Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Jondi:

I am trying to visualize 980 cubic yards of dirt by using a metaphor.
Would this be the size of a car?
A fire engine?
A semi-trailer?
How many trucks would you need to haul away 980 yards of dirt?

Hi Jondi,

An NBA basketball court is 94 feet by 50 feet and there are 3 feet in a yard so the area of an NBA basketball court is

\[\frac{94}{3} \times \frac{5}{3} = 522 \mbox{ square yards.}\]

$\frac{980}{522} = 1.89$ yards which is approximately 5 feet 7 inches, so 980 cubic yards of dirt will cover an NBA court to a depth of 5 feet 7 inches.

The number of trucks you would need to haul this dirt depends on the size of the trucks.


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