Maintaining large areas of land calls for heavy-duty lawn-care equipment and vehicles.

This is particularly true when it comes to laying down fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides over sizable acreage.

You’re certainly not going to get very far with a manual spray bottle while on foot.

You need something a bit more industrial, and that’s where tow-behind sprayers come in.

Essential for the upkeep of large lawns, vegetable patches, crops, and more – along with your garden vehicle of choice they will help you get the job done.

Read on for our review of the best tow-behind sprayers on the market, with a buyer’s guide to follow.

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What is a Tow Behind Sprayer?

We’ve already covered the best tow-behind spreaders for your lawn and garden, which are used to distribute dry, granular products and seeds around your property.

Essentially, tow-behind sprayers are the same – but for liquids.

When you need to use liquid fertilizers and feeds to cover large areas, a tow-behind sprayer is the perfect choice.

It can also be used for controlling weeds and pests, by using liquid herbicides and pesticides.

tractor with a tow behind sprayer

In the winter, sprayers can be used to dispense de-icer over large areas to help keep you moving and avoid the big freeze.

And of course, you can simply fill it with water to give thirsty lawns and plants some much-needed hydration through a hot summer.

The unit comes on a trailer and hitches to the back of a lawn vehicle, such as one of these awesome riding mowers for rough terrain.

And the best models come with a spray wand and hose, so you can spot treat areas around your property without the need to carry heavy backpacks or tank bottles by hand.

Tow Behind Sprayers – What to Look Out For

Before diving into the reviews and our more detailed buyer’s guide below, let’s take a brief look at the things you should be considering when you’re in the market for a tow-behind sprayer.

First – do you need one? Tow-behind sprayers are best suited for covering areas over half an acre. If you already have a utility vehicle, lawn tractor or similar machine – it’s likely you could benefit from a pull sprayer, too.

Do you need a spot or broadcast sprayer? Choose a broadcast option if you need to cover a large area, and a spot sprayer if you need to accurately treat specific areas. Good tow-behind sprayers will offer both.

Next, you should decide on the capacity. How much product is it capable of holding and is that going to be efficient for the size of area it needs to cover?

Consider the spray boom, wands, hose length, and nozzles. What is going to meet your needs?

The hitch hardware and tires are important – make sure everything is compatible with your vehicle, and capable of tackling your terrain.

Finally, consider your budget – as these units are surprisingly expensive. Make sure your purchase matches how much you’re going to use it.

The 8 Best Tow Behind Sprayers for 2021

Ironton Tow-Behind Trailer Broadcast and Spot Sprayer

Considering this is classed as a budget-friendly tow-behind sprayer, Ironton have made a quality piece of equipment here that is more than capable of getting the job done.

It offers a 13-gallon capacity, with a pump that is capable of spraying one gallon per minute, with a 12 Volt DC motor. Designed with chemical-resistant components for long life and performance, you can enjoy both broadcast and spot spraying functions to cover lawns, fence lines, and tree tops, with a 40-inch spray width.

The oversized opening makes it easy to fill, while the drain filter makes it easy to empty. And the rugged tank is UV resistant, so it’s not going to suffer sun damage when out there all day long.

Pros

  • Affordable price point.
  • Durable construction.
  • Molded gallon marks on the tank.
  • Highly rated.
  • Compatible with most pesticides.
  • Adjustable spray nozzle.
  • Remote switch.

Cons

  • The tires aren’t the best and might need to be replaced or upgraded.

Conclusion

Packed with practical features and offered at a great price point, this is a solid choice – especially when you consider how expensive these things can get. A genuinely good pull behind sprayer for the money, and you should check out this article on the best hose carts for more quality options from Ironton.

Chapin Mixes On Exit Tow Behind Sprayer

Chapin Mixes On Exit Tow Behind Sprayer

Here’s an ingenious solution if – like many gardeners – you’re concerned with mixing chemicals and water, contaminating tanks, and/or spraying the wrong thing in the wrong place.

