Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Richard, a parent:

I need to know how many tons of sand it would take to fill a container 20 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 6 inches deep. I am not sure of the makeup of the sand as far as dry, loose, wet, etc. If you could give me calculations of all the variants it would be appreciated.

We have two responses for you

Hi Richard,

I will do one calculation for you and show you the tools you can use for the remainder.

  1. First use our volume calculator to find the volume of sand you need in cubic meters. For the dimensions you sent I got 5.66 cubic meters.

  2. Go to SImetric in he UK to find the density of sand. I scrolled down their list and found the density of wet sand to be 1922 kilograms per cubic meter. You have 5.66 cubic meters so that is
    5.66 × 1922 = 10878.52 kilograms.

  3. I then went to Google and typed 10878.52 Kg to tons into the Google search engine which responded 10 878.52 kilograms = 11.9915156 short tons.

A short ton is 2000 pounds as compared to a long ton or tonne which is 1,000 kilograms or 2,240 pounds.



Hi Richard.

I believe many, if not most, sand suppliers sell by the cubic yard.
The Volume Calculator that Penny indicated will also tell you the
cubic yards of the container you are filling. Perhaps you can just
ask your supplier for this quantity of sand rather than first
converting to weight in tons.

Stephen La Rocque>


About Math Central


Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.
Quandaries & Queries page Home page University of Regina PIMS