If you have a yard or a larger property, you know how important it is to stay on top of any maintenance needs because they can quickly get out of hand. Proper maintenance is the key to keeping your yard looking its best while keeping your home’s value up, and larger properties can cost you time and money. This is why you want to have the correct tools in place before you run into issues maintaining your lawn. One such product that can be a lifesaver is a tow behind spreader.
A tow behind spreader can work well for seasonal uses as well as routine maintenance. Although it can be a slightly more expensive investment, it’s well worth the initial cost because it’ll save you time and hassle. You’ll be able to use it to keep your yard and along your walkways looking neat and tidy all year round. All you need for one to work is a tractor, ATV, or a riding lawn mower to hook it up to and begin using it. I’ve picked out 10 great options, and the short buyer’s guide will help you narrow down your choice to the best one.
A quality spreader will help you keep your yard or garden looking nice without using a lot of time or hassle to get even coverage in every corner of your space.
1. Agri-Fab Tow Behind Spreader
This larger 130-pound tow behind spreader saves you time because you won’t have to stop in the middle of your project to refill it. Instead, you can cover your large lawn with the best grass seed available to help it grow green and lush. You can choose to get an optional hopper cover with a hopper grate and a material deflector to keep contaminants out of your seed, and this product comes with a durable enclosed gearbox with tapered gears. This setup will stop anything from getting inside the gears and shortening the life of your spreader, and it also helps to prevent internal rust and corrosion.
There are large diameter tires on this tow behind spreader that give it excellent stability as it moves along flat, uneven, or rocky terrain, and it’ll reduce the worries you have about it overturning and wasting whatever you’re spreading on your lawn. The durable rod-linked on-off control comes with precise settings to ensure it attaches securely to your mower, ATV, or vehicle, and it helps lend an excellent maneuverability to this product so you don’t accidentally miss an area when you use it. It’ll cover up to a half of an acre on a single fill, and it has a universal hitch fit attached.
- Covers up to a ½ acre on a single fill
- Pneumatic tires are very durable
- Easy to assemble and attach
- The hitch height is lower
- Release handle may be too short
- No references included for suggested setup
2. Chapin International Tow Behind Spreader
This tow behind spreader from Chapin International has a large 150-pound capacity that is nice to use for big yards or areas where you have a lot of seed or fertilizer to spread. When you stop this spreader, the auto-stop dual impeller prevents the spread of whatever you have inside the bin so you don’t get a huge amount in one spot. This is nice if you have to take a break in the middle of working, and it won’t start up again until you start moving the spreader. The gate adjustment is very easy to use, and it gives you 11 incremental settings you can tailor to your application needs to keep it accurate.
There are oil impregnated bronze bearings on this tow behind spreader that minimize friction on the gearbox and handle, and this can extend the life of your spreader. The pneumatic tires are 14-inches wide to improve your stability levels as you use it over different terrains, and it has a heavy-duty trailer hitch that comes designed for professional or commercial-grade use. You can also use it in domestic settings, and the product comes from manufacturers in the United States using very strict quality control standards.
- Very wide tires for stability
- Suited for professional or commercial use
- Made in the United States
- Feed is finicky
- No shield included
- May not hold the whole 150 pounds
3. Brinly Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
If you need a high-capacity tow behind spreader to apply your lawn fertilizer, Brinly’s product is a solid choice. It comes equipped with an extra-large poly hopper that is dent and rust-proof. The hopper will hold up to 175 pounds or 3.5 cubic feet of product per fill, and you can use it with fertilizer, sand, ice melt, and many more products to maximize the time you spend spreading it instead of stopping to refill it over and over. It’s the ideal size for yards that are an acre or more . You get stainless steel hardware with a heavy-duty polyethylene hopper that will withstand contact to corrosive fertilizers without breaking down.
The glass-filled nylon gears on this tow behind spreader come fully enclosed with a nylon gearbox for an added layer of protection. You get auto-flow with spread control patterns that will give you professional-level results each time you use it. You can even out and center the distribution of your product depending on what you want to spread, and it stops flowing when you stop your tractor from running to eliminate burns and waste. There are calibration controls included with a locking dial, and you get a hopper cover with every purchase.
- Stainless steel hardware resists corrosion and rust
- Auto-flow with spread control patterns
- Calibration controls with locking dials
- Bottom is too flat
- Open/close handle is too far back
- Can waste fertilizer with you start moving
4. Yard Commander Tow Broadcast Spreader
This slightly smaller tow behind spreader has a smaller load capacity at 125 pounds, but it has a quick and easy assembly process that ensures you’ll get it up and running without a problem. There are heavy-duty metal gears on this product that resist corrosion, rust, wear, and tear with repeated use, and this can help extend the life of your spreader through several seasons in more harsh environments. It has a slightly wider stance with bigger pneumatic tires that won’t puncture, and the tires also lend a great deal of stability to this spreader as you work around your yard.
The hopper on this tow behind spreader is very durable, and it has a rust-proof cover included. This cover is nice because it keeps contaminants out while shielding you from any accidental spray from your fertilizer. There is a powder-coat finish on the hopper to protect it from the corrosive nature of the fertilizer or product you use it with, and you can control the spread width and rate as you move to get even coverage throughout your yard. It works behind ATVs, UTVs, and tractors.
- Quick and easy assembly
- Powder coat protects the hopper
- Cover included
- Spreader disc is plastic
- Need metric tools to put it together
- Smaller capacity
5. Precision Products Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
While a garden sprayer is nice for smaller areas, Precision Products’ tow behind spreader has a 200-pound capacity that allows you to cover a larger area in a fraction of the time. You get direct rod control on this product that gives you the option of setting a 10 or 12-foot spread pattern, and it also allows you to easily turn the spreader on and off from the seat of your mower or tractor without having to stop what you’re doing. The steel frame won’t rust or corrode, and it helps the spreader withstand heavy use without breaking down or you having to replace parts of it because they fail.
The plastic hopper on this tow behind spreader features a heavy-duty plastic design that will withstand the corrosive nature of fertilizers, ice melts, or any other products you want to put in it. There are 16-inch treaded turf tires that give you a smooth ride across rough terrain, but they won’t damage any new plantings or soft sod as you roll over them. You can assemble this product in less than 30 minutes using tools you have around your home, and it’s made in the United States to strict quality control standards, so it’s built to last.
- Assembles in under 30 minutes
- 10 or 12-foot spread pattern
- Can control it from your seat
- Doesn’t work well on uneven surfaces
- Stopper isn’t strong
- Axel doesn’t last long
6. Craftsman Tow Broadcast Spreader
Craftsman’s tow behind spreader gives you up to a 10-foot spread width with a broadcast pattern, and the 100-pound capacity of the hopper will allow you to cover around 17,500 square feet or ⅓ of an acre on a single fill. It has dimensions of 43-inches long by 26-inches wide by 38-inches high, and this makes it compact enough to store in smaller garden sheds or spaces without it being too crowded. The universal hitch on this product will attack quickly and easily on any tractor you have, and this makes it a very fast process to spread your fertilizer or grass seed throughout your yard.
The 10-inch pneumatic tires on this tow behind spreader allow a smooth transport the entire time you use it, and they’ll easily go over uneven or rough terrain without getting stuck. It has a rust-proof poly hopper and spreader plate that increases the product’s life and helps it stand up to heavier corrosive materials like certain fertilizers without breaking down. There is also a heavy-duty steel gear included that prolongs the product’s life. The plastic spreader impeller ensures you get an even distribution of your product from start to finish.
- Slightly more compact size
- Universal hitch included
- Rust-proof poly hopper
- Bucket is oversized for the chassis
- Wheels aren’t far enough apart
- Important pieces are plastic
7. Earthway Semi-Assembled Tow Spreader
You can use this broadcast tow spreader with your lawn edger to keep every part of your yard looking lush, neat, and tidy. This product comes designed to fit a broad range of lawn tractors, and it comes with an “ev-n-spred” system included that will ensure you don’t overdo it in some spots and accidentally burn your grass. It’ll also stop you from putting too little product in one spot. This is nice if you have uneven ground or rough terrain that you have to move over that could jostle the spreader and cause your fertilizer or grass seed to fall out or stop spreading.
