A tow-behind spreader, also known as a pull-behind spreader, or broadcaster, is a farm implement used to easily spread seeds, lime, fertilizer, sand, ice melt, and other substances. The best tow behind spreader will feature an enclosed gearbox, will have large wheels, and will have a high carrying capacity.
Tow behind spreaders offers several key advantages. They provide uniform coverage and can cover a large area in very little time. Also, using a tow-behind spreader prevents a pattern from being formed in your lawn. These pieces of equipment make fertilizing and seeding your lawn or garden faster and more efficient (Source).
The operation of a tow-behind spreader is simple. A hopper is positioned over a horizontal spinning disk. The disk has several fins, which throw the materials dropped from the hopper out and away from the spreader. The hoppers are usually made of plastic, painted steel, or stainless steel. Stainless steel is usually used in large commercial units because granular fertilizer is quite corrosive. (Source).
There are several things to consider when looking for a good tow behind spreader. Before you buy one, you should consider the build materials, spreader type, width of the hopper, and it’s carrying capacity.
In this article, we will examine all the top-rated tow behind spreaders. All of the models reviewed here will easily and consistently disperse seed, fertilizer, and other materials.
Whether you are a landscaper working on a customer’s lawn or a homeowner who just wants to make their yard look great, consider one of these top 10 spreaders.
What Is The Best Tow Behind Spreader?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is The Best Tow Behind Spreader?
- 2 What Is A Tow-Behind Spreader?
- 3 How Do Pull Behind Spreaders Work?
- 4 Comparing The Best Tow-Behind Spreaders
- 5 1. Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader – Best Overall
- 6 2. Brinly BS36BH Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader – Best High Capacity Tow Behind Spreader
- 7 3. Agri-Fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow behind Drop Spreader – The Best Drop Tow-Behind Spreader
- 8 4. Precision Products TBS6000RDOS 6-Series Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader – Best Tow-Behind Spreader Below $200
- 9 5. Earthway Commercial 100-Pound Tow Behind Spreader 2170T – The Best Commercial Tow Behind Spreader
- 10 6. Agri-Fab 45-0329 Tow-Behind Spreader – The Best Productive Fertilizer Spreader
- 11 7. Earthway 2050TP Estate Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader – The Best Universal Seed Spreader
- 12 8. Agri-Fab Tow-Style Broadcast Spreader – The Best Lawn Spreader For Small Gardens
- 13 9. Field Tuff Tow FTF-350TST Broadcast Spreader – The Best Heavy-Duty Broadcast Spreader
- 14 10. Yard Commander Secure Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader – The Most Convenient Spreader
- 15 Common Uses for Tow Behind Spreaders
- 16 What Is The Difference Between A Broadcast Spreader And A Drop Spreader?
- 17 How To Use A Tow-Behind Lawn Spreader
- 18 Factors to Consider Before Buying
- 19 Ready To Buy The Best Tow Behind Spreader?
The Agri-Fab 45-0463 is the ideal Tow Behind Spreader for properties of up to 25,000 square feet. It has an impressive 130-pound hopper capacity and a spread width of 10-12 ft. The Agri-Fab 45-0463 also has large pneumatic tires that make transport easy.
What Is A Tow-Behind Spreader?
Gardens, lawns, fields, and other similar areas need to be fertilized from time to time. With this activity, you can improve the nutrition in the soil and get healthier plants, crops, and other weeds.
With the help of a tow-behind spreader, you can spread compost and other fertilizers easily over these fields. These spreaders are usually designed in the form of a wheelbarrow with an impeller dish beneath it.
Tow behind spreaders are designed to spread pelletized fertilizer across a wide field range, as you pull the material behind by using a tractor, mower, or an ATV. These devices save time on lawn fertilization and are used for property maintenance.
How Do Pull Behind Spreaders Work?
When pulling the spreader, its gears move a part called a rotor plate which drops down fertilizer. Gravity then sends the fertilizer through the bottom end of the hopper, controlled by hand levers located on the fertilizer.
They are sometimes located next to the hitch for easy access when operating the machine.
Comparing The Best Tow-Behind Spreaders
|Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader|
|Brinly BS36BH Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader|
|Agri-Fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow behind Drop Spreader|
|Precision Products TBS6000RDOS 6-Series Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader|
|Earthway Commercial 100-Pound Tow Behind Spreader 2170T|
|Agri-Fab 45-0329 Tow-Behind Spreader|
|Earthway 2050TP Estate Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader|
|Agri-Fab Tow-Style Broadcast Spreader|
|Field Tuff Tow FTF-350TST Broadcast Spreader|
|Yard Commander Secure Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader|
1. Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader – Best Overall
In this regard, it features a wide hopper, allowing it to cover a larger area at once. The unit has a capacity of 130 lbs, which ensures that you do not have to refill the hopper every once in a while. The relatively large pneumatic tires fitted onto this unit make it easier to maneuver whenever you are spreading the manure of seeds on your lawn. Being one of the best commercial spreaders available today, this unit is packed with an array of useful features.
