Tons to Cubic Yards Calculator (with Examples)

In construction, landscaping, and other related industries, accurate material measurement is crucial for efficiency and cost management. One common challenge is converting between different units of measure, such as tons and cubic yards.

In this post we provide a calculator, usage examples, explain the basics, and provide a useful table of material densities.

Table of Contents



  • Density of the material (table below) in pounds per cubic yard – lbs/yd³
  • Enter the Weight in Tons: Input the total weight of the material in tons.

The calculator will use the density to convert the weight in tons to volume in cubic yards.

Example Calculation

Let’s consider Gravel at a density of 2,800 lbs/yd³. If the weight is 5 tons, the tool provides an answer of approximately 3.57 cubic yards.


Cubic Yards = Tons × 2000 / Density

where units of Density are lbs/yd³

Understanding the Basics

Let’s delve into the units involved in this math:

  • Ton: A ton is a unit of weight equivalent to 2,000 pounds in the United States (short ton) or 2,204.62 pounds in the UK (long ton).
  • Cubic Yard: A cubic yard is a unit of volume that measures 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet, totaling 27 cubic feet.

The conversion between tons and cubic yards depends on the material’s density. Different materials have different weights per cubic yard. For example, gravel, sand, and topsoil all have different densities, affecting the conversion factor.

Material Density Table

Here is a list of different materials and associated density in pounds per cubic yard (lbs/yd³):

MaterialDensity (lbs/yd³)
Crushed Stone2,500
Dirt (Dry)2,000
Dirt (Wet)2,700
Clay (Dry)1,700
Clay (Wet)2,400
Pea Gravel2,600
Wood Chips500
Limestone (Crushed)2,700

These densities are approximate and can vary based on the specific type of material and its moisture content. For precise calculations, it’s always best to refer to material-specific data from suppliers or industry standards.

Why Use a Tons to Cubic Yards Calculator?

  1. Accuracy: Manually converting tons to cubic yards can be prone to errors, especially with varying material densities. A calculator ensures precise measurements.
  2. Efficiency: Quickly obtaining the volume of materials needed for a project saves time, allowing for better planning and execution.
  3. Cost Management: Accurate measurements help in ordering the right amount of material, reducing waste and controlling costs.

A tons to cubic yards calculator is an invaluable tool for anyone involved in construction, landscaping, or any project requiring precise material measurements.

By understanding the basics of the units and the material’s density, you can easily convert between tons and cubic yards, ensuring accuracy, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in your projects.