There are handlebar controls on this tow behind spreader that allow you to control the release rate as you go along, and you get a commercial-quality gearbox that won’t break down with repeated use. There are large 10-inch pneumatic tires with a non-slip design that will roll over all types of terrain, and this product can easily hold 80 pounds of material per fill. This adds up to 1,900 cubic inches for the capacity, and it’s more than enough room to fertilize a small or medium-sized yard.
- Uses ev-n-spred technology
- Handlebar controls included
- Fits a range of lawn tractors
- Only holds 80 pounds
- No hitch included
- Instructions are vague
8. Buyers Products ATV Broadcast Spreader
This tow behind spreader attaches straight to your ATV, and this makes it a great pick for landscaping, hunting, farming, or general maintenance around your yard or fields. You get a durable poly hopper that resists rust, and it’s large enough to hold up to 100 pounds of product at one time to allow you to work longer between fills. There is a 12-volt motor mounted inside the hopper to operate the spreader, but it stays protected while it’s in use so your products don’t get inside it and cause it to stop. The hopper also shields you from the motor to prevent it from getting warm when you use it for big projects.
This tow behind spread will evenly distribute materials like fertilizer, feed, or seed as you go along your property. There is a rain cover included that slips over the hopper and will shield you from flying products, but it’ll also work well to protect your materials from the elements and keep them dry. This is easy to install without the use of additional tools, and there is a manual gate feeder regulator so you don’t put out more product than you need when it’s running.
- Can hold up to 100 pounds of product
- Has a 12-volt motor installed
- Comes with a protective cover
- Warranty is very short
- Wing nuts are plastic
- Doesn’t have a good adjustment mechanism
9. Yard Tuff Lawn Tractor Spreader
Yard Tuff’s tow behind spreader will work around your container garden because it sits on the back of your riding lawn mower. It’s a 12-volt spreader that allows you to easily spread fertilizer and seeds throughout your yard, and it has a maximum capacity of 80 pounds. This is enough to cover smaller yards or spaces without having to refill it halfway through the project. There is a hitch pin hole that allows you to mount this spreader to almost any lawn or garden tractor quickly and easily, and it’ll hold it securely in place until you finish with it to ensure you get even coverage.
There is a wiring harness and an easily accessible on/off switch that makes this tow behind spreader very convenient to use for extended periods. When you purchase this product, you’ll get a rain cover, mounting hardware, and a rate worksheet that will help you determine which spread rates you want to use. There is also a full year limited manufacturer’s warranty on this product that will help to protect your investment from defects or damage.
- 12-volt spreader
- Hooks to almost any garden or lawn tractor
- Has a cover included
- Smaller capacity
- Sits very close to your seat
- Standard hitch isn’t durable enough to support the weight
10. Agri-Fab Tow Behind Drop Spreader
The final tow behind spreader on our list comes from Agri-Fab, and this is a larger capacity product that can hold up to 175-pounds per fill. This means that this spreader will allow you to evenly cover up to an acre or 40,000 square feet before you have to add more seed or fertilizer in, and this is more than enough for small or medium-sized yards. The hopper has a coating on it that helps it resist corrosion that comes with contact to the fertilizers, and it also helps it resist rust that could shorten the life of the spreader with heavy use. There is a 42-inch controlled spread width included on this product.
This tow behind spreader comes with a galvanized steel agitator that improves the durability factor and ensures you get an even coverage. There are pneumatic tires that allow it to evenly move over the ground and uneven terrain without tipping over or unbalancing. The three-year limited warranty protects you against damage or defects that could negatively impact the life of the spreader. If you need to get in touch with the customer service team, they’re very responsive to any queries.
