How Much Does A Pickup Truck Load Of Mulch Cost?

You will always hear advice to buy in bulk to save up on costs. If you're doing a mulching project for your garden, this translates to buying a truckload of mulch instead of buying per bag. But how much will this cost you? We've researched this question to learn the price and share the answers with you.

You can load approximately 3 cubic yards of mulch into a regular pickup truck. With mulch prices ranging from $30 to $120 per cubic yard, the price for a truckload is between $90 to $360. This is for the mulching material only and doesn't include other costs yet.

Keep on reading to learn more about the factors that influence the price of a truckload of mulch. We'll also give you tips on how you can save some bucks on your landscaping project. Lastly, we'll teach you how to calculate the mulch that you need for your project so that you can set your budget. Let's get started!

Mulch Prices for Bulk Delivery

Wood chips in the back of a truck

Mulching offers a lot of benefits for the garden.

  • It defines the outlines of your plants and trees, which helps improve the overall look of your landscaping.
  • It is also beneficial to plants as it helps insulate the roots during the cold months. 
  • It is crucial to retain much-needed moisture in the soil so that you don't have to water the plants as often, especially during the summer.
  • Mulch also helps prevent erosion by keeping the soil in place as it protects it from the elements. And when organic mulch breaks down, it adds nutrients to the soil, making it healthier.
  • Putting mulch on top of your garden soil also suppresses weeds and unwanted plants from growing in your garden. Depending on the mulching material that you choose, it can even deter insect and pest infestation.

In short, it's a win-win for you since you get to improve the look of your garden, and you make your plants healthier. So, if you've finally decided to put mulch in your garden, it's a good decision.

Now, you have to choose which mulching material to use and determine how much you're going to need.

Mulches are available in bags or by the truckload. Since mulching the garden is a big project, it is advisable that you buy a truckload of mulch so you can save on costs from the delivery fee to the price of the material itself since you're buying in bulk.

On average, mulch costs $30 to $120 per cubic yard. This will depend on the mulching material that you choose which we'll discuss further later on.

A typical pickup truck can carry around 3 cubic yards of mulch. So, expect to spend about $90 to $360 for a truckload of mulch. Plus, add the delivery fee, which is between $45 and $100. This brings the total to $135 to $460 for the mulching material and delivery fee.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Mulch

Other factors will influence the overall cost of your landscaping project. Look into these carefully to manage your budget expectations.

Type of Mulch


There are different types of mulches but they can generally be categorized into two - organic and synthetic.

Organic mulches are those materials that will decay over time. This is advantageous since they release nutrients into the soil and make it healthier.

The downside is that you will have to replenish or replace them from time to time since they will eventually get mixed up with the soil.

Examples of organic mulches are:

  • grass clippings,
  • straw,
  • shredded leaves,
  • bark,
  • wood chips,
  • pine needles,
  • and cocoa hulls.

On the other hand, inorganic mulches are those materials that won't disintegrate with time. This is good in the way that they are more permanent, and you don't have to keep on replenishing them.

However, these mulches won't add nutrients to your soil. Examples include rubber, gravel, stone chippings, pebbles, and crushed seashells.

The price of the mulch varies according to the material that you've chosen.

  • Cypress and rubber mulches are among the most expensive ones on the market, averaging $130 per yard.
  • Bark and cedar mulches are slightly lower at around $100 per yard.
  • Redwood and tea tree mulches are available at an average price of $50 per yard.
  • You can find economy mulches like wood chips, pine bark, and hemlock between $25 and $45 per yard.

Note that these are just price estimates, and it's best to ask your local garden center for their rates. They also offer discounts for bulk orders, so the more that you're going to buy, the lower the price that you'll likely get.

Project Size

Tractor loader with wood chips or mulch and flowerbed

The scope of your mulching project will determine how much mulch you're going to need. The bigger the area, the more materials you need and the higher the installation cost.

If you're going the DIY route, you may opt to have it done by section so that it's more manageable for you. But if you're hiring a landscaper, it's better to have everything covered in one go so that you can save by buying the materials in bulk, a one-time delivery fee, and some companies also offer a flat rate installation cost.


You can ask your local garden center to install the landscaping mulch or you can opt to do this by yourself.

Obviously, you'll save big bucks when you DIY. But if you'd rather have the pros do the installation for you, the ongoing rate is $20 to $45 per cubic yard, while some may offer a flat rate.

The advantage of hiring a professional landscaper is that you can be sure that they have the expertise not just to install the mulch properly but also to make your garden look great. They also have all the tools and equipment needed to get the job done.

Some More Tips For You

Stacks of mulch sitting on pallets ready and waiting for consumers to purchase

Who doesn't want to get cheaper rates, right? Experts recommend that you schedule your mulching project during early spring. This means you should be talking to suppliers as early as winter to get good rates. There isn't much demand yet for mulching materials during this time of the year.

You can also talk to the mulch suppliers as some allow lock-in rates for both the mulching materials and installation when you purchase during winter.

Consider mixing and matching different mulch types. You can combine economy mulches with higher-end ones so that you don't have to spend too much.

For example, you like black-colored mulches. You can purchase black rubber mulch that averages $130 per cubic yard and black hardwood mulch that only costs around $40 per cubic yard.

You can consult with your landscaper about which material is suitable for different areas in your garden.

If you have your own pickup, you can save up on delivery fee charges by getting the materials directly at the store. This is a huge help, especially when you need more than a truckload of mulch.

It takes some planning to get the best deals for your garden and landscaping project, but it'll all be worth it.

How many yards of mulch do I need?

Man mulching yard in suburban house

The answer to this question will depend on the scope of your landscaping project. You will find a mulch calculator on the web so that you have a better idea of how much you're going to need.

Let these steps guide you in your calculation: 

  1.  Multiply the length and width of the area that you'll be working on. This will give you the square footage of your project area. 
  2. Next, multiply this figure by the required depth of the mulch. You can choose between 2 and 3 inches for the depth.
  3. Lastly, divide the product by 324 to convert the unit of measurement to cubic yards.

For example, you're working on an area about 12x12 feet in size.

  1. First, you multiply 12 feet by 12 feet, and you'll get 144 square feet.
  2. If you want your mulch to be 3 inches thick, you multiply 144 square feet by 3 inches. This will give you 432 square feet by inches.
  3. Then, simply divide 432 by 324, and you'll get 1.33 cubic yards. 

That's how you compute the amount of mulch that you need for your landscaping project. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you have an idea of how much a truckload of mulch costs, you can prepare your budget for your garden and landscaping project. Take note of the suggestions on how you can get the best deals to save a lot of bucks along the way.

Feel free to click the following links for more landscaping ideas:

How To Landscape Around A Tree With Exposed Roots

What To Put Around House Foundations [Best Landscaping Materials]

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *