We’ve all watched kids pulling their wagons around, and it’s a cute, heartwarming sight. But sometimes, adults need wagons too. If you’re doing basic yard work, a wheelbarrow will do. But for heavy work, you need something that can be cinched to the back of a tractor.
All carts look the same though, so how can you identify the best dump cart for your lawn tractor? By the end of this article, we’ll help you do exactly that. But first, let’s look at 7 popular tractor models, and why the public loves them. Then we can look at selection criteria.
Gorilla Carts are popular, both for their strong build and their versatility. Fitted with four 10-inch pneumatic tires, the cart is more stable than standard two-wheel carts. The cart has a padded handle you can pull by hand. And when you want to dump out your cart content, you tip it over using Gorilla’s patented quick-release feature. The smallest cart carries 600 lbs.
The Gorilla cart can be hauled over grass, concrete, gravel, earthen floors, or paved ground with equal ease. The smallest model measures 36 x 20 inches and has a cubic capacity of 40 cubic feet. The cart bed comes in black and green, in case you’d like to color-coordinate your yard.
Steel carts are sometimes prone to rust, but Gorilla’s steel bed is rust-proof and maintenance-free. You do have to clean the poly bed, but that’s far easier. It doesn’t get as dirty (especially its underside) because of improved ground clearance. The cart has a 1-year limited warranty.
This Gorilla cart weighs a little over 30 pounds while empty, but even the heaviest Gorilla cart is under 70 pounds. The cart – wheels included – rises 19.5 inches off the ground, keeping it clear of bushes and other debris the wheels may kick up into your cart. Older Gorilla carts have steel mesh bodies, but this one has a solid poly body, so be sure to order the latest one.
When you’re looking for a stylish, all-terrain dump cart, go Gorilla. With multiple wheel sizes and capacities, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.
It comes in different capacities including 400, 600, 800, 1,200, and 1,500 lbs.
Its four pneumatic tires are suitable for all-weather-dragging.
It has an easy-to-clean poly bed and a sturdy steel chassis.
The assembly process requires multiple screws, which are easy to lose.
Ordinarily, two-wheeled carts are wobbly. The OxCart takes advantage of that by tapering the back of its steel cart. This diagonal slant, coupled with hydraulic lift-assist, means the cart easily tips to unload. The cart can swivel 110°, letting you unload in multiple directions without turning the tractor or the cart. Its cubic capacity is 12 cubic feet, and it can carry 1,100 lbs.
But despite the heavy load, you’ll only use 10% of your effort. The hydraulic swivel does the other 90%. The 2-inch bent axle helps too, unlike the c-channel axes of many two-wheelers. This axle is full-mandrel, making the cart stronger, sturdier, and more stable than competitors.
The OxCart uses a pin-hole winch attachment to connect to tractors and other haulers. The pin-hole stays intact and undamaged even when the cart is carrying its full 1,100-lb capacity. And because the square steel bed swivels, you can safely use it even with a zero-turn hauler.
The cart weighs 73 pounds when empty, and while it’s described as square, its dimensions are 48.5 inches by 37.4 inches by 12.2 inches. Depending on how, when, and where you order it, you may get a free upgrade to no-flat / run-flat puncture-proof tires. This doesn’t mean they can’t be pierced. It means they continue to work when they’re low on air or have a puncture.
If you’re looking for a sturdy steel dump cart, this is the right choice. It’s been tested and certified by independent quality control labs, so its quality is guaranteed.
Its hydraulic Lift-Assist feature swivels your cart bed 110°.
You can put the cart together in 10 to 15 minutes.
It’s solid steel with a full mandrel bent axle for added strength.
While its capacity stretches to 1,100 lbs, the fine-print recommends sticking to loads of 750 lbs. This extends the lifespan of your cart.
The previous cart we looked at was described as square, but it wasn’t. This cart has lots of clean right angles that make it visually and functionally square. But just like the prior cart, its dimensions are 70 inches by 33 inches by 37 inches, so not quite square, even though it looks it.