Mixes on Exit is Chapin’s clever spray system – which does exactly that, keeping water and chemical concentrate separate, saving on waste, and preventing cross-contamination.

You can even purchase additional tanks, so you only ever have to keep one concentrate in one tank and switch them out when required. Capable of a two gallon concentrate and 25 gallon water capacity, it offers a 2.2 GPM rate, with a switchable boom and spot spray function.

A drain cap allows an easy empty, while in tank filters prevent clogging, and it’s towable on most yard vehicles.

Pros

  • Affordable price point.
  • Durable construction.
  • Molded gallon marks on the tank.
  • Highly rated.
  • Compatible with most pesticides.
  • Adjustable spray nozzle.
  • Remote switch.

Cons

  • The tires aren’t the best and might need to be replaced or upgraded.

Conclusion

Packed with practical features and offered at a great price point, this is a solid choice – especially when you consider how expensive these things can get.

A genuinely good pull behind sprayer for the money, and you should check out this article on the best hose carts for more quality options from Ironton.

NorthStar ATV Broadcast and Spot Sprayer

Not necessarily a “tow-behind” sprayer, this Northstar product is for use with an ATV or similar utility vehicle. It offers a 26-gallon capacity, with a 12 Volt motor capable of 2.2 GPM flow, with an “on-demand” pump that generates an impressive 70 PSI.

The motor itself is oversized and consistent, with no downtime necessary for cooling. Valves are manufactured from a chemical-resistant material called Viton, so you can be sure of long life operating at peak performance, while the santoprene diaphragm is also highly durable and effective.

And the deluxe trigger spray gun and pressure gauge allow you to fine tune whatever you’re dispensing for sweeping coverage or accurate spot treatment.

Pros

  • Large 40 ft spray swath.
  • Adjustable boom height.
  • Molded gallon markers.
  • Tough, durable construction.
  • Easy-fill lid.
  • Easy grip handles.
  • 15-feet of hose.

Cons

  • None to speak of.

Conclusion

If you’re rocking an ATV when it comes to yard and lawn maintenance, then this spraying option from Northstar should definitely be on your radar. Packed with features and capable of excellent coverage, but then you’d expect nothing less from these guys.

Precision Products TCS25 Spot Sprayer

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly spraying option, then this ATV tank is worth your consideration. With a 25-gallon capacity, this spot sprayer has a 12 Volt motor and pump that offers 60 PSI and 1.8 gallons per minute.

Also available in a more compact 15-gallon version, it comes with a 12-inch spray wand with thumb control, which helps prevent fatigue compared to some trigger sprayers.

A drain plug is built into the tank for easy clean up, and the heavy-duty poly tank and sprayer comes fully assembled – so you’ll be setup and working in no time.

Compatible with any cart or tractor with a 12 Volt battery, this offers accurate, isolated distribution of water, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides.

Pros

  • Affordable price point.
  • Highly rated.
  • Easy-to-clean
  • Compatible with any vehicle.
  • Tough, durable construction.
  • Molded gallon levels.
  • 15-ft hose.
  • Detachable power harness and battery clamps.

Cons

  • No broadcast spraying function.

Conclusion

A perfect alternative to lugging a backpack sprayer behind you, let your ATV do all the heavy-lifting.

Easy to mount on just about any garden vehicle, the only downside is that it’s only for spot spraying and doesn’t come with a broadcast option – but not everyone needs that feature, anyway.

Brinly-Hardy Tow-Behind Self-Storing Lawn Sprayer

Brinly-Hardy Tow-Behind Self-Storing Lawn Sprayer

Brinly-Hardy began manufacturing lawn care equipment over 180 years ago, so you would expect them to get a few things right by now.

And they certainly do with this 15-gallon tow-behind lawn spreader, which features extendable booms with dual nozzles for a versatile spray pattern and a swath of up to 70-inches. Never-flat 10-inch tires can tackle most terrain, while the included spray wand comes with a 12-foot hose for those hard-to-reach areas.

It’s also a self-storing unit, designed to make the most out of limited space, and doesn’t take up much room when not in use.