- Covers 40,000 square feet
- Hopper comes with a protective coating
- Galvanized steel agitator
- Assembly process is difficult
- Finish can chip off
- One side can empty faster than the other side
Tow Behind Spreader Buyer’s Guide
When you start comparing tow behind spreaders, what do you want to look for? Are there certain things you want to have on your product that will make it easier for you to use? The answer is yes! If you’ve never bought one of these spreaders before, it can be confusing to try and compare products when you’re not sure what you do and don’t need. This short buyer’s guide will highlight all of the important aspects that comes with choosing a quality tow behind spreader below.
Why Use a Tow Behind Spreader?
A lot of the time, people use tow behind spreaders to evenly apply fertilizers, grass seed, ice melt, or weed killers around their property. It’s a type of broadcast spreader that you attach to your riding lawn mower, tractor, ATV, or UTV. It has a slightly larger size, and this allows you to tackle heavy-duty projects. This spreader holds more product in one fill, and it makes it easier for ranchers, landscapers, and homeowners to take care of their property. You’d typically use them on properties that are at least an acre big or larger, and they help you get even coverage so your grass grows thick and lush.
Keeping your yard looking lush and green requires the use of several lawn tools, time, and dedication on your part. If you have a larger yard, you’ll need a bigger tow behind spreader to keep up with all of your projects.
Vehicles That Can Tow a Spreader
If you think you need a riding or zero turn lawn mower to tow your spreader, you’re incorrect. You can use a broad range of vehicles for this process, depending on the hitch. You can typically hook them up to:
- ATV – An ATV-mounted spreader has no wheels attached to it, and this makes it stand out from the other types. You can mount these spreaders directly onto your ATV’s utility rack, and this gives you precision control. They’re a good choice for people who have very rough or uneven terrain to cover that they can’t reach with other types of vehicles.
- Universal Hitch Spreader – You can attach this tow behind spreader to almost any lawn care vehicle, like a riding lawn mower, lawn tractor, UTVs, garden tractor, or ATVs. These are the types of spreaders that many landscaping companies use, and they come with heavy-duty trailer hitches that could attach to your van or bigger vehicles.
- Lawn Tractor Spreader – There is a hook rather than a traditional hitch on this type of spreader, and this makes it exclusive to lawn tractors. Some may attach to your riding lawn mower, but there isn’t a way to attach them to a UTV or ATV.
When you decide on a type of tow behind spreader to use with your manual aerator, it’s time to narrow down your choices even further with the following buying considerations.
Many spreaders come with a cover that slips over the top of the hopper. It fits over the top to provide a shield from the water and weather conditions, and it can also stop the product from coming up and hitting you as you travel over rough terrain. It can have a drawstring or elastic outer layer to hold it in place.
Many farming operations use these spreaders because they have several acres to cover in a relatively short amount of time, but homeowners are starting to use them too.
You can get tow behind spreaders in metal or polyethylene for their hopper material. Polyethylene is very resistant to wind and rain, and it’s very durable and lightweight. However, polyethylene can also get brittle if you accidentally leave it out in the sun and don’t store it properly in your garden shed between uses. Steel is very durable, but it will rust and corrode eventually without the proper maintenance.
A few spreaders have levers on them that allow you to quickly and easily adjust your flow rates and how wide the swath is. This is useful if you have a lot of flowerbeds or walkways scattered throughout your yard that you want to avoid getting fertilizer or seed on.
There are usually large tires on these spreaders, and they usually range 10-inches and larger to give your spreader enough support. Pneumatic tires are very popular for this product because they are very easy to maneuver around your yard, and this gives you excellent stability on rough and uneven terrains.
If you want to start or stop the flow, some spreaders make you turn around and pull a lever to accomplish this. However, the best spreaders give you control of your flow rate right from your driver seat. This is important because putting too much synthetic or natural fertilizer on your lawn can burn it and cause brown spots. It’s also time-consuming to manually start and stop the product flow.
A spreader is a must-have tool for larger yards, and you want to ensure you get one that is going to suit whatever vehicle you want to use with it.
The best tow behind spreaders can help you accomplish all of your projects quickly and easily with minimal fuss. I’ve pulled 10 great products and reviewed them for you, and you can combine them with my easy buying guide to make you selection and keep your lawn or garden looking great all season long.