What Is A Cubic Yard
A Yard is the unit of measure we use when calculating the amount of mulch, compost, topsoil, sand, gravel, or any other aggregate that you may need in landscaping and gardening. So when we say ‘how many wheelbarrows in a Yard’ we really mean a Cubic Yard, which is 3-foot x 3-foot x 3-foot (3 foot cubed).
When ordering mulch, compost, or topsoil, your landscape merchant will deliver the product to you in a bulk bag that measures a cubic yard, or as a bulk truckload measured in yards. So, Yard has become the common measurement required for calculating the number of bulk bags of a landscaping product that you need.
Once the product is delivered you may need to transport it to the site where you plan to use it. This is usually done by loading it into wheelbarrows and walking it into position ready for unloading. So, for each yard, it is useful to know how many wheelbarrow loads you will need to handle.
We can do this by calculating how many wheelbarrow loads are in a cubic yard.
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Number of Wheelbarrow Loads In A Yard
The number of wheelbarrow loads will be dependent on the carrying capacity and size of your wheelbarrow. The quick reference conversion table below will help you find the number of wheelbarrows in a yard of mulch, topsoil, or dirt based on your wheelbarrow capacity.
2 cubic foot wheelbarrow will need to transport 13.5 loads to empty a Yard of mulch or soil
3 cubic foot wheelbarrow will need to transport 9 loads to empty a Yard of mulch or soil.
4 cubic foot wheelbarrow will need to transport 6.8 loads to empty a Yard of mulch or soil
5 cubic foot wheelbarrow will need to transport 5.4 loads to empty a Yard of mulch or soil
6 cubic foot wheelbarrow will need to transport 4.5 loads to empty a Yard of mulch or soil.
How Much Does A Wheelbarrow Hold?
Wheelbarrows come in many shapes and sizes, and here below, I’ve covered the most popular types of wheelbarrows for gardening, landscaping, and building and provided a volume for each type. Check out this article link to find the Best Wheelbarrow.
Shallow Tray models used for gardening, are generally 2 cubic feet and are perfect for general light to medium use in a domestic or landscaping context.
Deep Tray wheelbarrows will be the same configuration as a shallow tray, other than the height of the tray will be designed to hold 3-6 cubic feet of mulch or other aggregate material.
The larger the wheelbarrow the heavier they are when loaded, so their popularity reduces the larger they become. Most wheelbarrows ranging in the 6-10 cubic foot capacity are preferred by building contractors and used for heavy-duty landscaping work.
How To Measure a Wheelbarrow’s Volume Capacity
You can calculate the volume of your wheelbarrow by measuring and calculating the cubic dimensions of the tray.
When measuring a wheelbarrow tray capacity, I like to split the process into two separate measurements.
- Measuring the cubic capacity of the tray’s flat base
- Measuring the capacity of the tray’s sloped section
Then sum the two values to get the total wheelbarrow tray capacity. Here’s how I do it.
Measuring The Tray’s Flat Base
- Take your tape measure and measure the length of the inside flat base of the wheelbarrow from back to front. You only need to take the measurement from one side.
- Then, use your measuring tape to measure the width of the inside flat base of the wheelbarrow.
Inside Length (L) x Inside Width (W) = Surface Area
- Measure the inside height of the wheelbarrow tray, from the base of the tray to the upright rim.
Surface Area (L x H) x Height (H) = Cubic Capacity
- For the Sloped section of the wheelbarrow tray, you can follow a similar process, and this involves accounting for the slope of the tray. Here’s what I recommend:
Measuring The Tray’s Slope Section
- Measure the width and length of the sloped section of the tray. The width is usually the same as the measurements you have already taken from the tray’s flat area.
- Now measure the length of the sloped section by placing your tape measure along the top of the tray rim and measuring the outermost point of the slope to the point where the slope begins (in the base of the wheelbarrow).
- Then lay your measuring tape along the top of the tray rim and measure from the end of the wheelbarrow tray, down the slope, back toward the point where the base of the tray slope meets the flat base. This will give you the height measurement.
Totaling the Tray’s Cubic Capacity
- Use the three dimensions (H x W x L) to calculate the sloped section cubic volume. However, this time, divide the number in half to account for the sloped section only being half the volume of the dimensions you measured. Most wheelbarrow trays angle at approximately 45 degrees. The calculation looks like this:
Surface Area (W x L) x Height (H) = Cubic Volume. Divided by 2 = Slopes actual Cubic Capacity
- Finally, all that is left to do is sum the total of the Cubic Capacity of the tray’s flat base section and the sloped section, to get the total wheelbarrow tray cubic capacity.