The Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors of 2022

These handy haulers offer a step up from wagons and wheelbarrows and make a riding mower twice as useful.

By Mark Wolfe | Published Mar 31, 2022 8:20 AM

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The Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors Options

Photo: Amazon

Whether you need to haul garden debris to the compost pile or bring in a load of firewood, a wheelbarrow or garden wagon may not quite cut it. That’s where a dump cart for lawn tractor hauling can help. A helpful time-saver that can also save wear and tear on your body, a lawn dump cart can be an excellent addition to your collection of landscaping tools.

These two- or four-wheeled carts range in size from about 7 cubic feet to more than 20 cubic feet and hold up to 1,500 pounds or more. They attach to a lawn tractor with a drop pin, and they offer the convenience of a tilting bed to quickly offload bulk material.

We’ve assembled a list of the toughest, most capable lawn tractor dump carts. Keep reading to learn more about key considerations to bear in mind while shopping for the best dump cart for lawn tractors. Also check out the detailed reviews of our picks for some of the best options on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Ohio Steel 15 cu. Ft. Poly Swivel Dump Cart
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Agri-Fab 45-0101 Dump Cart
  3. BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: Polar Trailer HD 1500 Poly Dump Trailer
  4. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: MotoAlliance Impact Heavy Duty Utility Cart
  5. BEST STEEL: Craftsman 12 cu ft Steel Dump Cart
  6. BEST POLY: John Deere 10PX Poly Cart
  7. BEST WAGON: Gorilla Carts Heavy-Duty Poly Dump Cart
best dump cart for lawn tractor option

Photo: amazon.com

Types of Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors

Before settling on a particular cart, learn a little about the types of dump carts for lawn tractors. They are generally categorized according to the bed, tub, and material.

Poly Tub Dump Cart

Poly, or polyethylene, tub dump carts contain beds made of high-impact polyethylene. Because of their lightweight combination of strength, durability, and longevity, these are the most popular carts.

Poly tub carts hold water, which is helpful when hauling a load of potted plants or wet mulch across a clean concrete driveway. The material resists cracking, is easy to clean, and won’t rust.

Plastic Tub Dump Cart

Plastic tub dump carts initially share many of the same characteristics as poly tub carts. They are also lightweight, easy to clean, watertight, and strong. But the material is less durable and susceptible to cracking over time, especially after extended periods in direct sunlight, which can cause the material to slowly degrade.

Plastic dump carts are a budget-friendly purchase, but they won’t last as long as some of the other types.

Steel Tub Dump Cart

Steel tub dump carts offer a balance of affordability, durability, and easy operation. Most of these carts have a flat bottom and removable tailgate for thorough dumping of bulk material.

The steel is very strong, but it’s susceptible to dents, bending under heavy loads, or rusting if the paint or powder coating gets damaged. Steel dump carts often weigh slightly less than similar-size poly or polymer carts.

Polymer Dump Cart

Structural foam polymer dump carts are the most durable of all the carts. The high-strength, low-density polymer material is resistant to cracking, warping, compression, and ultraviolet damage.

Like poly and plastic carts, polymer dump carts carts are watertight, but they’re typically heavier. They are generally more expensive than the other types, but they hold up very well under heavy loads.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Dump Cart for a Lawn Tractor

In addition to the construction material, pay attention to the following details when shopping for the right dump cart for a lawn tractor.

Maximum Load and Capacity

When trying to determine how much a dump cart can haul, the physical measurements tell only part of the story. Check out the manufacturer’s specified maximum load weight and volume, or capacity, and compare that with the maximum towing capacity for the lawn tractor.

Lawn tractor dump cart capacities range from about 7 cubic feet to more than 20 cubic feet. To add perspective, a bag of topsoil averages about 0.75 cubic feet, a bag of mulch is usually either 2 or 3 cubic feet, and a bale of straw is 5.25 cubic feet. A larger cart can haul more, but also factor in the weight of the load.

The maximum load weight for dump carts ranges from less than 500 pounds to more than 1,500 pounds. Regardless of bed size, following the maximum load weight is the best way to avoid damaging the wheels, axles, and bed mounts. Again, for perspective, a bag of gravel or concrete mix weighs 60 to 80 pounds, a young tree in a 15-gallon container may weigh 90 pounds, while a bag of mulch weighs about 20 pounds.

