When you are hauling loose material in your dump truck, it’s essential to know what the dump truck capacity is.

Gravel, sand, soil, mulch, and various other materials are measured in volume – cubic yards.

So how many tons of gravel can you load in your dump truck? 

It depends on the size of your dump truck and weight limitations. A full size dump truck can typically transport 12 to 16 cubic yards, a standard dump truck can carry 6 to 12 yards, a semi dump truck can haul 8 to 14 yards, and a small dump truck can carry 1 to 1.5 cubic yards of gravel.  

Read on to learn more about cubic yards, loose material like gravel, and the capacity of various dump trucks. 

How Many Yards Fit in a Dump Truck?

How many yards – that is, cubic yards, which is a volume metric – fits in a dump truck depends on a few factors: 

  • The size of the dump truck, which depends on the make and model 
  • The weight limit of the dump truck 
  • The type and weight of the loose material you need to load and transport

Here are some general sizing information about how many yards you can load onto various dump trucks: 

Full Size Dump Truck 

A full size dump truck, which is mostly used as contractors and landscapers, can transport between 12 to 16 cubic yards. These trucks can also transport almost any kind of material.  

Standard Dump Truck 

A standard dump truck can load between 6 to 12 cubic yards of loose material. These dump trucks are commonly used to transport stone and soil. 

Semi Dump Truck 

You can load 8 to 14 cubic yards of material in a semi dump truck. These trucks are becoming more popular these days because it’s a kind of semi-truck (or semi-tractor-trailer), which is versatile and the loads can be quickly offloaded. 

Small Dump Truck 

A small dump truck can fit only a small volume of loose material. These trucks can carry 1 to 1.5 cubic yards. They are generally used for small projects and specific purposes.

Tandem Dump Truck 

The capacity for a tandem dump truck is 12 to 16 cubic yards. If the tandem has a good weight capacity, it can carry 12 yards or more. 

Tri Axle Dump Trucks 

In the United States, these trucks can carry 7 to 8 cubic yards on average; however, many states limit the load at 6 cubic yards. 

The actual capacity of a tri axle dump truck is 3 to 10 cubic yards.    

Cubic Yards to Tons: Dump Truck Weight Capacity 

It’s easier for some truckers to work in ton than in cubic yards. However, it’s a good idea to consider both measurement units when working out what load your dump trailer can carry. 

If you need to know how much the cubic yards of material weighs, the formula is quite simple: 

Multiply one cubic yard (the volume) by 1.4 to get how many tons the material weighs. 

Of course, the actual weight of the material would depend on what your dump truck is carrying. 

One cubic yard of a heavy material like gravel can weigh 3,000 pounds on average, while a cubic yard of dirt and compact materials weigh 2,200 pounds on average. (There are 2,000 pounds in a US ton). 

In general, a dump truck can carry 13 to 25 tons of gravel. More specifically:

  • A 10-wheeler can carry 13 tons (or 26,000 pounds) (9.28 cubic yards). 
  • A large flat bed truck can carry 25 tons (or 50,000 pounds) of gravel (17.85 cubic yards). 
  • A 12-wheeler can carry 16 tons (or 32,000 pounds) of gravel (11.42 cubic yards). 
  • A high side-end dump truck and a semi-end dump truck can carry 21 tons (or 42,000 pounds) of gravel (15 cubic yards). 
  • An industrial belly dump truck can carry a max of 23 tons (or 46,000 pounds) of gravel (16.42 cubic yards). 
  • A super 16 and a transfer dump truck can haul 24 tons (or 48,000 pounds) of gravel (17.14 cubic yards).  

How Much Does a Dump Truck Load of Gravel Cost?

How Much Does a Dump Truck Load of Gravel Cost

How much a load of gravel costs for a dump truck depends on various factors: 

  • The type of rock or gravel 
  • The distance to travel 
  • The cost of delivery 
  • The type of dump truck 
  • The weight of the gravel 

At a minimum, a truckload with gravel costs $1,350. On average, gravel is $140 per ton or $15 to $50 per cubic yard.

If the dump truck is in an area where the roads don’t permit loads that large, you could see prices below $500 per load.

It’s not cheaper, it’s just less in the truck.

How Much Does a Scoop of Gravel Cover?

How much gravel a scoop covers depends on the size of the scoop and the size of the gravel. 

Generally, here’s how much gravel a scoop covers: 

  • 110 square feet at a 2-inch depth 
  • 80 square feet at a 3-inch depth
  • 40 to 50 square feet at a 5-inch depth 
  • 30 square feet at an 8-inch depth  

How Many Cubic Yards Are in a 40-Ton Dump Truck?

A 40-ton dump truck can typically carry 10 to 16 cubic yards, or 14 to 22.4 tons of material. 

You can find the actual capacity your 40-ton dump truck can load in the owner’s manual.

How Much Stone Fits in a Dump Truck?

How much stone fits in a dump truck depends on the same factors as mentioned, as well as the type of stone you need to haul and whether it is wet or dry. 

Dry crushed stone weighs 2,800 pounds on average, and wet crushed stone weighs an average of 3,000 pounds per one cubic yard. 

Here’s how much crushed limestone various sized dump trucks can load and and transport: 

  • A 20-ton dump truck can haul about 14.28 cubic yards of dry crushed limestone. 
  • A 10-ton dump truck can carry 7.14 cubic yards of dry crushed limestone. 
  • A 1-ton dump truck can transport 0.71 cubic yards of dry crushed limestone. 
  • A tri axle dump truck can haul 14 cubic yards of stone.

Last Thoughts on Dump Trucks and Gravel 

It’s essential to know what dump truck load so you can meet the weight restrictions of your commercial vehicle. 

Various materials are measured by volume, so it’s key to understand how much cubic yards (and tons or pounds) your dump truck can haul. 

This guide made that easier to understand, so happy loading!