One thing that troubles many homeowners is keeping their lawns green and fresh. Just like the human body, grass requires proper maintenance, without which it will grow pale. If your backyard is going to be tender and admirable, frequent fertilization and proper seeding are inevitable. While you may opt to tackle the gardening bare-handedly, it is fatiguing and doesn’t guarantee quality results. The truth is, you’re going to need the best tow-behind fertilizer spreader.
However, with such a flooded market and every brand wanting to make a profit, it is easy to be misled and end up making the wrong choice.
But don’t fret. We have done the research for you, and by the end of this article, you will have known the one to take and for what reasons. Be sure to also check out the buying. Here the 7 best tow-behind lawn spreaders.
- Our top 3 picks
- Best Tow-behind Spreaders Reviews
- 1. Brinly BS36BH 175lbs Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 2. Yard Commander YTL-002-179 Tow Behind Spreader
- 3. Agri-fab 45-0329 ATV Tow broadcast spreader
- 4. Chapin International 8620B
- 5. Agri-fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader
- 6. Precision Products TBS6000RDOS 6-Series 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 7. John Deere 175lb Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
- Factors to consider when purchasing a tow-behind spreader
Our top 3 picks
BEST OVERALL – Brinly BS36BH 175lbs Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
This tow-behind lawn spreader takes versatility to a whole other level and also comes with a 175-pounds hopper capacity.
BEST HOPPER CAPACITY – Agri-fab 45-0329 ATV Tow broadcast spreader
Say goodbye to the tiresome refills, thanks to the 185-pound hopper.
BEST BUDGET – Yard Commander YTL-002-179 Tow Behind Spreader
A tow-behind spreader that minds your pockets and yet performs like a big buddy.
Best Tow-behind Spreaders Reviews
1. Brinly BS36BH 175lbs Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
Sitting right at the top of our list is the Brinly BS36BH. Looking closely at what it packs, you will agree with us that this spreader is among the best tow-behind lawn spreaders.
To begin with, it has a massive 175-pounds hopper capacity, which homeowners with vast fields will find convenience in. The large capacity ensures that you don’t waste time on refills, and this means completing tasks much faster. Fill the hopper once, and you’re good to go.
Second, it features an adjustable spread width, which will come in beneficial. Depending on the targeted area, you can adjust the width between 8 and 12 inches. This way, the machine will spread accurately and precisely.
The patented auto-flow is another efficient feature. It prevents wastage of the material by immediately stopping the spreading when you halt the tractor. Directional spread pattern control ensures even distribution of materials. Those two features combined see to it the delivery of professional results.
Calibration on this tow behind spreader is another hassle-free process. Coming with hundreds of pre-calibrated settings, you will not spend much time setting parameters.
Lastly, Brinly gives you a hopper cover to shield your chemicals from dust and moisture. You can, therefore, work even work on a drizzly day.
This product has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon. Most of the users are pleased with the clear instructions it comes with and the easy assembly. They also applaud its solid build, sturdiness, and overall performance. However, some of them wished that the wheelbase was a little wider.
- Can cover a whole acre in a single fill
- Spread width is variable
- Ensures even spreading and little wastage
- Pre-calibrated settings for accuracy and convenience
- It has a flat bottom that leaves a lot of fertilizer unused
Although there are other cheaper options, you can’t expect them to spread on a whole acre on just a single hopper fill. This pull behind spreader is a good pick as it saves on time, energy, and fuel as you make fewer rounds. You can, therefore, give it a shot. However, if your lawn is not all that large, consider other smaller options.
2. Yard Commander YTL-002-179 Tow Behind Spreader
When looking for the best tow behind lawn spreader, potential buyers overlook factors such as weight, not knowing how much difference they can make. The Yard Commander Spreader weighs at only 25.6 pounds when empty, making it less bulky when full.
This doesn’t make it wobbly however. Its gears are heavy duty, and it has a hopper that can hold materials of up to 125 pounds.
It features 12-inches pneumatic tires that support the load and enable it to motion on bumpy terrains without tipping. The hopper is built of aluminum material and has a cover to keep it from corrosion.