Dimensions and Weight

When considering the hauling capabilities of a cart, remember to account for its physical proportions. Evaluate the dimensions to figure out if it will easily travel. Measure any bottleneck areas, such as gates and walkways, that it will pass over or through, as well as the available storage space.

The weight of the trailer is part of the total weight counted against the lawn tractor’s maximum towing capacity. If it’s a small tractor, avoid buying a big, heavy trailer that may overwhelm it.

Axle, Tires, and Mobility

Axle and tire size and tire type have an outsized impact on overall cart mobility. In general, larger tires roll more easily than smaller ones. Pneumatic tires cushion the ride across rough terrain and provide better traction, but flat-free and other solid wheel types may be easier to pull on hard, flat surfaces.

There are two basic types of axle. These include a solid axle with wheels attached at both ends, which is a simple, inexpensive configuration but with reduced clearance height. The second type of axle has independently mounted wheels, which offer much higher clearance. However, it’s a bit more complicated with more individual parts, which is only problematic in a cheaper cart.

Finally, the trailer tongue length is a mobility factor. A trailer with a longer tongue is easier to steer while backing up, but a trailer with a shorter tongue can make tighter turns.

Versatility

Versatility often depends on the cart’s construction material; for instance, a watertight bed could be used for bottom-watering potted plants. The bed rails may be the perfect height to use as a mobile potting bench with a board across the top.

Also watch for added features, such as a trailer tongue that converts into a garden wagon handle for easy manual operation or removable side rails to turn the dump cart into a flatbed.

Release Mechanism

Many people want a dump cart to make unloading easier. The style and placement of the release mechanism make a difference. The catch-and-release mechanism engages where the trailer tongue meets the front of the tub.

Powered dumping is rare, so the user must operate the release while simultaneously raising the tub by hand. The two most popular designs include:

  • Spring-loaded lift handles on the tub engage a catch on trailer frames. Lifting the handle releases the catch and raises the tub.
  • Spring levers on the frame engage a catch beneath the tub. Pushing the lever forward releases the catch, after which the bed must be lifted. The best models with this kind of configuration have a foot pedal to depress the lever, leaving both hands free to raise the tub.

Our Top Picks

We selected the following models based on the quality of their construction, brand reputation, and high user ratings. Ahead, read the detailed reviews of our picks to help you choose the best dump cart for lawn tractor work.

Best Overall

The Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors Option: Ohio Steel 15 cu. Ft. Poly Swivel Dump Cart
Photo: tractorsupply.com

For those in need of a highly durable, mobile dump cart with lots of versatility, this could be the best pick. The Ohio Steel 4048P-HYB is designed to work with either a lawn tractor or an ATV. It offers a generous 15-cubic-foot 1,250-pound hauling capacity and a rugged, watertight structural foam polymer dump bed.

This cart offers excellent hauling mobility. It has a rotating hitch that can be used with either a drop pin or ball attachment. Independently mounted wheels and 16-inch commercial grade multi-terrain tires allow for 12 inches of ground clearance to navigate rough ground or brushy areas. The foot-pedal-operated swivel dump allows for stable dumping at angles up to 50 degrees to the right or left. This middle-of-the-pack priced cart appears to have real value.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 15 cubic feet
  • Weight capacity: 1,250 pounds
  • Bed type: Structural foam polymer

Pros

  • Heavy-duty lightweight structural foam tub
  • Large volume and weight capacity
  • Excellent maneuverability

Cons

  • Limited range for ATV use
  • 47-inch width may be too wide for some walk-through gates

Get the Ohio Steel dump cart at Tractor Supply Co., The Home Depot, or on Amazon.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors Option: Agri-Fab 45-0101 Dump Cart
Photo: amazon.com

The Agri-Fab 45-0101 steel cart is designed for everyday chores like hauling mulch, firewood, or yard debris. The 12-cubic-foot 750-pound hauling capacity can haul two bales of straw, 16 bags of soil, or several flats of plants.

