How to Calculate Cubic Yards to Tons

By Ryan Menezes; Updated April 24, 2017
You can calculate concrete's weight.

You cannot convert cubic yards to tons directly because the two units measure different things. Cubic yards measure volume, but tons measure weight. Converting one to the other makes little more sense than converting inches to miles per hour. Nonetheless, you can convert between unconnected units if you know the factor that links them. With volume and mass, the factor is density--mass per unit volume. Researchers have documented dozens of substance's densities.

Multiply volume by "27" to convert to cubic feet. For instance, if you have 10 cubic yards of concrete:

10 * 27

\= 270 cubic feet

Multiply your answer by density in pounds per cubic foot. Concrete weighs 150 lbs. per cubic foot.

270 * 150

\= 40,500 lbs.

Divide your answer by 2,000 to convert to tons.

40,500 / 2,000

\= 20.25 tons

About the Author

Ryan Menezes is a professional writer and blogger. He has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University and has written for the American Civil Liberties Union, the marketing firm InSegment and the project management service Assembla. He is also a member of Mensa and the American Parliamentary Debate Association.