss everything about dump trucks. From cubic yards to capacity of different dump trucks, you’ll get all the things you need to know. So have a read on the article, we assure you it will be beneficial.

Everything About Cubic Yard

What is a Cubic Yard? In simple words, it is a measurement by which we can find out about the amount of materials we need. It is the amount of any material, which is required to fill up the net volume of one yard cube.

You can think of cubic yards as a block of material with a size of 3 feet in height, width and length. Usually, 1 cubic yard of any material is similar to the weight of 2000 lbs or 1 ton. And 23 cubic feet equals one cubic yard.

What is the weight of a Cubic Yard? Well, it depends on materials to materials. It varies according to the materials & it also varies on the conditions of the materials. Generally, gravel and dirt weigh 3000 pounds & 2200 pounds respectively per cubic yard.

Another much needed material mulch only weighs 1000 lbs per cubic yard. Just like gravel, sand & stone also weigh around 3000 lbs. But like we said, it depends on the conditions as well. 

Dry materials can weigh really less. But on the other hand, wet materials can weigh almost double. So, the conditions play a big factor on the weight of the materials.

How Many Cubic Yards In a Dump Truck?

The yard capacity differs according to the models,sizes & types of the dump trucks. The capacity mainly depends on the cubic yardage & the weight rating. It also depends on the suspension, construction and chassis.  The cubic yards capacity of different dump trucks are discussed below:

1. Full Size Dump Trucks: These are the most commonly used dump trucks as landscapers & contractors use it often. They have a range of 12 to 16 cubic yards capacity. Almost all types of materials can be transported in these trucks.

2. Semi Dump Truck: These types of trucks are becoming popular day by day. Their capacity is from 8-14 cubic yards.

3. Standard Dump Trucks: These trucks carry from 6 cubic yards to 12 cubic yards. Soil & stone are commonly transported inside these dump trucks.

4. Small Dump Trucks: These types of trucks have really less capacity. They are often used for smaller projects & specific purposes. They have a capacity of 1-1.5 cubic yards.

5. Tri Axle Dump Trucks: Their range is usually 3 to 10 cubic yards. Although most of them have 7-8 cubic yards on average in the United States. It should be noted that many states from the United States only allow it upto 6 cubic yards.

6. Tandem Dump Truck: Tandem dump truck’s capacity range is 12-16 yards. It is basically dependent on their sizes. If they have a good weight, they can easily carry 12 yards & more.

Dump Truck Size Chart:

Here is a Dump Truck size chart that will help you to get a better idea.

  Loader SizeCubic YardsNumber of Tons in a Cubic YardTotal Number of Tons
          415  1.25 cubic yards            1.05      1.31 tons
          930  3.00 cubic yards            1.05      3.15tons 
          938  3.50 cubic yards            1.05      3.68 tons
          950  4.50 cubic yards            1.05      4.73 tons 
          966  5.40  cubic yards            1.05      5.67 tons 
          980  7.50 cubic yards            1.05      7.88 tons 


As you can see, various trucks have various kinds of capacity. The weight rating & truck bed are the most important factors in the capacity of cubic yards. Hope now you have a clear idea about how many cubic yards in a dump truck.

Process of Determining Cubic Yards in a Dump Truck:

The easiest way to know about the capacity is to have a look at the owner’s manual. You’ll get details about your truck in the owner’s manual. However, if you still can’t know about the capacity of your truck, follow these simple steps to find out the capacity of your dump truck:

1. Length Measurement:

We need to measure the length of the truck bed first. To do this, measure the length from one side of the inside wall to another. Make sure you measure it in feet which will help you later on in calculations. So if you are measuring it in inches or meters, convert it to feet.

2. Width Measurement:

Next up, it is the width’s turn. Measure the width in a similar way. Don’t forget to convert it into feet.  Say for example, if your truck bed has a width range of 72 inches, convert it into feet(6 feet) & note it down.

3. Height Measurement:

In height measurement, you have to measure from the top of the sides to the bottom. Keep in mind that if the tailgate is lower than the sides, you have to measure the height from there.

4. Multiplying:

Now that you have measured the length, width & height. It’s time to multiply them. Again, make sure that you have converted all of them into feet. So, if the truck bed is 6 feet wide, 4 feet high & 15 feet long, then the calculation would be 6 x  4 x 15 = 360. Note that, this is the amount in cubic feet.

5. Dividing with 27: 

You already know that a cubic yard has 27 cubic feet. So in order to find the cubic yardage, you need to divide the amount in cubic feet by 27. So, if the amount in cubic feet was 360, divide it with 27 & you’ll know the amount of cubic yards( 360/27 = 13.33) in your dump truck.

So by following these simple steps, you can easily measure the cubic yardage. You can also take help from different calculators. But then again, our suggestion would be to have a look at the owner’s manual & get a clear idea about the capacity of your truck.

Hauling Materials in the Dump Truck

Many of us have confusions during the hauling of different materials. Especially when it is your first time, you might  face some problems. So if you are doing it for the first time, make sure to control the speed. Drive safely & don’t speed up too much.

Our suggestion would be to keep your speed under 45 mph. Also before hauling, get a good idea about the weight & conditions of your materials. Then you can carry according to the materials & capacity of your truck.

Final Words:

We hope now you know how many cubic yards in a dump truck. We hope the article was helpful and you can measure the cubic yards in your truck & also properly transport materials in it.

Other than this, if you have any confusion or any queries, feel free to reach us. Till then, take care & drive safely.