How Do You Calculate a Cubic Yard of Dirt?

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The easiest way to calculate a cubic yard of dirt is to first measure the dirt, convert known dimensions into yards, then simply multiply the length, width and height of a section of dirt to get the total cubic area. You can also use cubic yards to measure common materials, such as concrete, mulch and gravel.

  1. Measure the area

    First identify and measure the length, width and height of the area. These dimensions are used to tell if the area you are working with comes to a single cubic yard.

  2. Convert to yards

    The next step is to convert these numbers over to yards. Each yard has 3 feet or 36 inches. Convert the length, width and height to make calculation easier.

  3. Multiply and compare

    After units are converted, multiply the dimensions. If the total comes out to one, you have a full square yard of dirt. If not, add or subtract the necessary amount of dirt until the result is 1 square yard.