The high performance 40 PSI pump offers one gallon per minute distribution, so you can get the job done faster, and there’s a dual filtration system for longevity.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • Translucent tank with oversized fill cap.
  • Collapsible booms for storage.
  • Hitch pin included.
  • Rust-resistant construction.
  • Large spray swath.
  • Durable, heavy-duty build.

Cons

  • Can be a hassle to assemble.

Conclusion

More top-quality garden and lawn-care equipment from one of the best names in the business, this Brinly-Hardy sprayer won’t let you down. And you can take a look at this article on the best lawn rollers for additional quality products from BH and more.

John Deere LP19479 Tow Behind Sprayer

From one iconic brand to another, this 25 gallon, tow-behind sprayer comes from one of the top names in agriculture, farming, and forestry equipment. John Deere introduce this unit that’s particularly suitable for covering residential and small commercial properties.

A 60-inch folding spray boom offers a generous 90-inch spray swath – which is one of the widest coverages of any tow behind sprayer in its class. Three spray nozzles are included for adjustable patterns, and the 19-foot-long hose with wand allows you to cover trees, shrubs, and bushes with ease.

Streams of up to 30 feet are achievable, while the heavy-duty tires and low profile ensures it’s super-stable when traversing uneven terrain.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • Brass spray tips.
  • 100 PSI pump.
  • Check valves prevent dripping.
  • Easy electrical hook-up.
  • Intuitive control valve.
  • Translucent tank with molded indicators.
  • Storage supports for when not in use.

Cons

  • On the more expensive side.

Conclusion

Another world-class product from John Deere, with a rugged, durable, and dependable tow-behind sprayer that’s capable of light commercial work.

And if you still need something to pull it, take a look at this article when JD goes up against Husqvarna and Cub Cadet lawn tractors to see who comes out on top.

Workhorse Trailer Sprayer for Lawn Tractors

Workhorse Trailer Sprayer for Lawn Tractors

If you need to cover an acre of land and above, then you’re going to need a commercial-sized tow-behind sprayer to handle it. This Workhorse trailer option carries a huge 60 gallons of product, and can be towed behind any yard vehicle.

It has a spray coverage of 140-inches, and can achieve an impressive five gallons per minute distribution with its 12 Volt motor. The boom has seven nozzles and can be folded for storage or to negotiate obstacles, and the spray wand has a pistol grip for comfort and comes with a 25-foot hose for those hard-to-reach areas.

Built like a tank, this is a seriously heavy-duty piece of equipment for heavy-duty landscaping maintenance.

Pros

  • Solid, durable construction.
  • Premium-quality materials.
  • Handles rough terrain with ease.
  • Pressure gauge.
  • 96-inch wiring harness.
  • All-steel powder-coated frame.
  • Highly rated.

Cons

  • Very expensive.

Conclusion

For commercial-sized jobs you need a commercial-sized sprayer, and this 60-gallon option is a great choice. One of the best pull behind sprayers for two acres (and more) on the market.

NorthStar Tow-Behind Trailer Boom Sprayer

Just to give you another behemoth option, we finish the review with this 61-gallon tow-behind sprayer from Northstar. As one of the most reputable companies for sprayers, you would expect them to have a commercial-grade product in their locker.

The heavy-duty tank has extra thick walls and is both chemical and UV resistant, so it should operate at peak performance for many seasons to come. With a maximum 60 PSI and a 5.5 GPM, it’s one of the most powerful sprayers in the review, and capable of an 11.7 foot broadcast pattern.

The wand can eject product up to 22 feet vertically and 33 feet horizontally, and the inner diaphragm and valves have been fully treated to withstand just about any chemical you care to put in it. Within reason, of course.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • Solid, rugged construction.
  • 10 foot boom.
  • Powerful performance.
  • Versatile controls and fine tune spraying.
  • Durable steel frame and heavy-duty tires.

Cons

  • One of the most expensive tow-behind sprayers out there.

Conclusion

Another excellent tow-behind sprayer for large areas, Northstar has knocked it out of the park with this one – which you would hope considering the price point. Still, this is on another level and one for serious garden and lawn-care enthusiasts only.