Its capacity is 17 cubic feet when it’s heaped over the top, and it can carry loads of up to 1,200 lbs. Its pneumatic wheels are on the smaller side – just 6.5 inches in diameter, and there are only two of them. They allow the bed to tilt individually without tipping the whole cart or lifting its wheels off the ground. This means you don’t have to detach it from the tractor to tip it.
This is a US-made model, though some of its parts are imported. The cart weighs 136 pounds when empty, and being a steel cart, it may need occasional re-painting to deter rust. You should also be careful not to overstuff your cart. If you do, the tailgate may be damaged.
How so? When you want to ‘open’ the back, you slide the tailgate up its channels and off the truck. But if you overload the cart, the sides bulge out, which distorts the alignment of your tailgate channels. And no, you can’t just hammer them back into position.
This OxCart model can carry quite a load, so you’ll be tempted to exceed it. But this could spoil the effectiveness of your cart, specifically, stability and tailgate removal.
It has a removable tailgate for easy loading and unloading.
It comes with a 3-year warranty.
Its square appearance is masculine and Spartan, ideal for rugged outdoor use.
Its wheel diameter is on the smaller side, which slightly reduces stability.
Yard work doesn’t have to be sexist. But depending on who’s doing the buying, you may veer towards something that looks hardy and manly. And Ohio Steel fits the bill. The look and feel of this dump cart drip metaphorical testosterone and ensure its extended lifespan.
Despite its name, the cart isn’t made of steel. Instead, it has a poly body with a tapered back that you can tip over. It’s a two-wheel model that weighs 88 pounds when empty and can carry up to 1,000 lbs when full. However, it’s advisable to keep the load below 750 lbs for longer life.
The cart chassis is made from structured foam and it swivels 105° to empty the bed while keeping all wheels on the ground. The carts have a capacity of 12.5 cubic feet. It measures 39 x 48.2 x 13.8 inches. Its wheels are 6 inches thick and have a diameter of 15.5 inches.
Because it’s a poly cart and its components aren’t securely packed, it sometimes gets dented during shipping. The hardware is loose inside the box, so sharp, hard pieces may roll around in transit and damage the plastic. They should probably tape these pieces inside the shipping box. Or they could package the hardware in molded cardboard or shape-fitted Styrofoam.
This Agri-Fab cart matches its name, offering hardy beauty and matching brawn. But the tapered back doesn’t completely dump out the cart, so it may need your helping hands.
It has a rugged, masculine aesthetic.
Its maximum capacity is 1,000 lbs (though the manufacturer recommends 750)
It has a 105° swivel feature.
Because it doesn’t abide by Prop 65 requirements, it doesn’t ship to California. Also, while it can be emptied without detaching, you have to remove the last bits manually.
Rubbermaid is known for producing solid storage containers. Some even have castors for easier movement. But this dump tractor cart is a different category. It’s molded from structural foam so it has no seams where moisture and dirt can hide. This keeps the cart clean and leak-proof.
It has 20-inch pneumatic tires that roll just as easily on grass, soil, sand, or unpaved earth. This particular model is on the smaller side, with a capacity of only 200 pounds. But other carts in this series go up to 700 pounds. The larger models have thicker wheels to match.
This HDPE cart measures 19 by 47 by 22.5 inches, and its 700-pound sibling measures 26 inches x 58 inches x 40.25 inches. Rubbermaid dump carts look a lot like wheelbarrows, but the horizontal bar on their handles can be attached to a tractor or some other hauling vehicle.
Rubbermaid’s smallest cart weighs 47 pounds when empty. If you’re pushing it by hand and keeping the cart in front of you, its short handles can feel uncomfortable. You could lug it behind you instead, or hook it to a hauler. It has a back-stopper to prevent it from rearing backward.
Seamless carts are cleaner and less smelly when you’re carrying loose materials like soil, cement, or unbottled water, so if you want an easier cleaning routine, get a Rubbermaid Big Wheel
Its wheels have a 20-inch diameter for added stability.
