Truckload of Topsoil

legacy77aMarch 2, 2007

How much should I expect to pay for a truckload of topsoil?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldmainer(z5 Maine)

Hi legacy77a...why not let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages...under loam...or top soil. See...that was easy wasn't it...:-) Good southern going for about $15 to $20 bucks a yard. The folks that don't do their homework pay up to $50 a yard...:-) Franklin

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It might seem on the surface that prices would be consistent across the country but the expenses can vary greatly. And, of course whatever the market will bare, remember we live in a free enterprise system.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm really not familiar with any of this so this may seem really dumb but how many yards are in a truck load? Or, do you just order a certain amount of "yards"?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldmainer(z5 Maine)

Hi legacy77a...the only dumb questions are the ones ya don't ask...:-) The normal 10 wheeler dump truck will haul 12 to 18 yds usually...depending on how big the dump bed is...and there are smaller trucks with smaller beds that can haul smaller amounts. An 18 wheeler will haul 45 yds...give or take. What do you need the loam for? Find a gardener in your area that has his/her crap together to help you figure how many yds you need...for whatever project you have in mind. If you don't some folks are gonna dump a bunch of loam in your driveway and you will only need about a third of what you get....unless of course ya just love havin' a whole lot of extra dirt hangin' around to look at...:-) Franklin

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, you order by the cubic yard. A "truckload" depends on the size of the truck and can vary rather widely :-) A normal sized pickup bed can hold about 1.5 cubic yards, a typical landscape dumper holds around 12,000# or as much as 8cy, double axel dump trucks and tandems can increase that payload to as much as 25cy, depending on product weight.

I'd also ask some specifics on what it is you are ordering. "Topsoil" is a generic term that really has no clear definition when it comes to bulk soil products and could mean just about anything.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would ask how many yards their truck holds, of the company that I called. They range from just a couple of yards to 8 yards or perhaps more. You can probably order about what you want.

Then, have some idea of what a cubic yard looks like. If it were in a perfect cube, it would be 3' X 3' X 3'. You can kinda estimate from that. (Degree of reasonableness) A couple of little piles like a couple of 5 gallon buckets full would not be a cubic yard. Many people get ripped off on cubic yards of material as well as cords or portions of cords of wood by unscrupulous salesmen. It probably does not hurt to give some indication in your conversation regarding about what you expect so that they will be less likely to figure that they can take advantage of you.

The following is a pretty simple formula to tell how much coverage you can get with whatever you order.

To calculate how much soil, mulch or rock you will need for your project, simply multiply length in feet times width in feet times depth in inches and divide by 324. EXAMPLE: L' X W' X D" /324 25 X 25 X 1 = 625 /324 = 1.93 = almost 2 cubic yards.

If you want the depth to be 4 or 6 inches deep in the area you want to cover, change the depth number in inches to what ever you want and recalc to see how many yards you will need.
Bill P.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you all for your information. It really helps when you are starting from scratch.

I had a feeling that if I called some soil company with no real good information about what I was doing, I probably would have been sold more than I really needed.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Topsoil" is whatever is on the top 4 inches of where they got it from, so are you sure that you really want "topsoil"? Most people think of "topsoil" as loam, but they are different and if you want real good soil for your garden you need to specify loam not "topsoil".

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 12:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldmainer(z5 Maine)

My!!! My!!! arn't we getting technical. Here in Maine loam and topsoil are interchangable terms. Lets not play word games...a good company will give her a good product. The topsoil/loam may also be amended with compost. I worked part time...for a number of years... in a commercial compost facility after I retired...and we sold amended topsoil/loam to our customers...and it grew good stuff. Franklin

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 12:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tomatobob_va7(z7 VA)

Some above have hinted at this, but not said it: before you put in your order, go to the supplier and look closely at what he's calling "topsoil". I mean put your hands in it and see what's there. Some topsoil can be more like clay, subsoil, and landfill. Look before you buy. Look again when the truck pulls up before it's dumped. Signed/ Sadder but wiser

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 3:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Franklin, you may think they are but they are not. No matter where you are "topsoil" is the top 4 inches of soil and the seller of "topsoil" can sell you anything he wants as "topsoil". But if you specify loam that has a specific defintion, 45 percent sand, 25 percent clay, 25 percent silt, and 5 percent humus, and that is what the seller is oligated to deliver. This is why I have been trying for 15 years to convince people they do not want to buy "topsoil". That term, "topsoil", means nothing.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 5:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

The professionals never order top soil. They order landscapers mix.

Cost for top soil should be $5-$10 per cubic yard plus $35-$40 for delivery for the each truckload.

Cost for landscaper's mix should be more like $25 per yard plus delivery.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 12:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
reeldoc(7 NC)

I don't know where you live in NC but be careful when you order soil. As mentioned previously, you may be better served ordering ammended soil if you have the funds. Some of the 'top soil' in NC is nothing but undercut soil from large construction and road projects. You may end up with mud.

You may be suprised at how good the soil you have is. With a lot of grass clippings, leaves and compost you may be just a couple of years away from soil instead of dirt. It has taken me about four years to turn backfill into plantable soil but it was worth the work.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 9:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just wondering if anyone could tell me if my quote that i recieved is fair or a rip off.
* 15 yards of loam delivered,layed out, seeded, hayed all for $700.00. (loam alone is $575.00). Help!!!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just wondering if anyone could tell me if my quote that i recieved is fair or a rip off.
* 15 yards of loam delivered,layed out, seeded, hayed all for $700.00. (loam alone is $575.00). Help!!!

