Have you’ve ever stood inside the lumber section of your local hardware store wondering how many 2x6s you could load into the back of your truck and still safely drive it? Ever wondered why a 2×6 piece of treated lumber weighs so much more than a 2×6 piece of untreated lumber?
While how much a piece of dimensional lumber weighs may not always be a crucial piece of information, it can be when planning the logistics of transporting lumber for a deck from lumber yard to back yard. Being able to calculate lumber weight can also be a crucial part of determining load-bearing weights if installing a roof or making structural changes to a home.
The weight of a 2×6 can vary considerably from as little as 16 pounds for a kiln-dried 2x6x8 to as much as 26 pounds for a 2×6 of the same length.
This article will explain how factors such as length, moisture content, and even wood species impact the weight of a 2×6. We’ll also cover how to make accurate estimates for large quantities of 2x6s.
How Much Does a 2×6 Weigh [Charts]
Below we’ve created charts that provide the average weights for green, kiln-dried, and pressure-treated 2x6s of varying lengths. Remember that these are average weights and can vary in either direction based on various factors.
Kiln Dried Lumber
|Nominal Size||Weight (lb)||Weight (kg)|
Pressure Treated Lumber
|Nominal Size||Weight (lb)||Weight (kg)|
Green Wood Weight Chart
|Nominal Size||Weight (lb)||Weight (kg)|
How Much Does a Bunk of 2×6 Lumber Weigh?
A bunk is a term used to refer to a full pallet of lumber, such as you could commonly see at the lumber yard. The number of boards in a bunk varies depending on the dimension of the lumber.
While smaller 2x4s have 294 pieces per bunk, larger 2x6s have 189 pieces per bunk. Per the above charts, the weight of a bunk of lumber varies depending on whether the wood is kiln-dried, green, or pressure-treated.
Since a kiln-dried 2×6 weighs about 2 pounds per foot, a bunk of kiln-dried 2x6x8s would weigh about 3,024 pounds (2x8x189). In comparison, a bunk of pressure-treated 2x6x8s, which weigh about 3.2 pounds per foot, is considerably heavier at more than 4,800 pounds (3.2x8x189).
Of course, the length of the lumber in the bunk will also impact weight. Whereas a bunk of kiln-dried 2x6x8s will weigh around 3,000 pounds, a bunk of 2x6x10s will weigh nearly 3,800 pounds (2x10x189).
Remember, these weights are estimates as the moisture content of kiln-dried and pressure-treated lumber will vary.
Knowing its weight per foot is the best way to determine how much a piece of 2×6 dimensional lumber weighs. A piece of kiln-dried 2×6 lumber weighs about 2 pounds per foot, whereas the higher moisture content of a green 2×6 gives it a notably higher weight of 3.2 pounds per foot. Green 2x6s fall in the middle, weighing about 2.6 pounds per foot.
With this information in hand, estimating the weight of any length of lumber is a simple calculation. A 5-foot kiln-dried 2×6 would weigh about 10 pounds (2×5), while a green 9-foot length of 2×6 would weigh about 24 pounds (2.6×9).
Why Is Knowing the Weight of Dimensional Lumber Useful?
Understanding how much a load of dimensional lumber is useful for several purposes. If you’re transporting a large load of 2x6s from the lumber store to a job site or your property, it’s important to know the weight so you can safely transport the lumber in a pickup truck.
Some lumber companies charge for delivery based on the total weight of the load, so understanding how much 2x6s weigh can help you determine how much you’ll spend on delivery fees.
If you’re using the lumber to construct a roof, you’ll need to know the total weight of the lumber to calculate the roof’s total weight to ensure it’s properly supported by the structure’s walls.
What Determines How Much a 2×6 Weighs?
Various factors determine the total weight of 2x6s, including length, moisture content, and even wood species. Below we’ll review how each impacts the total weight of a 2×6.
The most obvious factor impacting the weight of a 2×6 is weight. In short, the longer the 2×6, the more it will weigh. The best way to determine how length affects weight is by knowing how much a 2×6 weighs for each foot of length.
The standard 2×6 you’ll find in the lumber yard will weigh around 2 to 2.5 pounds per foot, depending on if it’s green or kiln-dried. This means an 8-foot 2×6 will weigh between 16 pounds (8×2) and 20 pounds (8×2.5).
Treated vs. Untreated
As anyone who has ever built a deck knows, pressure-treated lumber weighs considerably more than kiln-dried or green lumber. This is because pressure-treated lumber is soaked in water during the treatment process to infuse its porous cells with chemicals.
Not only does this treatment protect the wood from moisture and insects, but it also makes it considerably heavier than untreated lumber. There are about four additional gallons of water in every cubic foot of treated lumber than in a cubic foot of untreated lumber.
