Retro fitting a Earthway ATV spreader to a ZTR.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mhussey, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. mhussey

    mhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 523

    Has anyone tried to retro fit an Earthway ATV spreader to a ZTR. I just bought a pull behind plug aerator, and have a cheap pull behind spreader and also have a Earthway push spreader. The yards I maintain are kicking my butt and figured this would be a great solution to the problem. I seen these spreaders at Northern Tools website and was wandering if anyone on here has adapted one to their ZTR. Please note that I'm not a professional and I only do around 3 to 5 jobs so the Earthway spreader would be sufficient for my needs. I can't squeeze a 1000 dollar or more spreader in my budget.

    If anyone even has a good pic of that spreader on a ATV I would like to see it just for design ideas. Please feel free of any pro's/ con's of this idea. I was thinking that the spreader maybe to low to the ground to be effective, but any advise would help.


  2. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    There are some at Tractor Supply and probably a lot of other places that mount on an atv. There are cheap 12 volt models that you can use. I have a pic somewhere of an old walkbehind that has a spray tank mounted and I believe the fellow said he had a spreader for it too.
    I'd like to adapt a spreader to a walk behind myself and I have a 32 Bob-Cat that would be just perfect.
    I can see a spreader, a small 15 gallon sprayer and a leaf blower that can all be attached to the front of it. I'm workin' on it!
  3. mhussey

    mhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 523

    I have a friend that has the Earthway spreader installed on his ATV. He is thinking that if it was mounted on the front of a ZTR that it would be to low. I don't really know. I have an ATV, however, it is just too large for seeding jobs. It would be a lot faster with my ZTR. I would like to have it mounted on the front of the mower so I can see where the seed and fertilizer is going. I'm gonna try and go by Tractor Supply or somewhere so I can get some ideas.
  4. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I always use a 2" receiver to mount them on my equipment that way they will fit anything. My sprayer boom mounts in the same receiver. I have a bracket made for the front of my Steiners that will fit attachments that I build. So far I have, turbine blower, leaf plow, 10' grader blade, 4' grader blade, lifting hook, trailer hitch, 6' snow blade, sweeper, sprayer, fertilizer spreader, grass seeder, aerators, crowsfoot packer, and on and on.
  5. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    I would also be interested in something like this. I have added front and rear 2" reciever tubes to my Gravely 260Z. I use a 8" drop draw bar to pull my aerator and would love to find a spreader that I could in the 2" receiver too (even if I have to fab the mount). I've spread 2000lbs of lime in the last two days... 50lbs at a time SUCKS!
  6. dfischer

    dfischer LawnSite Member
    from Il
    Messages: 114

    I too am thinking about it, and I've the following observations:

    Earthway has many versions.
    The M20 is the only sub $200 unit.
    The M21, with dual discharge port, would seem to more even distribution.
    The mounts seem to place the unit high enough to be "Z" viable
    The M21 is awfull big. Great for commercial, maybe not so for home use

    Agri-fab seems to have only 1 offering
    $250, or to close to the M21 price.
    It seems cheap
    It's mount seems too high (relative to the hopper) for a Z

    Lowes has a "Cargo Mount Spreader" intended for the 100 series deere riding mowers. $250, mounts right, right size, but seems kinda cheap looking from web pictures.

    Does anybody have any experience w/these?
  7. dfischer

    dfischer LawnSite Member
    from Il
    Messages: 114

    Anybody used these?
  8. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

  9. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    I've just been through this same thing and you can check for more info on the maintainance and renovation forum.

    I narrowed my choices down to the Herd seeder [] and the Earthway M20 and was just about to order the Herd when I found an old but new-in-the-box AgriFab 12v spreader at a feed store for $99. They just wanted to get rid of it as it was originally marked $249.

    The only other one I was able to actually see was the John Deere for $199 [at a JD dealer who'd had it sitting around for a while - they're $249 at Lowes] and I wish I would have spent the extra money for any other one but the AgriFab - I was warned but couldn't pass up the cheap price.

    The AgriFab does not have an agitator so the seed drops through the opening and the rest just sits there unless you hit a bump, or like I did, use a stick to stir it up as you go along. It spreads the seed OK, fairly even pattern but you have to figure your own spread rate - the chart's a joke and you do need to stir it by hand.

    I bolted it to a hitch plate and just slide it into the receiver on the front of my Kubota RTV - I use a ratchet strap to secure it and I'm off - much easier than fooling around with a bunch of mounting hardware.

    The Earthway and Deere models have the motor mounted inside the hopper so the shaft can act as an agitator which is good but those motors will corrode and get eaten up by fertilizer - should be no problem with just seed.

    Bottom line - when I'm done with this fall's seeding I'll try to dump the AgriFab and get a better model. I just got AMLeo's fall sale catalog and the M20 holds 80 lbs. and costs 149.95 and the M30 holds 120lbs and costs 269.95 - both have ATV mounts. The better quality M21P is $319.49 and $532.49 with Stainless frame, but you have to buy a mount extra - the one for ATV is $72.99.

    I'll probably go with the Herd.

    Good luck, Will M>
  10. dfischer

    dfischer LawnSite Member
    from Il
    Messages: 114

    Anybody got any new thoughts on this?

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