When doing heavy duty yard work, sometimes a wheelbarrow doesn’t quite cut it. We have a small but steep hill running from our shed up towards our yard that’s a nightmare to push a wheelbarrow up. That’s where a tow behind dump cart really comes in handy. A dump cart on a lawn tractor or ATV can significantly speed up yard work and save energy, allowing you to do more work in the day with much less effort.
Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors
The best dump carts for lawn tractors are:
- Ohio Steel 4048PHYB Tractor Cart with Swivel Dump – Our Top Pick
- Yard Commander Steel Dump Cart
- John Deere Tow-Behind Utility Cart
- Agri-Fab 45-0101 Tow Behind Dump Cart
- Polar Trailer 9542 Lawn and Garder TailerTrailer
- Agri-Fab Poly Tow Behind Dump Cart
- Craftsman CMX-GZ-BF-71-24489 Poly Dump Cart
This information is shared as personal opinion for our situation only, and does not constitute professional advice to you – so make your choice wisely and if in doubt, consult your nearest gardening shop!
First, we’ll provide a comparison table, then under this we’ll do a detailed review of each product.
Best Lawn Carts for Lawn Tractors – Full Reviews
1. Ohio Steel 4048PHYB Tractor Cart with Swivel Dump
Our Rating: 9/10
The Ohio Steel 4048PHYB dump cart is a workhorse of a product that we think is well suited to use in all size yards. While it’s worth pointing out that this is a more premium product (with a cost to match) we also feel it more than pays for itself with the years of service it can provide.
The great weight capacity of 1250lb is about as heavy-duty as you can expect from a cart that’s designed for lawn use.
The dump feature has a quick release foot latch that’s quite standard with these products however it also features a 100 degree swivel functionality for ease of dumping. With that said, you still need to shovel out between 10% – 25% of the leftover items even with the swivel function.
16” tires are quite standard on these size carts and the poly carb bed is great for durability and easy maintenance.
|Heavy-Duty: A 1250lb weight capacity is by far the heaviest capacity that we’ve reviewed on this list allowing for some significant loading capability.|
Highly Rated: The resounding opinion of this product is that it’s solid and durable for year round use.
Quick Dump: The quick foot release for the dump and 100 degree swivel functionality means dumping loads are quick and easy.
|Price: The longevity and functionality that comes with this product is why this product is at a more premium price range.|
2. Yard Commander 10 Cubic Foot Steel Dump Cart
Our Rating: 9/10
The Yard Commander steel dump cart is a good cart for yards with tight spaces or obstacles throughout. It’s small and easily manouverable.
The solid steel bed is powder coated to be rust-resistant and has a 10 cubic foot storage profile with a 400lbs weight capacity.
While that is slightly on the smaller side, the highlight feature with this product is the removable tailgate which should make for easy loading and unloading of the cart.
An issue with many towable dump carts is that they never fully empty the bed due to limited dumping features. Fortunately, the removable tailgate on this model allows for items to be easily unloaded with minimal manual work.
As this is a more affordably priced product, the sheet material used is a bit thinner than we’d like. However, for a versatile and easy to use model it’s well worth the affordable price in our opinion.
|Maneuverability: The compact and portable design makes this cart good for use in yards that have some tight access points.|
Removable Tailgate: The removable tailgate makes loading and unloading low effort.
Price: This is an affordable cart that has all the features of a premium cart but in a smaller, more inexpensive model.
|Size: A 400lb weight capacity with 10 cubic foot storage space is definitely on the smaller side when it comes to towable dump carts.|
Pivot Axle: There isn’t a pivoting axle for swivel dumping or stability so this could be difficult to control in rough terrain.
3. John Deere 650 lb. 10 cu. ft. Tow-Behind Poly Utility Cart
Our Rating: 8.5/10
John Deere is a market leader when it comes to gardening and farming products and the tow-behind poly cart is a solid and high quality product joining this range.
This cart has most of the standard features you’d expect to see from competitor products. A 650lb weight capacity is certainly heavy-duty enough for most yard/farming use in our opinion and the compression-molded poly bed can help deliver durability and low maintenance.
A steep 56 degree dumping angle is significantly better than the market standard of around 40 degrees meaning you can unload this cart much more efficiently and ergonomically than many competitors – without the need to shovel or to unload some of it by hand.
The molded side slots are our favorite feature with this product, it’s a subtle addition that allows for bed dividers or side wall extensions to be added for more versatile use.
|Molded Side Slots: The pre-molded side slots allow for the addition of bed dividers or side wall extensions.|
Steep Dumping: A steep 56 degree dumping angle can be good for unloading both efficiently and ergonomically.
