Nice Pull Behind Spreader with 200 lb capacity
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    SulleyBear's Avatar
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    Nice Pull Behind Spreader with 200 lb capacity

    I had owned the predecessor to the spreader shown below for many years. When I bought my new tractor and implements in October, I gave away my old trustworthy spreader (along with several other things to attempt to make room for all of the new equipment) because I had bought a new 3 point Frontier PTO driven Spreader with the 1025R and the other implements and mistakenly thought at the time that I wouldn't need pull behind spreader any longer.

    As soon as I used the new Frontier 3 Point mounted Poly Spreader, I realized that I had made a mistake in giving away the old pull behind spreader. I began considering how I was going to proceed and after the fall fertilizer application, I had the winter to consider my next step. I have been considering some modifications to the Frontier spreader and also mounting an electric actuator possibly with a remote control for the flow control. Yesterday, I ended up purchasing a new spreader, just like the one which I had given away. The great news is that the previously very good product has evolved and gotten even better. Here is the new spreader.


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    Place of Purchase - Family Farm and Home, a Michigan based comprehensive home and farm supply store .

    https://shop.familyfarmandhome.com/products/tow-spreader-200lb-15433.html

    Price - Retail price was $199, I bought it on sale for $169.

    Crazy Fact - In researching the spreader and the brand Master Rancher, I happened to see where these identical spreaders sold on Ebay in the last few days and closed with the final price being $327.40 each. But it did include "free shipping" and the packaged weight is 55lbs. YIKES, someone cut a fat hog on that Ebay sale.......selling those same spreaders for nearly double of the sale price. It pays to shop around and not assume that Ebay is the best deal.........

    Features include 200 lbs of material capacity (actually, I can get (5) 50lb bags of fertilizer in my spreader, but it is definitely full at that point....).., a nice cover to keep the moisture out of the hopper for those of us who prefer to spread some material which is the most effective when applied to moist grass conditions.

    Capacity to treat lawns up to 1 acre in size without refilling the material hopper. Generally, the fertilizer product I use will provide coverage of 12,000 sq feet for every 50 lbs of fertilizer. So, this spreader at it's capacity is suited to properly cover 48,000 sq feet of area, which is 1.10 acres.

    Brand of product - The spreader itself is labeled "Master Rancher, Established 1948"...... The actual Manufacturer of this Product is YTL International. They manufacture a vast line up of lawn and garden related equipment which overall, appear to be of very high quality. Check out their website.

    YTL International International Brands

    Pluses I noticed when I reviewed their (the YTL, Interntional) website include;

    - They do have spare parts and their product manuals on line.
    - There is also a search and identifying tool to identify and locate their Authorized Service Centers.
    - There are also assembly videos for most of their products directly on their home page.
    -
    They seem to have a good website designed to be helpful to their end users, especially when compared to many of their competitors in this product category and market.
    - These steps confirm that YTL is interested in actually making replacement parts available and being a reputable, long term brand in the marketplace, which is good to see.

    According to their website, YTL International supplies a wide range of the Farm and Home stores and big box stores including Lowes. Here is a list of some of their major retailers where you can purchase the YTL, International Products.

    Stores YTL International


    Improvements I noticed on this spreader over it's predecessor;

    A. - the material screen, shown in the next photo, which floats inside the spreader so it is easy to remove. Great for keeping lumps and clumps out of the material agitator and from blocking the material drop. This is something which happens more often than I would have thought. My old spreader did not have this screen and I fabricated one, but it wasn't as nice and well made as the material screen in this new spreader.

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    B. - The fit and finish of the new spreader is better than the old model. Everything is painted, even the ends of the tubes. Small details include the foam handle on the material volume control handle. The paint finish is very good. The assembly is top notch and with decent quality hardware.

    C. - The previous material "flow gauge" on the old spreader left a lot to be desired. Problem was it was far from "accurate" and the gate bent easily, etc. New system on this spreader. Now, the flow rate is pre set to a handful of drilled positions and the spring loaded handle makes this process easy.

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    D. - The hopper cover material seems better suited for being flexible, which means it's less likely to crack or tear. It also fits without being excessively stretched which would likely lead to it's early failure over time.

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    E. - There are grease fittings on the axles and the hubs, just as there should be. The old spreader had zirks on the axle, just not on the actual wheel hubs. Many spreaders in this price / size range have no grease zirks. The TSC had grease smeared on the ring and pinion by hand.


