Estimating Dump Truck Materials - Excavation & Site Work - Contractor Talk

Estimating Dump Truck Materials

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-26-2015, 10:44 PM   #1
Pro
 
bdog1234's Avatar
 
Trade: Contractor
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 181
Rewards Points: 293

Estimating Dump Truck Materials


We just bought a dump truck and have a couple thousand yards of topsoil and fill dirt that we are going to sell from a pond we dug.

We don't have any scales and are wondering if there are any tips or tricks on estimating yardage. I know how to calculate volume and have painted some hash marks on the inside of dump truck corresponding to 5,6,7,8,9 yards but it is not really easy to get a uniform load especially if you are loading from one side and in a hurry. We loaded the truck over a dozen times today.

I err on the side of too much because I don't want to short anyone but I bet on average my loads are close to one yard too much. Is counting buckets better than trying to estimate the load once in the truck? We could do that but we often have two machines loading the truck at once.
bdog1234 is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 06-27-2015, 09:42 AM   #2
Contractor
 
tgeb's Avatar
 
Trade: Excavation, Foundation, Professional Painter!
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 6,274
Rewards Points: 830

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


Load it by the bucket full. Everyone around here loads out bulk mulch and topsoil by the cubic yard.

Know the volume of your loader and adjust accordingly.

Advertisement

__________________
Tom

www.gebcon.com
tgeb is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to tgeb For This Useful Post:
hdavis (07-03-2015), slowsol (09-03-2015)
Old 06-27-2015, 09:46 AM   #3
edward trowelhands
 
Golden view's Avatar
 
Trade: Diplomat
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: PDX
Posts: 4,494
Rewards Points: 6,218

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


Since you have a couple hundred loads it's worth hitting some scales to calibrate your bucket technique. That way you're not shorting anyone but you'll also avoid getting hit with an overload fine.
__________________
You make something idiot proof and the world invents a better idiot.
Golden view is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-27-2015, 10:48 AM   #4
Pro
 
bdog1234's Avatar
 
Trade: Contractor
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 181
Rewards Points: 293

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


Thanks guys. We are pretty rural here. Closest scales are 30 miles away. Almost all the dirt has been going within 5-10 miles of me on rural roads. Not too worried about overweight. Have been getting better at estimating it. Waiting on a tractor to pull me out now. Dump truck is stuck in a guys horse pen. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems.
bdog1234 is offline  
Old 06-30-2015, 02:05 PM   #5
Vagitarian
 
rino1494's Avatar
 
Trade: site and utility contractor
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Dallas, PA
Posts: 3,589
Rewards Points: 2,388

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


We just count the buckets as we load. It gets hard if you are using a smaller machine because I tend to get distracted quickly and can't remember if that was 12 or 13 I put on. I can usually tell by the hump in the box.
__________________
Life is hard. It is harder when you are stupid

Uncle Sam wants YOU....to speak ENGLISH
rino1494 is offline  
Old 07-02-2015, 02:22 AM   #6
Pro
 
Fouthgeneration's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Mid west
Posts: 2,280
Rewards Points: 8,117

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


Most businesses don't make 10% profit... giving away 200 yards or tons of dirt that would make a rent /payment on a truck scale is silly.

Can you even legally sell it by the 'ton' if you aren't measuring it?

Just one greedy customer taught me to how to measure cord wood too a gnat's exhaust.
Fouthgeneration is offline  
Old 08-06-2015, 08:32 AM   #7
Registered User
 
Hairy Cat's Avatar
 
Trade: Excavation and grading
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 6

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


Get a proctor on some of the material. The proctor will tell you what the weight of a cubic foot of material is at 95% compaction. That is pretty similar to what you'd have in the ground for clay materials. Now you have the weight of the soil and how that corresponds to the volume of that soil. Now, go get a weight done at a truck stop of a typical load (you'll need an empty weight and a full weight). Now you know what your truck holds in terms of weight for a typical load. Let's say the truck held 14 tons and your proctor was 105. You take your proctor and multiply it by 27 (27 cubic feet to the cubic yard). 105 X 27 = 2,835 pounds per yard

14 tons X 2,000 pounds per ton = 28,000 pounds.

