Dump trucks are a necessity for any kind of construction works- big or small. It is crucial that you know the capacity of a dump truck before carrying any kind of building materials. Not knowing its capacity can incur huge losses by either transporting too little or excess raw materials. 

A big question here is, “how many cubic yards in a dump truck”? Every dump truck differs in terms of size, model, weight rating, among other specs. How much a dump truck can carry largely depends on the weight rating of the truck. 

On average, a full-size dump truck’s capacity is about 10 to 17 cubic yards and can carry about 14 tons of weight. A small-size dump truck can carry about 6.5 to 7 tons of weight. 

Determining a dump truck’s capacity

There are basically two ways to determine the cubic yards in a dump truck. While the first measurement will depend on the cubic yardage capacity of the truck, yardage alone is not a perfect measurement of its capacity. 

Let us look at both and discuss figure out which is the best way to calculate.

Dump truck: Capacity in cubic yardage

One cubic yard basically refers to 27 cubic feet of material. A cubic foot measures 3 feet in length, width, and height. Determination of a truck’s cubic yard capacity will largely depend on the type of material in the truck and the weight-carrying capacity of the truck. 

For example, stone and topsoil are comparatively much heavier than mulch. The stone weighs about 2,500 to 3,000 lbs per cubic yard, while soil weighs about1,700 to 2,400 lbs per cubic yard. The number decreases even more in the case of mulch. 

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Therefore, depending on the nature of materials, the hauling capacity of the truck will vary. The size of the truck limits the capacity for lightweight materials, while the weight of the truck for heavier materials. 

To know the actual capacity of a dump truck, look for the model’s weight and volume capacities from the user manual. If the truck’s capacity is not mentioned in the user manual, then follow these simple steps to measure.

  • Measure the length: Begin by measuring how long the truck bed is by determining the length between two sides of the truck wall. Note down the figure in feet. It is always better to keep the numbers in feet for easier calculations later. 
  • Measure the width: In the same manner as above, measure how wide the truck is. 
  • Measure the height: Place one end of the tape at the base of the truck bed, and extend it to the top of the sides of the tailgate. 
  • Multiply: Once you’ve acquired all three numbers, multiply them together. The figure that you get will be the capacity of your dump truck in cubic feet. For example, you are dump truck is 16 feet long, 7 feet wide and 6 feet high, then the capacity in cubic feet is 672. 

As mentioned above, one cubic yard equals 27 cubic feet. Hence, divide the number 672 by 27, and you will get the cubic yard capacity of your dump truck. 

Generally speaking, the maximum quantity is 22 cubic yards of mulch, 12 cubic yards of stone, and 15 cubic yards of topsoil per truckload. 

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See also Super Dumps.

Dump truck: Capacity in weight rating

The weight rating of a dump truck is an important factor to consider when calculating how many cubic yards it can carry. As mentioned above, the weight of the material on the truck will determine the cubic yards a truck can carry. That is because every truck model has a different weight rating. 

The weight rating of a truck will depend on factors such as the suspension and chassis of the truck. If you have a larger dump truck, then it may have a weight limit of about 15 tons, but if it’s a smaller truck, then it can be as low as half a ton. 

If you have sand as the material, then a 15 tons capacity dump truck will be able to carry a maximum of 10 cubic yards. Even for mulch, the capacity will depend on if it’s dry or wet mulch. 

Final thoughts

Measuring how many cubic yards in a dump truck is easy if you are aware of your truck’s cubic capacity and its weight rating. Also, things will be much easier if you can determine the materials’ weight in cubic yards.

Compiling all this information together will give you an accurate measurement of the capacity of the truck in cubic yards. 

If you are not sure of the weight of the material, then it is recommended to ask the supplier for more information on it. You can save a lot of time and money if you know the cubic yard capacity of your dump truck.

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