    Competitive Products I considered
    included;

    1. - The brands at TSC as well as the offerings at a few other retailers. The TSC spreader made by Agri Fab is very poorly designed and made. As I rolled it forward and backwards in the store, the cheesy gear drive set up used to drive the material spreader resembles something made from a stamped sheet metal ring gear and a pinion gear that was plus or minus 1/2 inch in tolerances. Here is a picture of the spreader and please note the ring gear to drive the material distribution.

    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...r?cm_vc=IOPDP2

    2. - The TSC spreader bound up and locked the wheels up in the store when I moved the spreader back and forth just a few feet. Not only was the quality terrible, the assembly was even worse. The "agri Fab" 200 pound spreader is priced at $229, which is $60 more than what I paid for the spreader I actually purchased.

    3. - The other retailers had spreaders which were too small or suffered from quality issues that eliminated them from consideration.

    4. - The Deere product was nice, as one would expect from Deere, but more than double the price I paid for this spreader. Plus the Deere version didn't hold nearly as much material as does this spreader. The Deere unit I found held about 100 lbs where this spreader holds 200 plus, which is what it takes to cover my lawn.

    The reason I gave my old spreader away was I bought a new 3 point Frontier spreader with my new tractor and other implements. So, I didn't think I would have a need for the tow behind spreader, but I was wrong.

    My Frontier 3 point PTO driven spreader is HUGE in size and capacity and takes up too much room and also throws the material about 50 feet, which makes using it on places in my landscaping and lawn very difficult. The Frontier Spreader is my only regret in my purchase of my tractor and implements. There are also some issues with the Frontier spreader which had I known, I wouldn't have bought it. But that's for another thread.....If someone is interested in a once used Frontier POLY 3 point spreader that is PTO shaft driven and you will pick it up from me, send me a PM and let's see if we can't make a deal........

    This Pull Behind Spreader has Quality in the product, it's design and even it's packaging. Check out the hardware which came with this spreader and how it is packaged and labeled. The back side of the package is even designed so you can push the items through the pre cut die marks in the cardboard backing. The size, quantity and description of each item is very clear.

    They even included two "wrenches" for those "tool challenged" home owners who might not either have their tools organized enough they can locate them when needed or they don't own metric tools (I have heard it happens to some, I haven't personally met any yet.......but I know these people are out there......)

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    I am VERY IMPRESSED that someone actually took the effort to design and utilize this fasteners inventory card in their product, instead of the often misused plastic bag with a hole in it..........These little details really make a difference in the experience the customer has with the product line up.

    This way of providing the hardware tells me the company cares about their customer and they are willing to spend a tiny bit of money to present the hardware needed for assembly in a logical, well labeled and orderly fashion. Very well done, YTL, the difference is often truly in the details and you nailed this one......


    I really like it when a company "Gets It" and pays attention to their product and especially the small details which prove those selling the spreader have actually used it themselves. Buying this spreader (again) It's like a good friend has been returned to me, one I can count on and is dependable and who gives me exactly what I expect from them........

    Unfortunately, Not Made in America, but not made in China, either!
    This spreader is made in Vietnam. I happen to know that Vietnam has (in general) made great gains in improving their production and making a quality item. This spreader confirms the impressive improvement in quality is items manufactured in Vietnam as compared to just a few years ago. Personally, I would prefer made in the USA but if I can't have that, I would prefer Vietnam over China everyday of the week and thrice on the weekends............

    Summary, if you need a tow behind Fertilizer Spreader, consider this product line up. If you need a spreader which can handle 200 pounds of material, give this spreader a careful look. The previous version of this spreader served me very well over the last many years (more than 10 years, less than 20 years) and based upon the improvements and enhancements, I think this new spreader should exceed the results of my last spreader from this company.


    glc, DRobinson, Manomet and 11 others like this.

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    Drifterbike's Avatar
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    I had the model built by Agri-Fab. not happy with it gave it to neighbor when he wanted to "Borrow" it you should have seen the look on his face. He used it one year and the gaer froze up and it sat in his shed 12 years till he died and his son cleaned it out. His son wanted it so he took it haven't talked with him since.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifterbike View Post
    I had the model built by Agri-Fab. not happy with it gave it to neighbor when he wanted to "Borrow" it you should have seen the look on his face. He used it one year and the gaer froze up and it sat in his shed 12 years till he died and his son cleaned it out. His son wanted it so he took it haven't talked with him since.
    A buddy had/has the same model built by Agri-Fab. He used it very few times and it crapped out on him. He's been borrowing my electric spreader ever since.
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    Great write-up and I'm seeing more and more consumer goods from Vietnam. I was there in 1971-72 (Tan Son Nhut AB) and I'm still having a hard time getting over the experience and owning stuff made there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncanfield View Post
    Great write-up and I'm seeing more and more consumer goods from Vietnam. I was there in 1971-72 (Tan Son Nhut AB) and I'm still having a hard time getting over the experience and owning stuff made there.
    My father was somewhere around Plakoo, dont know how to spell it, around that time. With the 4th ID. Thank you for your service.
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    [QUOTE=SulleyBear;2811553]

    As soon as I used the new Frontier 3 Point mounted Poly Spreader, I realized that I had made a mistake in giving away the old pull behind spreader.QOUTE]

    SulleyBear, I'm curious what "went wrong" with the 3 point spreader?? Why didn't it work for you?