A pressure-treated 2×6 weighs about 3.2 pounds per board foot compared to the 2 pounds a kiln-dried 2×6 weighs. This difference adds up quickly when applied to full-length 2×6 boards. A kiln-dried 2x6x8 weighs about 16 pounds, while a pressure-treated 2x6x8 weighs around 26 pounds.
Keep in mind that the weight of treated lumber will decrease as it dries out. Pressure-treated lumber at the lumberyard will have a moisture content of around 75%. As it dries out and moisture content drops, the board will become several pounds lighter.
The difference in weight between pressure treated and untreated lumber illustrates how moisture content can impact the total weight of a 2×6 piece of lumber. Even lumber that isn’t pressure treated will suck up moisture, impacting its weight.
This is because wood consists of many open cells that can soak up water like a sponge and make the lumber heavier. Wood is also hygroscopic, which means it can suck moisture from the air, which is why wood will swell when humidity is high and shrink during dryer periods.
How much can a 2×6’s moisture content vary? Most lumber used in structures in dryer, more arid regions has a moisture content of around 6 percent, while humid coastal regions typically have a moisture content of around 11 percent in humid coastal areas.
Once trees are cut for lumber, it takes months and sometimes up to a year for the wood to dry out. As a result, freshly cut lumber will have a significantly higher moisture content and thus a higher weight than wood that’s had time to dry out.
Green lumber can have a moisture content as high as 30 percent, while kiln-dried lumber will typically have around 15 percent. A 2×6 will dry to the lower levels mentioned above for months and years.
Many home improvement stores carry kiln-dried lumber, which has been heated to evaporate the moisture inside the lumber, drying it out. This is why kiln-dried 2x6s weigh less–about 2 pounds per board foot–than green lumber, which weighs about 2.6 pounds per board foot.
Moisture content is not only important for weight but also stability. A green board will warp and twist as it dries. Kiln-dried lumber, in comparison, is more stable, making it ideal for finish carpentry, such as furniture building.
Another factor to consider when determining the weight of a 2×6 is wood species. Different wood species have different densities, which affects their overall weight when milled into dimensional lumber.
Most 2x6s consist of softwoods used for framing lumber, including Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, and Southern Yellow Pine.
Though these species of lumber are used for the same applications and look very similar, they can actually vary significantly in weight. Sitka Spruce, the lightest of the three, weighs about 1.6 pounds per foot, while Douglas Fir weighs about 1.94 pounds per foot and Southern Yellow Pine comes in at a hefty 2.34 pounds per square foot.
Those weight differences can be significant even in shorter boards. For example, an 8-foot 2×6 of Sitka Spruce will weigh around 13 pounds, while the same board in Southern Yellow Pine will weigh close to 19 pounds.
If you happen to be a woodworker who used hardwoods, expect that 2×6 to weigh considerably more as most hardwoods are significantly denser than softwoods.
For example, a 2x6x8 Southern Red Oak board will weigh about 27 pounds, which is considerably more than the 19-pound weight of Southern Yellow Pine, one of the densest softwoods.
How Much 2x6s Will a Pickup Truck Hold?
By understanding how to calculate the weight of 2x6s, you can accurately determine how much of this dimensional lumber you can load into the back of your pickup truck while staying within its load capacities.
A truck’s payload capacities are given in tons with 1/4, 1/2, 1/3, 3/4, and 1-ton pickup trucks. To determine how this equates to pounds, multiply the fraction by 2,000 pounds, which is one ton.
A 1/2-ton pickup truck can hold 1,000 pounds, while a 3/4-ton pickup truck can handle loads up to 1,500 pounds.
Once you know your truck’s payload capacity, use the information above to calculate the maximum number of 2x6s it can carry at a time by dividing its weight capacity by the weight of each board.
For example, a 1/2-ton pickup truck can carry a maximum of 62 kiln-dried 2x6s or about 38 pressure-treated 2x6s. When making these calculations, keep the above factors in mind. Your truck will be able to carry fewer 8-foot Southern Yellow Pine 2x6s than it will 8-foot Sitka Spruce 2x6s.
Likewise, your truck can carry more kiln-dried 2x6s than it can greener 2x6s that have a higher moisture content and are therefore heavier.
While you may be tempted to go over your truck’s weight limit, don’t do it. Overloading your truck will negatively impact its handling and braking or even cause a tire to blow out, causing you to lose control.
Like other common dimensional lumber, 2x6s are used in many projects, from framing a shed to constructing a deck. Length, moisture content, wood species, length, and pressure treatments can significantly impact a 2×6’s weight.
Understanding how to account for these factors to estimate the weight of this commonly used lumber on the fly is a useful skill to have. Calculating 2×6 weight allows you to safely transport this lumber in a truck or plan out the load-bearing requirements of a home or shed’s framing for a new roof.
Remember that the calculation discussed above is intended to make accurate weight estimates and should not be used to determine precise weights for critical engineering applications.