The Best Tow-Behind Spreaders to Buy in 2023 | Reviews and Buying Guide
A tow-behind spreader is a quick and effective way to scatter seed or fertilizer if you have a sizeable lawn of 2 acres and a riding lawn mower. But it might be difficult to choose which model to buy because there are many possibilities and differing opinions on which are best.
I’ve tried to analyze which models give you the most value for your money. Anyone with a sizable lawn knows how tough it is to keep the landscape lush and green. Constant effort and commitment are needed to guarantee that the entire lawn is properly planted and fertilized.
If you pour the fertilizer by hand, the grass seeds and fertilizer pellets will likely clump together. This is the reason you need to buy the greatest tow-behind spreader. However, finding the ideal tow-behind spreader is challenging due to the abundance of available options. But we’re here to support you. I did some research and looked at the top 5 Tow behind fertilizer spreaders before purchasing.
Comparison of Our Top Picks
Best Tow Behind Fertilizer Spreader Reviews
1. Chapin 8620B 150 lb Tow Behind Spreader
The Chapin International 8620B is a heavy-duty tow-behind spreader with a large capacity. This tow-behind spreader also has 14-inch pneumatic tires that will keep it stable no matter what terrain it walks on.
When utilizing the spreader, there is a learning curve. The spreader is well designed. I enjoy how the feature stops fertilizer flow when movement is stopped, and it has been quite effective.
After each use, I meticulously wash the spreader’s metal components. I make an effort to keep grease within the gear case as well. To prevent rust in the future, I intend to paint all the steel components with a brush.
The main shaft on my machine is bent. With it wobbling, it popped all the screws that held the metering gate and shot onto the bottom of the hopper. I’m hoping to fix it at work because I know it’ll be difficult to get the shaft replaced. After all, they’ll want the entire unit returned.
|Hopper Capacity||150 lbs|
|Spread Width||8 – 15 ft spread width|
2. Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
The universal hitch on the Agri-Fab 45-0463 allows you to connect it to any ride-on mower or lawn tractor. This means you won’t have to look for a lawn tractor that is only compatible with this machine. This tow-behind spreader has a spread width of up to 10 feet, so it can reach all the areas you need.
It also allows you to locate even the most difficult locations, such as walkways or areas near hedges. The spreader plate is made of rustproof material to prevent corrosion from harsh lawn chemicals. Similarly, the hopper is made of polyethylene to prevent corrosion.
After some modifications, the spreader works perfectly. The shaft for the wheels only had one hole predrilled for the cotter pin that held the wheel in place. On the other hand, I had to drill a hole through it and buy a cotter pin. I believe I should be compensated for the inconvenience of doing someone else’s job.
|Hopper Capacity||120 lbs|
|Spread Width||10 – 12 ft spread width|
3. Brinly BS36BH-A 175 lb Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
The Brinly BS36BH is a simple tow-behind spreader with high performance. It is ideal for homeowners with large lawns and light commercial work. This spreader is well-liked due to its large capacity of approximately 175 pounds, which can easily cover an acre. It is also a versatile machine that can spread fertilizer, seeds, salt, and other lawn chemicals.
I live on five acres and cannot use a push broadcast spreader. I decided to upgrade to a tow-behind spreader. I did a lot of research on the various options before settling on this Brinly unit. It arrived in good condition.
Estimate a two-hour assembly time if you take your time and follow the excellent instructions. All of the small parts are arranged in a blister pack in the order in which they are required. Very well thought out! The spreader is robust and well-designed.
|Hopper Capacity||175 lbs|
|Spread Width||8 – 12 ft spread width|
4. Yard Commander YTL-002-179 125 lb Tow Broadcast Fertilizer Spreader
The Yard Commander Tow Behind Spreader is one of the best tractor fertilizer spreaders. This tow-behind spreader has a load capacity of 125 pounds, which is more than enough for a large lawn. The tow-behind spreader is also popular among its customers due to its durability.
You can change the amount and flow of the spread materials using the distant flow control feature. It took me about 15-20 minutes to put it together, and I took time to ensure it was done correctly. All of the components appear to be of high quality. Nothing stood out as being ‘cheap.’
After assembling it, I noticed that the wheel that drives the entire spreader required a lot of pressure to move everything, but I believe that will improve with time. I would recommend this to friends and family looking for a spreader.
|Hopper Capacity||125 lbs|
|Spread Width||10 – 12 ft spread width|
5. EarthWay 2050TP Estate 80 lb Semi-Assembled Broadcast Tow Behind Spreader
Earthway pioneered the “Ev-N-Spread” system in their broadcast spreaders to ensure that the product you apply goes where you want it to go.
The 2050TP has large pneumatic wheels for use on uneven surfaces and to prevent slippage on slick terrain. I needed a spreader for my zero-radius lawnmower.
The motor is located in the back of this mower, making it difficult to reach the spreader control. After reading the review, I decided to give it a shot and noticed that I had to get off the lawnmower to turn it on or off. After a few bags, I solved the problem by purchasing a lawnmower control cable.
I unhooked the factory cable at the bottom and attached the new cable before bringing it over to the lawnmower and securing it with a large hand clamp. This worked very well. I wish I could have gotten a 5-foot cable instead of a 4-foot one.
|Hopper Capacity||80 lbs|
|Spread Width||8 – 10 ft spread width|
A Guide to Buying the Best Pull Behind Lawn Fertilizer Spreaders
What is a Tow Behind Lawn Spreader?
