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 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

Do Traveling Sprinklers Work?

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 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 attached to the chassis and controls movement and timing. The chassis is connected to a water hose and transported along the path to supply a steady water flow.

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 a 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. The very water powers this elegant little gadget 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 an 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 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 comprises 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 valves 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 hard-to-reach area gardens and lawns.

Most mobile sprinklers nowadays have replacement parts if your sprinkler is broke down and needs to repair.

Rather than going into too much detail about them, a video 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. 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 bit of experimenting to get the angle of the arms correct, but once you figure this out, you can 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 don’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 how useful they can be over time. Keep the flowers in your garden healthy and the grass on your lawn green without even lifting a finger!

Which Brand is the Best?

Popular brands that you can get in the market are Orbit, Nelson, Craftsman, Rainwave, John Deere, Kifco, and Caterpillar.

Almost all brands of traveling sprinklers have the same features and functions. Thus, when choosing the traveling sprinkler, it normally depends on how reliable the device is, the price, and also how easy to get replacement parts when the device is faulty.

How do you Install a Travel Sprinkler?

Even though many different brands of travel sprinklers are built differently, the installation is basically the same.

These two videos are a demonstration of the installation of Nelson and Holman models. You can make them as references for your travel sprinkler installation if you have no idea how to set them up.



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 don’t like moving traditional sprinklers around every 30 minutes, then it would be a great choice. This is especially helpful for agricultural 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.

How do you fix a tractor sprinkler?

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


If your Nelson traveling sprinkler is not working or going backward, you can refer to this video and try to fix it.

The scarcity of freshwater resources is a global problem. The world’s agricultural developed countries are focusing on water-saving irrigation.

Water-saving irrigation technology can evenly and accurately spray the water needed by crops directly to the water-requiring parts of the crops and be absorbed and used, similar to ordinary furrow irrigation.

Compared with the method, the sprinkler water-saving rate is more than 40%. At present, it is the preferred water-saving irrigation equipment for greenhouse seedling and flower cultivation.

The traveling sprinkler is different from the fixed sprinkler that has the characteristics of adjustable sprinkling height, water droplets, and sprinkling area.

It is convenient, water-saving, practical, labor-saving, and time-saving. It fully meets the requirements of seedling cultivation and flower cultivation. It ensures various requirements of greenhouse environmental conditions. It is a timely and appropriate sprinkler device that can ensure rapid crop growth and increase yield.

how do tractor traveling sprinklers work

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