The cart has no seams, meaning both its bed and its wheels are waterproof.
The structural foam construction makes it weather resistant.
Its extra-large wheels make it more stable than most two-wheel models, but they also prevent the bed from tipping individually. Meaning you have to lift the wheels off the ground to ensure the cart bed empties effectively.
This Polar Trailer is a no-frills model that gets the job done. It has a load capacity of 600 pounds and a cubic capacity of 7 cubic feet, which can be extended to 10 cubic feet if you heap it. The cart weighs 51 pounds when empty, and it’s wheels are 4.8 inches thick with a diameter of 8 inches.
The steel bed has sealed, shielded ball bearings, so even though the wheels are narrow, they can smoothly traverse all kinds of terrain. The cart also has a quick-release mechanism that makes it easier to tip and empty. Polar Trailer’s tubular technology ensures a long life and superior performance. Its maximum recommended tow speed is 10 MPH, so don’t drive in the fast lane.
If you plan to drive your cart on the highway, opt for a larger 4-wheel model that can carry up to 1,500 lbs, but for this model, restrict those bright yellow wheels to home and garden use.
It as a sturdy polyethylene tub sitting on a steel chassis.
The bed is powder-coated to prevent rust.
It has a tilt-and-pivot frame for easy usage.
It can’t be driven faster than 10 MPH without damaging your cart.
Plastic carts don’t have to be flimsy or cheap. This dump cart from Husqvarna has a bed made from HDPE (high-density polyethylene), sometimes called structural foam. It has a cubic capacity of 12.5 cubic feet when heaped, and can handle a load of up to 1,250 pounds. Its bright orange chassis is a nice touch.
With most dump carts, you have to tip them over by hand or engage the tipping mechanism. This cart uses a foot-pedal instead. You step on it to activate the swivel feature, providing 100° of give. The cart weighs 84 pounds when it’s fully unloaded, and it measures 49.5 x 40.5 x 15 inches, and its tires are 16 inches in diameter and are 8 inches thick.
The cart attaches easily, thanks to its spring-loaded pin. The cart rises 10 inches off the ground, which is decent clearance. It’s moderately simple to put together, but this isn’t exactly a ‘for dummies’ type of assembly. Look for a demo video – the written instructions are tricky.
Aesthetically, the black-and-orange design is eye-catching, and its 1,250 capacity is above the industry average. But if anything breaks down, it’s almost impossible to find replacement parts.
It has a 100° swivel function.
It can carry 1,250 lbs.
It has a step-pedal that’s ergonomically designed.
It’s difficult to find spare parts, even basic ones like axles and tractor pins.
Obviously, the best dump cart for your lawn tractor needs a winch hold. There are different kinds, so that’s part of your selection criteria. What else should you consider?
Most people assume this is about how much weight the cart can hold. So they focus on visual size and volume. But cart measurements influence cart chassis. If the cart carries 800 pounds or less, it probably has a 0.75-inch axle. If it carries over 1,000 pounds, the axle diameter is 1 inch.
So while you may want to stuff extra baggage onto your cart, it could damage the axle, which is expensive to replace. So don’t add stuff just because it fits. Instead, think about your average outdoor cartload, then buy the right cart size, ensuring it’s fitted with the right axle.
The load is often described in cubic feet, though it may be defined in grams and kilos as well. So while stated capacity an important figure, prioritize axle width over cubic feet. Besides, axle strength has a bigger effect on weight distribution. It plays a bigger role than cubic capacity.
Suppose your cart claims it can carry 50 cubic feet, but it has a ¾-inch axle. If your load is a single piece of equipment, it may sit on one side of the cart. Even if the axle can handle that mass, one side of the cart may dip from the weight. Depending on the material, it may dent or break.
Pull-carts can be made from poly, steel, or foam. At a glance, they all look the same, because of their attractive colored coating. If you’re buying from a physical hardware store, you can tap the sides and kick the wheels to be sure of construction quality.
