Figuring out how much topsoil or gravel you need is a tricky business. Below I’ll take you through how our material calculator works and how much various trucks can carry.
How do I determine how much material I need?
The best way to determine how much material you need is to figure out the volume of the area you need to fill. Volume means the total space, including the length, width, and depth of the area.
Volume = Length x Width x Depth
This is the formula that our material calculator uses. It then converts the volume from cubic feet to cubic yards (27 cubic feet = 1 cubic yard).
Why are some materials sold by cubic yards and some sold by tons?
A cubic yard is a measure of volume while a ton is a measure of weight. The volume of the space you need to fill will always be the same, but the total weight of the materials you need will vary by the material. For example, a cubic yard of crushed rock is lighter than a cubic yard of topsoil.
The reason Washington Rock sells topsoil and sand by cubic yard rather than by ton is that their weight varies with the seasons. Topsoil and sand are heavier during the rainy season when they’re wet but lighter during the dry season. We do calculations throughout the year to figure out how much water the material has absorbed. Then our team members calculate how much of a ton of material is water weight and subtract that from the total. Buying topsoil and sand by volume means that you pay for the material rather than the water that’s in it. That’s especially important in the wet Pacific Northwest.
How much can my pickup truck or delivery truck carry?
Check out our handy guide below.