Price point for topsoil - dump truck versus bags.
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    RetiredDoc's Avatar
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    Price point for topsoil - dump truck versus bags.

    I recently looked into having top soil delivered by dump truck in my SC location. The price for unscreened topsoil here is $600 for a tandem axle truck load. I recently spread 10 truck loads (it took 45 man-hours for the 1025R with 49 inch bucket). The unscreened topsoil required a fair amount of after spreading work to pick up all the stones and roots it contained.

    Now I am looking to buy some more to level out some more areas.

    Lowes has topsoil here for $1.59 per 1 cubic foot bag. That seemed expensive until I did the math.

    27 cubic feet in a cubic yard. 27 x $1.59= $42.93 per cubic yard for bagged topsoil.

    Tandem axle truck load is 10 to 14 cubic yards.

    Assuming the truck actually contains 14 yards, that is 378 cubic feet per truck load, at a cost of $600.

    378 cubic feet x bag price of $1.59 per cubic foor = $601.02.

    So, it seems the break even price point for topsoil per bag versus by the dump truck load is right around the Lowes price of $1.59 per bag.

    Plus the bagged soil is screened and clean and much easier to rake and level out. I'd rather spend time opening bags than spend hours picking up the debris in the truck-delivered soil.

    Though I'd share this info since I was pleasantly surprised by it. Someone check my math.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredDoc View Post
    I recently looked into having top soil delivered by dump truck in my SC location. The price for unscreened topsoil here is $600 for a tandem axle truck load. I recently spread 10 truck loads (it took 45 man-hours for the 1025R with 49 inch bucket). The unscreened topsoil required a fair amount of after spreading work to pick up all the stones and roots it contained.

    Now I am looking to buy some more to level out some more areas.

    Lowes has topsoil here for $1.59 per 1 cubic foot bag. That seemed expensive until I did the math.

    27 cubic feet in a cubic yard. 27 x $1.59= $42.93 per cubic yard for bagged topsoil.

    Tandem axle truck load is 10 to 14 cubic yards.

    Assuming the truck actually contains 14 yards, that is 378 cubic feet per truck load, at a cost of $600.

    378 cubic feet x bag price of $1.59 per cubic foor = $601.02.

    So, it seems the break even price point for topsoil per bag versus by the dump truck load is right around the Lowes price of $1.59 per bag.

    Plus the bagged soil is screened and clean and much easier to rake and level out. I'd rather spend time opening bags than spend hours picking up the debris in the truck-delivered soil.

    Though I'd share this info since I was pleasantly surprised by it. Someone check my math.
    I'm in Michigan, so not sure how much help. However, unscreened topsoil in bulk around here goes for $20-25 a yard. Delivery is $40. You're paying nearly double that. Are they the only game in town?
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodworkstractors View Post
    I'm in Michigan, so not sure how much help. However, unscreened topsoil in bulk around here goes for $20-25 a yard. Delivery is $40. You're paying nearly double that. Are they the only game in town?
    Top soil around here is priced like black gold. If you can actually find someone with decent top soil to sell. There are a lot of players, and fill dirt, gravel, and sand are plentiful and reasonable. Top soil is another story. And delivery around here is also around double what you're paying.
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    I have a nursery farm literally right in front of my house, across the highway. I'm commercially insured, so I cross the highway, pick up a 51" bucket full, then drive back to my place. Cost: $10 CAD, $11.30 with sales tax.
    Last edited by firemachine69; 05-16-2018 at 11:14 PM.
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    In Connecticut I pay $42 a yard when I pick-up screened topsoil about a mile from my house. But they are generous as the amount fills my 10 cuft cart 3 1/2 times. I am surprised the bag price is the same, I'll have to check the price here.
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    I collect my leaves and sometimes grass clippings. Then use the FEL to rotate it and make compost. Every now and then I go to the black dirt company with my dump trailer and get a few yards.

    They charge $20/yard or 14 yards delivered for $300.

    They are less than a mile from my house and I help them with the computer work so they have never charged me for dirt/mulch. I just swing by and they will either dump a load in a day or two or I run down with the trailer.

    The one thing you left out of your calculation on the bags from Lowes. Chiropractor visit from lugging around all those bags of dirt. It is going to be more labor intensive dealing with them. At a minimum more time to cut open and dispose of the bags.
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    Here in the western Sand Hills of NC they sell top soil by the ton (try not to buy it after it rains) and it's around $250 for a 20 ton load. Now this top soil is not like any other top soil I have ever seen. They get from tobacco fields so it is really a sandy loam type of dirt. It is screened for rocks but you do get some tillage etc. While I was very doubtful of the quality of it when I mixed 60 tons of it with about 10 tons of chicken poop it has made for some really green grass for the side yard I put in last fall.

    Your price for Top Soil in Savannah seems high but I know all about availability how that affects price. It seems that good soil in the Southeast US is somewhat hard to come by. I know around here there are really only four crops farmers can grow, cotton, tobacco, soybeans and sorghum. You don't see any other types of crops being grown. I am not sure why since I am not a farmer but my guess is soil quality and the fact it gets so hot here in the summer.
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    Every time I buy bags of top soil from Lowe's all I seem to get are bags of what looks like coffee grounds instead of actual dirt. Despite being advertised as screened it still has a lot of debris in it. The grass I planted didn't seem to like it either.
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    Wow. I've been paying $15 cu. yard for topsoil and get free delivery if I buy 6 yards or more at a time. I produce 2-3 yards of compost every year on my own and mix that in to add more organic material.
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    For those of you getting a really good price on top soil, are you guys also getting a good price on quarry (crusher) 'A' gravel? I seem to find it's usually one or the other that's priced well, not both.
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