But if you’re buying online, read reviews and watch demo videos. Check for user anecdotes regarding the material. And read the care labels carefully to be sure. After all, ‘plastic’ could mean polyethylene, ABS, polyurethane, or the cheaper kind found in processed food packaging.
What will you mostly use your tub for? Carrying leaves and twigs after raking the yard? Carrying tools and gardening supplies? Mixing grout and mortar? Transporting small farm animals, pets, (or toddlers) around your yard or work-site? And how often will you use the dump cart?
Maybe you plan to mix construction materials or farm materials in your cart. These include animal feeds, concrete, or grout. For this, you need a waterproof cart that’s easy to clean. But if it’s just for cleaning up after your leaf-blower, a plain painted cart works fine.
But if you’re lugging heavier equipment, you may want something with a removable or fold-back tailgate. This makes it easier to load and unload your tractor dump cart. Function will also affect how sturdy your winch handles are. You don’t want them to pull away with the tractor.
Some carts have wheelbarrow wheels, which don’t last very long. And then there are carts whose tires resemble lawnmowers. Others have thicker wheels that are similar to the tractor that’s towing them. Think about how long the tires will last. Confirm how quickly they fill and deflate.
Also, see how easily they come off because many people prefer to take off the wheels when they want to store their dump cart. Once you buy the wheels (and the cart), it’s a good idea to fill them with tire sealant. This prevents puncture damage and extends the lifespan of your cart wheels. Buy a tire pump for your cart. It lets you refill the wheels at your convenience.
You should also check how well the wheels perform on various surfaces. Some tires are ‘off-road’ so they work well on farmland, loose soil, gravel, or sand. Others have a narrow tread that works best on tarmac, pavement, or concrete. Check their slip-resistance too, for wet areas.
If you buy a metal cart, you may need to repaint it once in a while. Atmospheric moisture could make your cart rust, so make sure no portion of the metal is ‘nude’. If you buy a cart with cheaper paint, it may need occasional sanding and coating. Plastic carts mostly need rinsing.
Get a cart you can hose down after use, especially if you’re carrying powdery or liquid substances. This could be anything from loose soil and cement to mixed sludge. If you regularly put these in your dump cart, buy one that’s easier to clean, since it’ll always be dirty.
While assembly isn’t strictly part of cart maintenance, it’s something to think about. Does your cart come ready-to-use or do you have to ‘construct’ it yourself by joining the parts in the box? What tools do you need, and are they part of your cart package? Most carts have removable wheels, but what about the cart itself? Does it stay assembled or does it dismantle for storage?
If you can get a cart that has a pump, shovel, sealant, or spare tires included, that’s a better deal than just buying a plain cart. Even if you don’t buy, it gives you an idea of the type of tools and ‘extras’ your cart requires. You can always buy these accessories second-hand if you need to.
Look at the quality if your cart handle and how easily it attaches to your tractor. Does it have loops or a winch-hold, and how securely is it attached to the tractor? You don’t want to drive your tractor several miles only to realize you’re pulling a broken cart handle instead of a cart.
If possible, get a reversible handle so that you can either pull it by tractor or by hand. You can also check the type of ball bearings fitted onto your dump cart. If they need greasing, this adds to your cart maintenance routine. Especially because grease is messy and needs … elbow grease when you want to clean it off. Otherwise, it will stain your floors, hands, clothes, and cartload.
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Now that we’ve shared selection suggestions and our seven top contenders, which tractor cart wins? We recommend Gorilla Carts, and here’s why we love them.
Their load options stretch from 400 lbs to 1,500 lbs.
Their steel beds are sturdy and their poly carts are easy to clean.
They resist rust and haul just as easily on grass, sand, red soil, or tarmac.
Their handles are padded for blister-free hauling.
They can still attach them to tractors, golf carts, or riding lawn mowers.
What cart are you using right now? Take a tractor selfie and share it in the comments!