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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.