I researched and examined the 5 highest rated tow behind spreaders to buy…
If you have a decent sized lawn (1/2 acre or more) and a lawn tractor or ATV, a tow behind spreader is a fast and efficient way to put down seed or fertilizer.
But knowing which model to buy is tricky – there are many options and opinions of which ones are best. I’ve done my best to break down which models offer you the most bang for your buck!
Quick Look: Best tow behind spreaders in 2019
- Agri-Fab 45-0463: best overall tow behind spreader, my top pick
- Brinly BS36BH: high capacity plus excellent consumer reviews
- Agri-Fab 45-0530: quality built, economic model with good warranty
- Earthway 2050TP: best for small lawns & less powerful tractors
- Precision Products TBS6000RDOS: commercial grade, heavy duty construction with lifetime warranty
How We Rated The Spreaders
All of the spreaders above come with some sort of warranty. As a homeowner, most of the warranties included will suffice, but if you plan on using your spreader for commercial use, you should check with the manufacturer to see if that shortens the warranty period.
The Earthway 2050TP has the longest warranty at 5 years, yet all of these spreaders have limited warranties, which means they won’t cover everything.
Most limited warranties only cover actual malfunctions due to something wrong from the factory, not if something breaks after excessive use. However this can vary depending on the manufacturer, so visiting the company’s website and reading the fine print is smart before you make a purchase.
Quality of Spread
Another important rating decision is the actually quality of the spread. After all, that is why you are buying a spreader :).
It’s hard to say if any of the models above have a better spread than the other, but I can say that they do have better consistency of spread vs other models not mentioned. So in this category, I would say they are all about even.
Ease of Use
If you’re ordering your spreader online, chances are there will be some assembly required. I know how frustrating it can be to try and assemble something with poor directions, so it’s important to take a look at how easy they are put together.
The Agri-Fab spreaders have a quick assembly that will take only about 20 minutes, and the Brinly even has an easy to follow, step-by-step assembly video.
Customers have also attested that the Earthway also has an easy assembly, and the Precision spreader should be ready to go in under 30 minutes.
All of these spreaders make it easy to adjust the spread rate through simple hand controls. All the hoppers can also be closed without getting off your lawn tractors seat which saves you time.
Why Should You Buy a Tow Behind Spreader?
While there are many different types of spreaders – such as a hand held spreader or push spreader – the tow behind spreader is a great option for those with a large area to cover.
A handheld spreader is small and easy to store but requires that you walk around and spread the fertilizer or seed on foot which is pretty inconvenient if you have a large piece of property.
While the push spreaders will take the weight off your shoulders, pushing a heavy hopper of fertilizer around your yard for hours is tough work.
A pull behind lawn spreader is really the best way to put down product on a large piece of property.
What To Look For In a Top Rated Model
When looking at pull behind spreaders, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure you get the best model for your yard.
First, you want to look for one made with durable materials that will be resistant to weather and corrosion. Having an enclosed gear-box is a good sign your spreader will be less likely to get damaged from the weather.
You’ll also want to make sure the hitch is compatible with whatever type of tractor or mower you intend to pull the spreader with, and that you can reach the spreader controls easily.
Pull Behind Broadcast Spreader
Tow behind broadcast spreaders use a spinning fan mechanism to shoot the contents from the hopper out in a circular spray as the spreader moves along. This broadcast of seed, fertilizer, ice-melt, etc., allows for even distribution over a large area.
Broadcast spreaders save time and energy by covering a much larger area more quickly than drop spreaders can, but they don’t perform as well in tight spaces.
Tow Behind Drop Spreader
A pull behind drop spreader has benefits as well.
A drop style spreader is ideal in situations where you need more precision to your distribution. While broadcast spreaders send a wider spray, they can also end up causing you to waste your fertilizer or seed in certain areas you don’t want to.
For instance, if you have lots of flower beds, gardens or ponds and don’t want any of the product you are spreading to reach those areas, a drop spreader will only put down product where you drive.
Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Models
The biggest difference you’ll find in the cheap and expensive models of spreaders is the size of the hoppers and the durability of the components.
Cheaper models will be more suited to residential yard work, while the more expensive models will be suitable for commercial jobs requiring more frequent use and constant wear.
Typically cheaper models are built with lots of inexpensive plastics where more expensive models use heavier duty plastics and metal in some cases.
Best Selling & Top Rated Brands
- Precision Products
- Field Tuff
- Streamline Industries
How Much Should I Expect To Pay?
For a quality tow behind spreader, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150-$300 depending on your specific needs.
Tow Behind Spreader Reviews
1) Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Spreader
- Professional & consistent spread
- Sturdy and very well made
- Wide wheelbase to prevent tipping on hills
- sEasy to find replacement parts
- Tube tires can go flat
- Quite a bit of assembly required, but simple
The Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Spreader can cover half an acre before you have to refill with its 130-pound capacity hopper and is quick and easy to assemble. Perfect for fertilizer or grass seed. The enclosed gear-box ensures longevity and both a cover and hopper grate are available for this model. Large pneumatic tires allow for easy mobility throughout the yard. Additionally, Agri-Fab offers a 3-year limited warranty for this spreader. This spreader is my top choice.
2) Brinly BS36BH Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
- Spacious hopper for fewer refills
- Consistent spread
- sEasy to understand assembly instructions
- Can be top-heavy when full and on hills
- Hard to reach controls lever from zero-turn mowers
An excellent choice for evenly distributing everything from fertilizer and seed to ice melt and salt. Brinly’s easy to access calibration controls makes putting down the proper amount of product easy. The enclosed gearbox protects the stainless steel hardware inside from corrosion. On a light application, this spreader can do up to one full acre before refill, and Brinly offers a two-year limited warranty for residential use.
3) Agri-Fab 45-0530 Tow Spreader
- Plastic, rust-resistant parts
- Good customer service
- Quick and easy assembly
- Low price
Materialbeing spread may reach back of tractor/mower
- sSome spread may bounce out of hopper if completely full and on uneven terrain
If you have a smaller yard, the Agri-Fab 45-0530 might be the perfect option for you. Usually one of the most economical options, it will still cover about a quarter acre before you need to refill the hopper. It also comes with a 3 Year limited warranty just in case you run into any issues. The welded frame makes assembly much quicker and easier than earlier models, and the pneumatic tires keep things level and steady as you go. Adjustments are easy with an on/off control that can be accessed from the driver seat of your lawn mower or tractor, and the universal hitch makes it quick to attach.
4) Earthway 2050TP Estate Broadcast Tow Spreader
- Very easy to assemble
High qualitypneumatic tires
- Even spread
- Unstable on hills
- Best for properties of 1 acre or less
Earthway has pioneered the “Ev-N-Spread” system in their broadcast spreaders to make sure the product you are applying goes where you intend it. The 2050TP has large pneumatic wheels that allow you to use it on uneven surfaces and prevent slippage on slick terrain. The hopper can hold up to 80 pounds of seed, fertilizer, ice-melt, etc., and it’s enclosed gear-box ensures durability and a longer lifespan. Agri-Fab offers a 5 Year limited warranty on this model – which is longer than most in its class. This product is great for small to medium sized lawns.
5) Precision Products TBS6000RDOS Tow Behind Spreader
- Suitable for commercial use
- Rain cover included
- Wide wheel base to prevent tipping
- Sturdy controls
- Quick assembly
- Levers unreachable from some tractors
- Works best with granular spreads
- Limited warranty time-frame
With a hopper capacity of 130 pounds, the TBS6000RDOS is durable enough for commercial use and versatile enough to attach to tractors, ATV’s and other similar vehicles. Adjusting between a 10 foot or 12-foot spread is easy from the seat of your vehicle, and the 15-inch turf tires are designed to maneuver well on hills. The Precision Products TBS6000RDOS 6-Series has a powder-coated steel tube frame and is equipped with rust-resistant hardware. It also comes with a rain cover included to protect the hopper contents in wet weather. This spreader comes with a 90-day limited warranty from the manufacturer.
After all of the time I put into researching the best tow behind spreader, I can confidently say that my top choice is the Agri-Fab 45-0463.
The 45-0463 is a fairly priced, has a large hopper, is easy to use and assembly and comes with a solid warranty from a reputable brand.
With the proper usage, care and storage, this product serve you well for many years to come.