How Many Wheelbarrows Are in a Ton of Sand?

How Many Wheelbarrows Are in a Ton of Sand?

If you plan on moving large quantities of sand in the near future, it’s probably a good idea to know how back-and-forth trips you’ll have to make using a wheelbarrow. These tools are great for moving objects across flat surfaces, but how many trips will it take to move a ton of sand?

A standard wheelbarrow has the capacity to carry between 2 and 6 cubic feet of sand. 1 ton of sand is about the same as 20 cubic feet. So, the number of wheelbarrows you would need for a ton of sand would be between 3.33 and 10.

So, you could either get 3 to 9 of your friends with their own wheelbarrows to help you move the sandpile, or you could move the entire pile in 3.33 to 10 trips.

Keep reading if you’d like to learn how I got the final-wheelbarrow counts.

Moving Sand with Wheelbarrows

Wheelbarrows serve a million and one different purposes, but they’ll most likely come in handy undergoing construction and gardening projects. When it comes to transporting things like mortar or sand, you’ll want to have a wheelbarrow with you.

The only question is figuring out how many trips it will take you to move a set number (in weight) of something like sand. I’ll explain how I got the final wheelbarrow figures earlier.

Tray Capacity

Above, I explained that a wheelbarrow could carry and drop up to 2 cubic feet of sand at a time. However, this is assuming that you level the sand off the top of the wheelbarrow, so the load of sand is not popping over the tray.

This is also assuming that you’re using the typical wheelbarrow. Wheelbarrows vary in size, usually starting from 2 cubic feet for DIY projects and capping off at 6 cubic feet for heavy-duty construction sites.

So, to sum up, the actual amount of sand you can move per wheelbarrow would be anywhere from 2 to 6 cubic feet.

The Volume of 1 Ton of Sand

The Volume of 1 Ton of Sand

Figuring out how large of a pile 1 ton of sand weighs is pretty straightforward. You can use the common weight per volume of sand, which is about 2,700 pounds per cubic yard. This is slightly over the 1-ton (2,000-pound) mark, so we will have to find a way to eliminate 700 pounds.

The simplest way would be to convert cubic yards to cubic feet. Since there are 27 cubic feet per cubic yard, we can divide 2,700 by 27 to calculate the weight of sand per cubic foot.

  • 1 cubic foot = 27 cubic feet = 2,700 pounds of sand
  • 1 cubic foot = 2,700 pounds of sand ÷ 27
  • 1 cubic foot = 100 pounds of sand

To convert this to 1 ton, we have to multiply both sides by 20 to get 2,000 pounds.

  • 20 cubic feet = 2,000 pounds of sand

How Many Wheelbarrows to Move 1 Ton of Sand?

All that’s left to do is divide the number of cubic feet per ton of sand by the wheelbarrow’s tray capacity.

So, if we have a small 2-cubic-foot wheelbarrow, we would need:

  • Wheelbarrows = 20 cubic feet ÷ Tray Capacity
    Wheelbarrows = 20 cubic feet ÷ 2 cubic feet
    The Result: Wheelbarrows = 10

If we have a large 6-cubic-foot wheelbarrow, we would need:

  • Wheelbarrows = 20 cubic feet ÷ 6 cubic feet
    The Result: Wheelbarrows = 3.33

Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of

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