When it comes to spreading seeds and fertilizer over gardens and lawns in an even fashion, nothing beats a broadcast spreader. There are a few types to choose from such as walk-behind, hand-held and tow behind which is the type we’ll be focusing on here.
Specifically, we’ll be focusing on the best tow behind broadcast spreaders that you can get your hands on in the coming days, weeks, months—whenever you’re ready to buy one.
The thing is this kind of spreader can be quite pricey and unfortunately, there are a number of real crappy ones out there. Some have wheel problems, some have gears that are prone to locking up, some have spread rate issues, and the list goes on…
Best Tow Behind Broadcast Spreaders of 2020
The spreaders presented below are on the rather expensive side, but you get what you pay for. Sure you can grab a spreader that costs relatively peanuts, but chances are it’s going to fail on you within a short period of time. So that means you’ll have to go through the hassle of contacting the manufacturer and deal with their customer support.
Perhaps the spreader is not up to scratch because certain parts are defective, which means you’ll need to get the necessary replacement parts and await their arrival at your doorstep. Additional hiccups may happen, and finally you come to a realization that you’re better off returning this cheap, not-worth-the-hassle junk of a spreader.
To avoid this from happening so that your sanity is preserved, you should have a look at the best tow behind broadcast spreaders listed below.
Spyker Pro Series Tow-Behind Spreader Model P30-17520
Agri-Fab Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader Model 45-0463
Brinly Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader Model BS36BH
Field Tuff Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader Model FTF-350TST
Agri-Fab Tow Broadcast Spreader Model 45-0329
One of the above choices can help you apply compost, fertilizer, lime and moss, manure as well sand very efficiently and with minimal hassle. These spreaders are such a joy to use because they help you get things done a whole lot quicker than manual hand-spreading, which is slow and tedious.
Here are details regarding each unit.
1) Spyker Pro Series Tow-Behind Spreader Model P30-17520
Looking for a 100-pound broadcast spreader? Perhaps that’s a little too small for you. So how about a 120-pound one? Still not enough for you? Well then…this 175-pound fantastically constructed tow behind broadcast spreader should meet your needs—we hope!
With such tremendous capacity, this spreader is capable of handling those large tasks with ease. It works really well with no issues at all. The design is good and we like its efficiency.
It’s one of those tools that offers an excellent middle ground—which means a homeowner with several acres of garden or yard can appreciate it because it’s not too big, yet the spreader is sizeable enough for people with much bigger acres of plot to work in.
In fact it’s even suitable for commercial plots and sports fields too. Think about it, a 175-pound capacity is actually pretty massive. It would take more than a single week to apply lime to our garden.
But thanks to this spreader’s substantial capacity however, such task gets done much faster than that. Its convenience and ability to help you finish up those usually time-consuming jobs quickly and safely, makes the tool worth every penny.
The overall quality of this spreader is hard to fault. For instance, some units don’t do well when running over steep slopes simply because they have poor balance as well as stability. If your garden has a steep slope, then such spreader isn’t going to cut it.
Beware as that spreader is sure to tip over which is likely going to push your frustration level to a tipping point. On the other hand, the P30-17520 tow behind broadcast spreader possesses excellent balance and stability.
From our experience, it handles steep slopes well enough—no tipping over, no balance problems. Credit goes to the overall build in particular its well made wheels.
These are pneumatic wheels with high quality construction with a measurement of 13″ x 5.” Thank goodness the manufacturer value quality over all else, so they didn’t end up slapping a couple of good-for-junk wheels—or worse, plastic wheels—on the spreader.
You may think that, Oh top-of-the-line spreaders are generally pricey, so of course all of them come equipped with top-notch wheels. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case! It’s actually no secret that some top-of-the-line units do have wheels of horrendous quality.
We love the on-off lever which gives us complete material flow control without having to get up from our riding mower. A blissful convenience indeed! Now, as far as spread width goes, it’s all good. Its spread width is 8-to-12 feet, and the spreader’s dimensions are 46 x 29 x 35 inches.
So far, this spreader seems to tick all the right boxes, correct? Good built, good performance, convenient, awesome capacity—it’s pretty much flawless, is it not? Okay, not really…
Our only complaint would be the assembling process. It’s not rocket science or anything, but a little complicated at times. The instructions are detailed enough though it still took us a little under an hour to put the whole unit together.
2) Agri-Fab Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader Model 45-0463
Clearly aimed at those who own at least an acre of garden or yard, the 45-0463 130-pound spreader is a well-manufactured, highly convenient broadcast spreader. The built quality is exceptional with tires that are strikingly big, slopes and bumps won’t be able to keep this unit from doing its job—still need to be careful when using this on hilly grounds though!
The gears are constructed of metal and should be greased from time to time using standard automotive grease. It’s vital that you do this so that the gears can hold up for a good number of years.
Some people tend to neglect the greasing part and end up buying replacement gears when they really shouldn’t have to. In fact, we recommend that you grease the wheels as well as axle before using the spreader for the first time.
Anyway while the gears are metal, the gearbox itself is not. It’s actually composed of plastic and can be opened with ease which is a plus. You can put all sorts of fertilizer and seed in this spreader, because it gives you the ability to configure the seed size via an easy to use lever.
Better yet is how you can stop the flow of material anytime you want. The flow adjustment works great, but some quantities of fertilizer won’t discharge due to the spreader tilting forward.
The 45-0463 is a pleasure to use thanks to its sizeable capacity, solid stability, and smooth maneuverability. It’s so satisfying to work on a whole garden that’s several acres in size, and able to get it all done within an hour or two.
Hundreds of pounds of materials like fertilizer, pelletized lime, rye grass and seed can be used within minutes. If you were to use a push type spreader, a single acre of garden or lawn will take hours to get done.
We found the assembling process to be easy. Agri-Fab can always be relied on when it comes to providing clear, easy-to-follow assembling instructions. Putting the whole thing together will probably take you about an hour or so.
The components are high quality. Not only do the nuts feel solid, these are actually self-locking ones which are resistant to loosening.
For us, the only gripe is that the hitch pin doesn’t seem to properly fit into the hole. If you find this to be a problem, try substituting the pin with another item such as a long screw. That said, this is still probably one of the best 130-pound tow behind spreaders on the market.
3) Brinly Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader Model BS36BH
If you appreciate consistency in broadcast spreaders, the model BS36BH by Brinly is as consistent as they come. The spreader is able to spread in a very consistent and even fashion, complete with a controllable lever which allows the user to truly even out the spreading pattern of materials.
Spread a particular material to the left, right or center. You can easily do so because of the spreader’s flexible spread control feature. It’s easy to get a good flow out of this thing because of how well the agitator and bin are designed. The lever is excellently calibrated and works very smoothly.
Also, the BS36BH spreader is tough! The built is absolutely solid and it isn’t something that can be tipped easily due to its rather low center of gravity design. The product designers were really on the ball when they designed this spreader.
This is a tow behind spreader with a 175-pound capacity hopper which means less refilling and faster work completion. You have a 175-pound material you wish to spread over your garden? Just load that up onto the BS36BH and you’re good to go. That’s something you won’t be able to do without the aid of a decent spreader like the BS36BH.
The BS36BH comes with detailed assembly instructions that are totally user-friendly. The images are fully illustrated and crystal clear, and the accompanying instructional texts are as straightforward as they come. Putting it together took us close to an hour.
The added sweetness is the necessary components for putting together the spreader e.g. bolts, nuts, washers, etc are conveniently grouped and labeled on a cardboard panel. Each group corresponds with a specific step of the assembly process. Easy, peasy, Japanesey!
So what’s not to like about this spreader? Well, the lever that enables you to control material flow can be iffy. When in operation, the lever often won’t stay put at the setting we chose. Tying up the lever with an elastic band is an excellent way to counter this problem. That’s about the only problem we have with this particular spreader.
No doubt, the BS36BH is the kind of tow behind broadcast spreader that garden and yard owners dream of. It is clear Brinly put a lot of thought and resources into the BS36BH. It’s tough, stable, saves time, easy to use and easy to put together, but could have been flawless if the lever wasn’t so iffy.
4) Field Tuff Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader Model FTF-350TST
If you own a really huge plot and you’re looking for a super high capacity spreader to get the job done, then the Field Tuff model FTF-350TST fits the bill perfectly. It has a 350-pound capacity hopper! On this list we have 130-pound and 175-pound spreaders and these two capacities are common enough.
But 350 pounds? Wow…This might just be the biggest capacity tow behind broadcast spreader we’ve ever come across. With this tremendous capacity spreader, the wheels are of course pneumatic and are 15 inches each.
As you begin to spread pelletized fertilizer, fine grass seed, or whatever material you wish to spread over your plot, you’ll realize the sizeable wheels can handle reasonably difficult terrains.
The built quality is great and the assembly instructions are easy enough to follow. They are well illustrated with simple to understand wordings. Model FTF-350TST is an undeniably superb extra high-capacity tow behind broadcast spreader for people with very large lawns or gardens.
5) Agri-Fab Tow Broadcast Spreader Model 45-0329
Oh yeah, another well built tow behind broadcast spreader with 175-pound capacity. One look at this slick looking unit and you know you have an outstanding spreader that will serve your garden or lawn for many years to come.
Where do we start? Okay, how about its performance? Is it any good? You bet! In the distribution department, the spreader does not disappoint simply because the broadcast is strong. The spreader itself is solidly built and has a grate for optimal material flow.
It’s a user-friendly spreader with a hopper so hefty, a single fill is often sufficient for working on most home yards and lawns. Nothing beats being able to get the job done in one go without having to stop and refill multiple times, which can get tedious pretty fast.
This hopper really ratchets up the value of this spreader because it’s anti-rust. In addition, it comes with a cover that ensures spreading material always stays dry. The pneumatic tires work like a dream. They are very big, solid and they really stabilize the whole unit.
The tires have ball bearings as well as gear disengage. The latter is vital for making the unit move quickly. Rest assured this spreader can handle some pretty rough grounds. It isn’t the kind that tips over easily. The tire measurements are 15″ x 6″, and the dimensions of the spreader are 43 x 38 x 41 inches.
In terms of assembly, we think that it’s a bit easier than the P30-17520 Spyker model. The assembly manual is excellent with 11 highly detailed, easy to follow illustrations representing 11 assembly steps. The first 10 illustrations contain no instructional text.
The final one however, is accompanied with the necessary instructions that you need to follow properly in order for the spreader’s door to fully shut. Yes, you won’t be able to close the spreader’s door if you don’t follow the instructions, so it’s important that you pay special attention to step number 11.
Once you’ve put it together, you can use it right away and be pleased that like the P30-17520; this unit also lets you use the on/off control while you remain comfortably seated in your riding mower or tractor.
Overall, the level of quality is extraordinary and add in the fact that it’s made in the USA by a company that’s renowned for churning out top-notch lawn and garden products, you’re left with one of the best tow behind broadcast spreaders around.
Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader Maintenance Tips
Make Sure There Are No Loose Fasteners
Take a good look at your spreader every time before using it. You want to make sure there are no nuts, screws and bolts that have become loose due to overuse, or perhaps you didn’t tighten them all that well in the first place. If there are any loose components, be sure to tighten them up.
Make Sure There Are No Damaged or Worn Parts
You should take a good look at the parts too. Worn out or damaged ones should get fixed pronto, or have them replaced if reparation isn’t possible.
Make Sure the Tires Are Well Inflated
Proper inflation in both tires is obviously vital, but also be sure not to over inflate them. You can find the recommended maximum inflation pressure on the side of each tire.
Criteria for Picking a First-Rate Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
Selecting a top-quality spreader for your home or business is important. Yes, we are well aware that finding a champ of a unit can be quite difficult. Plenty of choices as well as brands out there so when it comes to selection, it can get pretty mind-boggling. Luckily, the above list should make things easy for you.
Along with those options, we thought we should lay out a number of criteria in order to help get your hands on the best tow behind broadcast spreader. The first criterion is it should be well-built and be able to handle heavy load.
Next up is it should have wide tire spacing. So the wheels must be big enough and pneumatic, designed to carry full load. This keeps the unit from tipping when going over rough grounds or when making sharp turns.
Get a unit that has a durable gear box, gears and enclosure. Its feeder control is made of material that’s tough, not cheap plastic. This should ensure the unit will be able to hold up for many years. The spreader should be easy enough to assemble. From the above list, we found the Brinley BS36BH to be the easiest to assemble.
Another criterion to consider is that the feeding control can be reached easily from your lawn tractor’s seat. This enables you to turn on or off the spreader without hassle. Also, the volume adjustment should be reachable from your tractor’s seat. Heck even without looking, you can adjust it easily.
Capacity-wise, 175-pound spreaders are the preferred choice of many homeowners. This capacity provides a real nice balance between too little and too much. If you want to go capacity-crazy, the 350-pound capacity Field Tuff FTF-350TST should do the trick.
Should You Invest In a Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader?
If you own a very small yard, then obviously there is no need to splash the cash for a tow behind broadcast spreader. It’s not necessary as a hand spreader should be more than enough to sort things out. A hand spreader can be adjusted according to the volume of fertilizer that you like to discharge over your lawn or garden.
All you have to do is walk along your lawn and hand-crank the spreader, which is a bit boring compared to zipping about in a riding lawnmower with a broadcast spreader in tow. Still, it’s a better approach than hand-broadcasting because the latter is less precise.
Whether you opt for a tow behind or a hand-cranked spreader, they both work using the same principles. Both types of hoppers have cone-like shapes and seed, fertilizer, etc are placed in the hopper. The material slides down the cone and gets broadcasted by a revolving fan-blade kind of appendage.