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Question DetailsAsked on 5/28/2018

The cost of 150 yards of top soil. If I were able to pick it up with my dump trailer? Most likely two or 3 loads.

My back yard needs 150 yards of top soil. I need a price if I were to pick it up as well as a price to deliver to 960 Bacon Cr NE
Palm Bay Florida 32905. Thank you

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1 Answer


OK - break out the calculator again, because I don't think you really want 150CY of topsoil - nor are you about to move that much yourself with ANY roadable trailer in 2-3 loads - you are talking 6-15 full truck loads of topsoil, so I suspect your math. Normally (assuming this is not going into planters) for grass purposes you put down 2-3 inches of topsoil (sometimes up to 4-5 in very poor subsoil conditions and very dry areas) - so a cubic yard of topsoil may cover 110-160 SF of ground at 3 or 2 inches thickness, respectively. So - 150CY would normally cover about 16,000-24,000SF of lawn - not only as large as most house entire properties, but a LOT more than most people want to hand move and level, so you may be talking a Landscaping company doing the work rather than just topsoil delivery if that is the correct number.

Take the surface area you need to cover (length multiplied by width in feet) - that is the square feet to be covered. Then multiply by the thickness needed (in inches) divided by twelve to get cubic feet - so multiply the square footage times 2/12 for 2" loose thickness or 3/12 for 3" thickness, for example. This number is the cubic feet of soil you need - divide that by 27 to get cubic yards.

So - an example calculation - say you have a 10x15 foot plus a 5x25 foot strip to cover - that is 150 + 125 = 275 square feet. Say if going for a thick topsoil layer for grass over poor subsoil so using 3" topsoil, you would multiply the 275 SF by 3/12 = 69 CF (cubic feet) of topsoil. Divide by 27 gives you about 2-1/2 cubic yards - about 3-5 pickup truck loads (depending on how wet it is) or probably 4-8 utility dump trailer trips, or delivery by the type of small topsoil providers who use a 2-3CY like Ford 350 tilt-bed pickup for delivery.

Cost - commonly around $30/cy plus or minus about $5 at garden centers which load your vehicle (note most will NOT load a pickup with a topper on it), probably more like $20-25/CY plus or minus $5/CY delivered by the truckload (from 1-25CY per load depending on vendor) PLUS delivery charge of around $50-125 per trip depending on your distance from the source. So - delivery of just a few cubic yards might run $60-100 for the material, plus commonly $50-75 delivery - giving you a net cost of maybe $37-58 delivered cost per yard. A full dump trtuck load, say 13CY for a common size, might run around $260 for the material plus maybe $75-125 delivery charge, yielding average cost per yard of around $30-33/CY delivered cost.

For more than a very small amount, usually you are better off (if going for truckloads) going to the same source the plant center or greenhouse goes to - a Topsoil and Mulch (or is the category Mulch and Topsoil) company. Be aware of how big a truck they are talking, whether it can get close to where you want it dumped (say a 5-10 ton dump truck might get a lot closer than a 15-25CY tractor-trailer rig like might be used if you are really talking 150CY of soil.

Also pay attention to what type of "topsoil" they are talking about - there is a BIG difference in land development stripping product which has been stripped and shredded - leaving a large percentage of shredded wood in it, topsoil which came from land AFTER all vegetation had been stripped off it first, and topsoil from long-used agricultural fields, and topsoil "made" by mixing sand or loam with peat or muskeg, for example.

Also - if talking planting beds - normally you do not use (unless you have really bad subsoil like shale or caliche) more than about 6 inches or topsoil - the underlying "bed construction" layer would normally be a sandy or loamy soil of a lower grade to build up the bed and provide a holding ground for roots for taller plants, with the topsoil providing the surficial growth media plus being used in the actual planting holes for larger plants. Get too thick with true organic topsoil and it can become very compacted and mushy and not drain, causing root rot. Check planting guides for the type of thing you are talking planting - I use 2-3" of topsoil (plus a compost covering) for annual plant beds, 3-4" for most bulbs, 4-6 inches for shrubs and trees plus mixed bed and topsoil material in the hole when planting them.

So - Search the List under greenhouses (if looking for very small delivery - a few yards or so or self-pickup, or Topsoil and Mulch for truckload size delivery. Landscaping for supply and spread service - which might or might not (depending on your desire) include seeding and mulching (if doing lawn).

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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