With out knowing what you are trying to accomplish no one can give a good answer although I've noticed that many will try on limited information.
Often there are really easy and cheap ways to do things!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tas123(z5 MI)

We just received a quote (I'm in Michigan) for 30 yards of screened topsoil for $585. However, spreading the soil, hand raking to smooth, plus the hydroseeding adds another $840 for a total of $1425. That comes out to $47.50/yd and your quote is $46.66/yd which is pretty darn close, but your soil cost is higher than mine. Then again - mine says screened topsoil which could be anything, and their loam might be better quality.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Look closely at the lastest "Miracle Grow" ads comparing "topsoil" to "Miracle Grow Organic Garden Soil" and you will see just what "topsoil" is. The problem I have is people expect that when they order "topsoil" they most likely have in their mind, "Loam" and that is not wht you will always get when you order that "topsoil". Specify just what you want to get what you want, and if the seller tells you what he has is "just like loam" get a sample and test it to see. This is buyer beware stuff.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 8:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

kimmsr talk to me about what you get from miracle grow's ads more specificly?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 2:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Measure the bed of the truck that delivers the topsoil. I ordered ten cubic yards of compost but when the truck came I measured the length, width, and height of the material and saw they only delived me eight cubic yards. I called them and they gave me a hard time and claimed the material settled on the trip to my house but finally delivered me the other two yards.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 11:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Esther, mostly misinformation.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 7:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi guys, I had a question about selling loam. I have a very large amount of acreage in central/southern Maine and have been approached by a few large excavating companies in the area about purchasing some of the loam there.

I have no equipment to "scrape" or haul the stuff myself so the excavating company will be doing most of the legwork.

My question is how much could I expect to be paid per yard by one of these companies? I hardly can assume they would pay $15/yrd since they need to make a profit and recover excavation costs. What seems reasonable? I have not had much luck finding someone with a straight answer.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 12:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nico, it is horse trading, they will pay the market price but you don't know the market price. If there are other companies in the area then ask around.

I was in the business for 20 years and I can tell you it isn't worth much. You may look into raising hay or leasing for grazing both are renewable. The soil will return to its former condition sooner or later but depending on how they remove the soil may lead to erosion problems, etc.

The problem is no one wants to pay much for loam, soil whatever term you use and it requires expensive equipment to remove the soil and then it is expensive to turn it into a salable product then no one knows how much went into this process and won't pay a reasonable price.

Thanks for nothing, RIGHT lol

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Legacy - make sure you look at what you are going to buy before you make the purchase. I talked to a guy over the phone and bought 18yards of SUPER compost/mushroom manure/sand mix 3/8 screened.

What i got was a dumptruck load of composted bark mulch mixed with spent mushroom manure and sand. I think by 3/8 screened, they meant 3" by 8" screen.. because there are large rocks and huge chunks of wood in it.

After complaining and threatening them.. they took $75 off the price, so I paid around $200CAD for the entire load. That would have been a great deal if i didn't have to screen the entire load myself. Fortunately, the remainder after screening is making a nice mulch for the flower and shrub beds.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 2:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

Nico- first let me say that your work with Velvet Underground was nothing short of incredible.

Second- where you are in Maine- the good soil is generally a pretty thin layer before you hit rock or sand. (YMMV) If you sell that soil- you're going to have the second Desert of Maine. Now- that's OK if you're OK with it or are desperate for the cash, but a tree farm or renting for agriculture, or something may be more profitable for a longer term anyway.

Not trying to put you on a guilt trip- just laying out options to explore.

Best of luck!


    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 3:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


It sounds like you will have a wasteland on your hands and conscience. Reparing it will take maybe a lifetime or more.

How much will you get per cu. yd.? Renting it for grazing or just about any other ag use would seem to be more profitable, without creating a badland.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 3:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sue36(Z5 Maine)

In case anyone is still checking in here, I just paid $18 per yard (delivered) for 200 yards of loam in southern York County. I called every place I could find and this was the cheapest.

The loam itself runs about $14 per yard, the remainder is delivery, so if you can find a place close it will be cheaper.

The closest place to use (1 1/2 miles) charges $39 per yard plus delivery. We only purchase from them when we need less than 8 yards.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 5:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sue36 - I'm in Eastern York County and would love to know where you purchased your loam. We paid $100 for 3 yards last spring. We will need about 100 yards this coming spring and I really hope to find a cheaper source.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zengeos(5 Maine)

I've tried sev eral places nearby me here in Gorha, Maine, and both places delivered horrible product. Won't mention their names, but if you provide e-mail I'll provide the names of both companies.

Suffice to say.. one company, on Rte25 going toward Standish, delivered *topsoil/loam that was sharp sand and clay and was horrible. In addition, the 7 yards of mulch I had delivered by them was ruined by 2+ yards of the horrid topsoil they left in the truck as it got mixed in. They were oh so kind to offer me 4 fresh yards of mulch...but I paid for 7!!!

The other company, on the Buxton line was not much better... both loads of topsoil compact to a hard to dig consistency. BOTH companies claimed it was good for gardening in.

Suffice to say, I'll never use either of those places again. Now to find some good mushroom manure...

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 6:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are selling it for $100 a dump truck full, delivered in Paoli IN

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 9:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

dirt good for lawn?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 1:28PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hand crank or battery grinder/ chipper for the garden?
Good morning all. I'm new to these forums and have...
Lawn fertilizer to increase nitrogen in flower beds?
For several years now my lawn and beds have been fed...
starting a new nursery/retail landscape supply business
lots of good reading here. I am looking at starting...
Need advice on watering succulents with new soil
I recently began using soil-less soil, as has been...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™