How Many Cubic Yards Are in a Pickup Truck? [Answered]

Many home improvement centers or construction sites have a lot of material all over the place. Some of these materials have been transported for use during construction, while others need to be removed. Either way, trucks really come in handy for such tasks. 

If the project is large scale, the unit for measuring the materials is in cubic yards. You can hire a pickup truck or a dump truck to make work easier. The regular pickup trucks have a capacity of ½ to 3.5 cubic yards of loose material. The value changes with the type of material you are transporting. 

This article is helpful in explaining some of the metrics and logistics of loose materials for any projects as far as pickup trucks are concerned. 

How Many Cubic Yards Are in a Pickup Truck?

how many cubic yards are in a pickup truck

Compared to other trucks used in the transportation of loose material, pickups are smaller. Usually, it has a capacity of ½ to 3.5 cubic yards of loose materials in each truckload. The standard-sized pickup caries approximately 1 cubic yard of stone, 1.5 cubic yards of topsoil, 3 cubic yards of mulch, 1.5 yards of dirt, and 1 cubic yard of gravel with each truckload. 

Moreover, it depends on the bed size of the pickup truck. A full-size pickup bed with dimensions 8 ft long by 5.33 ft wide by 1.5 ft high can hold up to 2.5 cubic yards of material when loaded level full. 

What Are the Dimensions of a Short-Bed Pickup Truck?

Generally, when it comes to pickup trucks, they are categorized into three according to the size of the truck beds. We have short, standard, and long-bed pickup trucks. The short-bed pickup truck is 5’8” long, compared to the 6’5” and 8’ of the standard and long-bed respectively.

It is also 4.5’ wide and 1.5’ high. When such a truck is loaded level full, it can hold up to 1.5 cubic yards of material. 

The size or length of the bed cannot be easily determined by just looking at it—you may have to get a tape measure and manually measure it. 

Also Read: How to Haul 16 and 20ft Lumber in a Pickup or a Truck?

What Is the Length of a Full-Size Pickup Truck?

The dimensions of the bed of a full-sized pickup truck are as follows; 8’ long, 5.33’ wide, and 1.5’ high. When such a truck is loaded level full, it can hold up to 2.5 yards of material. 

Can I Haul a Cubic Yard Into My Pickup Truck?

It is possible to haul up to a cubic yard of loose materials into a pickup truck. The only precaution you need to take is that the material does not go beyond the specified weight rating. Supply yards are recommended for sizing your vehicle and can be loaded in safe amounts. 

Moreover, if you will be the one driving the truck, it is important to keep in mind your vehicle’s hauling capacity as well as how it can behave when it is fully loaded. With the weight limit on the higher side, ensure that you maintain a speed of no more than 45mph. 

How Much Soil Will Fit in a Pickup Truck?

The small pickups have a capacity of 1 cubic yard of soil. The full-sized pickups can accommodate up to 2 cubic yards of soil. 

How Many Cubic Yards Are in a Five-Foot Truck Bed?

The capacity in cubic yards of a truck depends on the size of the bed, and how deep the soil has been compacted. Generally, a five-foot truck bed can handle more than 1.33 cubic yards of soil. Hiring a pickup truck goes a long way in helping you save on delivery costs. 

Will 3 Cubic Yards Fit in a Pickup Truck?

Yes, it is possible to fit 3 cubic yards (of mulch) into a regular-size pickup. If the truckload is leveled, the capacity will reduce to about two yards. When picking up the different materials, be it gravel, dirt, sand, or mulch, the recommended capacity for a pickup truck is one yard.

The small pickup is capable of holding 1 yard of mulch, ½ yard of stone, and ½ yard of topsoil. The medium truck can handle 1 to 2 yards of mulch, and 1 yard of stone and topsoil. The full-sized pickup can accommodate 2 to 3 yards of mulch, 1.5 yards of stone, and 1.5 yards of topsoil. 

Also Read: How Fast Can You Drive in 4 High RAM 1500?


A cubic yard is a unit of measurement that represents one yard wide, long and high. One yard is equivalent to 3’. One cubic yard has 27 cubic feet if you wish to convert. However, when it comes to materials, you cannot estimate using a yardstick. Loose materials tend to fluff up or compress when adequately compacted hence their measurements may vary. 

Generally, the weight of one cubic yard depends solely on the type of material in question. Mulch, for instance, weighs approximately 1000 pounds per cubic yard. This still depends on whether the mulch is wet or dry. Soil weighs 2200 pounds per cubic yard, and the value varies depending on moisture content. Other materials such as stone, sand, and gravel are on the heavier side and can weigh up to 3000 pounds per cubic yard. 

Wheelbarrows are available in different sizes. Generally, the medium-sized, three-cubic-foot wheelbarrow can hold up to 9 loads full which are equivalent to one cubic yard. 

Final Thoughts

Construction projects require tons of materials transported to and from the site. This is only possible with dump trucks and pickups, especially if they need to cover quite a distance. Therefore, understanding the capacity of the trucks with respect to the type of material is important.

Related Posts: