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Nelson Traveling Sprinkler RainTrain 13,500 square feet Yellow 818653-1001
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- Cast-iron body with chip resistant, powder-coat paint
- Coverage up to 13,500 square feet
- Travels up to 200 feet
- Adjustable aluminum spray arms provide coverage range from 15 feet to 55 feet in diameter
- Automatic shut-off
- Can travel up to 200 feet and cover as much as 13,500 square feet
- Long lasting Cast-iron body
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From the manufacturer
Rain Train Traveling Sprinkler - Durable and Reliable Performance
The Nelson Rain Train is the original traveling sprinkler and a beloved classic of lawn care. Since 1965, it has helped millions of homeowners effortlessly take care of their yard. The Rain Train uses the power of water to navigate around the lawn following a customized hose path. It travels up to 200 feet and covers as much as 13,500 square feet. A choice of three speeds allows you adjust the level of water saturation for your lawn. While automatic shut-off prevents water waste. Set the Rain Train up at the starting point, turn it on and watch it go to work.
How It Works
The Rain Train traveling sprinkler uses the water pressure from your garden hose to power the transmission that ultimately rotates the large back wheels.
The Rain Train is self-propelled along the pattern laid out by the hose.
The Rain Train includes automatic shut-off which prevents water waste. The auto shut-off ramp allows you to set up the sprinkler and walk away. Once the sprinkler gets to the ramp, it will be automatically shut off.
Limited Lifetime Warranty:
This product is warranted to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for as long as the original consumer owns the product. At Nelson Division’s option, defective product will be repaired, replaced or substituted with a product of equal value. For warranty service, call the toll free number. Nelson Division shall in no event be liable for any incidental or consequential damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above exclusion may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may have other rights, which may vary from state to state.
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|Item Dimensions||9.25 x 1 x 20.25 in||19 x 7 x 7 in||17.8 x 7.13 x 3.23 in||10 x 4 x 17 in||8 x 10 x 9 in||14.5 x 7 x 2.88 in|
This traveling sprinkler covers 13,500 sq. ft. as it travels 200 ft. at three different speeds for varying saturation. The heavy-duty cast iron body with chip resistant powder coat paint is built to last. Adjustable: Yes, Coverage Diameter (ft.): 200, Material: Cast iron, Color: Yellow, Sprayer Type: Traveling, Sprinkler Radius (ft.): 100, Includes: Chip resistant powder-coat paint, Sprinkler Coverage (sq. ft.): 13,500
When you’ve got an exceptionally large, open area to water, the fastest, easiest way to cover it is with a Rain Train traveling sprinkler. Both models travel up to 200 feet and cover as much as 13,500 square feet. Set them in place at your desired starting point, turn them on and walk away. A choice of three speeds lets you adjust the level of saturation to your lawn’s needs and automatic shutoff prevents water waste. Manufacturer’s limited 2-year warranty included.
Top customer reviews
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The sprinkler housing is very heavy and feels strong and sturdy, made of cast iron. There are some plastic components which worries me in the Texas sun, but they have performed okay so far. The instructions were very detailed and easy to follow. Basically there are 2 speed settings (hi=fast but less water, low=slower but more water), and you can twist the arms up or down to change the distance it throws. Also, it has a bump button on the bottom that is supposed to work with the plastic stop ramp. The stop ramp feels cheap and flimsy, not sure how long it will last. The sprinkler itself feels like it will last at least several years.
Here are some tricks to prevent problems:
1. Mine gets stuck in bald spots, where there is not a thick grass mat on the ground. In those spots, the ground gets soft from the watering, and when the wheels reach that spot, they will eventually spin out and dig a rut, just like getting your car stuck. On areas with a nice continuous grass mat, it works flawlessly. I resolve this issue by snaking the hose along the thickets parts of the grass to avoid the bald spots. If I have to run it over a bald spot, I have to peep out of the window every 10 minutes to make sure it's not stuck there.
2. For every 1 foot the sprinkler moves forward, it add 6 inches of water-filled hose to pull behind it (cause it's a loop that keeps getting larger). Thus after a long stretch, the hose it's pulling gets heavier and heavier, with more drag against the ground. This increases the issue mentioned above with getting stuck and spinning out. So in theory, you could set it to run 100 feet and forget it, but in reality you need to check it. Mine goes about 50 feet before I have to reposition the hose to prevent it from stalling out.
3. The bump button works for about 50% of the time. Once, I laid the leading hose across another hose. When the sprinkler got to the crossing hose, it struck the bump button and prematurely shut off the sprinkler. A couple times, I came out to find the runaway sprinkler happily watering about 3 feet past the bump ramp and off of the hose.
4. In theory, you could snake this thing around a bunch of curves, working between trees and corners. However, because of the growing length of hose it drags behind it (see No. 2 above), if you have too many turns, or the turns are too sharp, then the hose will start to rub and drag sideways against those objects, and the sprinkler will end up getting stuck in one spot.
Overall, I am happy with this product, and it has made my watering much easier, but it is definitely not a "set it and forget it" device - there are too many things that can go wrong so you need to stick around and watch it occasionally.
Now for some details and quirks which prevents the 5th star. In fact I would give it 3 stars if not for the fact that it does save me time and covers a big task far more easily than the oscillator sprinkler movements I used to do.
This sprinkler is beefy. It's all metal except for the wheels and some parts where the sprinkler tubes that rotate come out and the piston on the bottom are plastic. When a 100 ft. water filled hose is attached to it and you are trying to pull it across the lawn, it's not for lightweights. This device has 2 speeds, Lo and Hi. Both change the gear ratio such that the crawling a little faster in Hi gear than Lo. The idea behind the two gears is to vary the amount of water you put down on the lawn by changing the movement speed. The instructions provide a chart that shows the inches of water it will lay down for a given diameter size water pattern and speed of crawl. You can select the diameter and speed for your needs. I discovered that the smaller the diameter, the faster the Lo and Hi speed is. This is because the smaller diameter results in the spray nozzles rotating at a faster speed, hence faster crawling. This makes sense since the water flow rate to the lawn is faster so you wouldn't want it going the same speed for huge diameter vs small diameter. Keep this in mind when setting the diameter and how much time it will take to crawl the hose to the bridge.
Diameter is determined by the angle of the two spray tubes squirting out the water. The angle can be changed from slightly downward (relative to a horizontal plane) on up to about 45 degrees. This claims to have a maximum diameter of 55 ft but I haven't seen that to be true for my well and pressure tank system. Minimum diameter I haven't measured but probably about 8-10 ft. You adjust the tube arms by twisting them in the rotating base T-socket. Each arm has a sleeve nut that tightens up around the tube on threads. It is possible to have it fairly tightened to prevent the water pressure pushing the tube out (which I have had happen several times) but also possible to have it tight enough to not be able to turn the tubes. It's a narrow line between too tight (can't turn the tubes) and not tight enough where the tubes work their way out of the socket and pop out. But it's do-able with some practice and it works fine then.
On the bottom side of the tractor is a piston/spring trigger. If it is pushed up into the belly of the tractor, it stops the water flow. When you pull it out, it opens the valve and sprays water out the tubes. The point of this is to allow auto-shutoff when the tractor crawls over a "bridge ramp" placed on the hose where you want it to stop crawling. This bridge (which is provided) is yellow (see photos of it) and Is placed so as to straddles the hose. It is wide enough for the front wheels to ride up and over the bridge ramp. But the back wheels straddle it allowing the bridge to cause the piston to be pushed up as it tries to pass over it, shutting off the water and therefore the crawling action. So far this action has had mixed success for me. in principle it works. When the piston encounters the ramp of the bridge, it pushes it up and stops water flow. The problem I've had with it is this: if you aren't able to get the ramp low enough in the grass, I've had multiple times where the piston catches on the cut-out of the bridge ramp where the hose passes through. I've carefully examined why and it's because the ramp is not low enough relative to the clearance of the tractor belly. The bridge has a single fold-out thin metal rod that is meant to poke down in the sod to help hold the bridge in place and as low as possible. However, I think having thick grass or soft soil reduces the effectiveness of this rod in holding it down low close to the grass dirt level.
This piston shutoff/on valve is very slick for being able to stop the sprinkler, move the sprinkler and then restart it without having to go back to the water source valve and turning it off and then on again. I typically set up the tractor, push in the piston in (it doesn't always grab without water flow but keep trying to push it in till it sticks.) Then go turn on the water. Then return to the tractor and standing where it won't spray me, I reach under and pull out the piston. Water sprays and I adjust the angle of the water diameter to fit the current need. Then I place the front wheel on the hose and run fast to get away without getting too wet. I wish the design were changed to have the rod extend up through the top of the tractor so as to provide easier access from both top and bottom sides, pushing/pulling the piston from either side.
This sprinkler will not work in dirt flower beds. The ground will get wet, soft, then muddy and the wheels will get stuck in the mud. So don't bother trying this or buying it for that type of use. This is intended for lawn. The spiked wheels are designed to grab the turf to get traction to pull up to a 100 ft hose filled with water after it. That requires a lot of force for this little guy. But it has good pull power.
I use the Flexzilla Garden Hose, 5/8 in. x 100 ft., which is a fabulous hose as hoses go. I have found that it works ok with this sprinkler most of the time. I've had multiple times where the front wheels jump the hose and it wanders off on it's own random course. This is not good if you have left it alone thinking it will stop on the bridge ramp. I've had it run into flower beds and get stuck digging the wheels in the mud and going deeper and deeper. This jumping the hose issue almost always occurs on a corner. They claim it can handle curves of 8 ft radius but I'm skeptical as I've had it jump the hose with more gradual curves even. This could be due to this hose being more squishy than your traditional hose. It also could be due to the 5/8" hose size. But if I were to get a 3/4" hose, the length it can track and pull behind is reduced. I also think lawn unevenness on a curve may also contribute, but that is just a thought, not proven. BTW, I would not use this sprinkler on 1/2" hose it won't work well at all for tracking.
Other nits I have against this device is that it leaks around the hose connection. It's worst leak is on the backside of where the connector attaches. I plan to contact the mfgr about this "defect?"
To summarize the quirks:
* Don't try to track this along the length of a slope. It will roll over. I've had that happen, found the tractor upside down and one of the arms disconnected. Fortunately it wasn't broken, just popped out. This rollover occurred due to jumping the hose and going where it wasn't intended.
* Don't track too small a curve. It usually jumps the hose track doing that. Perhaps a 3/4" hose or a traditional stiffer hose will work better for this.
* Make sure the bridge ramp for shutoff uses the foldout rod and pick a spot that allows it to hold the bridge as close to the surface of the soil as possible.
* Don't try to use this in dirt areas such as flowerbed. Go beside them on lawn. Extend the diameter of the spray to cover the flowerbeds.
Advice to the manufacturer:
* Make the tractor wider so it's not so top heavy for slopes.
* Make the piston rod be accessible both top side and bottom side of the tractor.
* Have it stop if it detects hard resistance so as to avoid grinding the gears if it runs into a wall, tree, or other immovable object. I haven't had this happen yet but it could.