How Much Firewood Fits in the Bed of a Truck?


How much firewood fits in the bed of a trucK?

If you burn firewood, at some point, you will need to shuffle some wood into the back of a pickup truck. Throwing wood into a truck bed is a time-honored and venerated tradition for those who live, work, and recreate in the woods. In this noble, but tiresome chore, you may find yourself needing to keep track of how much firewood you are moving. Maybe you are selling a cord and need to ensure the delivery of the proper amount, or maybe you are stocking up for winter and need to keep a good idea of how much firewood volume is in each load to ensure you stay warm. Fear not! A “cord” is a standard measurement of a stack of wood measuring 8’x4’x4′, or 128 cubic feet. How much firewood fits in the bed of a truck, then? A standard, full-size pick up will hold around a half a cord if loaded level. A compact pickup, however, will only hold about a third of a cord. Be warned, however, that every truck has different bed dimensions, and small differences can have a big impact on total volume. If you are transporting firewood for a task in which precision is necessary or useful, it helps to take proper measurements

The Equation for Firewood Volume.

To calculate exactly how much firewood fits in your truck bed, first take measurements (in feet) of the length, width, and height of your bed. Multiply those numbers together and you get the volume in cubic feet of your truck bed. Divide that number by 128 (the cubic foot volume of a cord), and you will get the cords your pickup bed can hold. Below is the formula:

Formula for determining the firewood volume of a truck bed.
Formula for Firewood truck bed volume in cords.

Keep in mind, however, that this formula only works if firewood is stacked level to the top of the bed, which is the best and safest way to transport your wood. If you begin to pile firewood above the bed, it will become much harder to take proper measurements.

How to Fit the Most Firewood in Your Truck Bed

To fit the most firewood in your bed, be sure to stack wood properly instead of throwing it in haphazardly. Throwing firewood in the bed will result in too much empty space, and you won’t be able to utilize your available space efficiently. Moreover, individual pieces of wood will be less secured than if they were properly stacked. Loose and unsecured pieces of wood can be dangerous to other drivers, and you can be held liable for damages, so be sure to stack it properly and secure it with a strap.

If moving firewood in a pickup is a regular part of your firewood production system, aim to cut lengths that can easily fit into the bed of your pickup. If your bed is only 5 feet in length, for example, cutting pieces to 24″ in length could lose you a fair amount of volume. This is particularly helpful when moving firewood with a compact-sized truck.

Is It Possible to Fit a Full Cord of Firewood in a Truck Bed?

While human ingenuity and enough ratchet straps can make anything possible, it is highly inadvisable to try to fit a full cord of wood into a truck bed. Not only will it be difficult to secure every piece of wood without a specialized bed, but a full cord of firewood weighs around 2.5 tons, which is far above the safe capacity of a standard full-sized pickup. Even loading a half cord could be pushing the limits of your vehicle. You are better off to break it into two or more trips or use a trailer. Don’t rush it. Be safe, and use common sense. Though firewood can be expensive, your truck, your life, and the lives of others are far more valuable.

Zachary Lowry

A forester from northern Maine, I spent my early career working for large timberland owners, managing forest land and investments in the form of managing timber harvest operations as well as planning and managing precommercial thinning, planting, and herbicide application programs. These days I work on my own land and help timberland owners large and small manage theirs.

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