Best Tow-Behind Spreaders: Large Capacity Hoppers for Large Lawns - Backyard Boss
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Best Tow-Behind Spreaders: Large Capacity Hoppers for Large Lawns

    Agri-Fab Tow-Behind Spreader

    IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of our late Spring 2021 update, it can be really tough to find tow-behind spreaders in stock anywhere. Several of our choices below are sold out or will take one to two months to receive. If you need one now, we recommend checking the Agri-Fab store on Amazon and picking a model that's expected to ship out quickly. Agri-Fab has a strong reputation for functional, durable, and reasonably-priced products, and their 130-pound model is our top pick.

Staying on top of maintenance is a key duty of every property owner. Not only will the land look its best, but it will also maintain its value.

Large properties require special products, including a high-quality tow-behind spreader that can attach to an ATV, tractor, or mower. Beyond lawn care, you can use a spreader to disperse sand, ice melt, and similar products. This multi-season usability makes it worth investing in one of the best tow behind spreaders designed for use with larger properties. Your lawn and walkways will look their best all year long.

Backyard Boss Top 5 Tow-Behind Spreaders for 2021

byb2-table__imageBest All-Season Spreader PickBest All-Season Spreader PickAgri-Fab 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
  • Width of spread: 12 feet
  • Capacity: 130 lbs
  • Good For: Large acreage, heavy workloads, all-season spreading ability
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byb2-table__imageBest Spreader for Commercial UseBest Spreader for Commercial UseBrinly BS36BH Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
  • Width of spread: 12 feet
  • Capacity: 175 lbs
  • Good For: Large yards, all-season use, durable use
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byb2-table__imageBest Large Residential Lawn ChoiceBest Large Residential Lawn ChoiceCraftsman 110-lb Tow Broadcast Spreader
  • Width of spread: 10 feet
  • Capacity: 110 lbs
  • Good For: Large acreage and other seasonal uses
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byb2-table__imageMost Durable, Large Capacity HopperMost Durable, Large Capacity HopperJohn Deere 175 lb.Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
  • Width of spread: 12 feet
  • Capacity: 175 lbs
  • Good For: Serious terrain, all season use, regular pulling on all surfaces
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byb2-table__imageBest Value OptionBest Value OptionAgri-Fab 110lb Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
  • Width of spread: 10 feet
  • Capacity: 110 lbs
  • Good For: Smaller estates
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byb2-table__imageBest Commercially Built Design for Residential UseBest Commercially Built Design for Residential UseYard Commander 125LB Tow Behind Spreader
  • Width of spread: 12 feet
  • Capacity: 125 lbs
  • Good For: All season control, durable use, residential areas
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Why You Can Trust Us

At Backyard Boss we use, review, and write about backyard tools of all types. Most importantly, when we don’t know something, we ask experts. I have a two-acre backyard, which is right about the tipping point when a tow-behind becomes a better option than a regular push spreader, so I’ve tried it all. I also spoke to several landscaping companies to learn about what brands they trust for reliability and durability for larger estates.

Best Overall Mix of Capacity, Durability, and Price

Agri-Fab 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
    This is a great choice for uneven terrain, and the accessories that work with the spreader makes it ideal for commercial use as well.



Agri-Fab is a well-known and trusted name in the agricultural industry due to its quality products that stand the test of time. This pull behind broadcast spreader has a 130-pound capacity and universal mount for easy hook-up and use over large acreage. The 12-foot-wide spread is also helpful for all-season use and is capable of handling all small spreadable materials.

Easy maneuverability, a large wheelbase, and simple controls you can reach make the use of the machine efficient and problem-free. It also has pneumatic tires to take on rough terrain, making this a very stable product indeed. Optional accessories allow you to use it all year for a variety of needs and to provide even more control.

Best for High Capacity Spreading

Brinly BS36BH Tow Behind Spreader
    Large properties that need good control and rate of spread, as well as commercial businesses, should seriously consider this product.



The Brinly Tow Behind Spreader has a huge 175-pound hopper and is designed for large yards and provides up to a 12-foot spread. It is also made to handle a wide variety of spreadable products, making it an excellent choice for all-season use as well. The hopper is rustproof and the gears are fully enclosed to help keep it serviceable and lasting through the years.

Directional pattern spread control makes this ideal for all sorts of terrain and commercial use, plus the pneumatic tires allow for pulling stabilization. The universal hook-up also makes it easy to use with any ATV, tractor, or mower that allows this type of product use.

Best for All-Season Use

Craftsman 110-lb Tow Broadcast Spreader
    A great option for large residential lawns. It is considered efficient, easy to adjust for various materials, and great for all-season use.



Craftsman is a long-standing, residential name due to years of quality products backed by a strong brand name. This spreader has a universal hitch for easy hookup and has large 10-inch pneumatic tires to handle terrain differences without affecting your rate of spread. A 110-pound capacity hopper has a maximum 10-foot broadcast spread, which is less than some of our other picks.

Heavy-duty steel gears and a rust-proof plate and hopper ensure you will get many years of use out of this product. It also is great for all-season use to spread other materials and well as haul things around your property.

Best Heavy-Duty Premium Model

John Deere 175lb Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
    Perfect choice for anyone who expects to get heavy duty use out of their spreader. The durable hopper and protected gears make it ideal for all-terrain and seasonal use.



John Deere has long been known for its quality farm and property maintenance products. Their 175-pound capacity tow behind spreader is no exception as it is built with heavy-duty use in mind and is designed to last. It’s a beast– heavy when loaded– so make sure it’s well-secured when full. The hopper won’t rust or dent, and the gears are enclosed to avoid rust or dings that may occur as it is pulled behind a vehicle. The rate of spread is fully adjustable and can cover up to 12 feet at a time, but as little as 2 feet when you need more control.

This also has an automatic auto-flow stop for when you stop your vehicle to avoid waste. Plus, it can spread much more than fertilizer and is a great option for grass seed, weed, and bug control, as well as ice melt. The hopper is more than capable of hauling large amounts of yard material from one place to another as well.

Best Value Option

Agri-Fab 110lb Tow Style Broadcast Spreader
    Another Agri-Fab, this one the 110-pound model is as durable as its big sister.



This is the lighter-weight, lower-capacity model from Agri-Fab. It’s our pick for best value– still well-constructed, still sturdy, still gets the job done– but it’s smaller and cheaper than the bigger, badder models. We’d use it for 2 – 5 acre yards. Some users have said that it’s tough to assemble; plan to set aside an hour or so.

A Final Alternative

Yard Commander 125-pound Tow-Behind Spreader
    This is a great residential choice although it is durable enough for commercial use. The controls for various spreadable materials make it an efficient product as well.



12-inch pneumatic wheels define this Yard Commander, 125-pound pull behind broadcast spreader. It is made for terrain use and with heavy-duty aluminum, gear can handle any sort of spreadable material you need it for. The corrosion-resistant hopper makes it an ideal choice for all-season use as well, especially since it has controls specific to the material you are spreading.

The durability of the spreader makes it a consumer favorite and is an efficient tool for getting your spreading job done quickly. Designed for residential areas, it also maneuvers well behind your towing machinery.

Keeping Your Property Looking Its Best

Man with lawn mower focus on the grass

Keeping your property looking its best helps keep its value. Lawns, in particular, need some specific attention, such as regular watering and mowing to help stimulate root and leaf growth. It also should be fed on a regular schedule based on the type of grass you have due to their long-season, vigorous growth patterns. The best fertilizers can help the growing roots get the nutrients they need to keep your lawn looking green and lush.

Come winter, you also may want to help keep your driveway and walkways clear of snow and ice. Spreading ice melt helps keep any accumulation under control to avoid slick areas that can be hazardous to both people and vehicles. Cleared pathways during cold, snowy months also help your property looking its best.

If you have garden beds then you know exactly how much effort you have put in amending soils, spreading mulch, and hauling off weeds. Crisscrossing your property may be great exercise, but it can also be exhausting, but to keep your place looking cleaned up and to highlight your carefully chosen plants, this is a regular necessity.

What Is a Tow-Behind Spreader?

an operator using the lever that connects to a tow behind spreader

A tow-behind spreader can help make all of the described tasks above much easier, and enjoyable. These spreaders are usually a type of broadcast spreader (slightly different than a drop spreader- see below) which is designed to spread pelletized fertilizer across a wide swath as you pull it behind an ATV, tractor, or mower. They make short work of lawn fertilization and are incredibly versatile for all-season, property maintenance.

As you pull them the gears turn a rotor plate that distributes fertilizer that is placed in the hopper. Gravity feeds the fertilizer through the bottom of the hopper, which you can control through some simple levers that are located either on the machinery itself or along the hitch for you to reach while you drive.

Popular Uses of a Tow-Behind Spreader

A Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader in action

They are excellent for spreading grass seed, insect control, and weed control as well, plus ice melt is easily distributed in the winter. When you close off the hopper bottom you can also use it to haul weeds, mulch, compost, grass clippings, or anything else that needs to be moved across your property. Some may even allow you to spread fine organics for natural fertilization processes (i.e. using compost instead of fertilizers).

What to Consider When Choosing a Tow-Behind Spreader

First off, consider whether you want a broadcast style or drop style. Generally, there are many more broadcast models to choose from compared to a drop-style model, but if you need absolute precision in your fertilization, then you may want to consider a drop style.

Also, consider your property size. A larger property may indicate the need for a larger hopper to avoid having to constantly stop to refill. Also, pay attention to the maximum width of spread in order to cover as much ground as possible in one pass if efficiency is a concern.

If you are comparing a tow-behind with a push or handheld spreader, consider the amount of material it can hold as well as the effort it will require you to get it to spread. There are many large capacity push spreaders that are designed for larger lawns and uneven terrains, but they do require you to push them, rather than pull behind. This means that you will have to accommodate the weight of your spreadable material as well during this process.

Use Your Spreader All Year Long

Tow-behind spreaders are an excellent option for all-season property maintenance. They are designed for durable use over rough terrain, and most provide control for a wide variety of spreadable materials in any weather. Investing in one of the top choices above is sure to help you get your lawn taken care of in record time, and help you finish off other maintenance jobs no matter what time of year it is.

We recommend the Agri-Fab 130-pound tow-behind broadcast spreader because it offers great bang for your buck. The hopper holds a good amount of product, you can use it year-round, and it’s built to last.

If you have used any of the above products, we’d love to hear of your experiences below. The same goes for any additional information you may be seeking about a tow-behind spreader. Let us know your thoughts below, and, as always, please share!

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