Many features make this cart easy to use and maintain for a long, productive life. A universal drop-pin-style hitch quickly connects this cart to any lawn tractor. The 16-inch pneumatic tires maneuver smoothly over rough ground. The wheel bearings are fitted with grease zerks for easy maintenance and longevity. The single-lever foot-operated dump mechanism and removable tailgate make unloading easy. The steel bed is powder coated for durability.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 12 cubic feet
  • Weight capacity: 750 pounds
  • Bed type: Steel

Pros

  • Powder-coated steel bed
  • 16-inch pneumatic tires
  • Narrow body fits through most walk-in gates
  • Budget-friendly price

Cons

  • Smaller load capacity
  • Assembly required

Get the Agri-Fab dump cart on Amazon.

Best Large-Capacity

The Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors Option: Polar Trailer HD 1500 Poly Dump Trailer
Photo: homedepot.com

For tackling bigger jobs with bigger equipment, the Polar Trailer HD 1500 might be the best choice. The heavy-duty drop-pin hitch is compatible with both lawn tractor and ATV couplings. The generous 22-cubic-foot 1,500-pound load capacity is backed by rugged materials and construction details for outstanding performance and durability.

The HD 1500 is built with a strong tubular steel frame and extra-thick polyethylene bed to stand up to heavy loads of rocks or firewood. The tilt-and-swivel bed with quick-release latch offers high ground clearance and easy, stable off-loading. The 18-inch-wide track pneumatic tires with shielded ball bearings provide excellent mobility and stability on uneven terrain. This cart excels for off-road bulk hauling.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 22 cubic feet
  • Weight capacity: 1,500 pounds
  • Bed type: Poly

Pros

  • Extra-large hauling capacity
  • Durable components
  • Convenient swivel dump
  • High ground clearance

Cons

  • Does not empty thoroughly when dumped
  • Too large for some lawn tractors to haul

Get the Polar Trailer dump cart at The Home Depot or Northern Tool + Equipment.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors Option: MotoAlliance Impact Heavy Duty Utility Cart
Photo: amazon.com

Designed with the demanding off-road needs of ATVers in mind, this MotoAlliance utility cart features heavy-duty construction from top to bottom. The heavy-duty drop-pin hitch works with lawn tractors, ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles, and more. This cart has a load capacity of 15 cubic feet and 1,500 pounds.

The cart includes a heavy-duty steel frame and an impact-resistant polyethylene tub that reduces weight but holds up to the stresses of hard, heavy loads like logs and rock. Removable steel mesh side rails provide maximum bed space. At 18 inches by 8 inches wide, its four-ply pneumatic tires and a pass-through axle allow for 12 inches of ground clearance. A foot-activated quick-release latch and tilt bed make off-loading safer and easier.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 15 cubic feet
  • Weight capacity: 1,500 pounds
  • Bed type: Poly

Pros

  • Large payload capacity
  • High ground clearance
  • Large, wide, deep-lug pneumatic tires
  • Moderate price point

Cons

  • Too wide to fit through most walk-through gates
  • Does not empty completely when dumped
  • Dump mechanism doesn’t swivel

Get the MotoAlliance dump cart on Amazon or at Walmart.

Best Steel

The Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors Option: Craftsman 12 cu ft Steel Dump Cart
Photo: acehardware.com

The design of the basic steel lawn tractor dump cart has remained consistent for decades, because it’s just what many users need. This Craftsman steel cart features durable construction, a good size for daily use with any-size lawn tractor, and a budget-friendly price. It hauls up to 12 cubic feet or 750 pounds.

The Craftsman steel dump cart features a corrosion-resistant, powder-coated steel bed, with a removable tailgate for easy loading and clean dumping. The foot pedal dump release and 40-degree maximum dump angle make dumping a breeze. The ribbed 16-inch tires roll smoothly across uneven terrain. They are mounted on steel rims with grease zerks for easy maintenance. Assembly is required.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 12 cubic feet
  • Weight capacity: 750 pounds
  • Bed type: Steel

Pros

  • Narrow enough to fit through most walk-through gates
  • Powder-coated steel bed and frame
  • 16-inch ribbed pneumatic tires on steel rims

Cons

  • Assembly is required
  • Steel is susceptible to scratches and dents

Get the Craftsman dump cart at Ace Hardware or Lowe’s.

Best Poly

The Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors Option: John Deere 10PX Poly Cart
Photo: amazon.com

The John Deere 10PX Poly Cart checks a few boxes that other poly carts don’t. With a payload capacity of 10 cubic feet and 650 pounds, it’s compact enough to navigate narrow garden gates and bulky enough to work twice as hard as a hand cart or wheelbarrow.

