Countless construction errors arise out of miscalculations and improper measurements. For example, if you’re buying concrete by the pallet, it could be easy to wind up with much more than you require for the project. This is why it’s important to be careful with your calculations, and that starts with knowing how much area a pallet of concrete will cover.
A pallet of concrete will typically yield just under one cubic yard (0.76 cubic m) of finished concrete. Once you know the number of cubic yards that need to be filled, you’ll know just how many pallets you need to buy.
In the rest of the article, we’ll provide more details about purchasing a pallet of concrete. We’ll also explain some of the calculations that you can use to determine how much concrete you’ll need for a project.
How To Calculate Yardage From a Pallet of Concrete
Since concrete features have depth, the area gets measured in cubic feet or yards. You can calculate how many cubic yards you’ll get out of a pallet of concrete, but how do you get from point A to point B?
To calculate the yardage you’ll get out of a pallet of concrete, follow these steps:
- Determine the cubic feet covered per bag. This is usually around 0.6 cubic feet per 80 lb (0.02 cu m per 36.29 kg bag).
- Divide this number by 27, which is the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard.
- Multiply the result by the number of bags on the pallet.
The result is the number of cubic yards you’ll get out of the pallet.
Alternatively, if you know the cubic yards per bag, you can multiply that number by the number of bags. The bags of concrete often tell you how much square footage they cover, and you might be able to use that as a starting point.
Number of Concrete Bags on a Standard Pallet
The number of concrete bags that come on a pallet will depend on how big the bags are. The typical sizes for concrete bags are 40, 50, 60, and 80 lbs (18.14, 22.58, 27.22, and 36.29 kg), and it usually breaks down as follows:
- (80) 40-pound bags per pallet
- (64) 50-pound bags per pallet
- (56) 60-pound bags per pallet
- (42) 80-pound bags per pallet
The number of bags decreases as the bags get larger, but the total weight remains roughly the same. Regardless of bag size, the weight of the pallet will generally be around 3,200 to 3,400 lbs (1,451.5 to 1,542.21 kg), and you are also able to calculate cubic yards this way.
A single cubic yard of dry concrete weighs around 4,000 lbs (1,814.37 kg), and if you divide 3,400 by 4,000, you get 0.85.
This means that a pallet of concrete roughly covers 0.85 cubic yards (0.65 cu m). Knowing this, you can accurately determine how many pallets of concrete you’re going to need for your project.
Does Bag Size Matter When Buying Concrete?
If you’re buying concrete by the pallet, the size of the individual bags might not be a critical factor in the purchasing process.
When buying concrete, bag size matters if you want to determine the smallest number of bags you’ll need. The heavier the bag of concrete, the fewer of them you’ll need for your project.
A typical pallet of concrete holds around 3,200 to 3,400 lbs (1,451.5 to 1,542.21 kg) of material, whether it’s 80 forty-pound (18.14 kg) bags or 42 eighty-pound (36.29 kg) bags.
You’ll often get slightly more weight when you purchase 80-pound bags, so if you’re trying to maximize the amount of concrete you receive, this might be the more appropriate route.
Buying bigger bags ultimately means that there will be fewer to lift and carry.
While the bags may be heavier, the average amount of work may turn out to be less. Sometimes, buying larger bags also averages out to be more affordable, but this depends on where you buy from.
How To Determine How Much Concrete You Need In Cubic Yards
Finding out how much concrete you need for a given project is vital. While it’s often wise to purchase slightly more than the job calls for, you don’t want to wind up with a ton of excess. You also don’t want to underestimate too badly, so it’s important that your calculations are as accurate as possible.
To calculate how much concrete you will use, multiply the length by width by depth of the space where you’ll be pouring concrete.
If you’re measuring in feet, this will tell you the number of cubic feet you have. If you divide the total number of cubic feet by the number of cubic feet per bag of concrete, this will tell you how many bags you need.
For example, if you have 54 cubic feet (1.53 cu m) of space and are using 80 lb (36.29 kg) bags of concrete (which cover about 0.6 cubic feet or 0.02 cu m), you’ll take 54 divided by 0.6.
This comes out to 90, so you would need roughly 90 bags of concrete to fill this space.
Typically, you’ll want to buy slightly more concrete than what your calculations call for. Doing so will hopefully prevent running out, and as long as you do the calculations correctly, you shouldn’t wind up with too much excess.
Calculating How Many Pallets of Concrete You Need
Once you know the number of cubic feet of the space, you can use this to determine how many pallets of concrete you would need. For example, if you are pouring concrete over a space that’s 9’ x 12’ x 0.5’ (2.74 m x 0.61 m x 0.15 m), you’ll have 54 cubic feet (1.53 cu m) of space.
There are 27 cubic feet (0.76 cu m) in one cubic yard, so if you take 54 divided by 27, you get 2 cubic yards (1.53 cu m) of concrete. By these measurements, you’d need close to 2 ½ pallets of concrete to fully cover the area.
Using an Online Calculator To Determine Concrete Needs
There are numerous online calculators that help you determine your concrete needs. Usually, all these calculators require are the measurements from the space of land that’s getting filled. From there, it automatically calculates the number of concrete bags that will be required for the project.
Once you know how many bags you need based on the calculator, you’ll be able to tell how many pallets of concrete would be enough. If you plan on calculating online, it’s wise to use multiple calculators to make sure they are consistent.
How Much Does a Pallet of Concrete Cost?
The cost of a single pallet of concrete will vary from place to place, and some sellers offer discounts when you buy in bulk like this.
A pallet of concrete will cost between $150 and $260. Heavier bags are often priced higher, but there are fewer of them on a pallet, so the cost averages out. The price may also change if you buy a different type of concrete.
Quick-setting concrete, for example, is often priced higher than standard concrete.
A pallet of concrete will cover an area that is just under one cubic yard, so once you determine how many cubic yards you have to cover, you can determine how many pallets of concrete you will need.
It’s extremely common to miscalculate and wind up with more or less concrete than you need, so it’s important that you do your calculations diligently. Still, it’s sometimes wise to overestimate, as it’s better to have more than you need than not enough.
However, the more accurate your measurements are, the more strategic you can make your purchase.