Waterforce Products

Linear Irrigation

A linear irrigator moves in a straight line and irrigates rectangular land areas, making them ideal for cropping. These machines can irrigate long runs of more than 2000m and offer short rotation times to minimise water loss and achieve optimum crop growth. You can control the precise application amount (right down to fine droplets for sensitive crops) and can turn sections of sprinklers off to keep stock yards, buildings, tracks or silage dry. These machines will operate 24/7 and require minimal labour input.

Like pivots, linear irrigators consist of steel supporting structures and large spans of water pipes. Each span is mounted on a drive tower and base beam incorporating an electric gear motor which drives a set of gearboxes and tractor wheels.

Our team of WaterForce engineers can work with you to determine which of these irrigation methods will best suit your property. Our consulting process will consider your complete irrigation system including:

  • Water source and extraction method
  • Climate, soil types and crops
  • GPS surveying, design, plans and mark out
  • Power requirements – diesel or electric
  • Product selection
  • Health and safety
  • Project management
  • Service and maintenance

Key Features

  • Minimal labour is required so linear systems often operate 24/7.
  • They deliver very high uniformity to optimise water use and achieve even crop growth.
  • They irrigate rectangular shapes with high uniformity making them ideal for cropping.
  • Can irrigate very long runs of 2000m or more (this normally requires the shifting of a hose once every 24-48hrs), providing comprehensive coverage.
  • They operate on low to medium pressure to help minimise running costs.
  • Can offer short rotation times, applying a lower application rate, to minimise water losses and result in optimum crop growth.
  • Allows precise control over the application amount to optimise water use. You can also apply fine droplets to sensitive crops.
  • Can irrigate tall crops such as maize.
  • Linear controller allows collection of data and/or fault reporting, to help meet compliance requirements and minimise downtime.
  • Sections of sprinklers can be turned on/off to keep your stock yards, buildings, tracks and silage dry.
  • Low application rates on suitably-sized machines allows efficient water uptake by the soil without run off – optimising your water use.
  • Nozzles can easily be removed for checking and unblocking when necessary.


  • Not suitable for odd-shaped layouts. Areas must be rectangular, although attaching an end gun can water some extra areas.
  • They generally have a diesel driven generator which will require maintenance, regular fuel and oil.
  • It will require a guidance system to keep it walking straight.
  • The drag hose needs to be shifted from hydrant to hydrant.
  • If a fault stops the linear machine, the large area it covers won’t be irrigated again until the fault is fixed. This can result in down time during your peak season.
  • Wheel rutting can occur. However, this can be mitigated by boom-backs and sprinkler switching to place water behind the wheels; reducing the instantaneous application around the wheels; reducing the tire loading; or placing “hard fill” in the wheel ruts.
  • Whilst linear irrigators can be towed between locations, this process should not be underestimated in terms of time and effort.


WaterForce are New Zealand’s leading supplier and agent for Valley pivots (from Nebraska, USA)