Spreadmaster 64

Didcot-based Allen Power Equipment offers six models of push broadcast spreader in the Spreadmaster range.

In addition, there is a handheld fertiliser applicator and five units for towing behind lawn tractors, small compacts, utility vehicles or quad bikes. For the test we look at the cheapest and most basic push model plus the newest professional wheeled spreader.
Model 64 is at the lower end of Allen’s push range and has that familiar, somewhat traditional appearance — you know, the “bucket on two wheels” design. It looks basic, but this spreader does a very good and accurate job.
It is largely aimed at homeowners, but at £97 excluding VAT, this spreader is bound to attract the attention of volunteer groups looking after their club bowling green or cricket square. We reckon garden maintenance firms tending small private gardens will also find this one worthwhile, especially when you consider other uses, such as salt application to protect driveways from icy conditions in winter.
The hopper is stainless steel, so it should stand the test of time without presenting any maintenance problems. The same goes for the frame and handle, which are finished in baked-on epoxy enamel, and the nylon gearing is completely enclosed. The hopper holds around 18kg of fertiliser. The two wheels plus a leg hold the spreader steady while the tester fills the hopper with a general autumn/winter fertiliser. With care, you can fill the hopper with the contents of a 25kg sack.
All Spreadmaster machines feature a “dial rate” to give control of delivery rate. A chart is provided to enable quick calculation of rates. Then you simply dial in the rate, push the on/off control lever and start walking.
With a solid aluminium axle, the 64 is lightweight and very easy to push — even when fully loaded. It’s a feature retired club members will appreciate when trying to improve their bowls facilities.
“It couldn’t be simpler to use. It’s a nice little spreader for small areas and because it is so light, it is very manoeuvrable,” says our tester.
For such a basic unit, the 64 gives a good, even spread up to 2.4m. And although fitted with solid tyres, the 20cm-diameter wheels of this spreader are sufficiently wide that they leave very little in the way of wheel marking. For pneumatic tyres it is necessary to move up a model to the 34. This has the same hopper capacity but will set you back another £60 or so.
Accessories for model 64 include a barrier shield to direct the spread straight down. Another option is a hopper cover for wet weather. A hopper extension kit is also available to increase the capacity by one third.

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