By the Ton vs. By the Yard

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by duke3522, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. duke3522

    duke3522 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2004
    Hi Everyone,

    I am easily confused so I need some help here. I am looking to buy some top soil to fill the raised beds in my garden. I have found two different places that supply top soil around here. The first place wants $18.50 a ton delivered for straight top soil. And I can get up to 20 tons The other place wants $15 a yard for either straight top soil or a top soil peat moss mix. Plus a $35 delivery charge. This guy has a 15 yard truck. Both places product come highly recommended. So which one is the better deal.

    Right now neither is loading top soil because it is still to wet. So that makes me think I will have to wait for an extended dry spell to make the by the ton stuff a good deal. But, one would think, that the by the yard stuff would be a better deal when it’s a little wet.

  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    I bought black earth topsoil before by the load per yard. Then it doesn't matter if there is moisture in it that would cost much more by the ton if it was wet.

  3. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 3, 2004
    Hill Country, Texas
    Figure out the number of tons per yard of nominally moist topsoil and you have the answer.

    BTW - peat moss is expensive so the soil peat mix may be the best deal.
    In bags 4.4 cu ft of peat moss is about $8.00. It takes 6+ bags to make a yard. Thats about $50.00 per yard.
  4. duke3522

    duke3522 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2004
    Hi Yucca,

    I was thinking along those same lines about the peat moss. If I put the Garden mix in the beds then I can just add some vermiculite, and what compost I have, and probably have some pretty good soil.

  5. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 4, 2005

    Typically fill dirt and topsoil are sold by the ton and weigh about 1.25 tons per yard.

    Topsoil (some moisture)
    tonnes per cubic metre (tonne is 2205, metric ton)

    1 cubic metre
    1.3079 cubic yards
    translates in to 2427 pounds a cubic yard,


    Hi, bill747-ga:

    If you are concerned with transporting "loose" excavated dirt, a
    figure of 2,500 lbs per cubic yard can be used for planning purposes.
    See the variety of figures listed by this commercial vendor of fill

    [Fill Dirt and Sand Products -- Morrison Gravel]

    "Unscreened brown dirt is sandy loam soil. Unscreened brown dirt has
    some rocks and sticks. Some people use this product for planting.
    Weight of product: 2500 lbs per cubic yard."

    "Screened sandy loam soil. Most of the larger rocks and sticks have
    been eliminated. Some people use this material for planting grass,
    however it contains no added sand or wood product. It's a more natural
    soil. Weight of product: 2600 lbs per cubic yard."

    [Topsoil as a Commodity -- Untried Ideas]

    "Weight of dirt: 2500 lbs per cubic yard."

    This bulletin board thread at frames the answer in perhaps
    more easily remembered units:

    [Dirt weights "about" ... --]

    "......100 Lbs a cubic foot.......or 2700 lbs per cubic yard"

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    On the other hand if you are worried about shoring up walls within an
    excavation, then a higher (more conservative) figure for in situ
    "packed" earth of 3,800 lbs per cubic yard is appropriate:

    [Trench Rescue -- Tempe (AZ) Fire Department Policies and Procedures] and Procedures/PDF Files/208.02.pdf

    "Normal dirt weighs 3800 lbs. per cubic yard."

    This vendor of horticultural products also estimates a higher figure
    for weight of natural soil, in contrast to their recommended added
    weight for Perlite:

    [Horti-Perl Horticultural Perlite -- Redco II]

    "Horti-Perl... weighs as little as 180 lbs. per cubic yard vs. 3,300
    lbs. per cubic yard for natural soil."

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    For comparison, liquid water weighs about 1680 lbs per cubic yard and
    accounts for much of the weight of moist compost (eg. at 40% water
    content) at 1000 to 1200 lbs per cubic yard. Rock & ore can be up to
    80% denser than packed soil, but of course some varieties of rock are
    lighter even than water (e.g. pumice).

    regards, mathtalk-ga

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    Keywords: weight soil OR dirt "lbs per cubic yard"