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How Many Wheelbarrows Are in a Yard?

Whether you’re laying mulch, topsoil, or even gravel, being able to calculate how many wheelbarrows you’ll need to complete the job is a very useful skill. By being able to calculate these figures, you’ll save yourself time, money, and a lot of hassle too. So, how many wheelbarrows are there in a cubic yard?

What is a cubic yard?

For anyone who is unfamiliar with what a yard is, it’s an area of measurement. One yard is equal to 3 feet. Now, one cubic yard is 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet. For a better mental reference, picture a wood box that’s 3 feet high, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet long. That would be the size of one cubic yard. (It is equivalent to 27 cubic feet.)

Measuring a cubic yard is much different than measuring weight. For instance, 1 cubic yard of mulch weighs around 800 to 1000 pounds, and 1 cubic yard of soil weighs around 1500 – 2500 pounds depending on soil density and type, where as gravel is closer to 3,000 pounds.

On the other hand, 1 cubic yard of anything, including both mulch and gravel, will have the same length, height, and width no matter what.

How many wheelbarrows are in a cubic yard?

Now that you understand the measurements, it’s time to figure out how many wheelbarrows can fit in a cubic yard. There are two main kinds of wheelbarrows, the 2-cubic foot size and the 3-cubic foot size. Although the 3-cubic foot sized wheelbarrow is the most common style, the 2-cubic foot size is still common and is characterized by a shallower basin.

When using the 2-cubic foot wheelbarrow, there will be 14 wheelbarrow loads in 1-cubic foot yard (since 27/2 ≅ 14). When using the 3-cubic foot wheelbarrow, there will be 9 wheelbarrow loads (since 27/3 = 9). You can see now why the 3-cubic foot wheelbarrow is more popular with homeowners. You can carry more with each trip.

How many wheelbarrows are in a dump truck?

Dump trucks can hold a lot of material, and that’s exactly why they’re commonly used in large landscaping projects. If your project will be using a dump truck, then it’s good to know how many wheelbarrows a truck like this can hold.

Your typical dump truck can carry up to 10 to 14 cubic yards of dirt, and this hauling capacity depends on the type of truck you are using and your vehicle rating. That comes out to 168 loads using the 2-cubic foot sized wheelbarrow and 108 loads using the 3-cubic foot wheelbarrow.

Since 1 cubic yard of dirt weighs around 900 pounds and there are 2000 pounds in a ton, this is 900/2000 = 0.45 tons per cubic yard and thus 10 cubic yards weighs 0.45 × 10 = 4.5 tons, 14 cubic yards weighs 0.45 × 14 = 6.3 tons. These references should come in handy the next time you do a landscaping project.

Easy to use chart

If you’re still having trouble trying to figure out how many wheelbarrows you will need for your landscaping project, then take advantage of this useful chart listed below. It’s quite easy to use.

For example, choose the amount of cubic yards you want to cover with either your dirt, topsoil, or gravel. Then look below to see how many loads in the wheelbarrow it’ll be.

For instance, if you want to cover 7 cubic yards and you have a 3-cubic foot wheelbarrow, you’ll need 63 loads.

On the other hand, let’s say you want to cover 2 cubic yards, and you’re using a 2-cubic foot wheelbarrow. In this case, you’ll need 27 loads. Give this chart a try, and you’ll probable find it to be very useful.

Cubic Yards 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 Cubic Foot
Wheelbarrow Loads
14 27 41 54 68 81 95 108 122 135
3 Cubic Foot
Wheelbarrow Loads
9 18 27 36 45 54 63 72 81 90

By using this chart, you’ll not only make your life easier, you’ll have a plan of action, you’ll waste less product, and by wasting less product, you’ll also save more money in the long run.