Nelson Tractor Sprinkler – Read Pro Product Review & Buyer Guide 2018

Owning a great looking lawn is great, except the watering part! This is where Nelson tractor sprinkler can help you. Millions of users all around the world use this travelling tractor sprinkler to water their lawns efficiently at a low cost compared to a conventional sprinkler system.

What is Nelson Tractor Sprinkler?

Manual lawn watering is time consuming, less efficient and often boring. This is why most of the serious gardeners and lawn owners are going to shift from manual watering to a more convenient watering option. If you are like most them, your first choice is most likely a regular sprinkler system.

However, a regular system will have lot of drawbacks. The biggest is their limited reach. This means you have to set up several sprinklers or move the sprinkler around all the time to water your whole garden.

Travelling sprinkler like Nelson tractor eliminate this problem. It moves by itself! And water the lawn/garden in the process. You just need a one sprinkler and enough hose to effectively water your medium to large lawn. And it’s fun to watch too.

Nelson tractor sprinkler is a self-propelled sprinkler which can follow a garden hose in any pattern you create across the garden. The tractor is propelled by the water pressure. You don’t need batteries, recharging or fuel to run this system. Just connect it to a hose, open the faucet and tractor will start moving.

This tractor sprinkler will follow the hose back towards the hose faucet. There is a shut-off ramp which can stop the sprinkler action of the tractor. You can place the shut-off ramp at any point along the hose so you can open the water faucet and forget about it. Nelson travelling tractor will water the lawn and automatically stop at the shut-off ramp.

Here is a video showing the basic operation of Nelson tractor sprinkler.

How it works

The Nelson tractor sprinkler or Rain Train as they call it, uses the water pressure from your garden hose to power the gear transmission that ultimately rotates the large back wheels, pulling the device forward. The water line directly connected to the back of the unit which feeds water to the spray arms that can rotate.

You can set up to 200 feet hose across the lawn/garden in your desired pattern. Rain train will follow the hose delivering a deep, even watering over the entire area of coverage in the course of its travel. Therefore, make sure you lay the hose in a way that travelling sprinkler can wet all the desired area of your lawn.

Some Positive Features of the Nelson Tractor Sprinkler

Here are some interesting features of the device that you’ll find with this device.

Watering area

This feature is what sets the Nelson tractor sprinkler miles ahead from regular sprinklers. With 200 feet of hose you can cover approximately up to 13,000 square feet without a problem. Also by setting the tractor speed, you can decide the amount of water your garden is going to get. At high speed setting the tractor will apply about ¼ inch of water while in low setting you’ll be delivering ½ inch of water.

nelson tractor sprinkler

Cast iron body

If you’ve used this type of a sprinkler before you will really appreciate the fact how heavy the Nelson tractor base is. This sprinkler doesn’t fall over like almost every plastic version of this type of sprinkler. The body is also powder coated which will provide an added protection and resist against rust giving you a long service life

Adjustable wetting range

Nelson tractor sprinkler comes with easily adjustable spray arms for easy change of wetting range. The system is capable of deliver water, with an ordinary water line, from 15 feet to 55 feet. Following figure shows the arm position and the wetting range you can set during the operation. It’s also pretty ingenious how you can adjust the arms for wider or tighter areas.

Shut off ramp

Another great feature of Nelson tractor sprinkler is the automatic shut-off ramp. You can simply snap the shutoff ramp to the hose where you want the sprinkler to stop. There’s a spike from beneath of the ramp to anchor it to the ground. Make sure you have some straight hose (~ 5 feets) on both side of the ramp.

With the auto shutoff ramp you just turn on the tractor and walk away. Once the sprinkler get to the ramp it will be automatically shut off saving you lot of water and peace of mind.

Speed control

This travelling sprinkler has three speed settings: HIGH, LOW or NEUTRAL. You just need to pull up on the speed selector knob to switch between high and light speed condition. Neutral setting allows the sprinkler to sit in one place and water a specific area. Depending on the speed setting you select, Nelson travelling sprinkler can travel an average of 0 to 37 feet per hour.

Tractor speed will also determine the amount of water you will be delivering to the ground. For an example, if the tractor is set to the low position the sprinkler will travel slower and, therefore deliver more water to a given area. And vise-versa.

Product Guarantee

Nelson tractor sprinkler comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty which means the warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship. Defective products will be repaired, replaced or substituted with a product of an equal value as long as the original consumer owns the product. Company is known to stand behind their product and attending to the requirements of the consumers.

Some Negative

Internal components

Although the tractor body is made out of cast iron and durable, internal components like the driving gears are made out of plastic. Small percentage of consumers complain about the breaking/wearing of the gears as a result, often giving a clicking noise.


Nelson tractor sprinkler would sometimes have trouble keeping upright on uneven or sloped terrain. But it does much better than those cheap plastic options, but worth to keep in your mind if your garden matches the description. Also if you have loose soil you will have some trouble too. What happens is that when the sprinkler starts dragging too much hose, the wheels dig themselves into a rut. Then you might have to help it by pulling the hose back up.

Some tips to use Nelson Travelling Sprinkler 

  • .You will need enough water pressure for this product to work optimally. While the water pressure in most of the homes is more than enough, you may consider beefing up your water pressure or leveling up its path if your waterline pressure is not so great.
  • If you have thick grass and heavy hose, the hose has a slight tendency to pull down on the back wheels making the tractor to flip in a bend. But for the most part it will complete the run. If you have this problem just use a smaller hose.
  • Nelson tractor sprinkler will face problems in sand and light much. Usually, bigger back wheels help prevent wheels pushing in to a rut. But may be something you should keep in your mind.
  • If you have hard water, make sure you clean the device once in a while.
  • Don’t set the hose to have a very curvy bend
  • Remove any twigs, sticks, pine cones, etc as it may get stuck and impeded by them
  • Adding some lubricants to the wheels helps.

Question & Answers

Question: My yard has a fairly steep hill which slopes down from the spigots. How steep of a hill can this thing handle?

Answer: This would depend upon the type of dirt and water pressure which translates in to traction and the pulling power. Nelson tractor sprinkler can handle 10 degree slope uphill, with normal water pressure. However, it’s best to avoid a direct climb by laying the hose diagonally to the slope.

Question: Is the hose included?

Answer: No

Question: What is more important for sprinkler throw? water flow (gpm) or water pressure? (psi) I have relatively good pressure (80psi) but low flow (5.62 gpm)

Answer: You need the water pressure to throw the water. These conditions can be used this product.

Question: Won’t move at all. Wheels seems stiff. What makes it go forward?

Answer: Check whether the arms in the correct configuration. Also check the knob on the top of the tractor set on neutral? Neutral setting is for stationary position.

Question: does this have metal gears?

Answer: The internal gears are plastic. No model carries metal gears. But plastic gears just fine for most users.

Question: Should the metal arms fit snugly into the holes?

Answer: Yes, they screw in. Pressurized water comes out the arms which is what propels the gear mechanism inside, which causes the machine to move.

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