    Thanks for a great write up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncanfield View Post
    Great write-up and I'm seeing more and more consumer goods from Vietnam. I was there in 1971-72 (Tan Son Nhut AB) and I'm still having a hard time getting over the experience and owning stuff made there.
    Thank you for your service.

    Vietnam has very quickly leaped ahead of China in many economic respects. Not only is their general labor rate about 35% less than that in China (it varies by region, but as an over all average...) but they seem to be able to produce a better quality product and they are much better at some of their molding and die casting capabilites than China often seems to be.

    China can produce quality products when they "need to" but they also tend to produce a lot of very mediocre stuff.

    For a long time, Taiwan has been very good at making complicated items which require fitment and expertise. In fact, for the many fans of Harbor Freight items, the new 20 volt 1,200 pond rated impact is made in Taiwan for Harbor Freight and it's actually a decent tool for the money.

    Personally, I have found many of the HF electric tools to be what I would call 85 to 120 hour tools. They are likely to last that long in terms of use and then some of their weaknesses are exposed and failures start to occur. Most home owners will not uses these tools the 85 to 120 hour hour total in many years, if not their lifetime. But take someone who uses these tools to make their living and they are likely to see issues arise before their warranty expires.

    However, the 1,200 pound rated 20 volt Impact Gun from HF is amazingly well made and actually impressive. If HF continues to produce their battery powered tools like the 1,200 pound battery powered impact gun, they are going
    to grab a leadership role in the battery tool business within 3 to 5 years.

    If they stick with their processes used on their Inger-sol Rand Knock off and the Bauer brand, I don't see the same achievements being realized. The Hercules brand is certainly a step up over the IR knock offs. Over all, the last few years have seen the HF tools improving in quality, which is very good.

    Didn't mean to get off on a tangent about the HF tools, but expect to see more Vietnam produced items and from what I have seen, they are going to be comparable to what we expect from Taiwan, not what we often see from mainland China.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yank View Post
    My father was somewhere around Plakoo, dont know how to spell it, around that time. With the 4th ID. Thank you for your service.
    x 2

    [QUOTE=mdy1318;2813441]
    Quote Originally Posted by SulleyBear View Post

    As soon as I used the new Frontier 3 Point mounted Poly Spreader, I realized that I had made a mistake in giving away the old pull behind spreader.QOUTE]

    SulleyBear, I'm curious what "went wrong" with the 3 point spreader?? Why didn't it work for you?

    Thanks for a great write up!
    The spreader is ideal for someone who needs to apply material to large areas as it throws the material nearly 55 feet. I always test the distribution pattern of my spreaders and my sprayers by using the very large black top cul de sac so I can see the actual material throw width (of course, it also slides some on the blacktop when landing which it won't on grass, so that has to be discounted from the throw distance).

    I have several landscape areas, annual flower beds and pine tree groupings which make using the spreader which throws the material that far much harder than one that throws the material 15 to 20 feet.

    Issue number 1 - Material distribution is much wider at 50' to 55' than suits my landscape design. While you can reduce the spreader material throw distance somewhat by slowing down the PTO speed, it also impacts your ground speed with the lower engine RPM, which makes the material application much slower than it was with my old spreader.

    Issue number 2 - Slowing down engine speed to have slower PTO speed to help reduce the material throw distance means slower ground speed and application, which throws off all the material flow rates I have always used for years. So, that's changing settings to accommodate the need to reduce the material discharge distance, which means adjusting the material settings. I had everything working very simply before and would rather keep it simple and predictable.

    Issue number 3 - The spreader weighs about 300 pounds empty, which makes one person handling it somewhat of a challenge.

    Issue number 4 - The physical size of the spreader takes up a lot of storage room in my already tight equipment storage building. I won't store anything outside, so that's out. Also, there is no good way to store the spreader other than on a pallet rack, which is what I plan to do in the new building. In the meantime, the rarely used spreader is constantly in my way. See the photos below for how tight the current storage is for the implements.