How to Choose the Best Pull Behind Sprayers – A Buyer’s Guide

There are plenty of bells and whistles on pull-behind sprayers that you should understand before adding to cart.

Let’s explore what you should be looking out for.

Type of Sprayer

I’ve included tow-behind and vehicle mounted sprayers in this review, and the type you choose depends on your own circumstances, and the kind of machine you’ll be using.

If, for example, you have something like one of these awesome commercial zero-turn mowers (and you should check them out at that link) then a tow-behind sprayer with compatible hardware would be best.

For ATVs and smaller utility vehicles, you can use a tow-behind option, but you can also consider a vehicle-mounted sprayer for your loadout.

Vehicle-mounted sprayers have the advantage of not requiring an extra set of wheels or tow frame, but they typically don’t hold as much product as the larger, more heavy-duty tow-behind models.

Additionally, you should consider if you need a broadcast or a spot sprayer – or a two-in-one option.

Broadcast sprayers are for covering larger areas with product – which is ideal for blanketing lawns or crops with whatever liquid is required.

Spot sprayers target specific plants and areas, and are essential if you need to treat a problem while keeping the chemicals away from desirable vegetation.

Capacity

The size of your spray tank is important when it comes to how much ground you’re able to cover – without the need to refill.

Obviously, the larger the tank, the more you can get done in one sitting.

Most residential tow-behind sprayers are offered at 15-gallon and 25-gallon capacities, but there are some models that go as high as 60 gallons and more.

One gallon of liquid will cover about 1000 square feet, so it would take 44 gallons of product to cover one acre without a refill.

Of course, this depends on how fast you’re traveling, and the pressure and spray capabilities of the device you’re using.

Figuring all this out can be a bit of a headache (especially if – like me – you’re not very good at math).

But you can use this extremely helpful resource from the US Department of Agriculture for the calibrations, calculations, and conversions for all your spraying needs.

Booms and Wands

Booms are the bars that broadcast product from the back of your vehicle. The longer the boom, the wider the swath of product and the more ground you’ll cover with each pass.

Look for booms that have adjustable nozzles, so you can not only cover a lot of ground, but tailor the spray pattern to suit.

Wands are devices that you use to spot treat areas for targeted product distribution. They’re designed for use in areas you need to be highly accurate – such as around flower beds or vegetable patches.

You can purchase tow-behind and vehicle mounted spreaders with booms, with wands, and with both features.

I would suggest choosing a sprayer with the versatility of both, as even if you don’t need one or the other – at least you have the option.

Hose Length and Nozzles

Good sprayers will come with a selection of nozzles, or you can purchase add-ons aftermarket if you need something that will offer a different spray pattern.

At the very least, look for a nozzle that offers a dual spray of mist and jet, but the following nozzle types are also available.

Fan tips are for general spraying flat areas, such as along pavements and walkways.

Quick tip: Cone tips generate a conical spray pattern that can be adjusted as desired for wide or narrow distribution. Ideal for dispensing product evenly over a large area.

Mist nozzles use air to spray a fine mist from the wand, which is ideal for controlled distribution over a medium-sized area.

Jet stream shoots an accurate liquid jet and is more suitable for when you’re cleaning up, or if you need to hit something that’s out of reach.

And speaking of clean up, try these lawn sweepers for keeping your yard nice and tidy.

Don’t forget about wand and hose length. The longer the hose, the further your reach, and longer wands are good for reaching into nooks and crannies if need be.

Choose long hoses and wands if you have areas that are a challenge to get to, such as when you’re climbing a ladder to dispense product at height.

Pumps and Pressure

Tow-behind sprayers come with on-board pumps that you hook up to a battery. The higher the PSI, the more powerful the sprayer will be in distributing liquid product.

Some sprayers will come with a pressure gauge, which is handy for keeping tabs on how the sprayer is operating, and if you need to fine tune it to suit your needs.

Sprayers that have a lower pressure will not be as accurate as high pressure models. A dip in pressure will mean a reduced spray power.