28,000/2,835 = 9.87 Cubic yards per truck. This is equivalent to what came out of the ground in terms of volume and what the customer can expect in terms of placed yardage.
Hairy Cat is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Hairy Cat For This Useful Post:
Fouthgeneration (08-06-2015)
Old 09-02-2015, 06:12 PM   #8
Registered User
 
Civil Headache's Avatar
 
Trade: Earthwork
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tacoma
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 26

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


We always can get about 30-32 tons into truck and pup with a steel box here in Washington, that works out to about 15-17 bank yards and we usually call that 24 truck yards. We use as 1.3-1.5 conversion to loose/truck yards and a 1.8-2.0 conversion to tonnage. the conversion can very from soil type to soil type and moisture content but those figures are pretty solid.

A lot of time we will just settle on calling a truck load 24 yards if we dumping somewhere with no scale and being charged a fee.
Civil Headache is offline  
Old 09-02-2015, 06:17 PM   #9
Registered User
 
Civil Headache's Avatar
 
Trade: Earthwork
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tacoma
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 26

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


FYI - we recently found a pretty cool site for posting your dump sites and export sites. It's basically like a classified for pits and dump sites. www.siteimportexport.com. So far it's worked pretty good for us.

Last edited by Civil Headache; 09-02-2015 at 06:22 PM.
Civil Headache is offline  
Old 09-03-2015, 07:55 AM   #10
Pro
 
mrcharles's Avatar
 
Trade: GC, Remodeling
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Oakland County Michigan
Posts: 1,306
Rewards Points: 1,652

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


freedirt.com is another good one

or filldirt.com

or I think dirtseek.com has the best layout of any site
mrcharles is offline  
Old 09-03-2015, 11:39 AM   #11
Registered User
 
Civil Headache's Avatar
 
Trade: Earthwork
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tacoma
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 26

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcharles View Post
freedirt.com is another good one

or filldirt.com

or I think dirtseek.com has the best layout of any site
I seen those first two before - the layouts are clunky.

That dirtseek.com only has stuff in Michigan. Still think I like site import export the best, IMO. They have ton of pits on there.
Civil Headache is offline  
Old 12-12-2015, 11:48 PM   #12
Registered User
 
Stick-man's Avatar
 
Trade: Welding, fabrication, repair
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: crooked county, hellinois
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 8

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


I always knew how many FULL buckets to a truckload. I ran 22' dump trailers. A 973 was 3 buckets, 963 was 4, 953 was 5, and an S300 with a 74" HD tooth bucket was 17. Excavators, I could see in the trailer better so I would do it more by sight.

If you're running on air, there is a scale system that turns the PSI into weight on a gauge, and is rather inexpensive.
Stick-man is offline  
Old 12-13-2015, 12:41 AM   #13
Pro
 
jhark123's Avatar
 
Trade: Pro Cat Herder
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Enumclaw, WA
Posts: 2,505
Rewards Points: 1,704

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


Man, I really want a 963 with a 4n1. I don't need one and my business would likely only use it 10-20 days a year, but it would be awesome.
jhark123 is offline  
Old 12-13-2015, 06:01 PM   #14
Registered User
 
Stick-man's Avatar
 
Trade: Welding, fabrication, repair
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: crooked county, hellinois
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 8

Re: Estimating Dump Truck Materials


I've been told that chitcago is one of the few markets for track loaders. And they're all over around here.

Advertisement

Stick-man is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dump Truck Phillip_I General Discussion 21 02-21-2015 07:35 PM
used truck jhammer7 Excavation & Site Work 18 06-01-2013 10:10 PM
Dump truck Daniella2011 Excavation & Site Work 2 11-26-2012 08:42 PM
Trouble with International Dump Truck MRstark44 Vehicles 4 04-28-2011 04:31 PM
Tri-axel dump truck for hire barrett45 Construction 0 06-23-2009 01:12 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?