The 5 Best Tow Behind Spreaders: 2021 Reviews

If you have a larger lawn or property, routine fertilization can be an overwhelming task with a traditional push spreader.  A tow behind spreader will make this process much easier and efficient.  Our list of the best tow behind spreaders will help guide you through the process of determining the best spreader for your needs.

The best tow behind spreaders

If you are maintaining a large property a tow behind spreader will rock your world.

While, walking a larger property with 50-80lbs of material to spread can be quite a workout with a push spreader, a tow behind broadcast spreader can be attached to most any riding lawn mower or lawn tractors,  including zero turns, by attaching them to the vehicle’s rear hitch receiver.

By adding a drop spreader to your equipment list you will ultimately be able to spread more product efficiently and in significantly less time.

Because tow behind spreaders hold significantly more product, than a traditional push spreader, you won’t have to refill your hopper (the bin that holds the material you are spreading) more than once .

Features to Look for in a Tow Behind Spreader

 When purchasing a tow behind spreader it is important to determine what your spreading needs are. 

Some of the most common uses of tow behind spreaders include:

  • lawn and pasture fertilization
  • seed broadcasting
  • and salt applications for winter

Size

Tow behind spreaders come in various sizes and are measured by the size of the hopper and how much weight in product they can hold.  The weight capacity of these spreaders can range anywhere from 100-200 pound capacities.  For reference most lawn fertilizers come in 50 lbs bags.  Using the weight of a typical bag of lawn fertilizer a tow behind spreader with a 150 lbs hopper will be able to hold three bags of product for applications. 

Attachment Method 

Before making a purchase, confirm that the spreader you want will attach to the vehicle you will use for spreading. 

Most spreaders will use a hitch pin to vertically attach to your vehicle’s receiver which should have a single hole of attachment purposes.  Typically, you will attach your spreader to an ATV, tractor or mower. Depending on which you choose, just be sure that you know how your spreader will be attached.

Hopper Mechanism

The second thing to consider is the mechanism that will open and close the hopper to release the product that you are going to apply. 

Most spreaders have a pull lever that is mounted to the frame of the spreader that you can reach while on your lawn mower or lawn tractor.  It is important to avoid material spilling when once the hopper is open so once the lever is engaged it’s best to start driving and spread immediately. 

Some spreaders only spread once the you are in motion to avoid dumping product when not in motion.  In our experience this is one of the best features to have.

Tow Behind Spreader Reviews and Top Picks

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Chapin 8620B Tow Behind Spreader with Auto-Stop

The Chapin 8620B tow behind spreader stands at the top of our list for good reason.  This 150lb spreader has every feature that you could want in a tow behind spreader.  Our favorite feature is the auto-stop mechanism that will allow products to be spread while in motion and in-turn stop spreading when not in motion.  The auto stop feature will make it less likely that errant spills or over applications will happen.  On top of these great features this unit is well built and will last for many years to come.  The only downside to this spreader is that the manufacturer recommends not using lime or lime based products.

Features You’ll Love

  • 150 lb hopper capacity
  • 14 inch pneumatic wheels
  • Auto stop feature
  • Brass bearings
  • 11 application settings
  • Universal hitch attachment
  • Made in the USA

Agri-Fab Broadcast Tow Spreader

Agri-Fab makes quality homeowner products that are well built and are budget friendly.  Their line of tow behind spreaders come in different sizes to meet your spreading needs.  We like the Agri-Fab line of products due to the quality of the products and their standard 3 year warranty.  Their other tow behind spreader offerings will all operate with a similar hand pull lever that will open the hopper and allow your product to flow.  

Feature’s You’ll Love

  • 110 lbs hopper capacity
  • 10 inch pneumatic tires
  • 10 foot spreading width
  • 10 spreader settings
  • Metal pull lever action controls
  • High quality metal gears
  • Universal hitch attachment
  • 3 year warranty

Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader

Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
  • 130 pound hopper capacity saves time refilling on larger acreage lawns"

Similar to the Agri-Fab 110lbs spreader this 130lb version has all the great features you’d expect from this line.  This model is equipped with larger tires and a greater radius of throw.  An added bonus for this spreader is the provided cover that will decrease products from spilling and allow for applications in inclimate weather conditions.

Features You’ll Love

  • 130 lbs hopper
  • 13 inch pneumatic tires
  • Spreading width of 10-12 feet
  • 10 spreader settings
  • Metal pull lever action controls
  • Quality metal gears
  • Universal hitch attachment
  • Hopper cover included
  • 3 year warranty

Agri-Fab 45-0543 Tow Behind Spiker/Seeder/Spreader

Our final product for Agri-Fab is a little different than to two traditional pull behind spreaders we’ve reviewed.  This is a great multi-functional spreader that also can be used and an aerator with the attached spiker tines.  If you are interested in consolidating the amount of lawn and garden implements you have this is a quality spreader to consider.  The spiked tines will help with aeration as well as seedbed preparation for your seeding projects.  This spreader is also a drop spreader and will release any product directly below the hopper.  This differs compared to broadcast spreads that will throw the product in a radius beyond the spreader.  A drop spreader like this will work great in moderate sized lawn and larger garden areas.

Features You’ll Love

  • 100lb hopper
  • Drop style spreader
  • 32 inch working width
  • 10 inch flat free tires
  • Included spiked aeration tines
  • Metal pull lever action controls
  • Universal hitch attachment
  • 3 year warranty

Buyers Products ATVS100 All-Purpose Broadcast Spreader

This unique spreader is great for ATV’s.  Oftentimes the hitch receiver is too high to properly mount a tow behind spreader behind your ATV.  This product from Buyers solves that problem and allows to effectively spread product around your property without making drastic modifications to your vehicle.  This spreader has a 100lbs capacity and will mount to the rear accessory rack of your ATV.  Included is an enclosed 12v battery that will power the spreader and propel your product.  This spreader is made to stand-up to poor weather conditions and come with a polymer cover to avoid spilling product and protect it from the elements.

Features You’ll Love

  • 100lb hopper
  • Mounts to rear ATV accessory rack
  • Powered by included 12v battery
  • Hopper cover included
  • 1 year limited warranty

Pull Behind Spreader FAQs

What is the best tow behind spreader?

In our experience the best tow behind spreader is the Chapin 8620B 150lbs spreader with Auto-Stop. We like this spreader due to its large hopper with its 150lbs capacity and its unique Auto-Stop system. For us the Auto-Stop system is a game changer and only allows product to spread when you are in motion. This will minimize spillage and is much easier to use than comparable models that use a hand lever to open and close the hopper. Chapin’s products are professional grade and are made from quality components and are built to last.

How do you use a tow spreader?

Begin by hooking up your spreader to the vehicle that you will use to tow your spreader. Attach the spreader by using a hitch pin the will pass through the spreaders tongue and as well as the hitch receiver on your vehicle. Once in place secure the hitch pin with the provided cotter pin.

After your tow behind spreader is attached to your vehicle you can add the material you are going to spread into the hopper. Ensure the hopper’s opening mechanism is closed to avoid spilling. It is also best to add materials into the hopper while on a surface the is easy to clean, like a driveway or road, if you accidently spill your product.

Once your tow behind spreader is attached and filled you are ready to spread your product. It is best to begin in a corner of the area you will be treating. Begin spreading once you reach the area you are going to apply by engaging the hoppers pull handle that is common on most spreaders.

When using a tow behind spreader it is best to perform parallel passes with a slight overlapping broadcast of material. This will ensure an even distribution of material and will help avoid over or under application of certain areas.  When performing your parallel passes it is important to follow alongside your previous wheel mark at a distance between 6-10 feet away, depending on your spreader’s throw.

Once you covered the entire property with parallel passes and you have reached the end of the area in the opposite corner you can close the hopper using the pull handle.

Does Scotts make a tow behind spreader?

Scotts does not make a tow behind spreader. Scotts does make a variety of push spreaders with our favorite being the Scotts Elite 75902 Broadcast Spreader. This spreader will hold around 50lbs of fertilizer or seed and can also spread rock salt. The spreaders settings will be listed on all of Scotts products which makes it user friendly for easy applications. This spreader has pneumatic tires which will increase longevity and makes it much smoother to push compared to Scotts plastic wheeled models.

Conclusion:

A tow behind spreader is a great piece of equipment to have for anyone who has a lot of ground to cover. They will also save you a ton of time when it comes to spreading seed or fertilizer compared to the traditional push-style. Tow behind spreaders can be attached to riding mowers, ATV’s and lawn tractors quickly to get the job done in no time.

More Lawn Care Tips and Tools:

The Best Tow Behind Broadcast Spreaders