Industry Leading Brand: John Deere is one of the most reputable brands on the market when it comes to yard & farming machinery.
|Few Reviews Online: For such a global brand, there aren’t many customer reviews for this product which we were surprised by.|
4. Agri-Fab 45-0101 Utility Tow Behind Dump Cart
Our Rating: 8.5/10
The Agri-Fab 45-0101 is a heavy-duty duty dump cart that appears efficient and could cater to a wide variety of uses.
Functionality is the key selling point with this product. It’s a no-frills cart that offers a respectable 750lb weight capacity with a 12 cubic foot storage capacity, has a powder-coated, steel construction frame for longevity and comes with a 3-year warranty.
The 16” pneumatic tires can help improve use in all terrains. However, one issue some customers have faced is that they can be prone to flats which may be a major drawback for some potential buyers.
The hitch bar is designed to quickly and easily latch onto tractors with a universal fitting pin, and the dump mechanism is designed to be effortless thanks to a quick-release foot lever that’s both ergonomic and smooth to function.
Assembly appears surprisingly straightforward with this product and we’ve included a quick manufacturer video below that walks you through it in only 5 mins (actual assembly time will take longer as you organize and attach parts).
Overall, this is a no-frills product but should easily handle a wide variety of uses and comes in at aan affordable price. This one comes across to us as a good dump cart for general use.
|Long Lasting: The steel bed with a powder coated finish should help extend the lifespan of this product.|
Heavy-Duty: A steel bed construction and 750lbs weight capacity means this dump cart is well suited to heavy-duty work.
Warranty: A 3-year warranty is a great additional feature however it would rarely be needed with such a heavy-duty product.
Easy Assembly: Assembly is straightforward though the instructions provided are poor so the online assembly video for those that are struggling with the instructions is great.
|Frequent Tire Flats: It appears from a few customers that flat tires can occur with this cart which can be quite frustrating considering its heavy-duty build.|
5. Polar Trailer 9542 LG 900
Our Rating: 8.5/10
The Polar Trailer 9542 is a smaller tow cart that does not compromise on heavy-duty features. This is a solid product that comes highly rated and could only be improved with a larger sized bed in our opinion.
A 900lbs weight capacity with this cart is one of the largest in class for use with heavy or awkwardly shaped items.
Unlike a lot of dump carts we’ve come across, this product is very easy to assemble and for a single person, the assembly should comfortably take between 5 – 15 minutes.
The 10 cubic foot bed capacity is definitely on the smaller side but we feel that this product strikes a good balance between size for storage and portability and weight capacity for heavy-duty use.
The standout feature with this model is the tilt and swivel dump feature. This can make it easier to dump the load without the use of a shovel or multiple tilts and allows for precise dumping of items for lawn care (mulch, sand etc..)
|Weight Capacity: A 900lb weight capacity is one of the largest on the market and is well suited to be used with heavy items.|
Fast Assembly: Assembly is both quick and easy and should take between 5 – 15 minutes for most people (single person assembly).
Dumping Versatility: The tilt and swivel functionality allows for more versatility of use and is more functional when it comes to spreading bark, mulch or compost.
|Storage Bed: Despite a huge weight capacity, the 10 cubic foot bed is on the smaller side when it comes to load capacity.|
6. Agri-Fab Poly Tow Behind Dump Cart
Our Rating: 8/10
When it comes to sheer size, the Agri-Fab Poly tow dump cart is one of the largest on the market which could make it appealing for heavy and frequent transportation needs.
This product is primed for heavy-duty use. An 800lb weight capacity combined with a 17 cubic foot bed is one of the largest on the market and the universal hitch means it’s compatible with most tractors or mowers.
We feel the foot release dump feature is good for being both ergonomic (easy on the back) and efficient. However, one point to note is that due to the large size of the bed, a shovel or multiple dump attempts may be needed to fully empty the bed.
The low maintenance and durable poly bed is designed to be both easy to clean as well as being suitable for all weather environments. The 16” pneumatic tires should also work well in most terrains.
We’d consider this model if we had a large lawn and required frequent yard work.
|Capacity: An 800lb weight capacity with a 17 cubic foot bed is one of the largest on the market for heavy-duty use.|
Low Maintenance: The durable and easy to clean poly bed make this a low maintenance dump cart.
Ease of Use: The ergonomic foot lever for dump release and universal towing hitch allow for ease of use for many customers, especially some senior users.
|Customer Service: Customer service can be quite slow and poor when it comes to damaged or replacement parts.|
7. Craftsman CMX-GZ-BF-71-24489 10-cu ft Poly Dump Cart
Our Rating: 8/10
Most dump carts on the market are being manufactured with a heavy-duty intention in mind which often comes with the increased price tag. This Craftsman product is an inexpensive alternative that offers a smaller weight capacity at a more affordable price range.