The 45-0463 is a broadcast spreader that features a widespread width. In this regard, it can easily cover a width of up to 10 feet. This ensures that you cover the target area faster and more effectively. For enhanced durability, the gearbox on this spreader features aluminum beveled gears.
2. Brinly BS36BH Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader – Best High Capacity Tow Behind Spreader
Again, this unit is considered to be one of the best universal tow-behind spreaders available today. This may be attributed to its universal tow behind the hitch. The hitch on this piece of equipment is designed to fit on most lawn tractors available today. If you are looking for a spreader that is really versatile, this is a great choice. In this regard, you may use this product to spread fertilizer and grass seeds.
Come winter, you may also use this spreader to apply an array of ice melting agents, such as salt and sand. The fact that it is a tow-behind model makes things even easier; you only need to attach it to a lawn tractor and get working. The unit applies the Patented Directional Spread pattern in its functioning. As such, it is able to offer a more uniform spread for all materials it is used on.
3. Agri-Fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow behind Drop Spreader – The Best Drop Tow-Behind Spreader
This tow-behind spreader delivers impressive results because it limits the placement of materials between its wheels. As such, it is a great tool for use in lawns or gardens that have shrubs and other obstacles. As such, the spreader allows you to limit the spreading to only the required area. This is not the case with the various broadcast spreaders available today.
Again, this product features a decent capacity. The 175 lb hopper used in this unit will give you peace of mind, allowing you to cover up to 40,000 sq. ft. for enhanced durability, the agitator on this unit is made of galvanized steel. This not only makes sit resistant to rust, but also easier to clean.
4. Precision Products TBS6000RDOS 6-Series Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader – Best Tow-Behind Spreader Below $200
You will also love the rugged design of this product, which makes it visually appealing and tough enough to withstand harsh conditions. You will find the fingertip controls on this unit easy to reach while seated on the tractor. For enhanced durability, the tube frame used on this spreader features a 1-inch powder coating.
5. Earthway Commercial 100-Pound Tow Behind Spreader 2170T – The Best Commercial Tow Behind Spreader
The 100-pound hopper fitted onto this product features a screen that will break up clumps in seeds or fertilizers you are spreading. This ensures that you get uniform spreading with your Earthway Commercial 100-Pound Tow Behind Spreader 2170T. for enhanced maneuverability, the unit is fitted with treaded pneumatic tires.
6. Agri-Fab 45-0329 Tow-Behind Spreader – The Best Productive Fertilizer Spreader
Furthermore, this Agri-Fab tow-behind machine ensures that you cover more area within less time, as it gives you maximum spread width of 12 feet. To provide seamless traction, it includes large and durable pneumatic tires as well.
The 45-0329 is a decent hopper that also comes with an instructional video guide to give you a headstart at understanding the most productive way of using it in your garden.
7. Earthway 2050TP Estate Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader – The Best Universal Seed Spreader
Its main feature is the “Ev-N-Spred” mode that promises to distribute the fertilizers evenly through a targeted area. That way, you have an accurate pattern for the spread while reducing the chances of wasting the mixture.
A combination of anti-skid tires, accurate controls, and quality gearbox, makes this machine an impressive tow spreader for broadcasting various nutritious materials easily.
8. Agri-Fab Tow-Style Broadcast Spreader – The Best Lawn Spreader For Small Gardens
Additionally, this tow spreader has a rustproof body, which can give you years of usability without worrying about replacements or damages. Agri-Fab is known to design impressive hitches so that you can connect this machine to lawn tractors conveniently.
Operations with this broadcaster can give you a spread width of up to 10 feet.
9. Field Tuff Tow FTF-350TST Broadcast Spreader – The Best Heavy-Duty Broadcast Spreader
Furthermore, it has one of the most adjustable slide openings, which can you can control to suit granular fertilizers and seeds of a multitude of sizes. To support the bulky hopper, it has 15-inch pneumatic tires that give you the comfort of pulling it even on off-road tracks.
The FTF-350TST is a capable spreader that will give you high productivity for prolonged periods for sure.
10. Yard Commander Secure Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader – The Most Convenient Spreader
Further security in this unit is visible through the safety cover, which you can use to cover the hopper. That way, you can keep the spread in it safe from harsh weather conditions.
The 12-inch wheels added to this spreader keep the hopper stable while you pull it with the help of any relevant lawn tractor, ATV vehicle, etc.
Common Uses for Tow Behind Spreaders
These devices are great when it comes to dispersing grass seed, weed control, and inspect repellants. Also, you can use these spreaders to spread salt and melt ice during the winter time.
Another use for spreaders is to haul mulch, compost, already-clipped grass, various weeds, or any other material that needs to be moved across your yard. This will have to be done when the spreader’s bottom closed.
Some spreaders also have the capability to spread organic materials for natural fertilization (if you want to use compost and not fertilizers).
What Is The Difference Between A Broadcast Spreader And A Drop Spreader?
You might have heard of the two types of spreaders available, which are dropped and broadcast spreaders. The difference between the two is based on their operation mostly.
Drop spreaders are mostly designed to lay fertilizer in a targeted zone on a lawn or field. The hopper pours the compost, etc., under the effect of gravity through the hole at its base.