The 10PX Poly Cart has a watertight poly tub with a 180-degree dump range. It empties completely without extra handwork required for dumping. The dump mechanism is conveniently foot operated. The ¼-inch-thick bed material won’t dent or rust, even with hard, dense materials like rock, metal tools, or firewood. The 15-inch tubeless pneumatic tires with turf tread roll smoothly across the landscape without damaging grass.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 10 cubic feet
  • Weight capacity: 650 pounds
  • Bed type: Poly

Pros

  • Empties completely
  • Fits through most walk-through gates
  • Watertight poly bed
  • Heavy-duty construction

Cons

  • Smaller, lighter load capacity than comparably priced models
  • Strong impacts may discolor the bed

Get the John Deere dump cart on Amazon, at The Home Depot, or at Walmart.

Best Wagon

The Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors Option: Gorilla Carts Heavy-Duty Poly Dump Cart
Photo: amazon.com

Compact spaces require versatility and dexterity. The Gorilla Carts Heavy-Duty Poly Dump Cart can help. This large garden wagon straddles the line between hand cart and tow-behind cart. It has a load capacity of 6 cubic feet and 1,200 pounds.

This wagon excels when yard work is too heavy for a wheelbarrow but the space is too tight for a full-size dump cart. The four-wheel design with 13-inch pneumatic tires distributes the weight of the load so that very heavy loads are easy to roll by hand even on rough or sloped ground.

Independently mounted wheels allow for good ground clearance. For longer distances in open space, the handle pivots to become a drop-pin hitch to tow behind a lawn tractor. The dump mechanism is a patented spring-loaded lift handle.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 6 cubic feet
  • Weight capacity: 1,200 pounds
  • Bed type: Poly

Pros

  • Converts from hand-pull to tow-behind cart
  • Four-wheel stability
  • Easy access to small spaces
  • Full dump

Cons

  • Small volume capacity
  • Difficult to reverse while towing

Get the Gorilla Carts dump cart on Amazon or at Walmart.

Our Verdict

For most dump cart users, a simple, affordable, durable cart with a generous payload capacity is the ideal solution. That’s why we recommend the Ohio Steel Dump Cart as our top pick. Those who need a cart for daily use where narrow pathways and gates are part of the equation may appreciate the steel Agri-Fab Dump Cart. In addition to being affordable, it fits into places where larger carts cannot.

How We Chose the Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractors

In our selection process, we favored quality of materials and construction, positive customer ratings, product availability, and value pricing. We filtered out any customer rating issues with the purchase and shipping processes to focus solely on the product itself.

To compile our recommendations of the best dump carts for lawn tractors, we relied on product specifications provided by the manufacturer, favorable comparative analysis among competing products, and verified positive customer reviews.

FAQs

After reviewing our recommendations and suggested shopping criteria, questions may linger about buying a new dump cart. The following are some of the most commonly asked questions.

Q. Are dump carts hard to assemble/put together?

Home assembly is required for most dump carts. Putting together a dump cart typically requires basic hand tools, such as wrenches, sockets, hex keys, and pliers. The total time required averages around an hour.

Q. How do you hook up a dump cart to a tractor?

Most dump carts attach to the lawn tractor by a drop pin. The pin looks something like a bolt with no threads. As the name suggests, it’s dropped down through aligned holes in the trailer tongue and tractor hitch.

Q. Do I have to grease the wheels of my new dump cart before I use it?

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. As a general rule, if grease fittings are present, you should grease them. Some dump carts have sealed bearings, which need no grease.

Q. What is the pressure requirement for dump cart wheels?

Each kind of tire is different and comes with its own instructions. Inflate the tires on your dump cart to the maximum pressure indicated on the sidewall of the tires.

Q. Can dump carts for lawn tractors withstand tough terrains?

Lawn tractor dump carts that are designated “heavy-duty” or “hybrid” (meaning they may be used with either lawn tractors or ATVs) are built with sturdier frames, tubs, wheels, and tires. Pay special attention to the frame material and tires. Tubular steel or square steel framing and wide, multi-ply rubber tires are usually best.

Q. How long do dump carts last?

With average care and storage while not in use, a dump cart can last 20 to 30 years or longer. To maximize its lifespan, monitor tire condition and pressure, grease the fittings once or twice a year, and don’t overload it.