Ground Drive Manure Spreader

Should I Buy a Ground Driven or PTO Driven Manure Spreader?

When shopping for a manure spreader for sale, one of the first decisions you will make is choosing between a Ground Driven or a PTO Driven (Power Take Off) manure spreader. Compare Ground Driven vs. PTO driven manure spreaders for sale below.

Who Are Ground Driven Manure Spreaders For?

Ground Driven manure spreaders are considered the easiest manure spreader type to use. They’re also the safest as all moving components stop when forward motion stops.

Ground Driven manure spreaders easily connect to smaller and accessible tow vehicles. This makes them common among hobby farmers, horse owners, show stock owners, small ranchers, inexperienced equipment operators and more. In fact, most people buy a ground drive manure spreader for sale unless they require a larger capacity spreader.

Approximately 70% of our customers choose ground driven while 30% select PTO manure spreaders

A Ground Drive Manure Spreader pulled by an ATV

Tow Vehicle

Ground Driven Manure Spreaders are versatile and can be pulled by nearly any type of tow vehicle that meets minimum requirements.

An image of a Ground Drive Manure Spreader drive tire and chain.

Power Source

When engaged, the ground driven manure spreader powers itself by pulling it forward with a tow vehicle. The spreader has lug traction tires that grip the ground and transfer forward rolling force, through mechanical gearing, into powering the spreader components. Ground speed controls how fast components move.

Image of a 50 ft³ Ground Drive Manure Spreader Capacity

Capacity

Ground Driven Manure Spreader: Usually smaller in capacity, available in 25, 50, 65, & 85 ft³ models.

An image of a young lady hand loading manure into a manure spreader

Loading and Unloading

Most small spreaders are loaded by hand tools. The smallest units are not wide enough for loader buck loading. When unloading, a ground driven manure spreader requires forward motion to unload the spreader.

An image of the manual controls of a ground drive manure spreader.

User Operation

Usually, spreading is engaged and disengaged while stopped and standing at the front of the spreader. The manual levers control spreader operation. Optional end gates are raised by hand.

A riding lawn mower pulling a compact manure spreader.

Spreading Frequency and Conditions

Ground driven manure spreaders are best for those who spread manure frequently on their property (weekly or monthly). They should not be used in extremely wet, soft, or frozen conditions.

When shopping for a manure spreader for sale, one of the first decisions you will make is choosing between a Ground Driven or a PTO Driven (Power Take Off) manure spreader. Compare Ground Driven vs. PTO driven manure spreaders for sale below.

Who Are PTO Manure Spreaders For?

PTO manure spreaders may be less popular than their ground driven counterparts, but they offer more capacity, performance, and capability. Loved by Equine Training Or Boarding Facilities, Ranches, and other Experienced Equipment Operators, PTO manure spreaders are great fits for large and specialized scenarios.

Power take off manure spreaders require connection to the tractor PTO shaft. Operating and connecting to a tractor is undesirable for some people, but not all. PTOoperated farm equipment requires additional safety considerations. Never leave the tractor running while you or someone else is connecting, disconnecting, or working around the spreader.

PTO manure spreaders are harder to handle, but in the hands of the right operator, they’re excellent at shredding and spreading manure fast.

An image of a tractor pulling an 85 ft³ PTO manure spreader

Tow Vehicle

PTO Driven Manure Spreaders require a tractor with a rear PTO (Power Take Off) that meets minimum requirements. 

The PTO drive shaft of a 125ft³ PTO manure spreader attached to a tractor

Power Source

PTO Driven Manure Spreaders are powered by the tractor’s PTO. RPMs of the tractor engine control how fast components move. Ground speed has zero impact.

A 185 ft³ PTO Manure Spreader spreading manure on a field in the fall

Capacity

PTO Driven Manure Spreaders are usually larger in capacity. At ABI, we have them available in 50, 85, 125, & 185 ft³ models.

A 185ft³ PTO manure spreader being loaded by a skid steer bucket.

Loading and Unloading

Most small spreaders are loaded by hand tools. The smallest units are not wide enough for loader buck loading. When unloading, a ground driven manure spreader requires forward motion to unload the spreader.

An operator controlling a PTO manure spreader from the tractor seat.

User Operation

Spreading is engaged and disengaged while moving and seated on the tractor. The tractor’s engine throttle, PTO switch, and the spreaders pull rope control spreader operation. Optional end gates are hydraulically raised by the tractor.

The wide and fine spreading spray of a PTO manure spreader from behind.

Spreading Frequency and Conditions

PTO manure spreaders are used to spread manure only a few times per year. Unlike with ground driven manure spreaders, the weather conditions do not impact the ability to spread.

So is a Ground Driven or PTO Driven Manure Spreader Better for Me?

In many ways, choosing between a ground driven and pto driven manure spreader comes down to your unique needs, skill level, and preferences. Watch this video for more information about choosing which is right for you. Then, contact our specialists with any questions before you buy!

Video Transcript

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Not sure what you’re looking for? Take a look at our manure spreader comparison guide, then talk to an ABI rep to find your fit.

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