How Many Wheelbarrows In A Yard Of Mulch

How Many Wheelbarrows In A Yard Of Mulch?

You’ve calculated how much mulch you need and just gotten your product delivered or want to get it.

However, the delivery truck hasn’t placed the mulch close to where you require it. Or the path is too narrow to get to your destination. Maybe, you have a new patch of grass that you don’t want to destroy while getting to where you need to place your mulch.

So, how many wheelbarrows in a yard of mulch would be enough? Also, how many trips do you need to move the mulch to your chosen spot?

The quantity may vary depending on the size of your wheelbarrow. Dive in to see the most common wheelbarrow capacities and how many times they go into a yard of mulch.

How Much Does a Standard Wheelbarrow Hold?

Wheelbarrows come in multiple sizes, ranging from two cubic feet to larger sizes like the contractor-grade ones that can go to six cubic feet or more. A standard garden wheelbarrow holds roughly three cubic feet, while shallower ones usually have two cubic feet.

While the volume of a wheelbarrow is in cubic feet, mulch, topsoil, and other materials are measured in cubic yards.

Here’s a table showing how many trips it takes a given wheelbarrow to transport different yards of mulch.

Wheelbarrow loads for different capacities in cubic feet
Cubic Yards23456

From the table, it takes a 2-cubic-feet wheelbarrow 135 trips to transport 10 cubic yards of mulch, whereas a 6-cubic-feet wheelbarrow only needs 45 trips. 

With that, you can determine how many trips it takes to move your mulch based on its quantity.

How Many Bags of Mulch Is a Yard?

Calculating the number of mulch bags in a yard is easy. A cubic yard of mulch is similar to 27 cubic feet. A standard mulch bag has two cubic feet of the product. Dividing 27 by two, you get 13.5 bags of mulch per cubic yard.

A few bags are enough if you’d like a lighter workload when mulching a small area. Bags weigh approximately 20 pounds. However, if the bags are ripped and rained on, they may become heavier.

How Big Is a Yard of Mulch?

Irrespective of the product, a cubic yard has the same width, length, and height. One yard equals three feet. On the other hand, a cubic yard measures three feet by three feet by three feet.

Consider a three-foot-high, three-foot-wide, and three-foot-long box as a reference. The total comes to 27 cubic feet, which makes a cubic yard of mulch.

Determining a cubic yard isn’t similar to measuring weight. For example, a cubic yard of straw or bark weighs approximately 800 to 1000 lbs. Meanwhile, the same size of soil weighs about 1500 to 2500 lbs based on soil type and density, and similar-sized gravel weighs roughly 3,000 lbs.

How Many Yards Is a Dump Truck?

While there is some variation, most full-size trucks have a 10-to-16-cubic-yard capacity. Truck capacities are often available in the owner’s manual.

Smaller trucks, frequently constructed on pickup frames, have lower capacities, sometimes as low as 1.5 cubic yards.

If you can’t locate your manual, it’s easy to measure your truck capacity and determine how many wheelbarrows it takes to fill or empty it. Note the measurements in feet to ease calculations.

  • Measure the width, length, and height from the inside of the truck and record your figures.
  • Multiply your figures. Let’s say your height is 5.4, the width is 6.0, and the height is 10. You’ll get
    • 5.4 x 6.0 x 10 = 324
  • Divide your answer by 27 to get your cubic yards.
    • 324/27 = 12

With your cubic yards determined, you can divide the number by your wheelbarrow’s capacity to get how many wheelbarrows can fill up the truck.

How Many Wheelbarrows Are in a Cubic Meter of Mulch?

A cubic meter of mulch equals 35.31 cubic feet. The number of wheelbarrows in this figure depends on your wheelbarrow capacity. Divide the cubic meter by the wheelbarrow capacity to get the trips a given wheelbarrow needs to move the mulch.

Here’s a simple breakdown.

Wheelbarrow CapacityNumber in a Cubic Meter

So, you’ll need 18 trips to move a cubic meter of mulch using a 2-cubic-feet wheelbarrow. A 3-cubic-feet one takes 12 trips, 4-cubic-feet nine trips, 5-cubic feet eight trips, and it takes six trips on a 6-cubic-feet wheelbarrow.

How Much Does a Fully Loaded Wheelbarrow Weigh?

With a cubic yard of straw or bark at 800 to 1000 lbs, it means that a cubic foot of the product equals:

  • 800/27 = 29.63
  • 1000/27 = 37.04

So, if a cubic foot of mulch weighs around 30 to 37 pounds, you can multiply it with your wheelbarrow’s capacity to get the product weight as follows:

Wheelbarrow Capacity (feet)Mulch Weight (pounds)
260 to 74
390 to 111
4120 to 148
5150 to 185
6180 to 222

Now, that’s only the weight of the product. Add the weight of your wheelbarrow to the range to get the weight of a fully-loaded wheelbarrow with mulch.

Typical wheelbarrows weigh around 20 to 60 pounds, depending on the material used. Suppose your wheelbarrow is 50 pounds and has a 5-cubic-feet capacity, then its weight when fully loaded ranges between:

  • 150 + 50 = 200 and 
  • 185 + 50 = 235 pounds.

If you’re using stone mulch, you’ll have 3000/27 pounds for a one-cubic-feet capacity. That gives you around 111 pounds. This means, for a 5-cubic-feet wheelbarrow, the total weight is about:

  • 111 x 5 + 50 = 605 pounds


Ensure you aren’t just ordering random quantities as you get mulch. You can lay your mulch as thick as you desire in areas you don’t want any growth. But around plants, let the thickness be around two to four inches to avoid suffocating your crops or flowers.

Once you decide on your desired thickness, multiply it by the length and width dimensions of the areas chosen to get how much mulch you need.

You can then convert the figure to cubic yards and use the guide above to determine the trips needed based on your wheelbarrow’s capacity.

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