Best Pull Behind Spreader

What’s the Best Pull Behind Spreader for Lawns?

Choosing the best pull behind spreader will allow you to save time while fertilizing or seeding your lawn. Not only can a spreader save you time and effort, but it also helps to ensure that the product is evenly distributed, saving you money. For large properties, a towable lawn spreader is a must, and today I’ll share my favorite model, and tell you why I think it will work well for you.

Agri-Fab 45-0463 - The Best Pull Behind Spreader for Lawns

The best pull behind spreader is the Agri-Fab 45-0463, which can handle 130 pounds of seed or fertilizer in a single load, and is made in the USA. This spreader is a great option for getting nice, even coverage over large lawns and is well made and extremely reliable.

This spreader is available for purchase from several retailers. You can check today’s price and comparison shop to find the best deal here:

Depending on the exact needs of your lawn, you may be able to use a hand or a walk-behind spreader. But for the largest lawns, a large-capacity spreader you can tow with your riding mower or ATV will be your best option.

If you’d like, compare it to my full list of fertilizer spreader recommendations. is reader supported. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

What You Need To Look for When Buying A Pull Behind Spreader

Trust and Accuracy Information

This article was last updated on by Lawn Chick Owner Sarah Jameson
Article content reviewed for accuracy by Certified Horticulturist Nicole Forsyth, M.S., and by Horticulturist Arthur Davidson, A.S.

Pull-behind spreaders are a great way to save time when taking care of your lawn. But there are some important things to look for before you buy one.

Pull Behind Spreader

When choosing the right pull-behind spreader, there are a few things that you should consider.

  • Capacity – Look for a spreader that can hold enough material to cover your lawn. The larger the capacity, the fewer times you will have to refill it. Less stops generally means a more even application.
  • Ease of Use – Make sure that the spreader is easy to use and maneuver around your lawn.
  • Type of Material – Every spreader is made differently. Metal hoppers may be stronger, but they may rust out. Look for a durable poly that is strong and has longevity.
  • Durability – Make sure that the spreader is built to last. Consider choosing one with a warranty in case there are any issues.
  • Price – Finally, keep your budget in mind when shopping for a pull-behind spreader. There are a few options available at different prices. Make sure you find one that fits your needs without breaking the bank.

I like the Agri-Fab model highlighted on this page because it checks most of these boxes. It’s durable, easy to maintain, features solid construction, and is available at a great price.

Most importantly, it performs well.

Why Choose A Pull Behind Instead Of A Push Spreader?

Pull-behind spreaders are a great choice for larger lawns and offer several advantages over push spreaders.


Firstly, towable spreaders have higher capacities. This means you don’t need to refill them as often, and they also cover more area in less time.

Pull Behind Spreader vs Push Spreader
While a walk-behind spreader will work for many homeowners, a towable lawn spreader is ideal for homeowners with a lot of ground to cover.

With the right model, you can easily adjust the spreader’s coverage according to your needs.

Push spreaders, on the other hand, take a lot more effort to maneuver around the lawn. They’re great for small and medium-sized lawns because they give you a lot of control. But for larger properties, go with a model you can tow with your lawn tractor or ATV.

If you have a very large lawn (over 3 acres), opting for a spreader that requires power may be a better choice as the spread is wider, meaning fewer passes are needed. There are a few good ones that operate off of a tractor’s PTO for very large jobs.

Anything under 2 acres can quite easily be done with a mechanical spreader that disperses when the wheels turn, like the one mentioned on this page.


Another advantage pull-behind spreaders have is when it comes time to apply your lawn weed killer or weed and feed products and insecticides. These products contain chemicals which can be dangerous.

A tow-behind spreader distributes these products behind you, whereas a walk-behind spreader puts you right in their path, forcing you to walk through the product and the dust from the spreader.

Not ideal, even with the proper PPE (personal protective equipment).

Overall, pull-behind spreaders offer greater coverage and convenience than push spreaders when caring for your lawn, making them a great choice for those with lawns large enough to require a riding mower.

The Benefits of Choosing the Right Size Spreader for Your Lawn

The right size spreader can help you save time and money, as well as ensure an even distribution of the product. A larger spreader will be able to cover a wider area in a shorter amount of time, whereas a smaller one might take longer but be more accurate.

Benefits of Using a Pull-Behind Spreader for Your Lawn

Also, choosing the correct size for your lawn means that you won’t have to refill the spreader as often, saving a lot of time.

It’s important to consider how much material the spreader can hold. Knowing the capacity of your chosen spreader will help you decide if it is best for your needs or if you should look for a larger model.

Opting for a larger capacity in the hopper can also help you with saving money in the long run, as it will allow you to purchase larger quantities at once.

When looking for a spreader, make sure to take into account all of these factors and choose the right size for your lawn. This will help ensure that your lawn care tasks are completed efficiently and effectively.

What Types Of Property Are Better Suited To A Pull Behind Spreader?

Towing a spreader is very impractical for lawns that are anything under a quarter of an acre. Properties that are half an acre to an acre in size (or over) can make use of a tow-behind spreader the most and save a significant effort on the application of products.

What Types of Property Are Best Suited to Owning a Tow Behind Spreader?

On smaller properties, having a push spreader is much more practical as it is lightweight and easy to maneuver, and you won’t be spending much extra time undertaking the process.

However, for larger lawns over an acre in size or properties with undulating terrain, using a pull-behind spreader will be the most efficient way of getting the job done quickly and efficiently.

A pull-behind spreader is best suited to flat land with even terrain to prevent the spreader from tipping over or getting stuck. When these spreaders are used correctly, they can cover a large area in the shortest amount of time.

It’s important to remember that when using these machines, it is essential to follow safety guidelines and ensure you are using the correct size spreader for your lawn. Some models become top-heavy when full to the brim and can be difficult to control.

How Does a Tow‐Behind Spreading Machine Work?

Tow-behind spreading machines are an efficient way to spread products across your lawn. They come in varying sizes and use a spinning disc that throws the material out of the center back of the device.

These machines operate with a gear that connects the wheels to the spinning disc and keeps it at a steady rate of speed, as well as controlling the amount of material that is thrown out.

These machines are designed with safety in mind and require a basic knowledge of how they work to operate them safely. They can be attached to any type of vehicle, including ATVs, UTVs, or lawn tractors, and can be used to spread product across both small and large areas with ease.

When using one of these machines, it is important to adjust the settings for the ground you are working on in order to ensure even coverage. This will help minimize waste and ensure that your lawn looks its best all year round.

Some models offer additional attachments to help narrow the spread, and some offer deflectors that shield the hopper from any moisture, allowing you to operate in wet weather.

Regardless of the model you choose, it is important to always read and follow all safety instructions before operating a pull-behind spreader.

This will help ensure even coverage and minimize waste, as well as protect both yourself and your property from any potential hazards.

Why the Agri-Fab 45‐0463 is my Top Choice

Not only is this tow-behind spreader made in the US, but it is also widely available and has a fantastic reputation amongst its users.

Agri-Fab 45-0463 Pull Behind Spreader Review

The Agri-Fab 45-0463 is available for purchase from these retailers:

The Agri-Fab 45-0463 130 Pound Tow Behind Spreader is the perfect choice for those who need to quickly and evenly spread products across large lawns.

Removable Gearbox

The enclosed gearbox is fully removable, meaning that maintenance access is very easy and straightforward. Some similar spreaders do not have a removable gearbox, so when things go wrong it’s difficult to fix your spreader.

This feature is undervalued by a lot of folks shopping for this type of spreader, but it’s a really valuable feature that will extend the life of the product and make it easier to maintain.

Excellent Hopper Capacity

This spreader also features a large-capacity hopper that can hold up to 130 pounds of material, making it perfect for larger lawns and properties. The unique design of the hopper also prevents any clogging or rain-induced caking inside the unit.

We’ve all probably used a spreader where the last bits of product simply stay in the hopper. It’s annoying, and in my experience this hopper doesn’t have that issue.

The hopper has a capacity suited to half an acre at a time (depending upon the product you’re applying) which means you’ll have to take bigger lawns in sections, but the device won’t end up being top-heavy and unbalanced.

I also recommend dividing up your lawn into sections anyway to ensure proper coverage.

My Love-Hate Relationship with Pneumatic Tires

So, pneumatic tires like the ones the Agri-Fab have have some advantages. They provide a smoother ride while traveling across your lawn – important for spreaders.

A bumpy ride for your spreader will cause extra bursts of material to dump out and jostle free, leading to uneven application, so pneumatic tires are important for any spreader, but especially so for a tow-behind model like this one.

The downside to pneumatic tires is that they always seem to go flat right when you need them. I usually discover these flat tires as soon as I load up the hopper with product, which can be frustrating and make filling the tires tricky.

These tires are pretty high quality, which compensates for this potential issue. I just recommend checking the tire pressure prior to each use (and before adding product to the hopper) to avoid headaches.

The Price

Price is another reason that this is my top choice and the best pull behind spreader.

If you’re applying premium grass seed or fertilizer to your lawn, you can buy this spreader for less than you’re spending on seed or fertilizer for a single application. That makes it a no-brainer.

If you have a little extra in your budget, consider this optional steel grate. It is easily added to the dispersal point on the spreader. For an extra $20 or so, it’s a “worth-it” upgrade that will help with the flow of product.

This can be a “great” option (pun fully intended – sorry, not sorry!) to improve dispersal of grass seed and granular fertilizers.

How To Achieve Even Application Using A Pull Behind Spreader?

If you purchase a tow-behind spreader, having the right approach is going to ensure that your coverage is even and your lawn looks its best.

Tips for Using a Pull Behind Spreader and Getting Great Coverage

The first thing to do is adjust the settings of the spreader so that you are using the correct amount of product for the ground that you are working on. This will help ensure even coverage without any waste.

How to Determine How Much Product to Use

To find how much product you should apply, you’ll need to accurately measure your lawn size. You can do this using my free tool right here:

Demonstration of Measuring a Lawn Using's Lawn Size Calculator

Especially when you’re getting used to using your spreader, I recommend taking multiple passes. It’s easy to make a mistake and apply too much fertilizer in some areas, and too little in others.

I suggest calculating how much fertilizer or seed you need to apply, and then cutting that amount in half.

This makes it easy to take two passes around your yard, traveling in opposite directions.

Tips for Even Application of Fertilizer or Grass Seed

For example, if you need to apply 100 pounds of granular fertilizer to your yard, add 50 pounds to your hopper.

Next, put down a header strip all the way around the outside perimeter of your yard. Follow this by travelling back and forth across the interior of your yard in a north to south direction.

When that’s finished, add the remaining 50 pounds of fertilizer to your hopper. Finally, travel back and forth across your yard in an east-to-west direction.

This way you’re applying the correct amount of fertilizer, but making a nice cross-hatch pattern that ensures nice even coverage:

Spreader Path for the First Half of Your Fertilizer or Seed
Start with a header strip (blue) and north-to-south interior passes. Use half of your fertilizer or grass seed for this route.
Spreader Path for Second Half of Your Fertilizer or Grass Seed
Use the second half of your material traveling back and forth across your lawn in the opposite direction (east-to-west).

Tips on Maintaining Your Tow Behind Spreader

Once you’ve invested in a tow-behind spreader, it is important to look after it properly so that you can ensure longevity and good performance.

It is always a good idea to keep up with regular maintenance and cleaning of your device. After every use, be sure to clean out your hopper and wipe down the outside of the spreader as well.

With the Agri-Fab 45-0463’s removable gearbox, you can thoroughly clean the unit in between uses. This will keep it functioning at its best.

Thorough cleaning is especially important when you are changing between products. You want to make sure there is no residue left over from the previous material.

It can also be a good idea to keep moving parts lubricated where possible. Just be careful to ensure your lubricant doesn’t contact your seed or fertilizer. The lubricant can cause seeds or fertilizer to stick to the spreader or clump up.

Be sure to check and maintain the pressure of your tires regularly. Not only is this common sense, it will actually improve the performance of your spreader. Proper tire inflation helps with even coverage. You won’t end up with patches of product left behind due to unnecessary bouncing of the spreader.

As I mentioned above, I recommend getting into the habit of checking the tire pressure prior to adding product to the hopper.

Final Thoughts

If you take good care of your tow-behind spreader, it will last you for a long time. Its lightweight design makes it easy to clean and maintain and also to store away when not in use.

That’s generally what I look for in a piece of equipment – I want it light enough to move and store easily, and heavy enough to last and handle some abuse. You’ll get it with this pull behind spreader.

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Sarah Jameson’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When - Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.

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