The leaking fertilizer drops down between the wheels of a tow-behind spreader to cover the exact area where you want it. On the other hand, a broadcast spreader includes an impeller attached to a gear, which further links to the wheels.
In these spreaders, the hopper leaks the fertilizer on top of the impeller dish. That keeps rotating and throwing compost in all directions around the area while the unit moves. Thus, in a broadcast spreader, the nutrition is scattered over a larger area.
How To Use A Tow-Behind Lawn Spreader
Follow this step-by-step instructional guide for using your tow-behind lawn spreader the right way.
- Set The Flow Rate – With the help of the flow rate lever, you can set the speed of the spread. Set the dial and lever appropriately so that the fertilizer can exit the hole in the right amount to cover the area.
In short, if the width of the hole is large, more spread will exit from it.
- Inspect The Pattern Of Scatter – Broadcasting lawn spreaders use a rotary mechanism to scatter the fertilizer. However, this pattern needs to be checked before you start using it.
To inspect that, add the spread in the hopper, set the flow lever at a suitable level, and start pulling the tow-behind spreader to see how the spread scatters when it falls on the impeller dish.
Stop after a few steps to see the scattering pattern. It should give you an idea of the area it covers with the spread.
- Use The Spreader – Once all has been set, you can connect the spreader to a garden tractor with a hitch, then start using it. Do make sure that the rotor or impeller is parallel to the lawn surface.
For inclined surfaces, do not fill the spread completely in the hopper, as it might spill out if the hopper lid is not covered. Furthermore, make sure to scatter the fertilizer in the rough or damaged areas first.
- Close the Hopper Holes When Not Pausing In Between – You might want to take a short break while spreading the compost or seeds. If that is the case, then make sure to close the hopper holes with the lever to avoid spilling the spread.
Factors to Consider Before Buying
1. Type of Tow Behind Spreader
Spreaders are comparatively simple pieces of equipment, but you just have to buy the right type of tow behind spreader to get the job done perfectly. Currently, there are two main types of tow behind lawn fertilizer spreaders, as explained below:
- Drop Spreaders
These are some of the commonest types of tow behind spreaders today. So, when are drop spreaders the right choice? If you have trees and shrubs in your garden or lawn, these will be a great choice. Again, these spreaders will also be a great choice for plaiting grass in between your walkways and flower beds.
A considerable number of homeowners today love this type of spreaders because they offer a uniform spread. However, these units can only spread the fertilizer or seeds as wide as their hopper can cover. In this regard, it is highly advisable that you choose the appropriate hopper width, if this is your preferred spreader type.
Another desirable aspect of these spreaders is that their functioning is not influenced by wind. Since these spreaders can only cover the width of the hopper, they are best suited for smaller spaces. Most of the leading experts recommend the use of drop tow behind spreaders for lawns less than 5,000 square feet.
- Broadcast spreaders
Looking forward to covering a larger space at once with your spreader? If so, you need to go for the bets broadcast tow behind spreaders in the market. Also referred to as rotary spreaders, these units are designed to scatter the seeds or fertilizer being spread as far as 8 feet away from the spreader.
However, these spreaders do not offer a uniform spread as the drop spreaders do. In most cases, most of the fertilizer or seeds will get a thicker spread while the areas further away from the spreader get less seeds or fertilizer.
To get a more uniform coverage with such spreaders, you should move them at a steady pace. Again, the performance of these units is affected by wind. As such, you will need a certain level of skills to operate them effectively.
2. Tow-Behind Spreader Capacity
What is the weight capacity of the hopper and frame on your preferred tow behind spreader? For relatively small lawns or gardens, you will not need a large capacity. If you will be using your unit is a comparatively large garden, you may need to get a spreader with a larger capacity. As such, you can cover more space without having to refill the hopper.
What you need to note here is that the weight capacity rating on these units refers to the actual weight the hopper and frame can safely take and not the volume. As such, you will not be able to fit 100 lbs of grass seeds into a 100 lbs spreader.
3. Spreader Materials
If you are working on a limited budget, your choice, in this regard may be very limited. Most of the affordable tow behind-spreaders today feature a lot of plastic components. This is not good for the durability of the entire unit.
For enhanced durability, it is advisable to buy spreaders made of stainless steel. Such units are also great at withstanding harsh terrain conditions. The powdered coating is something you should also consider while choosing for the best tow behind spreader.
Ready To Buy The Best Tow Behind Spreader?
Fertilizer spreaders can help you maintain your property all year round. If you want to keep your lawn healthy and looking great, consider buying a top-rated spreader from a trusted brand, like Agri-Fab or Brinsly.
These units will make seeding and fertilizer application around your lawn or garden a lot easier. Some of these tow behind broadcast spreaders can also be used to spread ice-melting agents in winter.
Are you are looking for durability, affordability, uniform spreading performance, or just ease of use in your new spreader? Then take a look at one of the models reviewed above.
And remember, before buying one, consider factors like durability, capacity, ease of use, and if your spreader will be able to feed your fertilizer type.