Another reason why you should buy this pull behind fertilizer spreader is the distant flow control feature that allows you to set parameters from the tractor’s seat. You can easily change the spreading rate and adjust the spreading with between 10 and 12 inches.
Although there were a few complaints about the gearbox breaking, many users had a good experience with it. First, it only takes 15-20 minutes to assemble. Second, it’s build materials are stiff and solid. One of the reviewers recommends it as the best spreader for tractors.
- 12-inch pneumatic wheels increase efficiency
- Distant controller level
- Corrosion-resistant hopper
- Fairly light even when loaded
- No pre-set spreading patterns
- The gearbox is prone to breaking
Most of the time, simple-looking machines are looked down upon. Though it comes with a simple design, it will help you spread whatever it is in medium-sized yards. Most importantly, it is among the best spreaders for tractors.
3. Agri-fab 45-0329 ATV Tow broadcast spreader
If you are starting to think that your one-acre terrain is unmanageable, you can find a great friend in the Agri-fab 45-0329. One of its major selling points is the giant 185-pound hopper. It allows you to spread fertilizer, seed, or ice melt on a whopping 44,000 square feet in just a single fill. This will not only save your time but also keep the hassle of refilling every now and then at bay.
Apart from the conveniently large hopper, the tow-behind lawn spreader comes with a variable spread width. It can be adjusted up to 12 feet depending on the targeted area and give different spreading patterns.
A handy on/off direct rod is also included to speed up operations. Now that it extends all the way to the pulling tractor, there is no need to stretch backwards to reach for levers and controls. You will make all adjustments from the comfort of the tractor’s seat.
For better traction and to glide smoothly on rough terrains, this pull behind spreader runs on 15×6 inches pneumatic tires. These high-traction tires also lower the risks of toppling and make it easy to work on hilly areas. They feature ball bearings and gear disengage as well.
To make it a complete deal, Agri-fab gives you a hopper cover and a spreader grate. A 3-year industrial warranty is a guarantee of durability.
Apart from the few who complained about the door not smoothly opening, most of the reviewers were satisfied. According to them, the tow behind spreader performs pretty well. They also love how easy it is to assemble, and the instructional video helped a great deal.
- High hopper capacity
- An on/off direct rod that you can use from the tractor or ATV
- High-quality pneumatic wheels offer great traction
- Easy assembly and a video instruction guide to assist you
- A 3-year limited warranty
- Very very expensive
- The 53-pound weight is a burden
Maintenance of large lawns poses a challenge to many homeowners. However, with a high-capacity spreader such as the Agri-fab 45-0329, distributing material on the largest terrains takes only a short while. It comes at a high price and is weighty as well, but if you can handle the two, this one will do you well.
4. Chapin International 8620B
When it comes to the best commercial tow behind fertilizer spreaders, the Chapin International 8620 B should be the center of discussion. Its sturdy features, such as the heavy-duty trailer hitch and the stiff steel frame joining the hopper and axle, make it suitable for professional work.
Its gears are made of brass and are strong enough to withstand harsh conditions. The gearbox is sealed and has oil-impregnated bronze ball bearings for professional lubrication.
The spreader is also inclusive of a 150-pound hopper that carries sufficient materials to save you from the time-wasting refills. A 15-inch spreading width speeds up the spreading process and makes it uniform.
For more versatility, this fertilizer spreader comes with 11 incremental settings to choose from. Through the settings, you can open the gate, close it, or adjust its width seamlessly. This is how the settings work: Setting at 0 closes the gate, and 11 sets it at the widest position. In between are other width variations.
Another admirable feature is the dual impeller auto-stop system. It prevents wastage by pausing the spreading any time the pulling machine stops.
The 14-inch pneumatic tires also qualify this machine as the best commercial tow behind fertilizer spreader. Even on the toughest surfaces, these tires will move smoothly and keep the spreader stable.
Most of the Amazon reviews are positive. Users praise the strong gears and applaud how the machine works well on hills without tipping.
- The 11 pre-set gears make it versatile
- It minimizes wastage
- It has a smart design
- The gear housing is made of plastic
- The hopper material easily rusts
If you’ve been looking for a fertilizer spreader for commercial purposes, this one will get the job done. The best commercial tow behind fertilizer spreader should be sturdy enough for hilly and tough terrains. And that is a perfect description of the Chapin 8620B.
5. Agri-fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader
For many valid reasons, many homeowners prefer broadcast spreaders to drop spreaders. However, drop spreaders can be a better option in some instances. They are good at spreading evenly and widely, and if your task involves dropping seeds, the Agri-fab 45-0288 Drop Spreader will come in handy.
The first thing to befit from this pull behind spreader is the controlled 42-inch spread width. This is large enough to tackle huge tasks quickly. And now that the spreader only drops materials between its wheels, accuracy is guaranteed, which means little or no wastage.
Another convenient feature is the 175-pound hopper capacity. It can comfortably carry content sufficient for a whole acre on a single fill. This, in the long run, saves time and gets you less tired.
The tow-behind drop spreader is also durable as the agitator is made of premium galvanized steel. The hopper is also made of anti-corrosive materials.
As for the 175-pound load, pneumatic tires are used to support it. They not only smoothen movement but also make it impossible to tip.
This product is marked as Amazon’s choice. Most reviewers dropped positive comments, lauding it for its accuracy and stiffness. One of the reviewers claimed to have spread sand on it, and it worked without a hitch. However, users complained that assembly was quite a hassle.
- A high-capacity hopper
- Accurate and minimizes wastage
- A wide-spreading width
- Comes with a 3-year industrial warranty
- It is hard to assemble
- Not suitable for spreading fertilizer
Broadcast spreaders can sometimes be wasteful. Even though the Agri-fab 45-0288 is not as stylish as some of its broadcast counterparts, it is precise, systematic and reduces wastage. However, it’s suitable for only some tasks and offers less maneuverability. That said, you can go for this model if you want your seeds and herbicide granules evenly dispersed.
6. Precision Products TBS6000RDOS 6-Series 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
The best tow behind spreader should be compatible with all lawn tractors, lawnmowers and ATVs. What we like most about this tow behind lawn spreader is the universal hitch that makes it pullable by any tractor out there.
We also like the 130-pound hopper which, though not the biggest, will let you cover over half an acre of land in a single pass. To sprinkle the materials faster, the spreader has a 10-12 feet spread width.
We also love the unbreakable metallic gearbox that encloses the gears. It shields them from dust and potential cloggers, generally making them more durable. Included also is a grease fitting that allows for professional lubrication.
As for the controls, the Precision Products TBS6000RDOS 6-Series utilizes fingertip levers. You can easily reach them even from the tractor’s seat.
On top of these versatile controls, the product has a 1-inch powder coating on the steel tube frame that lengthens its lifespan.
The machine is, in overall, sturdy and has 15-inches pneumatic tires to cope with the most rugged landscapes. And given that there is a hopper cover, your materials will remain intact even on the dampest day.
The feedback given by the users is generally positive. They see the product as an excellent purchase that delivers what it has promised. The volume adjustment is easy to reach, and the large tires make tipping impossible.
- Durable frame
- A universal hitch with a pin
- A strong metallic gearbox
- Has an appealing design
- Easy to reach controls
- Comes with only a 90-day warranty
- The flow controller is likely to break
It is always wise to invest in a durable product. This pull behind fertilizer spreader may not have the largest hopper but will last for years. It works perfectly well for common homeowners.
7. John Deere 175lb Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
The John Deere 175lb is specifically designed for heavy users. From its 175-lb hopper to the enclosed sturdy metallic gears, the tow behind spreader will not grind to a halt even in hefty rough terrains.
One distinctive feature is the greatly flexible spread width that can be adjusted between 2 and 12 feet. It offers you maximum control. Keeping it at the highest setting will spread the material fast and widely, yet accurately and sparingly in the lowest setting.
And talking of ‘sparingly’, an auto-flow stop mechanism is featured to minimize wastage. Once you immobilize the pulling tractor, promptly spread halts, cut down unnecessary material drain, and reduce work on your end.
You will also find the easily reachable hand control lever convenient. From the comfort of the tractor’s seat, you can effortlessly perform all the essential operations.
What’s more? The hopper is built of heavy-duty anti-rust material to make it more durable. It also comes with an eye-appealing green color, which might make the neighbor envy you.
What seemed to impress most users was the high flexibility of the spread width. They are also happy as the spreader can be pulled by all types of tractors.
- Ideal for heavy-duty use
- Comes with a universal hitch
- Assembly is easy
- It is durable
- Minimizes wastage
It is quite bulky when fully loaded
If you’ve been looking for a steady spreader for your vast yard or for commercial purposes, this one by John Deere can be your friend. You will not only enjoy heavy-duty features but also use it for a long period.
Factors to consider when purchasing a tow-behind spreader
Hoppers can hold material from 80 to 350 lbs. A big hopper capacity will cover even an acre of land on a single refill. You will, therefore, not need to make any re-fills. To save on time and energy, pick a hopper that fits the size of your yard.
Hoppers are either made of heavy-duty plastic or metal. Both have their pros and cons. The former are light and rust-resistant but are prone to cracking. Those with metal hoppers are durable but liable to rust.
It determines the flow rate of the material. The best tow-behind spreader allows adjustment of the spread width.
Some handy spreaders have control levers that extend to the tractor. These allow you to perform operations from the seat. However, others require you to turn and stretch to reach for the lever. You should only settle for the most versatile controls.
This feature automatically stops the spreading when you halt the tractor. It reduces work and also cuts down on wastage.
They support the load on the hopper and enable the spreader to glide smoothly on rough landscapes without tipping.
What is a tow-behind spreader?
Fertilizing and distributing seeds on gardens can be cumbersome when done bare-handedly. A tow-behind spreader is a gardening tool with a wheelbarrow-like hopper that will save you from the hassle. It holds fertilizer, seeds, ice melt, lime, sand, or whatever you wish to spread in the hopper, and disperses it through broadcasting or dropping.
Unlike other types which are pushed by hand, a tow-behind spreader is attached to a pulling tractor, riding mower or ATV through a hitch. When the pulling machine moves, the material is spread evenly at a set width.
Why do you need a tow-behind spreader?
For your lawn to look green and fresh, frequent fertilization, seeding, and maintenance is a must. While you can still do this without the helping hand of a machine, it will be exhausting and time-consuming.
A tow-behind spreader will save you a great deal of time. Even in the largest terrains, it will help you distribute the intended stuff in no time and without breaking a sweat.
Tow-behind spreaders are also accurate. Once you set your preferred width, the materials are dispersed evenly as long as you drive the tractor at a constant speed.
How to best use a tow-behind spreader?
Tow-behind spreaders are used to disperse a variety of materials on grass or on your garden. Use the piece of equipment for fertilization, broadcasting grass seeds, granular herbicides, sand, lime, ice melt, or any other small-particled stuff.
If your spreader has wide pneumatic tires, you can use it on hilly and rough terrains.
Some spreaders come with hopper covers, and you can use them to the maximum even on a wet day.
Which is better: Drop spreader or broadcast spreader?
The main difference between drop and broadcast spreaders is the dispersion technique. Broadcast spreaders sprinkle the granular material to all sides, covering a large area. They are, therefore, fast. Drop spreaders, on the other hand, are accurate as they only cover the area between the wheels.
So, it depends on the work. Do you want the work done fast or precisely?
What are the uses of a tow-behind spreader?
These handy gardening pieces of equipment are important when it comes to applying fertilizer on grass, broadcasting grass seeds, sand, ice melt or any other granular material. They help you tackle the task quickly and require little effort from your end.
Is it hard to assemble a tow-behind spreader?
The assembly of a tow-behind spreader should not take more than 40 minutes. You will require a pair of pliers and small-sized spanners as it generally involves joining hardware and parts using screws. It should not worry you as the product comes with assembly instructions. Some of them even have video instruction guides.