A tow-behind spreader can make all of the above tasks much easier and more enjoyable. These spreaders are typically broadcast spreaders (slightly different from a drop spreader– see below) designed to spread pelletized fertilizer across a wide swath while being pulled behind an ATV, tractor, or mower.
They make quick lawn fertilization work and are versatile for all-season property maintenance. As you pull them, the gears turn a rotor plate that distributes fertilizer from the hopper. Gravity feeds the fertilizer through the bottom of the hopper, which you can control with some simple levers located either on the machinery itself or along the hitch for you to reach while driving.
Why Should You Buy a Tow Behind Lawn Spreader?
While there are many different spreaders, such as hand-held or push spreaders, the pull-behind spreader is a great option for those who need to make it appear larger. A handheld spreader is small and easy to store, but it requires you to walk around and spread the fertilizer or seed by hand, which is inconvenient and time-consuming if you have a large piece of property.
While push spreaders take the weight off your shoulders, pushing a heavy hopper of fertilizer around your yard for hours is difficult to work. I would recommend to buy best broadcast spreader available in the market to make your life easy. A pull-behind lawn broadcast spreader is the best way to apply product to a large piece of property.
Factors to Look for While Buying Pull Behind Lawn Spreaders
Pull Behind Drop Spreader
A drop-style spreader is ideal for situations where precise distribution is required. While broadcast spreaders spray a wider area, they can also waste fertilizer or seed in places you don’t want.
Pull Behind Broadcast Spreader
A tow-behind broadcast spreader employs a spinning fan mechanism to spray the hopper’s contents in a circular spray as the spreader moves. This method of broadcasting seed, fertilizer, ice melt, and other materials allows for even distribution over a large area. Broadcast spreaders save time and energy by covering a larger area faster than drop spreaders, but they are less effective in tight spaces.
2. Size of the Lawn
The dimensions of a spreader are critical. It will assist you in determining where to store it and the spaces in which it can fit. To determine the dimensions of a tow-behind drop spreader, you must first know where it will be used and how large the area is.
Those with limited storage space should also check the spreader’s dimensions before purchasing it. You don’t want your tow-behind spreader parked in front of your lawn. One of the compact spreaders we tested was the Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571. It is ideal for those who have small lawns or storage areas.
3. Hopper Capacity
One of the first factors in purchasing a tow-behind spreader is its capacity. Spreaders come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and your requirements will determine the best one for you. Do you have a small or large lawn?
If you have a large lawn or garden, the Brinly BS36BH is your best bet. It has a 175-pound hopper that can drop spread for about an acre before needing to be refilled. If you have a smaller lawn, the Yard Commander or the Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 can be useful.
4. Spread Width
Another critical rating decision is the actual quality of the spread or how well it spreads the application. That is, after all, why you are purchasing a spreader. It’s difficult to say whether one of the models above has a better spread than the other, but I can say that they have better balance consistency when compared to other models not mentioned. And they’re all right in this section, in my opinion.
These garden spreaders have a hitch pin or another type of towing connector on the front so that they can be attached to ATVs, ride-on mowers, and other types of vehicles. If you are spreading on an area near your home or business, a push-type spreader may be appropriate; however, if you need to travel a long distance to spread, or the area you are covering is very large and too tiring to walk, a tow behind garden spreader may be appropriate. Of course, a tow-behind spreader requires an appropriate vehicle.
6. Ease of Assembly
If you order your spreader online, you should expect some assembly. I know how frustrating it can be to try to organize something with poor instructions, so it’s important to look at how simple they are to put together. The Agri-Fab spreaders have a quick assembly time of about 20 minutes, and the Brinly has an easy-to-follow, step-by-step assembly video.
Customers have also stated that the Earthway is relatively simple to assemble. These spreaders allow you to adjust the spread rate using simple hand controls easily. The hoppers can also be closed without getting out of your lawn tractor seat, saving you time.
7. Build Quality and Materials Used
Spreaders are subjected to a variety of materials. From sand to fertilizers and even insecticides, it must be critical that they are made of durable and rust-resistant materials. Because they are made of durable stainless steel, the range of products reviewed was quite strong. All hoppers are also made of rust-resistant materials that will not corrode easily. Stainless steel, while more expensive, is generally stronger than PVCs.
8. Cost and Warranty
Your budget is one of the most important considerations when purchasing any home equipment. You cannot go over your budget, so you must select a low-cost product that meets your needs. Fortunately, an inexpensive tow-behind spreader does not imply a low-quality spreader. All of the spreaders listed above come with some kind of warranty.
As a homeowner, most of the warranties will suffice. Still, if you intend to use your spreader for commercial purposes, you should check with the manufacturer to see if this shortens the warranty period. Keep in mind that these spreaders have limited warranties, which means they won’t cover everything.
After spending so much time researching the best tow behind spreader, I can confidently say that the Agri-Fab 45-0463 is my top pick. The 45-0463 is reasonably priced, has a large hopper, is simple to use and assemble, and comes with a solid warranty from a reputable brand. This product will serve you well for many years if used, cared for, and stored properly.
After two whole decades of working a corporate job and getting my kids through school, I moved to Texas to pursue gardening and a bit of a farming full time. I love my lawn and treat my plants and my own children. Besides caring for them, I write about lawn maintenance and tips to grow healthy plants.