    Issue number 5 - Spreader material capacity is way more than I need, with a capacity of 685 pounds of material. I need about 250 pounds of material at the most, based upon where I am applying the material.

    Issue number 6 - I could have accommodated issues 1 through 5 and made the changes and lived with it. But, this is the deal killer for me. With the Mauser Cab installed on the tractor, there is no way for me to physically reach back and open and close the material flow valve.

    So, I have to stop the tractor, turn off the PTO, set the parking brake, shift the tractor into neutral, open the cab door, get out of the cab, open or close the spreader material gate handle, get back in the tractor, shut the cab door, release the parking brake, shift the differential into H, turn on the PTO, throttle up the engine and then step on the directional pedal.

    That means that the material is flowing into the rotating "spreader" plate which results in a HUGE hit of material when I turn on the PTO. So, this is a risk of burning that area where all of the material goes when I start to move and have activated the PTO. Despite moving as fast as I can, it still over treats the area significantly. And with the big hit of material being a 50 foot circle, I could end up with a large damaged spot and I certainly don't want that.

    My number one rule when using any spreader is "Do not stop the motion of the machinery with the material gate on the spreader open under ANY circumstances".

    That reminds me of another old adage, "If the ground wheels aren't turning, its like the spreader material is burning" Normally, I start moving and then reach back and open the spreader when I am reaching the area to begin treating. Just the opposite when I am leaving the lawn and using the street, driveway or other pavement surface for changing direction. I shut the material flow when on the pavement and reopen it when I am reaching the lawn.

    Possible solutions I have tried or considered-

    A. -
    Open the rear window of the cab and lean back and stretch to get the handle. This works, but then I ended up with the material being thrown into and or blown into my cab and that's not acceptable. Plus, it's tough on the old back to lean way out and stretch to reach the handle. I could extend the handle but that doesn't solve the material inside the cab issue.

    B. - Open and close the window when opening and closing the spreader material gate. Less than ideal and still results in a heavy hit of material to the starting area. Also, the moment you start "rushing" to do something like this, something will get damaged or broken and I don't want that......

    C. - Install the remote controlled electric actuator on the spreader material gate valve. This was what I was going to do and maybe I still will. But I ran out of time before needing the spreader again and I haven't sourced the actuator nor fabricated the brackets to mount them to the spreader.

    Actually, I thought about doing this and making it available as an option which I could sell online to those who are using these large PTO driven, 3 point hitch mounted spreaders and would rather have better control over the material gate and not having to get on and off the tractor to achieve it.

    Here you go, Kenny, another product line idea.........

    It would be nice to have a simple key fob or similar switch to turn the spreader material on and off as needed. It would also be handy to have the brackets fabricated so the kit could truly be a "plug and play" type of arrangement. Most people have a 12 volt power source either through their "lighter plug" or other 12 volt source on their tractor near the operator platform. I think at the right price, there would be a market for this product. Especially for the commercial operators who need the large volume spreaders but want to avoid burning the lawn and wasting product. Some of this fertilizer is expensive and applying it to roadways, walks and driveways sure doesn't accomplish anything but waste money.

    I always make it a point to use my back pack blower to clean off all the surfaces and make sure any material I spread is on the lawn where it will actually be beneficial. Also, much of the fertilizer can stain the concrete. It's also important to prevent run off from the hard surfaces into our streams, rivers and lakes as this is very harmful to the environment.

    I have found blowing all the material onto the edges of the lawn cuts down on the weed accumulation from the weed seeds, etc blowing across the hard surfaces and being deposited on the edges of the grass. So, blowing the fertilizer or other material to the lawn edges is often where it's needed the most and works out very well. I wish more people who spread fertilizer would clean up after themselves.

    I just ran out of time and haven't gotten to this on my project list. Perhaps this is what I will do and take the time to properly design an easy to install bracket and harness for the carefully sourced electric actuator. In the meantime, I am going to use either my 455 diesel Deere tractor to pull the new spreader or I can also use my ExMrk Zero Turn mower to pull the spreader. This will permit me to keep the 1025R for other uses, such as core aeration or spraying, etc.

    Herminator, I haven't been ignoring you or forgotten you. I have been busy with a bunch of other stuff......Since you were the first to ask about these, you have first rights on this item if you want it. My dealer tells me it's worth the price I paid for it. Of course, I will autograph it with a permanent marker like the NASCAR drivers do for their merchandise, if that's important to you.....

    Here are the pictures of the spreader, which is a Frontier model SS2076B, the Poly Spreader. I bought it new in October, used it once and it's been in the barn ever since. The lower part of the spreader came to me needing a little rattle can paint touch up and it still does. I paid $1,200 for the spreader. I have the rattle can of black paint. Maybe I will get that done when it warms up a little here.

