# The Whole 9 Yards

Landscape material (stone, mulch, etc.) is usually sold by the yard. How does one calculate how many yards of a given material will be needed for a particular area?
For example: I have a 15X20 foot area that I wish to fill with stone, 4 inches deep. How many yards do I need?

That is a cubic yard of material.

15 x 20 = 300 sq feet
300 sq feet / 9 ft per sq yd = 33.3 sq yds
4" depth / 36" per yd = .11111
So 33.3 yds (area) * .11111 (depth) = 3.70 yds of material to fill an area 15x20 feet to a depth of 4".

(pressing submit…God I hope I did the math right…)

I’ve only seen mulch sold by the cubic foot…I don’t how you could buy it by the linear yard. - Jinx

1 cubic yard = 333 or 27 cubic feet = 363636 or 46656 cubic inches.

Your space is 15 feet (or 180 inches) by 20 feet (or 240 inches) by 4 inches deep. That’s 1802404 or 172800 cubic inches, divided by 46656 is a little over 3.7 cubic yards.

You did want us to show our work, right?

Thanks for the help!
Extra credit for showing your work.

As to where the expression “the whole nine yards comes from”: go here

At home improvement places I see it by the cubic foot (usually 1 or .5 cubic feet). At places where they load it onto your truck, they sell it by the cubic yard. A cubic yard fills a full size, short bed pickup about 3/4 of the way full. I’d imagine a full size long bed pickup could hold 2 cubic yards (better have a one ton) to the top.

ummm…thank you…that…uh…information will…um…also come in handy…

Ah-yep. The landscaping place where I bought dirt from estimated that a yard of topsoil weighed about 1800-2000 pounds, black dirt a little less. I imagine something like stone (re the OP) would be somewhat more. My li’l Ford Ranger adequately handled 3/4 yard, but it really squatted on the springs.

Your estimate is about the same they gave me. They told me a cubic yard of stone was about 2000 pounds. The “pro bedding” that I got, they estimated about 1200 pounds for the cubic yard of that. There was a lot of mulch in it though. I’ll bet pure dirt would be quite heavier. My truck did just fine with a cubic yard of the pro bedding, but I’d want a 1 ton if I was gonna landscape a lot.

So I guess given that I’m driving a little Nissan p/u, I shouldn’t attempt to haul in one trip the entire 4 yards that I evidently need? I did just put new shocks in today…why does the dealer want \$400 when the Exxon down the street did it for \$200? Oh. sorry that’s another thread.

I’d always heard the expression came from the fact a US fighter plane in WWII carried 27 feet of ammo in it’s wing and if you emptied your bullets into something you were giving it “the whole nine yards.”

FWIW.

kniz, lieu, you’re a couple of… Oops, can’t say that here.

I humbly request that you read the words of the immortal Cecil, at
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_252.html , wherein you will find that the origins of that phrase are NOT known. Any theory you’ve heard has been debated numerous times on this board, and the consensus is there is no documentable answer. Please do a search under “Cecil’s Columns” so you can be buried under the series of threads on that one topic.

And don’t hijack this thread for yet another argument over that phrase.

Read the entire string and didn’t find one mention of another expanation I recall that related to the P-51 Mustang of WWII.
It related to the length of the ammunition belt of .50 caliber machine gun shells that were loaded into ammo feed boxes for each of the wing guns. The maximum capacity of each ammo box was supposedly “9 yards” in length.
Sorry, no particular cite on the above, but concrete trucks just don’t ring a bell.

Sorry lieu! Damned bifocals!

Fortunately, I still have one bullet in the clip I thought I emptied on Tuckerfan this morning:

Die, hijack!
bang