How do Tractor Traveling Sprinklers Work?

Any homeowner knows that the secret to a lush lawn is making sure the grass gets enough water during the hot summer months. A great way of doing this is by using a traveling sprinkler system.

What is traveling sprinkler?

A traveling sprinkler is a mobile tractor sprinkler unit that is designed with a self-leveling platform to prevent it from tipping over as it makes its rounds. It comes equipped with an oscillating sprinkler head that provides saturation to just the right areas.

These sprinklers are unique in that they travel along with a hose all around your yard, watering everything in their path. While some homes have built-in underground irrigation systems the majority do not. Traveling or walking sprinklers are an inexpensive way to get every corner of your lawn or garden the water it needs to thrive.

traveling sprinkler

How to use a walking sprinkler?

A traveling sprinkler works by using the basic laws of physics to move it around the lawn. The water will travel down the hose and through a pipe in the sprinkler and the force will turn the gears inside, which are connected to an axle.

And similar to a regular vehicle when the axle is turned the wheels will follow. The unit will slowly move around and spray water all over.

This type of system works great on irregularly shaped lawns that are not typically easy to hit with standard sprinklers. Plus with a traveling sprinkler, you don’t have to do much work at all. You can sit in the shade and watch it do what it does best.

The technology is based on sensors that can detect soil variations and compensate by increasing or decreasing the water flow to ensure proper saturation.

The path by which the traveling sprinkler travels is determined by a programmed cable that is attached to the chassis and not only controls movement but controls timing. The chassis is connected to a water hose and is transported along the path to supply a steady flow of water.

Benefits of Traveling Sprinklers

These products have some distinct advantages over the traditional sprinklers that you are used to using. Some of them include:

  • After setup, there is almost no work for you to do.
  • They can cover almost all of your lawn depending on how you angle the arms.
  • Many types to choose from, the most typical being a small tractor sprinkler.
  • They can entertain and cool the kids or family dog on a hot day.
  • They are a lot of fun to watch.

Traveling sprinklers are especially useful for lawns that have unconventional shapes including detailed contours and obstacles. The sprinkler bears the slight resemblance to a pulley car complete with a chassis and wheels that can handle various types of lawn and garden terrain.

The most popular traveling sprinkler on the market today does not need an electrical outlet nor is it driven by gasoline power; it is the tractor sprinkler and its design is revolutionary. This very neat little gadget is powered by the very water that it distributes.

Just like connector gears that a child might use to build a race car, the tractor sprinkler uses water power to propel its gears that are connected to an axle that turn’s the wheels on the tractor causing it to scurry about in your lawn or garden distributing an even water supply.

Tractor Traveling Sprinkler System

A tractor sprinkler is a very innovative product for your lawn that can take the work out of watering. These types of walking or traveling sprinklers have been around for many years but they are gaining in popularity today.

More and more homeowners are busy working at least one job and taking care of their families so they don’t have time to move a traditional sprinkler all over their grass to get the right amount of coverage. There is a good solution, however.

Gears and Parts

The tractor traveling sprinkler is composed of several parts: the arms and tee assembly, motor assembly, the transmission, reel, wheels (3 in number), a worm meta gearbox, a plunger on the end of the sprinkler, a hose connector and a ramp. You may find there are shut off ramp and shut off valve for the sprinkler as well.

Water is expelled and the force generated creates enough momentum to force the arms to bend in opposing directions and generate torque or a rotational force.

The arms are connected to the worm gear and the momentum engages the gear within the transmission. The rotational force generated turns the tractor’s rear wheels and this makes the traveling sprinkler go.

tractor sprinkler
tractor sprinkler

Traveling sprinklers allow you to customize the settings regarding speed variance and stationery watering settings. Once the settings are programmed the unit moves slowly through the programmed path until it reaches the end of its program.

When this occurs the automatic kill switch will be activated to shut the unit off. The incredibly simple design makes the sprinkler easy to operate but this in no way detracts from its effectiveness. These handy traveling sprinklers are excellent for the hard to reach area gardens and lawns.

Most of the mobile sprinkler nowadays are having the replacement parts in case your sprinkler is broke down and needs to repair.

Rather than going into too much detail about them, here is a video that demonstrates how the unique tractor traveling sprinkler system actually works.

It’s pretty easy to see just how you can get greener grass and a lusher garden with less work than previously thought. Simply set the hose up in the route you want the tractor to travel and let it do its’ job.

The force of the water will move the tractor and it will pull the hose up behind itself, stopping once it reaches the end. It may take you a little bit of experimenting to get the angle of the arms correct but once you figure this out you can just leave it alone.

Traveling sprinklers are fun to watch too, even though they don’t move very fast. It is relaxing as you watch them walking to the whole length of the hose. Who says lawn care has to be difficult.

If you are one of those people who like green grass but doesn’t enjoy the work it takes to get there then a tractor traveling sprinkler might be the right tool for you.

People have been using these sprinklers for many years and they have proven over time just how useful they can be. Keep the flowers in your garden healthy and the grass on your lawn green without even lifting a finger!


Some popular brands that you can get in the market are Nelson, Craftsman, John Deere, Kifco, and Caterpillar.

Is a traveling sprinkler right for you?

That really depends on your situation. If you have a larger lawn that is not uniform in shape, or if you just don’t like moving traditional sprinklers around every 30 minutes then it would be a great choice. This is especially helpful for agriculture land.

The summer months can be brutal depending on where you live and this intense heat can really damage your grass in only a few days. Therefore, you need to have this travel watering sprinkler for your lawn rescue.

By keeping ample water on your lawn it will retain its’ lush green color and leave you the envy of your neighbors. Save yourself some work by using something that is designed to put the fun back into lawn care.

Traveling or walking sprinklers were designed by people who don’t like to spend countless hours moving hoses all over their property.

If you are having an Orbit traveling sprinkler and it is not moving, you can refer to this video for troubleshooting.

how do tractor traveling sprinklers work

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *