Best Tow Behind Spreader Reviews of 2020
Chapin International 8620B 150 Pound Tow Behind Spreader
Best commercial tow behind spreader
Auto-stop feature reduces material waste by only activating spreading when your vehicle is moving.
1 Chapin 8620B Review
Chapin International is renowned for its innovative products, and the Chapin 8620B doesn’t disappoint. Designed to withstand commercial use, it impresses with its auto-stop dual impeller that stops spreading when your vehicle stops moving. Thanks to this feature, you can rest assured that waste, as well as fuss, is minimal.
We also like that you don’t have to reach back for levers and controls, not to mention that this feature speeds up things and helps you finish your chores faster.
Another nice thing is the 150-pound hopper capacity. This spreader can hold sufficient fertilizer for a lawn of over one acre, or you could employ it to spread ice melt or seeds.
A heavy-duty trailer hitch, as well as oversized 14-inch wheels, make it perfect for professional use. Just what you need for farming and heavy-duty landscaping.
Agri-Fab 45-0543 100 Pound Tow Spiker/Seeder/Spreader
Best 3-in-1 tow behind spreader
A convenient spiker, seeder, and spreader in one designed for heavy-duty gardening or farming.
2 Agri-Fab 45-0543 Review
The Agri-Fab 45-0543 is undeniably one of the best all-round multi-purpose tow behind spreaders for professionals and homeowners. Indeed, more than a spreader, this is a three-in-one machine you can use to break-in and aerate the soil, seed grass and vegetables, or spread granular herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizer.
Slightly smaller than our best in class, it still boasts a large hopper with a capacity of 100 pounds. Depending on spreading speed and material, that’s usually enough to cover up to an acre. A working swath of 32 inches brings further value, helping you cover large surfaces faster.
Another thing that we like is the rigid spike roll that allows you to both aerate and seed in one go.
Easy to handle on all terrains, the spreader also comes with a universal hitch and large, 10-inch, flat-free tires. Compatible with all lawn tractors, riding mowers, and even ATVs, easy to use and versatile, this tow behind spreader is perfect for both heavy-duty residential and light professional use.
Buyers Products ATVS100 100 Pound ATV All-Purpose Broadcast Spreader with Rain Cover
Best ATV spreader
This spreader is designed for homeowners who’d rather use an ATV than other landscaping tools.
3 Buyers Products ATVS100 Review
If you have an ATV, the ATV100 by Buyers Products could be the best spreader for you. It’s not actually a tow-behind. It has no wheels and is not compatible with other landscaping tools, but it’s a great choice for those with no lawn tractor who’d rather not push or pull a spreader by hand.
This model specifically designed to mount on your ATV’s rear utility rack has a capacity of 100 pounds. It can hold enough material to cover up to 1 acre in one pass, and you can use it to spread all kinds of free-flowing materials, from seed to ice melt to fertilizer.
Other highlights include a manual feed gate regulator you can use to control the flow as well as a hopper cover that keeps the material protected from elements. A tad more expensive than our best value, this spreader is perfect for ATV owners.
Yard Commander YTL31508 125 lb. Tow Broadcast Fertilizer Spreader
Best budget pick
Twelve-inch pneumatic tires and universal hitch make it perfect to use on all properties.
4 Yard Commander YTL31508 Review
The Yard Commander YTL31508 is proof that a high-capacity tow behind spreader doesn’t have to break the bank. This reliable spreader comes with a universal hitch, and it can be attached to virtually any landscaping vehicle.
A large hopper with a capacity of 125 pounds ensures that you’ll have plenty of material to cover over an acre.
We also like the 10 to 12-foot spread width and adjustable flow rate that are easy to control directly from the driver’s seat of your lawn tractor or ATV. Ideal to use with all free-flow materials and coming at a more than affordable price tag, this tow behind spreader is perfect for homeowners on a budget.
What is a tow behind spreader?
A tow behind spreader is a type of broadcast spreader designed to be pulled behind a vehicle rather than pushed by hand. It works just like a manual broadcast spreader, but it is designed for larger terrains and heavier duty tasks.
Due to its larger construction, it can usually hold more granular material, making it easier for landscapers, ranchers, and farmers to take care of their properties.
Tow behind vs. push spreader. When to choose one over the other?
Since both the tow behind and manual spreaders work in the same way, choosing one over the other is a matter of property size.
Typically, push broadcast spreaders are perfect for properties smaller than half an acre. On the other hand, if your property is larger than half an acre or you have to deal with challenging terrain, a tow behind lawn spreader is faster and easier to maneuver.
What size spreader do I need?
Depending on the size of your property, the best tow behind spreader for you should have a capacity of at least:
½ – 1 acre
1 – 1 ½ acre
Over 1 ½ acre
What kind of vehicles can tow a spreader?
If you’re convinced that you need a zero turn or riding lawn mower to tow behind a spreader, think again. Tow behind spreaders can be towed by a wide range of vehicles, depending on the type of hitch they come with. Based on the vehicle you have, you can typically choose from:
- Universal hitch spreader: As its name suggests, this type of tow behind fertilizer spreader can be attached to most lawn care vehicles, such as lawn tractors, riding lawn mower, garden tractor, utility terrain vehicles (UTV), and ATVs. They are usually preferred by professional landscapers as well as homeowners who already own a riding landscaping tool. Some of the best tow behind spreaders come with heavy-duty trailer hitches that are also compatible with vans and other larger vehicles.
- Lawn tractor spreader: This type of pull behind spreader comes with a hook rather than a hitch, and is usually compatible with lawn tractors alone. Some models may also attach to a riding mower, but they can’t be attached to an ATV or UTV.
- ATV spreader: Also known as an ATV mounted spreader, this model is different than the other pull behind spreaders in that it has no wheels. These ATV broadcast spreaders can be mounted directly on your vehicle’s utility rack, allowing for quick control. They are a perfect choice for those who want to take advantage of their leisure ATV to speed up the lawn or garden care, but keep in mind that these spreaders can’t be used with any other types of vehicles.
What applications can I use a tow behind spreader for?
Typically, a pull behind spreader is used for spreading granular fertilizer as well as granular weed killers and insect control products. Depending on the model, though, you can use this tool for a wide range of purposes.
Tow behind broadcast spreader applications
Most pull behind spreaders are broadcast spreaders you can use for spreading various materials over a wider surface. Typically, you can spread:
- Granular fertilizer
- Granular insecticides and herbicides
- Ice melt
- Seeding grass
Tow behind drop spreader applications
Pull behind drop spreaders are similar to the manual drop spreaders, allowing for a more precise application. You can use such a tool for:
- Seeding vegetables in rows
- Fertilizing vegetable rows
- Other spot treatments
Apart from the applications above, both broadcast and drop spreaders can be used for carrying vegetal material, such as mowed grass blades, leaves, compost, and even harvested crops. All you have to do is close the hopper to turn your spreader into an ad-hoc tow behind dump cart.
What spreading swath should a tow behind spreader have?
A quick look at other heavy-duty landscaping or gardening tools may make you believe that the bigger the swath, the better. This is often the case with a riding lawn mower or walk behind string trimmer, for example. However, this is not true when it comes to pull behind spreaders.
These tools usually have swaths between 10 and 32 inches. If your property has multiple obstacles or you aim for a more precise application, it is recommended to go for a smaller swath. On the other hand, if your property has few obstacles and you value speed more than precision, then a larger swath is undeniably more suitable for you.
What is a tow spiker/seeder/spreader?
A tow spiker/seeder/spreader, also called tow behind aerator spreader, is a combination tool designed to merge the advantages of a spreader with those of a plug or spike aerator.
It consists of a large steel roll with spikes designed to aerate the soil and a drop spreader that spreads the seeds. This design allows you to both loosen the soil and seed in one pass. Typically, you can also lift the spiker and use the spreader alone for applications such as spreading fertilizer, weed killer, or insect control. More often than not, this type of spreader can also be used as a tow behind salt spreader, for example.
Features to look for when buying a pull behind spreader
There are so many models out there that it’s often hard to find the best tow behind spreader. To make sure the one you want to buy fits your needs, though, it is essential to check the following important features:
- Hopper material: Tow behind spreaders can have either polyethylene or metal hoppers. The former resists rain and wind, is lighter and durable, but it can become brittle if left out in the sun for extended periods. Steel is also durable, but it’s subject to rust and corrosion; thus, it needs more maintenance.
- Controls: Some spreaders will require you to turn around and operate a lever to start or stop the flow, whereas the best tow behind spreaders can be operated conveniently from your driver’s seat or even have auto-stop functions.
- Tires: Like most wheeled landscaping tools, tow behind spreaders come with large wheels, typically of 10 inches or over. The thing to pay attention to, however, is the tires. No-flat tires are popular for the lack of maintenance, but the pneumatic kind is easier to maneuver and delivers enhanced stability on challenging terrains.
- Adjustable flow: Some pull behind spreaders allow you to adjust the flow rate as well as the swath, so you can use them for multiple applications.
- Hopper cover: Another desirable thing is to get a unit that comes with a hopper cover; in this way, you’ll be able to cover the material and protect it from weather elements whenever needed.
Best Tow Behind Spreader for the Money
Agri-Fab 45-0543 100 Pound Tow Spiker/Seeder/SpreaderBest 3-in-1 tow behind spreader
A convenient spiker, seeder, and spreader in one designed for heavy-duty gardening or farming.