The compact size of this product (10 cubic foot capacity) has all the key features that you’d need from a towable cart.
A universal hitch, quick release foot dump lever, low maintenance poly carb bed and 14” pneumatic tires for use on all terrain all combine to provide what we feel is a low maintenance and easy to use cart.
The 500lb weight capacity is a little on the light side however we think it’s more than suitable for maintenance lawn work. If needed, there is a large bed option available as an upgraded product.
The major hesitation we have with this product is the assembly instructions. This is a common issue with most dump carts however we’d have expected easier instructions from a reputable brand like Craftsman.
Overall, we feel this is an inexpensive dump cart that should assist with most general lawn care work.
|Price: Considering the fact that this is a Craftsman product, we’ve found that it comes in at a relatively inexpensive and affordable price.Low Maintenance: The durable poly cart bed is weatherproof, rust-resistant and easy to clean for year round low maintenance needs.||Weight Capacity: A 500lb weight capacity is on the lower end when it comes to towable dump carts and is therefore better suited to general light-duty lawn care work.Poor Assembly Instructions: As with a lot of dump cart instructions, the assembly instructions with this cart are a little confusing.|
What we Look for in a Dump Cart for a Lawn Tractor
Everyone’s different, and everyone will use their lawn cart for different needs. For example, some will need them for larger areas such as when using a lawn tractor for 5 acre blocks while others will only need it for short trips. So, it’s hard to satisfy everyone’s circumstances in one review. But here are some of our key considerations when looking for a dump cart.
The prices really do vary quite a lot. The usual range is from a little as $160 all the way up above $600 for higher quality models. We do think quality and price generally correlate in this product category. For higher priced models, you’d expect some of the better features like those listed below – including improved load capacity, quality tires, convenient dump functions such as swivel dump, and deep walls.
For weight, capacities in this category range from 400 lbs to 1250 lbs. That’s a huge range. The mid-range of 750 lbs is pretty decent in our opinion, especially for the small tray size. The main reason we’d consider stepping up to 1250 lbs is if we were moving sandstone or other landscaping materials that have very high density.
For volume, most dump carts in this category have a capacity of 10 – 17 cubic feet. That’s significantly more than your average wheelbarrow, but still not a whole lot. Keeping in mind most people looking for the best dump cart for a lawn tractor are seeking to do yard work in a domestic setting, this range will probably be sufficient.
Tipping and Dumping
There are two key things we’d look for when it comes to dumping. The first is a foot-release dump lever. These levers are usually placed next to the axel between the dump cart and your lawn tractor. To release the tray and enable it to tip, you simply put your foot on the lever and use your hands to guide the dump tray as it tips to the floor. Usually in this category, there isn’t pneumatic auto-tipping capacity because the loads tend to be lighter and easier to manage just with your hands.
The second key consideration is swivel dump capacity. For this feature, after releasing the tray with the foot-release lever, you should be able to pivot the dump cart independently of its base so you can dump anywhere within a 100 degree angle. This means you don’t need to get your approach 100% perfect and still dump everything exactly where you want it.
The standard in this category is 14″ to 16″ pneumatic tires. This is more or less sufficient for most yard work. The one thing we do look for is reviews on Amazon to make sure not too many people have mentioned trouble with the tires wobbling, deflating or puncturing. The tires (and suspension) are key considerations when using a riding lawn mower on rough terrain, and this goes for dump carts as well!
Walls and Bed
We like to get a dump cart that’s got nice high walls to contain your load. On top of this, it’s also nice if the walls have nice curled rims or loops to allow you to use a monkey strap to tie down your load if need be. We find that can be really helpful when transporting lighter loads like leaves that will fall out.
Can you use a Dump Cart on a Zero Turn Mower?
Yes, it’s possible to use a dump cart on a zero turn mower, but it’s not always recommended. In general, this is a question that needs to be referred to the manufacturer of the zero turn mower. They may have this sort of information in the instruction manual. One thing we’d be very cautious about is towing a dump cart on a hill with a zero turn mower. Zero turn mowers are not great on hills, and adding the extra weight of a dump cart will only decrease that performance more. If you’re interested in using your mower on hills, it’s worth checking out our reviews of the best riding lawn mowers for hills for more details.
It’s not easy to find the right dump cart for your lawn tractor. This review of the best lawn tractor dump carts has provided some examples and our ratings of them for our personal circumstances. Personally, we’re quite bullish on the Ohio Steel 4048PHYB dump cart for ourselves. We particularly like the very good load capacity. Of course, none of this constitutes advice – professional or otherwise – for you or your circumstances, so do your own due diligence and consult a professional.
We hope this general information has been useful though as you go about searching for the best dump cart for your lawn tractor or ATV!
Simon & Chris