A diaphragm might also be present inside the tank sprayer itself, which is used to pressurize the container and eject the product.

Pumps and diaphragms should have some kind of protective coating that prevents chemical wear and tear.

Tires and Hitch Hardware

If you’re using a tow-behind sprayer rather than a vehicle-mounted option, you should make sure that the tires are suitable for your terrain.

Look for no-flat versions that don’t require air if you’re concerned about maintenance and upkeep. Tires with good tread are preferable if you have hilly terrain to negotiate.

While most sprayers will come with universal hitch hardware, it’s always worth checking to see if it’s compatible with your machine.

Tow-behind sprayers are suitable for lawn tractors, ATVs, UTVs, and even zero-turns, so you should check out this article on the best budget-friendly zero-turn mowers for a pleasant surprise.

Cost

Quality tow-behind sprayers are surprisingly expensive – which just goes to show that there’s more to these products than simply a plastic tank and a spray wand.

Sprayers with 60 gallon tanks and above are particularly pricey, which matches their commercial-grade capabilities and hardware.

Always buy the best you can afford, and make sure you choose the right size tow-behind sprayer for your particular needs.

There’s no point having an expensive 60 gallon unit if you’re not going to use it, or if you only have a small yard to cover.

FAQ

Who makes the best tow-behind sprayer?

There are plenty of reputable brands out there manufacturing quality tow-behind sprayers – and it’s difficult to choose the best one.

Remember, what might be good for me might not work for you.

Just about all the brands in this review could lay claim to making the best product, but I would say John Deere, Brinly-Hanly,

Northern Star, and Workhorse are all vying for the top spot.

And that Mixes-on-Exit sprayer from Chapin would also be a worthy winner. I think that would be my personal choice if I had the land.

How many gallons does it take to spray one acre?

If we go with the tried and trusted equation that one gallon will cover 1000 square feet, then you will need 44 gallons to cover an acre.

Check out this video below for tips and advice on how best to calibrate a tow-behind sprayer, and ensure you’re not wasting any product or coming up short.

What type of vehicle do I need for a tow-behind sprayer?

You can pretty much use any yard vehicle with a tow-behind spreader, providing it has the right hitch hardware – which they should all come with.

Lawn tractors, ATVs, UTVS, and zero-turn mowers can all pull tow-behind sprayers, while some machines can carry the tank on the back of the vehicle.

Look for products that have a universal hitch pin or attachment if you’re in any doubt, or the relevant hardware to secure a spray tank onboard.

And while you’re at it, check out this article on the different types of lawnmower you can use for your property – you might find you’re using the wrong one, and could easily upgrade to a new, versatile vehicle.

What is the best tow-behind spreader?

If you’re looking for a unit that distributes dry product, then you’re in the wrong place.

Thankfully, you can find the best tow-behind spreaders at that link, so head on over there if that’s what you’re in the market for.

How do you clean a tow-behind sprayer?

Good question. It’s very important that you thoroughly clean your spray tanks after use – unless you’re intending to store one product in it until it’s been used.

The video below focuses on handheld and backpack sprayers, but the same information can easily be applied to tow-behind tanks as well.

Do I need to wear PPE when using a tow-behind spreader?

Whenever you’re handling dangerous chemicals and liquids, it’s important you pay attention to safety.

While it’s not necessary to deck yourself out in a Hazmat suit for tow-behind spraying, I would suggest you at least wear a pair of suitable gloves, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and close-toed shoes.

Eye protection is also a good idea – especially when filling the tank and using open chemical containers. Even the slightest accidental splash might cause some serious damage.

Follow all instructions to the letter, and remember to keep pets and children indoors until safe to be let back out into the yard.

Summary

Maintaining a large garden is certainly not without its challenges, but with the right tools and equipment, you can create a beautiful outdoor space for everyone to enjoy.

Let me know which of the best tow-behind sprayers you’ve decided to try, or feel free to spread your own general gardening wisdom and experience with the community in the comments below.

Happy spraying!