    It works great and really throws the material, it's just MUCH bigger than I needed and the other issues I outlined above.

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    DRobinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncanfield View Post
    Great write-up and I'm seeing more and more consumer goods from Vietnam. I was there in 1971-72 (Tan Son Nhut AB) and I'm still having a hard time getting over the experience and owning stuff made there.
    I was at Tan Son Nhut in 1966-67 with the Army. I feel funny about buying things made there also. Thanks for being there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yank View Post
    My father was somewhere around Plakoo, dont know how to spell it, around that time. With the 4th ID. Thank you for your service.
    Pleiku. Thanks to your Dad for being a Soldier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRobinson View Post
    I was at Tan Son Nhut in 1966-67 with the Army. I feel funny about buying things made there also. Thanks for being there.



    Pleiku. Thanks to your Dad for being a Soldier.
    Don,

    I haven't "spoken" with you in quite some time. I hope all is well with you and yours.

    Also, thanks for your service and for your dedicated career in the Military.

    I can certainly understand the "feeling funny" about buying things from countries such as Vietnam, especially based upon your personal experience.

    It's interesting to have watched the evolution of where products which once were made in America have gone to and how it has changed from country to country as each nations economies evolve. Each successive nation enjoys a few years of initially low labor costs which make them attractive. But as the new nations economies grow and the standard of living for their inhabitants improves, their domestic labor pools tighten, wages are driven up.

    Suddenly, the advantage which Mexico offered verses the American labor rates is diminished by the low labor rates in China. Now, China has watched as their "state run businesses" lose competitiveness and the jobs which were in China for American companies now are moving to Vietnam.

    I remember how it was such an honor for the Olympics to be held in the host nation. To be awarded the upcoming Olympics was something which came after intense business bidding and competition. We can only imagine what likely went on behind closed doors to win these hosting contracts. Even here, this area is seeing dramatic change.

    There was a really interesting article I read recently about how the only nations who are bidding on the Olympics now are those nations which have concentrated "Government Control" and where those running the country don't have to produce a viable economic proposal when bidding on the Olympics. Both the summer and winter Olympic ceremonies have been massively expensive and have left the host nations with huge debt and "White Elephant" facilities that they can't even maintain. A few weeks of celebration and global attention is now followed by an entirely different set of circumstances and a very different reality that last for decades.

    The legacy costs of the facilities and the massive infrastructure required has resulted in nations not wanting to take on such massive debt and be stuck with facilities which are so unique to the Olympics and economically impractical to convert for any other use.

    Here is just one of those types of articles. https://globalnews.ca/news/4029340/h...ied-expensive/

    If you search "why no one wants to host the Olympics", there are numerous very well written stories about the impact on the communities and the entire host nation. In fact, the only countries bidding on many of the upcoming Olympic events are not "democratic" countries. They are nations where dictators rule and love spending large sums of money to be the center of attention for a short time, despite the long term costs.

    Look at several of the Olympic venues and how they appear today. Check out the second link below to see the facilities in Rio and how they already look and how quickly they have fallen into disrepair.

    https://www.boredpanda.com/abandoned-olympic-venues/


    Olympic Venues in Rio de Janeiro Are in Disrepair Only Six Months After the Games Ended

    At this rate, I think the Olympics are going to have to dramatically change their plans or they may cease to exist in another generation. Times keep changing. So much has happened and just think how much change we have seen during our lives. It's really something.................

    Take care, Don...........
    Herminator and PJR832 like this.

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    DRobinson(04-07-2018)

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    Thanks, Sulley. I can remember when I was a young boy, going to the store with my Mom, who stayed home while my Dad went to Europe during WWII. I was born shortly after V-J day. There were virtually no products in stores from Germany and Volkswagens were a rarity. But, if I picked up a toy and asked if I could get it, she would always look at it first and usually the answer was, "No Donnie, it's made in Japan". It took me a while to figure that one out. For some reason, although I still feel the same way about foreign made products, I have a John Deere tractor sitting in the garage, "Made in Japan". I wonder what Mom would say? Of course, we have products in our home made from all over the world; I understand the Global Economy.

    I never understood why countries, states and cities worked so hard to host the Olympics. I don't follow Olympic sports, but the economics of it seems rediculous to me. It seems to be a giant money pit and after it is over the above ground pit remains unused and taking up space and in some cases costing millions in maintenance.

    I will say one thing about Vietnam. I would rather buy a product made in Vietnam than accept an apology from Hanoi Jane. Now I have to stop or the hammer will swing.
    Don

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