Soil is sold in America by the cubic yard, which is a cube 3 feet high, wide and deep. Knowing how much soil is needed for a project helps keep down costs by not overbuying or paying twice for transportation costs if you need more soil brought to the site. Weight of soil varies greatly by the composition of the soil and the moisture level, both of which can vary from load to load and is why soil is not sold by the weight in bulk.
Difference in Size
With a meter being 109 percent of a yard, this means a cubic meter of soil will weigh slightly more than a cubic yard. An average cubic yard of soil weighs about 2,250 lbs. A cubic meter is just over 27 percent larger than a cubic yard, which means the soil will roughly weigh about a third more. Soil that weighs 2,250 lbs. in a cubic yard will weigh approximately 2,857 lbs.
A cubic yard of soil will cover 100 square feet to a depth of 3 inches. Assuming the cubic meter has approximately a third again as much soil, this means the coverage would add another inch, or 4 inches total. This will also raise the rate for the topsoil by a corresponding measure.
Other parts of the world use cubic meters for measuring bulk soil, compost and mulch. The materials are measured out in much the same way as in America, with the standard smaller bags available for touchup and larger, bulk-sized amounts delivered in trucks. The metric system has easier mathematical units to work with, and dividing or multiplying the bulk amounts by size or weight doesn't need paper or calculators.
The Metric System
The metric system underwent a name change in 1960 to the SI system--Systeme International d'Unites (International System of Units)--but it's still commonly called the metric system. The metric system uses a combination of multiples of 10 instead of the older English system of 12 inches to a foot and 3 feet to a yard. Lengths are measured in meters or its smaller or larger variations such as millimeters or kilometers. Mass and, for most purposes, weight are measure in grams, with milligrams and kilograms denoting lesser or greater weight.
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