A construction site may require a variety of materials. Since quantities involved are usually large, we don’t use the usual pounds or kilograms but we speak in terms of tons.
But it may be a bit tricky to calculate how many tons of a particular material do we need for our construction site.
You may need to purchase gravel, topsoil, sand, mulch, limestone, dirt, fly-ash, asphalt, or cement, etc for construction and place an order in tons. Your supplier may ask you how many tons of gravel or sand you need.
Here is a straightforward step-by-step procedure to find how many tons you may need in the yard.
Measuring The Space
First of all, you need to research or measure the volume of space that you need to fill with construction material. If you already know the volume in cubic yards, you can skip the next three steps.
Convert Inches or Feet to Yards
We have the habit of measuring distance in feet and inches. But here you want to learn how to convert yards to tons. Hence you must convert inches or feet to yards.
You can divide feet by 3 to get the measurement in yards. Let’s say you measured 9 feet length, 6 feet width, and 3 feet depth at the construction site then your space measures 9/3 x 6/3 x 3/3 or 3 x 2 x 1 yard.
Calculative Volume in Cubic Yards
You can now calculate the volume by multiplying length, width, and depth. For example, if the length of space is 3 yards, width is 1 yard, and depth is one-fifth of a yard, then the volume of that space is 3 yd x 1 yd x 1/5 yd = 3/5 cubic yards or 3/5 yd3.
Convert Cubic Feet to Cubic yards
It is possible that somebody has already measured the space and informs you that space measures 54 cubic feet. You can calculate cubic yards by simply dividing it by 27. Hence your space is 54 cubic feet / 27 = 2 cubic yards or 2 yd3.
Read more: How to calculate roof slope.
Researching the Material Weight
In the real world, you may have to do a bit of research to find out the weight of different types of construction material before purchasing.
For example, you may call the topsoil company to find the weight and it may tell you that due to wet spring, the topsoil weighs a bit heavier at 1.2 tons per cubic yard. Sometimes, the contractors or suppliers provide the weight in pounds.
In that case, you can convert it into tons per cubic yard by dividing it by 2000. For example, if the topsoil weighs 2400 pounds per cubic yard, then the weight = 2400 / 2000 = 1.2 tons per cubic yard.
The final Conversion to Tons
Now you have got two crucial figures. One is the volume of your space i.e. 3/5 cubic yards and the second figure is the weight of the material which is 1.2 tons per cubic yards.
To convert yards to tons, you need to multiply these two numbers. Hence the total topsoil material required in tons = 3/5 yd3x 1.2/yd3 = 0.72 tons.
Precaution in Calculations
Before making these calculations, you need to use the correct type of tons. There are three types of tons and it is always important to double-check before making calculations.
Short Ton: It is the US unit of measure, which is equivalent to 2000 pounds
Long Ton: It is the UK unit of measure, equivalent to 2240 pounds
Metric Ton: It is used in most other countries or regions and stands for 1000 kg or 2204.6 pounds.
Note: If you use a long ton or Metric ton, you may divide pounds by 2240 or 2204.6 instead of 2000 to get the correct tonnage.
Read more: How to calculate a cubic yard.
Let’s say you need to fill a pit with gravel. The size of the pit is 24 ft x 12 ft x 6 inches and gravel weighs 2800 pounds per cubic yard. How much gravel (in short ton) do you need to fill your space.
Measuring Space – Already measured – 24 ft x 12 ft x 6 inches or 24x12x1/2 feet
Convert inches or feet to yards – 24/3 x 12/3 x (1/2)/3 = 8 x 4 x 1/6 yd.
Calculate Volume – 8 x 4 x 1/6 = 16/3 yd3
Material weight – 2800 pounds/ 2000 = 1.4 ton per cubic yard (Remember to divide by 2240 or 2204.6 to find figures in long ton or metric ton)
Material Required = 16/3 x 1.4 = 7.47 tons of Gravel